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Today in totally bizarre sex news: Having sex—including oral—without condoms may benefit a woman’s mental and physical health, according to a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
Researchers asked 293 women to complete two surveys: one that assessed details about their sex lives, and another that analysed their mental makeup. Afterwards, the researchers measured the seminal plasma circulating in the women’s systems, and compared it against their survey data. The result: Women who frequently refused rubbers showed significantly fewer depressive symptoms than ladies who usually or always used condoms during sex.
The researchers credit the “mood-altering chemicals” in semen—including cortisol, which is linked to affection; oxytocin, which can elevate mood; and serotonin, which has antidepressant properties—for her health boost. But even if raw-dogging it has the slightest chance of making her happier, come on—it’s still a really bad idea.
If there’s a silver lining to this study, it’s that it prompted us to dig through all the other ridiculous sex research out there. (Tough job, right?) Here are 4 more totally crazy findings.
More Testosterone = More Masturbation
Researchers from the University of Michigan asked 196 women how frequently they masturbated and had sex, and how frequently they had the desire to do both. After analysing the subjects’ saliva samples, researchers found that women with the highest testosterone levels also had the highest desire to masturbate. Sounds hot, right? But there’s a catch: Women with higher T-levels also reported less desire for partnered sex. So, catch-22: She’s horny—but not for you. Researchers hypothesize that high testosterone could also mean higher stress, which explains the lack of desire to include a partner, and the urge to ease anxiety herself.
Look at Her Lips
The shape of her lips may predict the likelihood of her having an orgasm, says a 2011 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Researchers analyzed the results of an online survey that asked 258 women about the shape of their lips as well as their ability to experience a vaginal orgasm. The results: Women with prominent upper-lip tubercles—the little spot at the midline of the upper lip—have a better chance at having vaginal orgasms. So how could her pout predict her ability to climax? It may boil down to what happens before birth. Whatever shapes a fetus’s tubercle may also shape the same neural circuits that affect vaginal orgasm by the time that fetus grows into a woman, says co-author Rui Miguel Costa, M.A., a grad student at the University of the West of Scotland.
Give Her Socks, Help Her Orgasm
OK, so the socks themselves may not be solely responsible for her “O” face. But the temperature in your bedroom may play a bigger role than you thought, according to a Dutch study. “At the beginning of our trials, only 50 percent of our female subjects were able to reach orgasm,” says study author Gert Holstege, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the center for uroneurology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. “But we learned they were uncomfortable because they had cold feet. We gave them socks, and 80 percent reached orgasm.” The magic behind thesocks? In order to calm her amygdala and prefrontal cortex—the brain areas responsible for anxiety, fear, and danger signals—you need to create a pleasant environment that makes her feel safe, secure, and comfortable, Holstege explains.
Watch Her Stride
Women who walk with an energetic, fluid stride are more likely to experience vaginal orgasms, says a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Researchers had women fill out questionnaires about their sexual behaviour and broke them into two groups: women who have vaginal orgasms regularly, and those who rarely do. Both groups were instructed to walk 100 meters while thinking pleasant thoughts (like visiting a warm beach), and again, but with a male in their fantasy. As the women walked, two sexologists—who didn’t know the groups—assessed the women’s strides and correctly identified their groups 81 percent of the time. How can her hips give her away? Researchers hypothesize that vaginally orgasmic women don’t have blocked pelvic muscles, which results in taking a natural, fluid stride.