Are you meeting a romantic partner's family for the first time this Christmas and at a loss for a gift idea that will impress them with your suitability as a potential addition to the clan? Look no farther. (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest
In a curious study, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles showed that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) -- altering brain activity by zapping specific regions with magnetic pulses -- can apparently increase people's libido, at least briefly. Neuroscientist Nicole Prause and her colleagues targeted the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (at the left temple), a region involved in reward-seeking. New Scientist explains the curious protocol used by the researchers:
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...A vibrator was either connected to a sheath that the penis goes in or a small hood that fits over the clitoris. Electrodes on each participant’s head measured the strength of their brain’s alpha waves, which are weaker when people are more sexually aroused.
During the experiment, 20 people were given TMS for about two minutes, designed to either excite or inhibit the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Next, each volunteer was taken to a room where the EEG electrodes were placed on their head. They were then left to attach the vibrator themselves.
Finally, each participant carried out a task that involved pressing a button as fast as possible when shapes appeared on a screen. Depending on how quick they were, they were given a genital buzz lasting between half a second and five seconds – but only after a pause.
Their brainwaves were recorded during this waiting period. “They know they’re about to be sexually stimulated, but it hasn’t actually happened yet,” says Prause. It is the closest analogue for measuring desire in the lab, she adds.
As predicted, after excitatory TMS, participants’ alpha waves were weaker – suggesting they were more sexually aroused – than after inhibitory TMS.
YO is an FDA-cleared sperm quality analyzer for your smartphone. It consists of a detachable mini microscope and light that clips to your mobile phone. You "acquire" a sperm sample, drop it into the YO Clip, and the app records a video of your sperm in action and analyzes the activity. Available in January, you can pre-order two tests for $50. I bet the app has social media integration so if you have strong swimmers, you can proudly share the proof with your friends.
"Extensive testing has been performed on the YO Home Sperm Test—over four years to be exact," Marcia Deutsch, CEO of Medical Electronic Systems, the parent company of YO Sperm Test and producer of commercial-grade semen analyzers for major labs, tells Fit Pregnancy. "The technology is able to read the sperm sample 99 percent of the time, as long as the instructions are followed. [If it can read the test] the results are more than 97 percent accurate based on FDA studies of 316 participants."
Because it's an over-the-counter product, Deutsch says the test can't reveal actual values, but rather gives a reading of "low" or "moderate/normal" based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for sperm motility (how well they move) and concentration (how many there are). The test reports a composite of these two parameters called "motile sperm concentration," or the number of moving sperm.
Since 1993, the Literary Review has presented the Bad Sex in Fiction Award to "an author who has produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel." The winner will be announced November 30; below are a few of the finalists:
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Robert Seethaler’s The Tobacconist “He closed his eyes and heard himself make a gurgling sound. And as his trousers slipped down his legs all the burdens of his life to date seemed to fall away from him; he tipped back his head and faced up into the darkness beneath the ceiling, and for one blessed moment he felt as if he could understand the things of this world in all their immeasurable beauty. How strange they are, he thought, life and all of these things. Then he felt Anezka slide down before him to the floor, felt her hands grab his naked buttocks and draw him to her. “Come, sonny boy!” he heard her whisper, and with a smile he let go.”
Janet Ellis’ The Butcher’s Hook “When his hand goes to my breasts, my feet are envious. I slide my hands down his back, all along his spine, rutted with bone like mud ridges in a dry field, to the audacious swell below. His finger is inside me, his thumb circling, and I spill like grain from a bucket. He is panting, still running his race. I laugh at the incongruous size of him, sticking to his stomach and escaping from the springing hair below.”
Erri De Luca’s The Day Before Happiness “She pushed on my hips, an order that thrust me in.
Research suggests that people who do nice things for others, often at a cost for themselves, are more sexually attractive. From an evolutionary perspective, this might be because altruism indicates that a potential mate is more cooperative and caring. Evolutionary psychologists Steven Arnocky, at Nipissing University, and Pat Barclay, at the University of Guelph, conducted a fascinating study to explore whether altruistic people really do have more sexual partners. From Scientific American:
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This theory suggests that altruism may serve, in part, to convey one’s value as a mating partner, including one’s concern for others and likelihood of cooperating with future mates. Research has shown that we prefer altruistic partners, all else being equal; especially for long-term mating (the evidence for altruism being preferred in short-term mates is mixed). Not surprisingly, then, the pull to demonstrate one’s altruism can be strong. Some research has shown that men will actively compete with one another (termed competitive altruism) by making charitable donations to women. Interestingly, these charitable donations increase when the target of one’s altruism is physically attractive...
Previous findings from hunter-gatherer populations have shown that men who hunt and share meat often enjoy greater reproductive access to women. But do these links hold up in other cultural and contextual arenas, such as in contemporary North American society? To find out, we conducted a set of two studies. In our first study, undergraduate men and women completed an altruism questionnaire (involving questions like “I have donated blood”), along with a sexual history survey. Participants also completed a personality inventory, given the possibility that those with certain personality characteristics (such as being extroverted) might happen to engage in both more altruism and more sexual activity.
Adultfriendfinder, "the world's largest sex & swinger community," has suffered a major breach, leaking 300,000,000 accounts' worth of personal information, namely email addresses, passwords, usernames, IP addresses and browser information. Read the rest
Former dentist Kuang-Yi Ku created a prototype orthodontic retainer designed to improve the fellatio experience for the wearer's partner. After practicing dentistry for six years, Ku is now a student at Design Academy in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. His Fellatio Modification Project is a speculative design effort featured in the Science Gallery London's new exhibit Mouthy: Into the Orifice. The prosthetic consists of a custom orthodontic retainer with the top "embossed" with soft denture base material to create nubs on the roof of the mouth. From New Scientist:
Science doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to incorporating human sexuality into research and practice. Dentistry, for example, considers three functions for the oral cavity: aesthetics, pronunciation and mastication. “There is another function, sex, which is never mentioned in the textbooks,” says Ku. “I’m from the gay community and I realised that the medical school is a very patriarchal system, very serious, and the professors are very traditional, particularly in Asian countries. So I wanted to approach that relationship.”
Instead of treating disease and restoring normal function to the mouth, Ku imagines dentists enhancing it along one particular line, the act of performing fellatio. To do this, he created retainers which offer a more intense sexual experience for your (male) partner.
"Sex and dentistry: I made a fellatio prosthetic for my mouth" (New Scientist)
From the Wall Street Journal tonight, just a few days from the presidential election on Tuesday, a sleaze exposé involving the GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Jim from Open Rights Group sez, "MPs have worked out that attempts to verify adult's ages won't stop children from accessing other pornographic websites: so their proposed answer is to start censoring these websites." Read the rest
The UK government says it wants to stop people under 18 from looking at pornography, and so it's going to make all the porn sites operating in Britain collect some kind of age-verification in order to make this happen, on pain of being blocked by the UK's Great Firewall. Read the rest
The California DMV has rejected Opendns founder David Ulevitch's application for an "1NFOS3C" vanity license plate because it includes "a term of lust or depravity." Read the rest
Science fiction writer/hacker/mathematician Rudy Rucker (previously, a Gold Star Happy Mutant if ever there was one, has reissued five of his classic titles with new forematter and his own paintings on the covers, priced to move at $12 for paperbacks and $2 for DRM-free ebooks: Saucer Wisdom ("brilliantly funny, prescient, and as fully engaging as a coffee-fueled late-night conversation with a slightly manic genius"); Spacetime Donuts ("A plugged-in rebel becomes the incredible shrinking man"); The Sex Sphere ("An alien named Babs and her crew take the form of disembodied sex organs that attach to human hosts"); The Secret of Life ("A coming-of-age science fiction novel, blending realism and the fantastic in a transreal style"); and White Light ("A hipster math prof's journey to Abosolute Infinity...and back"). Read the rest