Just Another Guy with Opinions

Sex on the Net VII

Posted by shadmia on August 24, 2007

Have you ever embellished a story about your sex life and added in a little extra for time, frequency or number of partners? Maybe you “stretched” the truth just a little about physical attributes in order to look good. Have you ever perpetuated a myth based on hearsay about the opposite sex? Well research is out that exposes some of the fallacies about men’s sexual health.

Sex researchers are peculiar beasts. Armed with their tape measures, clipboards, surveys, and hidden cameras, they seek to provide a peephole from which to scrutinize that most private of spheres, human sexuality. What’s most surprising is that we let them in—we’re more than happy to unzip our pants and bare our private lives. Now, sex researchers have stepped out from behind the curtain to share the real numbers on five areas of men’s sexual health. The findings were published in Psychology Today. The answers may surprise you.

  • Sex on the Brain

  • The idea that men think about sex every seven seconds, like the claim that we only use 10 percent of our brains, is often repeated but rarely sourced. The number doesn’t bear up against scrutiny. According to the Kinsey Report (Sexual Behavior in the Human Male):

    54 percent of men think about sex every day or several times a day,

    43 percent a few times a week or a few times a month, and

    4 percent less than once a month.

    Even though the Kinsey Report relies on men to self-report on how often they think about sex, it’s still eye opening to find that just under half of men aren’t even thinking about sex once a day. Clearly, the seven-second rule may be a tad hyperbolic.

  • Not Tonight, Honey

  • The stereotype about the sex-starved man and the disinterested woman may be more than just a cliche. As it turns out, the instant a woman enters a secure relationship, her sex drive begins to plummet. Four years in, a German study found, fewer than half of women wanted regular sex. And after 20 years, only 20 percent did.

    Among men, libido held steady no matter how long they’d been in the relationship. Researchers provide an evolutionary explanation—women’s sex drive is initially high to facilitate pair bonding. Meanwhile, desire for tenderness showed the opposite trend. Ninety percent of women craved tenderness, but of men who’d been in relationships for ten years, only 25 percent said they hoped for the same from their partner.

  • Measuring Up

  • For as long as there’s been such thing as a ruler, men have been putting wood to, um, wood and wondering how they measure up. “There’s nothing wrong with you. You look at yourself from above and you look foreshortened,” Hemingway reassured a panicking F. Scott Fizgerald. “It is basically not a question of the size in repose. It is the size that it becomes. It is also a question of angle.” The trouble is that most of the actual surveys of penis size are unscientific and unreliable. The Kinsey survey relied on men to report their own numbers honestly and accurately—never a good idea.

    But the most rigorous studies to date found similar results—the Journal of Urology put the average penis size at 5.08 inches, and the International Journal of Impotence Research put it at 5.35 inches.

  • In Three Minutes Flat

  • Judging from the average porn flick, romance novel, or locker room conversation, a Martian landing on Earth would probably assume that intercourse would last somewhere in the vicinity of 40 minutes. But if that Martian were to actually enter into a relationship, he might be in for a big disappointment. Such marathon sessions are the exception to the rule; surveys find that the average sex session lasts from three to ten minutes. Not that any of this should be so surprising—the average hotel porn viewer watches for just 12 minutes.

  • The Spread of HIV

  • In Africa alone, AIDS kills some 6,000 people every day. While treatment must be made available for all who need it, some elements of the AIDS epidemic are likely exaggerated. It seemed as if no one was safe, not even non-drug users, straight men, or housewives.

    But the truth is that HIV isn’t nearly as easy to spread through heterosexual sex as many people think. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, men almost never get HIV from women. A healthy man who has unprotected sex with a non drug-using woman has a one in 5 million chance of getting HIV. If he wears a condom, the odds drop to one in 50 million. And though it’s easier for men to infect women, the odds that an HIV-positive man will transmit the virus to a woman through sex are less than one in 1,000.

So remember next time before you tell that story to check with the facts first!!


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