Sex, Lies and BS.

Have you heard?  Sex makes us smarter.   Excellent, no?  This is the best news I’ve received this year.  However, and there must always be a however whenever you read something on the internet, I should probably investigate this woman’s claims, just to make sure this isn’t another one of those ‘quail eggs prevent AIDS’ type scams, no?  See, I read over this list and I got that tingly feeling on the back of my knee, the one I get when my bullshitometer is screaming.  I’m just saying, geniuses on the internet have been known to lie to us.  Hell, I lie to you all the time, no?  No, I would never lie to you lovely buggers.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are back in the sewer, and what better way to kick off the year than with a post on how good sex is for you, us.  As always, fragile, love making, hearts a-fluttering types exit stage left, and kindly take the uptight prudes with you, last thing we need is an uppity idiot sneering down his, or more likely her, nose at us as we frolic in the muck.  My people, round here we like to frolic sans judgement, no?  No?  I’m the only one frolicking, aren’t I?  Ah well…  This will get quite rude, enjoyably so, and scientifically crude, and it will have a most offensive soundtrack to boot.  Fuck it, I may even throw in a personal anecdote, or two, just because I can.  Welcome to the sewer 3.0…

Mr Thicke is back on the playlist, and the third time is most definitely the charm.  The number of panties that got bunched last year on account of ‘Blurred Lines’ was shocking.  ‘It’s sexist!’ they bellowed.  ‘That video demeans women!’ they foamed.  ‘Those lyrics advocate rape!’ they thundered.  ‘What’s this?’ I thought, reading the allegedly rapey lyrics they’d quoted, ‘Robin is many things, but misogynist has never been one of them…’  Then I listened to the song and I forgot about the noise, because the song is so damn funky, and sexy too…

Ok now he was close, tried to domesticate you,
But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature,
Just let me liberate you,
Hey, hey, hey,
You don’t need no papers,
Hey, hey, hey,
That man is not your maker,
Hey, hey, hey…

This is sexist?  Really?  Go figure. Here I was having a wee (apparently inappropriate) chuckle.  Please bear with me, I’m about to embark on a lengthy detour, but I must bitch about this nonsense.  I was happy to forgive the idle, overwrought liberals, with crap taste in music, and let this sleeping dog lie, until I read this shit last week, Carrie Cracknell: erasing Blurred Lines. For theatre director Carrie Cracknell, whose new show takes its title from the song, Blurred Lines is a red rag. When I wonder whether it’s prudishness that makes people recoil from it, she argues: “It’s really easy for women to be accused of being prudish, but there is an absolute line about sexual consent that cannot be blurred. The rage I feel in relation to that song is about the idea of strong men, fully dressed, animalising and brutalising a group of scantily clad women.”   Eh?  Animawhatnow?  See, I had never watched the video, no need to, I figured it was a bunch of skinny girls dancing around a fella, such as they do in pretty much every music video, but brutalising?  Haiya!  I proceeded to watch the video.  Can you say bollocks?  Nary a g-string in sight, only one topless woman covering her itty bitty titties, and the man singing into some girl’s ear.  What the hell is brutal about that?  Then I watched the other version.  Same girls, same fellas, same stuffed dog, same crap shoes, and not much else.  Yup, all three girls are topless, and wearing g-strings.  It’s brutal, and anima…that one.  Brutal, I tell you, I was horrified.  EH?  What the hell is wrong with these people? Get the fuck out!  Just a thought, life would be a lot less hectic if we stopped fretting over other people’s breasts.

I hate these blurred lines,
I know you want it…
But you’re a good girl,
The way you grab me, must wanna get nasty,
Go ahead, get at me…

How on earth is this misogynist?  Crass, perhaps, but far from misogynist.  Detour over.

10 reasons why sex is good for you?  More like 1, and two halves.

1. It’s legit exercise?  No, not particularly.

You’d think that sex would automatically qualify as exercise, what with the lovely exertions one undergoes in the process of chasing an orgasm, yours or someone else’s, but what about those langa idiots who just lie there?   I’m 98.97% sure every man reading this just nodded and muttered, ‘Lakini…’ having encountered such a woman at least once in his life.  Gentlemen, can I get an amen?  I’m amen-ing too, I’ve encountered several myself.  Truth is, there are some in our midst who consider vigorousness a bad thing in bed, preferring the sedate missionary position, with no more than 27 thrusts per session, less if possible, never breaking a sweat.  Strange, but to each his own, as long you don’t come anywhere near my bed.  As for the rest of us, shagging in all manner of strange and delightful ways, I hate to break it to you, but you’re not really working out as much as you think you are. Despite claims to the contrary, research disproves The Myth of ‘Sexercise’; “The authors write, “Given that the average bout of sexual activity lasts about 6 minutes, a man in his early-to-mid-30s might expend approximately 21 kcal during sexual intercourse. Of course, he would have spent roughly one third that amount of energy just watching television, so the incremental benefit of one bout of sexual activity with respect to energy expended is plausibly on the order of 14 kcal.””  So that’s a no on the exercise thing, but it’s still a hell of a line, no?  Wanna come over and…bite lip suggestively…work out?  Not sexy?  Dammit.

2. It makes you happier?  Why yes, it does, but not all the time.

It seems logical to say that sex makes you happy, but what about bad sex?  Or boring sex?  Not all sex is the same, now is it?  According to these scientists, If you are happier after sex, it’s not just because it feels good, its not the sex/pleasure that gets you happy, its your engagement as you have sex that does it.  “According to this research, done by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University, happiness arises when we are fully engaged in the experiences of our bodies in the present moment; when our attention is completely filled up with our body sense (embodied self-awareness).  The Science study shows that when we are distracted by thoughts, doubts, judgments, daydreams, and other ruminations (conceptual self-awareness), we are inevitably less happy with the activity. In fact, we missed a lot because when we think, we can’t at the same time be available to access the flow of feelings and sensations in our bodies.”  What the shrinks are saying is that you get happy because you enjoy it because you’re into it, and the more into it the better.  “From this ordering of activities in relation to happiness, you might think that people were happier doing inherently more pleasurable things. The data revealed, however, that happiness was higher when people were more fully engaged regardless of activity: the type of activity did not matter as much as being focused on one’s embodied experience of doing it without being interrupted by distracting thoughts.”  Yes, sex can make you happy, but not all the time.  Put differently, you have to be in the moment to have a happy moment.

3. It makes you live longer, and prevents heart disease?  Hmmm…

The problem with this claim is that its kinda hard to verify. On the one hand you have the likes of Dr Oz throwing this at you, “When one has an orgasm, a hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone is released. This can increase immunity and also repairs tissue and keeps the skin healthy. A recent study illustrated that men who have at least two orgasms a week live longer than men who have sex just once every few weeks.”  Sounds impressive no?  But hang on a minute, a man who’s having sex at least twice a week will tend to be a. more active physically, hence higher libido, b. more content, what with the willing partner on hand and all, and possibly c. less stressed, hence higher libido, again, in which case the man lives longer not because of the sex but because he’s just better taken care of, so to speak.  I’m just saying, my grandma lived past 80, and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t getting shagged on the regular, seeing as how grandpa died when he was kendo 70, and he had two wives.

Dr Oz again, “Sex can improve cardiovascular health! Studies show that men who have sex more than twice a week have a reduced risk of having a heart attack than men who had sex less than once a month.”  Eh?  Am I the only one who thinks the man is making this shit up?  That’s the same study he’s quoting, I suspect.  Suspicious, I kept looking and found another study, this one in a Harvard journal no less, Is sex exercise? And is it hard on the heart?: “A report from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study agrees that sex may be protective. The subjects were men between 40 and 70 who were randomly selected residents of the Boston area. A total of 1,165 men were eligible for the study and agreed to participate. None of the men had cardiovascular disease when they enrolled in the 17-year study; 213 of the men had erectile dysfunction and were analyzed separately. Among the 952 men with intact erectile function, men who had sex once a month or less were 45% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than the men who had sex two or more times a week. The link between sexual activity and cardiac health was not explained by conventional cardiac risk factors or a man’s satisfaction with his relationships.”  Well that’s okay then, sex is good for the heart.  Or not.  “Although the American and British findings are heartening, they do not prove that sex itself is protective. Another explanation is that sexual activity reflects a general satisfaction with life that is good for health. And it’s even more likely that the men who had sex infrequently may have been burdened by social isolation or by smoking, drinking, drug abuse, or diseases that impair libido and potency.”  You gotta love these doctors, can’t even agree amongst themselves.

4. It reduces cancer risks?  Yes, but it may also increase said risks.

They say sex, ejaculation to be precise, reduces the risk of prostate cancer (WebMD says yes, Mayo Clinic says no), but unprotected sex increases the risk of cervical cancer and oral cancer.  I don’t have a prostate, so this sex that’s being peddled is not looking all that beneficial to me right now.  Just saying.

5. It reduces stress and its a painkiller?  Thank the gods, it really does.

Remember oxytocin, the cuddle hormone?  According to Psychology Today, “Sex apparently unleashes a bevy of chemical compounds into the brain, starting with oxytocin, otherwise known as the bonding or cuddle hormone. Studies show oxytocin levels become elevated in women during childbirth and breastfeeding, as well as in fathers who are involved with their partners and babies. Oxytocin similarly increases with sensual touch between adults, and peaks during orgasm.”  I can see a couple of deviants rolling their eyes, thinking that I’m about to advocate love-making and all that fluffy shit, but no, turns out this little hormone is good for much more than bonding.  “Conjecture aside, research consistently shows that oxytocin not only increases emotional connection, it also promotes a sense of calm and well-being, and reduces the effects of stress (as measured by blood pressure and cortisol), all of which are relevant in reducing perceptions of pain.”  And there’s more, “Additional substances, released through skin-to-skin touch with peak effects at orgasm, similarly contribute to pain relief and well-being. These include serotonin, our body’s natural anti-depressant; phenyl ethylamine (also found in chocolate) which activates the brain’s pleasure center; and endorphins, a natural painkiller that reduce pain awareness and generate feelings of elation and euphoria.”  My lovely deviants, the bad news is, cuddling will inevitably lead to bonding, but the good news is, the bonding will be painless.

6. It boosts the immune system? Does it now?

As flimsy as this one sounds, they may actually be onto something here, Want to Prevent Colds? Have Sex Weekly.  “In good relationships, lovemaking is deeply relaxing. Many studies show that deep relaxation, the kind that results from meditation or visualization/guided imagery, stimulates the immune system.”  It sounds a little suspect, no?  “Lovemaking is also a powerful form of social support. Many studies show that social support revs up the immune system, and helps prevent colds. At the University of Pittsburgh, psychologist Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., studied 276 healthy volunteers, who completed a survey of their social ties-to lovers, friends, family, and organizations-and then had live cold virus squirted up their noses. Those with the most social support were least likely to catch the cold.”  I’ve just discounted this immune story, unless someone can show me something a little less fluffy.  Love keeps the cold away?  I only get a homa once a year and I get love a lot less, so fuck that.

7. It makes you feel better about yourself?  It’s sex, dammit, it’s not a bloody miracle.

The idea of having sex to make yourself feel better about yourself offends every fibre in my being.  Really, every fucking one of said fibres wants to reach out and slap the fucking idiot who put this idea out there.  Yes, I’m a little pissed off, and yes, I shall explain.  From the minute we hit puberty, sex is held over our heads as a threat.  You have to have sex to fit in with the cool crowd, don’t have sex or you’ll be a ‘bad girl’, if you love me you’ll have sex with me, sex is love, you have to be good at sex, you have to give him sex whenever he wants or you’ll lose him…on and on and fucking on.  And then you grow up and realise it was all a load of bullshit.  The liberals out there sell sex as some form of enlightenment, as if having sex will suddenly make you whole.  As if.  If you have sex when you’re feeling shitty, then when the sex is done you’ll still be feeling shitty.  You don’t like who you are?  Odds are screwing the hot man at the counter wont make you like yourself more.  You want to feel beautiful?  Get naked, stand in front of a mirror, and fall in love/lust, with yourself.  That man whispering sweet nothings in your ear won’t change a damn thing, not if it’s your head that’s a little fucked up.  Ati sex makes you feel better about what now?  I’m all for more sex, hopefully more good sex, but this is evil propaganda, right up there with ‘you complete me’ type bullshit.  Fix yourself, then fix someone else (the second fix doesn’t have the same meaning as the first, clearly).

8. It makes you smarter?  Of course, just look at me.  Kidding.

This one is the flimsiest of all of them.  I know people who are exceedingly smart and not particularly sexual, just like I know people who are close to genius and most deviant.  It’s neither here nor there.  I do feel smarter after a particularly good shag, but I also feel smarter after a glass of wine, so perhaps I’m not the best example here.  I leave you with this, 6 Famous Geniuses You Didn’t Know Were Perverts and this, Secret and Sordid Sex Lives of Scientists: Photos.  Ah Einstein, you sexy little genius you…

I feel so lucky,
Hey, hey, hey,
You wanna hug me,
Hey, hey, hey,
What rhymes with hug me?
Hey, hey, hey…

If Mr Thicke is any indication, sex does not make you a smarter musician, sexy, but not very clever.  Good thing he stole the right tune