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sexual health

Kissing is fun, everybody knows that. But who would have known that the act of smooching can actually give you HEALTH BENEFITS? 

Does it heal your broken heart, clear your skin and boost your immune system? You're about to find out.

Strap yourselves in ladies, here are each and every glorious health benefit of puckering up. You should probably find someone to practice on…you know, for the sake of your body. It's a temple, isn't it?

Just don't do it like this:

mr bean love GIF

According to a 2009 scientific study, when we kiss somebody, our bodies release hormones which can actually ease stress. In the case of men, it increases bonding too. We love a good bromance alert.

Oral healthcare, anyone?

Now, we're not saying that you shouldn't brush your teeth or use mouthwash, but allegedly, a good kiss marathon is great news for your teeth and gums. How? Listen up:

Andréa Demirjian, author of Kissing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about One of Life’s Sweetest Pleasures, explains:

“When you’re kissing, you’re secreting more saliva in your mouth. That’s the mechanism that washes away the plaque on your teeth that leads to cavities.” A shift a day keeps the dental plaque away, girlos.

allison janney kiss GIF by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

It acts as a painkiller (Seriously)

Your achy, break-y heart deserves some attention. Especially when you've got some form of cramps, like your time of the month.

Apparently, some lip action actually helps to reduce the effects of chronic pain. Some savvy scientists at Current Pharmaceutical Design conducted some research into smooching, learned that the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin is packed full of analgesic painkilling properties.

Oxytocin s released whenever you kiss and hug your partner, so do it as much as possible, we say. Blood vessel dilation after a good kissing sesh is great for reducing aches and pains, so when you're on your period, pucker up. You NEED it, right?

ryan gosling kiss GIF

Hayfever or Bae-fever?

Anyone who suffers from allergies can rejoice at this news; apparently kissing eases itchy eyes and snotty noses (ew).

Researchers at Satou Hospital in Japan investigated the protective effect of kissing against allergies, and claim that locking lips for only 30 minutes can do wonders for the immune system.

It decreases the release of histamine (the chemical which is produced in response to allergens) as it relaxes you, and also can work miracles for eczema sufferers. Is there anything a great shift can't do?

blooming lisa simpson GIF

No pressure, honeys

So apparently, kissing can even reduce your blood pressure? We've all felt butterflies in our stomachs and a weakening of the ol' knees, as well as a quickening heartbeat, and now we've figured out that kissing passionately does even more:

Demirjian explains: “It gets your heartbeat revved in a healthy way that lowers your blood pressure. It dilates the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely, taking pressure off your organs, especially your heart and brain.”

Hot Diggedy Damn, we're 100 percent HERE for this science.

Feel Better In Love GIF

Let's talk about sex, baby, let's talk about you + me

Your sex life gets some HELLA drastic improvements from kissing; the two go together like Grace & Frankie, like women and vibrators, like Netflix and chill. You get the idea.

Kissing is also WAY more likely to increase your chances of having an orgasm. Lord knows we could use some of those…

As Carol Queen, the staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, explains;

“Kissing is a powerful type of foreplay… it helps increase the chances that both partners will have a good and pleasurable erotic experience.”

sexy nun GIF by Originals

Face the Facts

So BASICALLY, kissing involves more than 30 facial muscles, which can be given a major workout from a good kiss.

According to Demirjian, tongue wrestling can strengthen your neck and jawline – very good news, as these are particularly tricky spots to exercise on a daily basis.

“Your mouth has a number of facial muscles,” she says. “When those are engaged in kissing, you can tighten and tone them.”

Tighten and tone, you say? Sign us up.

muscles what GIF

2019 Mood

A perfectly-timed kiss can be the ideal mood booster. If scientists are saying it, then it must be true, right?

Puckering up can give your body a big-time release of happiness hormones, such as serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine. Ooh la la.

Those hormonal bad boys can help you relax, restore and revitalise your system. What more could you need?

romantic lady and the tramp GIF

NOW do you believe us about scientific research? 

Grab that lad or lassie and get your smooch on, it's for your own benefit, and theirs too.

Your doctor has officially given you one prescription to visit the LOVE shack *winks* 

Get it, gurrrlllll…

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We finally have an excuse – not that we need one – to unleash our emotional mess on our other halves, as it turns out – he LOVES it. 

Blessed are those couple of months that your partner hasn't discovered your inner crazy yet.

But embrace the mood swings as he may dig it, particularly between the sheets.

According to a German study, men prefer getting frisky with women who are emotionally unstable.

A possible explanation for this? An image of a knight on the white horse coming to save the day, springs to mind.

On the other hand, us gals enjoy men who won’t give us our own way. (Sounds about accurate, and a plausible reason for why we fall for f*ck boys…)

Additionally, attention to detail is a big turn on for us ladies, according to the findings of this study.

Lead researcher Julia Velten and her team investigated volunteer’s sex lives, sexual function and their personality.

Research into personality traits and sex is an area that has been neglected, according to the experts.

A thousand people took part in the sexy survey.

The team concluded that "men whose partners had less emotional stability reported better sexual function."

Meanwhile "lower agreeableness of a sexual partner was predictive of better sexual function in women".

The study was published in the Journal Of Sex Research, and the average age of the volunteers were 51, with the majority being in their current relationships for 24 years. – so they know a thing or two about a lifetime of sex.

For the women, topics of sexual desire, arousal, satisfaction and orgasm were examined.

For our male counterparts, it was erectile function, satisfaction, orgasm and desire.

Their findings revealed that men enjoyed sex more with a partner who had similar traits, in particular being easily stimulated.

"In men who are easily aroused by erotic fantasies or visual stimuli, having a partner who responds in a similar way may facilitate sexual function," the researchers explained.

An attentive man is one to keep around, as sex tends to be better with them.

The team said: "men who are thorough and dutiful may feel the need to satisfy their partner sexually, which may in turn lead to better sexual function of their partners".

The German scientists also put to the bed the misconception that being in a long-term relationship means you’re not gonna get your bit.

"This finding implies that a healthy sexual life is possible even in long relationships," the researchers said.

And, remember – consensual, safe sexy time is always the best. 

Happy humping!

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“We’ve let our hair out, gone back to work and made our voices heard, so why are we still putting up with uncomfortable and painful sex?”

Now THAT, Durex, is a great question. One that we're SO glad advertisers are starting to ask, seeing as women make up the huge majority of consumers. It's hella dumb not to cater for our needs, if you ask us.

The renowned condom brand also have a range of lubricants, which they are marketing with a pretty great ad, if we do say so ourselves.

The ad uses examples of women fighting for our rights, using our voices to protest, to work, to rebel against societal norms, but yet many of us don't speak out against painful or uncomfortable sex.

Dryness down there is such a common aspect of our daily lives, and the ad points out that our body lubricates itself differently depending on our hormones and the time of the month.

It's perfectly normal that a lot of us would need a little help sometimes with the 'ol lube. Especially during sex, when most heterosexual men don't seem to realise that we need water for the slide to be fun, so to speak.

An advert which shows a protester, female body hair and a working mum is refreshing, so we're even more chuffed that they brought painful sex into the equation.

Millions of women face this issue in their lives, and it can be incredibly frustrating. We all deserve to enjoy sex and have as many (multiple) orgasms as physically possible, and lube is a tool in our armoury to help us achieve that.

Take a look at the video below;

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Many of us know the 'symptoms' of falling in love; dry mouth, racing heartbeat, nervous sweating (hey- no judgement here) and even dizziness.

Be it love at first sight, a lustful locking of eyes across the room, fizzling sexual chemistry or even just plain HORMONES; it's a massively powerful experience.

Seeing as Valentine's Day, dread it or delight in it, is only 31 days away, we've decided to get our reading glasses on and find the science behind LURVE.

We're not the only publication carrying out extensive and important research into Cupid; scientists at the University of California have delved deeper to attempt to discover what happens to our bodies.

Apparently, that euphoric high that can occur when the flame is lit might be due to your GENES, according to Stylist.

The University of California were itching to discover how love affects the genes which control our immune systems, and took blind samples from 47 young women as they engaged in brand new relationships.

Genetic changes were monitored as the women fell in love over the course of two years with a new partner, and the scientists recently published their findings in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

According to the researchers; “Falling in love is one of the most psychologically potent experiences in human life. New romantic love is accompanied not only by psychological changes, but physiological changes as well.”

feel better in love GIF

The journal claims that when the women in their sample fell in love, their genes produces interferon- a protein most commonly deployed to fight viruses within the human body. 

"These findings are consistent with a selective up-regulation of innate immune responses to viral infections… and provide insight into the immuno-regulatory correlates of one of the keystone experiences in human life,” the scientists claim.

As women later fell out of love with their respective partners, their production of interferon was reduced. WHOA.

The experts assert that; “Some research suggests that psychological changes associated with romantic love may be attenuated as the relationship matures,” the experts said.

“The biological correlates of love might abate with the maturation of a longer-term more stable mate bond.”

jim carrey love GIF

Though the scientists don't yet know the exact reason for women producing an increase of interferon, they're pondering the idea that it may be to prepare for PREGNANCY. Whoa x2. 

Researchers now believe that men's genetic response probably isn't the same as women's. Typical lads.

Previous scientific investigations found that both regions of our brains interact as we fall deeply in lurve.

The 'feel good' neurotransmitter dopamine is distributed across our brains when the ventral tegmental area and caudate nucleus work in tangent with each other. 

Basically, in English this means that as we become romantically involved with someone, we start craving their presence.

The craving gets deeper as we fall more deeply in love with them, hence the feeling of lovesick obsession.

i love you GIF

Experiencing heartbreak can also affect our bodies, apparently.

No, not just bloating from all that Ben & Jerry's.Though that's a definite contributing factor…

Intense rejection activates the area of our brains that deal with physical pain, and research alleges that our bodies are literally more physically sensitive when we go through a break-up or romantic rejection.

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If you are unfamiliar with the term 'reproductive coercion', it's essentially when another person has more control over your reproductive health than yourself.

Hilary Freeman of The Guardian is now reporting that more women than imagined have no idea that reproductive coercion is a form of abuse.

Studies have revealed that a shocking one-in-four women who attend sexual health clinics report coercion over their reproductive lives, including 'contraceptive sabotage', such as covert condom removal.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Marie Stopes Australia (@mariestopesaus) on

According to BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, available evidence about the abusive behaviour needs to be updated to 2017 and widen the spectrum of activities involved to include familial pressure, criminal activity and exploitation within sex trafficking.

As well as not being able to choose contraceptives to use or take control of their own reproductive health, reproductive control takes the form of contraceptive sabotage, such as convert condom removal or needling a hole in a condom. 

Not being able to decide whether to start or continue a pregnancy is a major factor, research shows, and the concept of reproductive control (especially over women's autonomy) by others was first described in 2010.

Women's experience of interference with their autonomy goes back centuries, arguably, but research indicates that younger women are particularly vulnerable, as well as those in the black community and racial minorities.

The practice is scarily common, with women having decisions taken away from them by partners, exploiters or family, invalidating consent.

One-in-four women attending sexual healthcare clinics are reporting persuasive methods, emotional blackmail, threatened or actual infidelity and physical violence predominantly perpetrated by male partners but also criminal gangs.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Other examples of contraceptive sabotage include; partners lying about having a vasectomy or sterilisation, refusing to wear condoms, forceful removal of condoms, not using the withdrawal method properly, piercing barrier contraceptives or throwing away contraceptive pills.

Condom removal during sex is referred to as 'stealthing', and is now classified as sexual assault. Spiking drinks or food to induce abortion also was mentioned as occurrences.

The consequences are often emotionally difficult to bear; unintended or unwanted pregnancy, higher abortion risk, higher STI rates and emergency contraceptive usage.

Women in violent, abusive relationships prove especially vulnerable to reproductive coercion, but many are unaware that they are being subjected to reproductive control.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Marie Stopes Australia (@mariestopesaus) on

"The degree of control that a male partner can have will vary from mild to extreme. Milder amounts of control may not be perceived by the victim as unhealthy or abusive."

"Women in a long term relationship may become inured to significant levels of reproductive control," the study's authors write.

The study calls on healthcare professionals must play a crucial part in noticing and preventing this horrifically controlling behaviour.

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Research has discovered that ONE IN THREE women have heard the classic excuse of the condom being "too small to use."

We're feelin' pretty smug at this news, but we thought it would be three in three, to be honest…

A study has proven that just FOUR percent of people experienced problems with the condom legitimately not being big enough to use, despite so many women hearing the excuse. LOL.

golden girls condom GIF

Scientists were seeking to dispel the fallacy through their testing of condom sizes with an air compressor, and found that the condoms expanded to well over the average penis size.

The NHS and King's College London have previously said that the average size is 5.16 inches long.

However, engineering firm SGS Engineering maintain that the condoms measured roughly THREE FEET LONG by one foot wide when inflated to full capacity, so it seems a lot of men are telling fibs.

the 40 year old virgin hand GIF

A spokesperson for the engineering company who tested the barrier contraceptive said: “The condom, when inflated, would be approximately the same size as an Alsatian.”

A DOGGO. A REAL-LIFE BIG SIZED DOGGO. Let that sink in for a minute.

Researchers talked to 1,000 people in the UK to discover common attitudes to condom use, and found that only one-third of sexually active 18-24 year olds use condoms, and just 41 percent of sexually active folk across all age ranges use them. Alright then, do you want a baby/STI? Did you not see Mean Girls?

sex ed GIF

70 percent of those who were quizzed said they don't use a condom every time they have sex because they use another contraceptive method, such as the pill (24 percent of y'all are smart), withdrawal method (13 percent of y'all are stupid) and sterilisation (10 percent).

This is next level absurd; one in ten people said they didn't use condoms because of the WEIRD SMELL.

20 percent said the reason was discomfort, while 16 percent said it was because they reduced the pleasurably sensation, and 8 percent said they 'forgot'. Fools.

However, of the 70 percent of people who cited another contraception being used, one third just assumed that this was the case but there wasn't any proof. Mmmkay then. 

Half of people experienced an unplanned pregnancy because they didn't use condoms. See? Sex Ed is IMPORTANT people.

Condoms are up to 98 percent effective at protecting against STIs and unwanted pregnancies, 15 percent of people in the survey said they didn't trust condoms for fear of splitting.

Only three percent if these worries are based on this happening to them previously though.

andy samberg flirting GIF

A spokeswoman for SGS Engineering, Natalie Richardson, commented on the results;

 “The findings were surprising – particularly how anti-condom some men seemed to be, despite them not considering any other contraceptive methods."

“Potentially women are being told the excuse as a way of avoiding condom use because of sensation reasons. However, in most cases the risks far outweigh the benefits of ‘increased sensation’,” she added. Damn right they do.

happy the simpsons GIF

Ian Green of sexual health service organisation Terrence Higgins Trust said that the best way to protect against STIs remains to use condoms;

“There is the right condom out there for everyone. Penises come in a whole range of different shapes and sizes – and condoms do too. For example, if you do find standard condoms too small, then you should try a king size option."

“Last year we saw big jumps in rates of both gonorrhoea and syphilis, which is why more needs to be done to promote condom use, the range of different shapes and sizes available, and the importance of regular testing," he continued.

"This is particularly true among groups most affected by STIs in this country, which includes young people, gay and bisexual men, and people from BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) communities.” 

The Family Planning Association, said regular sized condoms are suitable for most penis shapes and sizes.

Karen O’Sullivan, who has 30 years of experience working in sexual health wrote : “We would advise anyone who knows that regular condoms aren’t suitable for them, for whatever reason, to carry appropriate options with them so they can have safe sex."

Sexual health provider SH:24 said health providers need to move away from the “one size fits all” contraception mentality.

“When patients come into a clinic, they can often assume all condoms are the same size so we also want to see better education around choices and how to use condoms properly,“ they said.

It just goes to show, we need to massively step up when it comes to sexual health education, because myths are still circulating.

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Gwyneth Paltrow is releasing a brand new 'dirty weekend away sex kit' on her website, Goop, and it is worth a damn FORTUNE.

The set includes condoms, vegan lubricant, massage oil, sex toys and all the sexual health information you could possibly need.

Oh yeah, it also contains a 24-carat-gold sex toy. As you do.

She recently married 47-year-old TV producer Brad Falchuk, and has commented before on her 'great and satisfying' sex life. Brag much?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow) on

The website's first 'sex Issue' was published in May 2016, which included a kinky toy buying guide, and advise on sexual preferences. 

She has now put together the dirty weekend away kit, with a massive spending allotment, but it's the thought that counts, right?

The Balmyard Beauty Romantic Call Body Oil boasts antioxidant coconut, shea, sweet almond, and hibiscus-seed oils is on the list, and works hard to leave your skin soft and glowy.

It's a shame it's priced at $82…

Imagine being able to afford a SOLID GOLD dildo worth $3500. Just imagine.

She includes the Betony Vernon Marabou Pleasure Puff Ring, with intricate marabou feathers, on her list. The item is worth a jaw-dropping $673.

The Maude Rise Condoms are 100% natural latex, and is the most affordable item in the kit, costing just $12. A bargain…

The vegan Unbound Jelly lubricant is made from 95% organic ingredients and is also vanilla-scented for good measure.

Last but by all means not least, the Lelo Olga sex toy is comprised of 24-carat gold and warms to your body temperature internally.

Gwyneth is extremely open about her sex life, and recently discussed the importance of sexual health while speaking to Glamour

The actress wed her second husband in a beautiful ceremony back in September commented on emphasising women's sexual lives through Goop.

We don't doubt that her and Brad are enjoying married life, if her sex kit is anything to go by. We commend her great attitude to banishing shame from sex. All women deserve great sexual health.

The website says the sundries are a must-have for a 'Romantic (and Sexy) Weekend', stating; “These five clean, nontoxic essentials are virtually guaranteed to ignite and/or reenergise sexual vibes.” Spicy, Gwyneth, very spicy.

Paltrow has attributed her newfound glow and warmth to her new beau.

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What on earth is a 'sex recession' and why are our generation having less sex?

Kate Julian, writing for the American publication The Atlantic, has carried out research regarding the latest sexual habits of our generation, and it's fair to say her findings were pretty damn surprising.

Despite our culture of sexualisation, Grindr, Tinder dating and normalised pornography, apparently we are having less sex than our parent's generation. Eh, that is NOT COOL.

Cases of HIV are at an all-time low, birth control is far easier to acquire and the internet has a ridiculous amount of information (often inaccurate) about sex, so why are we not engaging in sexual activity as much? 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Atlantic (@theatlantic) on

Julian claimed that in American high schools:

"Teens are launching their sex lives later. From 1991 to 2017, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behaviour Survey finds, the percentage of high-school students who’d had intercourse dropped from 54 to 40 percent."

Jean M. Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, has argued that our generation are on course to have fewer sexual partners in our lifetime.

Twenge also found that the average adult went from having sex 62 times a year to 54 times, using data from the General Social Survey. Well, this is alarming.

Helen Fisher, co-director of Match.com’annual Singles in America survey of more than 5,000 'unpartnered' Americans, stated:

"The data is that people are having less sex,” she said, with a hint of mischief, according to Julian. Mischief… not managed?! 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Chris Kohatsu (@chriskohatsu) on

Julian argues that in America, “about 60 percent of adults under age 35 now live without a spouse or a partner.”

Japan is one of the most fascinating cultures to study sexually, they are one of the world's biggest porn producers and consumers, yet are having a HUGE demographic crisis.

None of them are having sex. Legit, NONE.

In Japan in 2015, 43 percent of young people (ages 18 to 34) were virgins. 47 percent of married couples said it had been more than a month since they had sex.

I have so many questions. One of them being, why are we waiting until later in life to have sex?

According to studies, porn is a prominent factor in terms of the sexual decline. Or rather, the decline in our generation having sex with each other, having a human experience.

Apparently, porn means that men and women are having sex with themselves instead.

Maureen O’Connor recently described the porn preference popularised in Japan, hentai, and how it transmogrifies body parts. It's unrealistic, fantasy and almost hallucinatory.

The supernatural is eroticised, allowing sex to become a total escape, but yet it's not based in the real world.

Debby Herbenick ascertains that young people today are more likely to engage in sexual behaviours which are prevalent in porn, which might be scaring some people off, seeing as porn nowadays is FULL of hugely violent tendencies towards women.

This would easily put people off sex, to be fair, if someone tries a random sex act which they saw in porn, without the partner's consent or enjoyment.

Julian cites a few reasons such as:

Parental pressure

Julian describes the term "helicopter parents,” as parental anxiety regarding their children’s educational and economic prospects. Peer pressure from parents has resulted in a deterrence from romance.

Parents are telling their kids to focus on building their academic credentials instead of investing in romantic relationships

They are also giving their kids less private time, and less alone time for potential sexy-times. No sign of Regina George's "cool mom" vibes here then…

.do you want some amy poehler GIF

Issues with Dating Apps

Less people are actually going on dates, social skills have drastically decreased (maybe because of… THE INTERNET numbing our brains..)

Kate Julian discovered that Tinder actually tends to be a colossal waste of time. The average person takes more than 60 swipes to get a single match, and most matches don't even result in a conversation.

Matches are not evenly distributed, Julian claims that the "highly photogenic" people (a nice way of saying the Hot People) are the only ones who get proper use from it. Sound.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Maybe just give it a minute, stupid

A post shared by Unspirational (@tindernightmares) on

Today, the company says it logs 1.6 billion swipes a day, and yet only 26 million matches

Julian also feels that Tinder can lead to troubling consequences, where casual conversations or social cues can now come across as creepy.

To be fair, women (and men) statistically are seeing a lot of assault and danger from dating apps, so she could hold her judgement there about us being cautious.

If it is seen as problematic to ask people out by approaching them randomly, or even online, finding opportunities to have sex realistically is going to be a challenge.

get mtv GIF

Body consciousness and inhibition

Women especially are worried about their bodies, and there is a new-found nervousness of nakedness, despite it being all over the media and entertainment industry.

Inhibition is a major factor in the sexual decline, as inhibition prevents orgasm. Without orgasm, and with anxiety, people are drastically turned off sex.

Ian Kerner, the New York sex therapist says that women are rebuffing their sexual partners in terms of oral sex because they hate how their vagina looks:

“I know the stereotype is often that men are the ones who don’t want to perform it, but I find the reverse,” he said.

“A lot of women will say when I’m talking to them privately, ‘I just can’t believe that a guy wants to be down there, likes to do that. It’s the ugliest part of my body.’ ”

Self-consciousness is a mood killer, for sure.

Anxiety levels have surged in recent years, our generation has helped to de-stigmatise mental health, but this means there is an increase of people on anti-depressants; notorious libido killers.

Julian suggests that today’s young adults may struggle more with these issues.

Hook-ups Instead of Romantic Relationships

Hook-up culture is on the rise, which means that people are dating less often and are less likely to have steady relationships.

Kate Julian’s summarised Lisa Wade’s book, American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, as follows:

“Roughly one-third were…”abstainers” – they opted out of hook-up culture entirely. A little more than a third were “dabblers” – they hooked up sometimes, but ambivalently."

"Less than a quarter were 'enthusiasts,” who delighted in hooking up. The remainder were in long-term relationships.”

It goes to show, you never really know what's going on with other people's sex lives.

Painful sex

The sex which many young people are having is apparently painful, or just plain bad, because there is no valid communication.

People nowadays are also more willing to say no, to only have sex when they are in the mood, and not just to please others.

Julian writes that young adults are carrying out sex acts popularised by porn, such as anal sex and choking (asphyxiation).

She says that studies show “in the absence of high-quality sex education, teen boys look to porn for help understanding sex.” This is bad, trust me.

Many women, it turns out, are simply not enjoying sex in terms of penetration (anal and vaginal).

In 2012, Julian notes, 30 percent of women experienced pain during vaginal intercourse and a whopping 72 percent said that the anal sex they experienced was painful. Yikes.

In hookup culture, women experiencing orgasm is rare. Julian described, just 31 percent of men and an INSANE low of 11 percent of women were experiencing orgasm in hookups. God help us.

meg ryan orgasm GIF

It's hard to deny that #MeToo has possibly put a lot of people off sex, especially hookup culture.

We have to learn how to trust people again, and truly understand consent, so our personal sexuality can grow in a safe manner.

Growth of masturbation: Lovin' Yo'self.

Self-love is on the rise, according to Julian.

masturbating sex and the city GIF

This is possibly due to huge range of pornographic content found online, especially in books and erotic fiction for women.  

From 1992 to 2014, masturbation doubled for men and more than tripled for women (26 percent! YAS ladies).

As of 2014, 54 percent of men claim that they masturbate every week at least.

An issue with Kate Julian's arguments is that there is an element of blame for single people.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Her sources appeared to be quite anti-casual sex, anti-porn and anti-masturbation, despite the fact that women need masturbation especially to find out what they like.

Also the benefits of being single are huge. Statistics show that married people are not happier than singles, and that divorce rates remain high. Married people aren't even having more sex than single people.

Author and sociologist Bella dePaulo Ph.D. agreed:

"Maybe instead of spending 15 printed magazine pages explaining the decreasing frequency of sex among young adults, most of whom are single, Julian should have instead focused more of her attention on married people."

Her iconic 2004 work Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After, follows this idea.

funny sex GIF

Why are rates of sex decreasing for married people? 

Instead of judging people for how they live their sexual lives, maybe we should take the pressure off them and leave them alone, hmm? 

Especially since asexuality is now recognised as a sexual orientation, rather than a dysfunction.

We are learning so much in recent eras about sex and human nature, but I think the crucial issue is shame. Remove the shame from the equation, and we can communicate our needs and desires, and express ourselves sexually.

Do what you feel comfortable with, find what you like, and always make sure you feel safe and trust who you are with. 

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The sex is comfortable, you know what to expect and you know it's going to be good.

Since the break-up, your feelings have changed for your ex, but there's still probably a lot of love there – if he or she isn't a complete assh*le.

Your friends will shame you for letting them back in to your bed – but the next time they go to tell you off, throw them this little chunk of science.

These two studies claim to bust the myth that if you get freaky in the sheets with your ex, you'll delay your ability to move on.

In fact, they say having sex with your ex, even if you're in a horrible place about the split – isn't bad.

The first study, conducted by researchers at Wayne State University, Western University, and the University of Toronto Mississauga asked 113 newbie singles to fill out an online survey.

The newly dumped people were asked if they hooked up with their ex, how they felt emotionally and how attached they felt towards them at the end of the day.

The researchers then conducted a second study, but this time 372 people were questioned about sex with their exes and if they still held any emotional feelings for the ex.

And surprise, surprise – both studies concluded that contrary to popular belief, sex with an ex doesn't prolong heartache.

Additionally, the number of times you get freaky with your ex-lover doesn't play a role either. 

The results actually found it does the opposite – anyone who felt a strong emotional tie to their ex, sought out sex the most because they were trying to fill a void their ex had left.

BUT doing the dirty made them feel BETTER about the breakup – so honey, have your cake and eat it because this is emotionally risk-free.*

“This research suggests that societal handwringing regarding trying to have sex with an ex may not be warranted,” explained lead author Stephanie Spielmann. 

“The fact that sex with an ex is found to be most eagerly pursued by those having difficulty moving on, suggests that we should perhaps instead more critically evaluate people’s motivations behind pursuing sex with an ex,” she added.

So those late night booty calls are all golden baby – happy ridin'.

*This only works if both parties are single, and non-toxic. And don't forget to use protection.

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We hear quite a lot about the cervical cancer vaccine, and the pros and cons surrounding it.

However, we tend not to hear a whole lot about what EXACTLY the injection protects women against – the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). 

Here at SHEmazing, we want to make sure that all you fine females are well and truly 'in-the-know,' so we decided to research the virus. 

So, what exactly is HPV?

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According to The Irish Cancer Society, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) represents a family of very 'common viruses that are passed on during sex'.

Apparently, most people will get HPV infection in their lifetime and it usually clears up by itself. If you smoke, it can prevent the infection from clearing up. Some forms of the virus can also cause genital warts.

It is absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of, especially when you consider almost 75% of women will have HPV at some stage in tehir life. 

The main concern is that certain strains of HPV can ultimately turn cancerous, which is why those regular smear tests are so damn important. 

I KNOW, they're uncomfortable, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right? 

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Anyway, how exactly is HPV spread, I hear you ask? (use your imagination here.)

Basically, HPV can be transmitted during sexual intercourse or intimate skin to skin contact with an infected person, says the HSE.

'Transmission from mother to baby can also occur immediately before or after birth.'

Next question: what treatment is required?

In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. But when HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems like genital warts and cancer (as previously mentioned)

In relation to avoiding HPV, it can be tricky – however, the HPV vaccine can protect you against certain strains of the virus. 

If you're sexually active, use condoms and you will lower your chances of getting HPV. However, HPV can infect areas not covered by a condom – so condoms may not fully protect against getting HPV. 

The most important thing is to go for regular smears, the doctor will keep an eye on the rest. 

Easy peasy! 

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If you've ever got freaky in the sheets and accidentally took an elbow to the eye – don't fear, you're not alone.

Though it can absolutely murder the mood and you're left completely mortified, amorous accidents and mishaps are more common than you think. 

So you can stop blushing as 99 percent of participates in a recent Superdrug Online Doctor survey said during sexy sessions, they've experienced some sort of misery in this department.

It may not surprise you that the most common form of misfortune was bumping heads with one's partner – I'll go get the ice.

Out of the 800 people quizzed, 45 percent of men and women said they've taken a tumble out of the bed mid-session – although this could be down to overenthusiasm – take it easy lads. 

Onto some of the weird and wonderful ones, almost 12 percent of women and 8 percent of men accidentally vomited during sex – delightful.

Whilst 13 percents of both sexes reported wetting themselves when getting it on – if this does happen, make sure your mum isn't the one washing the sheets.

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Although it can end in tears or laughter – it seems we aren't too proud of ourselves when it comes to coughing up the truth to our doc.

The survey found that we will lie and create all kinds of tales to avoid telling the doctor that we injured ourselves getting the ride.

But how are we sustaining these accidents? Turns out we are uncoordinated messes – well almost half of us are.

Almost half of women who were surveyed said it was down to their lack of coordination, while 35.5 percent of men blamed the same problem. 

Lack of flexibility came in as second, with a quarter of women saying it was a reason for really awkward sex – so stop trying to push our legs over our head, thanks. 

For men, nearly 20 percent of them said lack of stamina and endurance was the culprit for the cricket silence. 

So do we learn from our mistakes and does awkward sex make us more cautious for future lovemaking marathons? – Yes, my friends, they do. 

29 percent said they avoided 69 standing up position like the plague after a previous failed attempt.

Others were less athletic, but they all shared something in common – penetration from behind.

Doggy style, reverse cowgirl, and the kneeling wheelbarrow each made the top five on the list of banished positions. 

Moving to those sexy locations, while it seems steamy in the movies, if you've ever attempted this in the real world – you know the results are far from the Hollywood glam.

Cue the awkward moments, positions and generally just being uncomfortable AF. 

So it comes as no surprise that 27 percent who got their wings in the mile-high club said they wouldn't repeat the experience – have you seen the size of those loos? Just no.

No one wants to see their neighbours going at it – no matter how hot you think you are and a quarter of people thankfully said they wouldn't get it on in a public patio or back garden again. 

Additionally, cemeteries made the list of awkward locations to avoid, as well as the ocean and the shower.

We don't have a solution to eliminate those "I wish the ground would open and swallow me whole" situations.

But I hope you can relate to these saucy encounters to realise that awkwardness is all apart of life – including sex. 

Let's hope the next time you can get laugh it off and get back at it.

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After two years of looking at the same face, it's fair to say some elements of the relationship aren't so exciting anymore.

The honeymoon period is firmly over, and he's seen you more often than not, with a top bun and his trackies on. 

However, it seems it's the little things that stand the test of time and go a long way in making our partnerships successful.

Superdrug surveyed 900 Europeans and Americans to find out precisely what small gestures we value the most from our relationships as time moves on. 

In a list of the top ten small things you value most, both men and women rated the most important gesture to be their partner laughing at their jokes. 

They say laughter is good medicine but remember: what's seldom is wonderful – (try chucking along to his fourth bad joke in a row – it's exhausting).

For women, the second spot was taken by when he 'smiles at me often or randomly' – ugh – SWOON.

However, for men 'buys me food I like' nabbed second place – remember ladies and gents, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!

The list also included gestures like 'makes me meals', 'buys me gifts' and remembering personal details about their life.

Getting down to the saucy bit, the participates were asked what were the small things that got them in the mood. – Spoiler alert: it's not picking your dirty socks off the floor.

But next time you want to arouse your partner, tell them that they're sexy or attractive, as both men and women rated this as their number one turn on.

In fact, the survey found that over 31 percent of men and 36.7 percent of women remarked that getting a compliment from their partner calling them “sexy” or “attractive” put them on a fast track to sticking on some Barry White.

Second place for women is when her partner 'buys her experiences', whereas men choose completely differently, with 'gives me a towel when I'm fresh out of a shower'…okay then, lads. I guess it's the little things that count.

Now here is when things get VERY interesting.

Those who took part answered questions about the importance of little things by the length of the relationship.

Say goodbye to buying your boyfriend a burrito, micro-attractions in a relationship, such as buying your partner's favourite foods died a death around the five to 10 years mark into the relationship.

However, remembering to buy your significant other a birthday pressie is a way to earn brownie points, long-term.

'Smiling at them often and randomly' was also a very popular gesture as the years went by.

And surprising your partner with gifts after 10 years together is the way to go.

Keeping things spicy in the bedroom can be a challenge as the years turn into decades.

Nevertheless, it doesn't mean that your sex life will be non-existent, it just changes with time – like a fine wine.

Offers of slipping into something sexy, walking around in the nip and telling your other half what a sexy beast he is, takes a serious decline after 10 years together.

However, never underestimate simplicity.  

Handing them a towel after a shower, flashing an ole smile at them and giving them a pet name meant more to a loved-up person.

In fact, individuals in the five to the 10-year range found smiling to be the least important on the timeline, but a whopping 22.6 percent of longer-term partners felt receiving a smile randomly or often was a huge factor in arousal. 

The real conclusion of this survey is to invest in good dental hygiene so you can keep smiling away to your partner for many years to come…(joking).

No, but really, small things can go far when it comes to the ones we love.

This survey proves that less is more and it might be the things you do daily, that your partner appreciates the most.

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