Today in totally bizarre sex news: Having sexÃ¢â‚¬”including oralÃ¢â‚¬”without condoms may benefit your 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 analyzed their mental makeup. Afterwards, the researchers measured the seminal plasma circulating in the womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 Ã¢â‚¬Å“mood-altering chemicalsÃ¢â‚¬Â in semenÃ¢â‚¬”including cortisol, which is linked to affection; oxytocin, which can elevate mood; and serotonin, which has antidepressant propertiesÃ¢â‚¬”for the health boost. But even if condom-less sex has the slightest chance of making us happier, come onÃ¢â‚¬”itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still a really bad idea. (Just check out the stats in AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Most STD-Infected States if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe us.)
If thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a silver lining to this study, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.
1. 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 analyzing the subjectsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ saliva samples, researchers found that women with the highest testosterone levels also had the highest desire to masturbate. Meanwhile, women with higher T-levels also reported less desire for partnered sex. 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 ourselves.
2. Look at Your Lips The shape of your lips may predict the likelihood of you having an orgasm, according to 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 tuberclesÃ¢â‚¬”the little spot at the midline of the upper lipÃ¢â‚¬”have a better chance at having vaginal orgasms. So how could your pout predict your ability to climax? It may boil down to what happens before birth. Whatever shapes a fetusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.
3. Wear Socks, Have an Orgasm OK, so the socks themselves may not be solely responsible for triggering the big Ã¢â‚¬Å“OÃ¢â‚¬Â. But the temperature in your bedroom may play a bigger role than you thought, according to a Dutch study. Ã¢â‚¬Å“At the beginning of our trials, only 50 percent of our female subjects were able to reach orgasm,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Ã‚Â study author Gert Holstege, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the center for uroneurology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But we learned they were uncomfortable because they had cold feet. We gave them socks, and 80 percent reached orgasm.Ã¢â‚¬Â The magic behind the socks? In order to calm the amygdala and prefrontal cortexÃ¢â‚¬”the brain areas responsible for anxiety, fear, and danger signalsÃ¢â‚¬”you need to be in a pleasant environment in which you feel safe, secure, and comfortable, Holstege explains.
4. Strut Your Stuff 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 behavior 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 sexologistsÃ¢â‚¬”who didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know the groupsÃ¢â‚¬”assessed the womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s strides and correctly identified their groups 81 percent of the time. How can your hips give you away? Researchers hypothesize that vaginally orgasmic women donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have blocked pelvic muscles, which results in taking a natural, fluid stride. (Not quite sure if you've experienced a vaginal orgasm? Learn more about your nether regions at Vagina University.)
Additional reporting by Andrew Daniels and Carolyn Kylstra
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