Best-selling author Mary Roach included a whole chapter on this question in her book Bonk. The fourth chapter, “The Upsuck Chronicles”, concludes with a fertility expert saying: “I think by now you know how science is. You think you know a lot until you start to ask some really basic questions, and then you realize you know nothing. I know a lot about artificial insemination, but I have no idea about the answer to [this] very simple question.”
Scientists don’t know if female orgasms, or uterine contractions, improve the likelihood of fertilization, or pregnancy—but I think monitoring the spermy success of humans, with or without uterine contractions, must be easier than figuring out how women orgasm in the first place!
Some animals offer easier, and less shy, reproductive subjects:
Uterine contractions have been shown to increase pregnancy in pigs—so much so that some lucky farm workers manually “stimulate” sows during artificial insemination. Interestingly (to ME anyway), pig farmers don’t know if the sows actually orgasm, just that the uterine contractions increase the number of little piggies. (Next time you enjoy your Grand Slam breakfast, don’t forget to mentally tip the bacon stimulators.)
Many female cats have sex induced ovulation (egg release) that triggered by the spines on a male cat’s penis. The backward spines scrape and puncture the vaginal walls and this triggers ovulation…also explaining the wild screeching noises heard in the back alley. (Dear mom, I still prefer your “Oh, it’s just a cat fight…”)
Facebook has over 500 million active users and many of those Facebookers publicly share details of their lives. But how accurately do Facebookers share themselves and what do they NOT share when it comes to sex?
What people share on Facebook:
- Facebookers brag about their kids, or pets. (Photos don’t SOUND like bragging.)
- They complain about their lunch. (Psst, NOBODY cares.)
- Facebookers love to spit at the opposing political party. (“I’ll be long gone before some smart person figures out what happened inside this Oval Office!” –G.W. Bush)
- Fanatical Facebookers cheer their favorite team. (Go Beavers!)
- Some faithful Facebookers praise God. (God is online?!)
- Fit Facebookers list their daily exercises. (Making the rest of us feel frumpy.)
- Facebook gamers “share” all sorts of imaginary crap the rest of us don’t want.
While Facebookers post the most intimate details of their Lunchables, they leave one topic absent from their list: SEX. In fact, Facebookers avoid liking or posting almost anything related to sex!
For example, more than twice as many Facebookers “like” pizza than those who “like” sex! Is sex really that unpopular? Doubtful. Rather, people are just publicly shy about sex.
Interestingly, Facebookers have no problem using Facebook to GET sex. Here’s a post that discusses how 11% of British Facebookers have had sex with someone they MET via Facebook.
11% isn’t much, but I would be ecstatic if just 11% of my many readers liked Sex Your Brain!
Vagina. Penis. Clitoris. Scrotum. What splendidly sexy organs we avoid—at least in tongue.
We learn at a young age that sexual body parts are unacceptable material for discussion. Unfortunately, the taboo of using these words means adults, and kids alike, miss out on some creative discussion topics like: Is the penis a muscle or a bone?
Consider these ridiculously realistic questions that most adults would never discuss:
- Seven year old: Why do penises look so funny?
- Nine year old: Where is Barbie’s vagina?
- Ten year old: Why are testicles so dangly?
- Twelve year old: Do sperm know where to swim?
- Fourteen year old: How can a vagina stretch big enough for a baby to get out?
These are all exceptional quiz questions that beg for discussion. IF adults questioned life in such open-minded fashion, we wouldn’t still be discussing the need for alternatives to petroleum, we’d already have them up and running.
Asking great questions sounds like an easy task, but creative questioning is more difficult than asking any old question. Creative questioning involves pinpointing the unknown, which kids—including my daugthers—are exceptional at isolating. (“Dad, why can’t I stay up a little later?”)
Furthermore, any scientist—worth her atoms—will tell you that one of the hardest parts of a successful experiment, besides finding money for it, was finding the creative question to study. Perhaps sex researchers should start hiring ten year olds—then again, maybe not!
So the next time you hang around with some creative kids (Sorry, the phrase “creative kids” is redundant.), ask them an open-ended question about life, the universe or fingernails. Find out what they are curious about and what they don’t understand and they will open your mind to a world, or galaxy, of new possibilities.
Sex education is a touchy topic. Not just in schools and at home, but on the web. While some sites offer great information about sex (Sex Education Listings), there are ten times as many websites offering bogus information and potentially harmful marketing pitches.
Let’s take a look at just two of the most popular websites that people use for gathering sexual information: WikiAnswers and Yahoo! Answers. Both of these sites answer sex education questions on the web…but how well?
First, let’s take a look at the format of each of these sites. In each site, users “register” in order to answer questions–but anyone can provide an email address. (Yes, you too are a sex-pert, with only a valid email!) Because of this, important questions about sex often only receive smart-ass one-liners. Needless to say, this is not an ideal sex education format!
Yes, there are some true sex experts on the web, but they have few incentives to provide good answers on sites such as Yahoo! and WikiAnswers. Yahoo!Answers gives out “points” for the best answers (chosen by asker or voted upon) but the points are useless and often awarded to simply the funniest answers…
Yahoo! Question: What do I do if my penis is too big for my girlfriend?
Best Answer: Sounds like you are a walrus. I had no idea they could type. Please write back so I can take you to the circus!
That is funny, but hardly educational—unless you didn’t know that walruses are exceptionally well hung.
Despite the issues at Yahoo!Answers, WikiAnswers is even worse because anyone can delete or edit answers. So a thoughtful answer to the question: “Why do guys have nipples?” can instantly become “Yo mama has nice nipples!” Furthermore, WikiAnswers does not approve many links to their questions, so webmasters like myself have little reason to answer questions in order to direct traffic to better answers. Clearly, WikiAnswers doesn’t want people finding real answers to sex questions elsewhere, because that would reduce the web traffic to their own crappy answers.
Furthermore, it’s not just these two sites that offer horrendous sex answers. Absurd sexual answers are all over the web. Go to most any sexual forum and you will find the same poor jokes and misunderstandings about sex. After all, sex education is a lot easier to make jokes about than it is to teach!
So, what would improve the problem of all the bad sexual information on the web and elsewhere?
- More funding and training for comprehensive sex education in the schools! Kids must be taught about their reproductive systems in an academic environment, not just surfing the web!
- Straight conversations between parents and kids about sex and sex education.
- Distribution of quality web sites that provide scientific information about sex, such as Sex Trivia 101 and Scarleteen.
Sex 101—the facts that few people fathom. There are hundred–if not millions–of things that people don’t know about sex. Here’s my top ten list of important facts:
10. Sex is NOT a dirty word, or activity…messy, maybe, but not dirty.
9. I’ve heard 101 mumblings that teenage boys think about sex all the time, but it’s simply not true. Sure, they think about sex more than they did before puberty, but teenage boys are pretty self-absorbed and are—hopefully—not having any sex to think about!
8. Sex is NOT just an animal thing. Sexual reproduction also takes place in plants too, just without penises and vaginas. Pollen (sperm) is instead transferred by wind, water or pollinators—like a bee.
7. Sex is a taboo subject to discuss and this taboo is pure foolishness. How on earth can we dispel our sexual misunderstandings unless we actually talk about them!? Here’s a great blog on this very topic: Sexy Time: Why the Taboo?
6. Some people argue that sex shouldn’t be taught in the schools. So, where should kids learn about the most important biological process in life? I guess we could leave it up to parents, the mass media and porn-filled internet searches…that’s a great idea.
5. Men and women do NOT talk about sex equally. Men talk about—and hear about—sex far less than women. Check out this great blog for more info on the scarcity of male sex educators: Wanted: A Few (more) Good Men.
4. Men do NOT necessarily want sex more than women. Sexual hormones and urges change throughout our lives for both genders and men and women appreciate varying amounts of sexual contact at different times. The important piece of sexual desire is effective communication between partners so that we understand our partner’s 101 desires—or occasional lack of!
3. Sexual slang words are not scary, they are just a normal part of society. In fact, social scientists studying ancient languages have found that sexual slang words were common in every ancient culture. Vulva or penis petroglyphs anyone?
2. People do NOT choose if they are homosexual. People may take time to figure out their sexual identity, but they have no “choice” in their brain chemicals that affect their sexual selection.
1. Sex is simply NOT as simple as “Open X. Insert Y.” Sex is a complicated emotional and physical activity that scientists still know little about. Check out this post on why people kiss: Why We Kiss — The Science of Sex.
-Sex Trivia with Mr. Science