Sometimes I write about fundamental constants of math, medicine, the automotive industry, film & television, and sometimes I write about Totally Irrelevant Crap. This is more of the latter than the former, but centered around two recent surveys of men & women's sexual desires & habits from those great journals of (pop-pseudo)science named Maxim & Cosmo, and compared with some other data. So without further ado, let me try my best to write down to my screenname.

But first a variation on the Totally Irrelevant Crap standard warning; the following diary deals with topics of a (some)what mature nature, adult themes, and sexual situations. If you are easily offended by the names of human body parts, and some rather racy topics, you might want to stop right here.

Viewer discretion is advised.....

It's always amusing to read the advice dished out in Men's & Women's magazines. It is usually of the very obvious or the very wrong variety, yet very titillating & hence the reason it's in the magazine. However, every now & again, they put out something that's worth discussing, if only to giggle at. So what have the Men's & Women's magazines deduced about the inner workings of the male & female psyche?  

With some assistance from sites like The Frisky and Lemondrop, the April issue of Maxim has a survey of nearly 4,000 women about their sexual habits and desires.

(And, just to compare, we polled guys on a few questions, too.) The vast majority—68 percent—were between 18 and 35. Nearly half were from big cities such as New York, L.A., and Chicago.

Some of the other results:

  • Rate the importance of the following on a scale of 1, not at all, to 5, extremely:

Not at all - 5.4%Not at all - 1.4%Not at all - 14.6%Not at all - 6.7%
Somewhat - 38.9%Somewhat - 11.0%Somewhat - 29.0%Somewhat - 36.9%
Important - 35.4%Important - 33.8%Important - 24.9%Important - 34.9%
Very - 15.8%Very - 38.2%Very - 22.0%Very - 16.8%
Extremely - 4.6%Extremely - 15.6%Extremely - 9.6%Extremely - 4.7%

Not at all - 16.6%Not at all - 1.1%Not at all - 4.2%Not at all - 1.1%
Somewhat - 34.4%Somewhat - 5.1%Somewhat - 14.6%Somewhat - 2.1%
Important - 29.5%Important - 19.2%Important - 27.7%Important - 9.2%
Very - 14.8%Very - 40.2%Very - 33.4%Very - 29.6%
Extremely - 4.6%Extremely - 34.4%Extremely - 20.1%Extremely - 57.6%

It's interesting to note that the four "qualities" to get over 50% in very/extremely important were Stamina, Oral Sex technique, Kissing Technique, and Sense of Humor, whereas Penis Size was very/extremely important to 20.4% of the women in the survey.

I always found it amusing the amount of time & study put into the penis size entry on Wikipedia. If young women worry about things like breast size & how they compare to their peers, the analog to that with males seems to be the length & girth of their "fifth limb." In fact, for the more insecure members of the male persuasion it can lead to some rather pathetic avenues for compensation.

From a poll of 6,000 men that I'll get to in just a bit:

  • Would you change your penis size if you could?
  • Yes, I would make it bigger: 58%
    No: 41%
    Yes, I would make it smaller: 1%

So what is "normal"? A comprehensive study of more than 40 independent penis size research projects with 11,000 participants done over the past 60 years puts the average erect size of the adult penis between 5.5 and 6.2 inches in length and 4.7 and 5.1 inches in girth.

Still wondering "does penis size matter," then the study also took a look at perceptions of size and asked more than 50,000 heterosexual men and women how they rated their own size or the size of their partner. They found that 85% of women were satisfied with their partner's penile size, but only 55% of men were satisfied. Notice anything? The women were much more forgiving and didn't feel like they were dealing with inferior goods if they weren't being bludgeoned with porn-star worthy penises. Chances are that women within measuring distance usually have better things on their minds than finding a ruler, and if they don't, penis size probably shouldn't be your first concern.

If you are truly concerned with your ability to fulfill your woman, try to learn all you can about satisfying her all round, and learning tips, techniques and positions that can maximize what you've got.

How Big Is Too Big?How Do You Prefer A Man's Pubic Hair?What's The Worst Thing About Giving A Blow Job?What's The Best Thing About Giving A Blow Job?
7 Inches - 3.9%Wild and Free - 12.8%Hairy Balls - 10.9%Turning Him On - 35.0%
8 Inches - 17.6%Trimmed - 81.0%The Taste - 6.7%Being In Control - 6.2%
9 Inches - 35.2%All Waxed Away - 6.2%How Long It Takes - 23.4%Feeling Dirty - 2.6%
10 Inches - 24.3%Gag Reflex - 22.0%All Of The Above - 50.5%
11+ Inches - 10.1%The Penis In My Mouth - 1.2%
There's No Such Thing - 9.0%All Of The Above - 10.6%
Nothing! I Love Giving Head - 25.1%

When you need to know what the length of male pubic hair says about a man's psychology, Cosmo is there.

I have to say this is one of those subjects that never really gets discussed that much, at least not in the way it is with women. I mean pop culture giggles about women waxing, shaving, and getting all "Brazilian" in the nether regions, but we don't really ever talk about what women or gay men like or think is appropriate when it comes to a man's nether regions. And it's not something that's usually covered in the normal "birds & bees" talk men get as children (and Thank God, because I can only imagine the psychological damage from discussing trimming pubes with my mother). So what are males left with as far as guidance? Well, there's porn, where the dudes shave themselves to try to accentuate every inch they can muster. But there's also most male models, with the standard manscaping ridding most body hair. Or you can go the werewolf route until a girlfriend/boyfriend mentions something.

Well, the pop-psychologists at Cosmo once decided to figure out what a man's pubic hair says about his personality and the type of boyfriend he will be.....

Full On Male Bush

Guys who don’t trim their pubic hair fall into two camps. "The first is the alpha male who thinks maintenance beyond shaving his face is gay," says clinical psychologist Belisa Vranich, PsyD. He's traditional and chivalrous, so don’t expect much experimentation in bed beyond the missionary position. "The other type of guy is sweet but lazy," says Vranich. "He's open to trying naughty moves if you take the lead...and as long as he doesn't have to do too much work."

Trimmed Neat

In the market for a relationship? You've hit the jackpot with this man. Trimming the private area just enough to look neat and clean is known as faux natural and is one of the most popular styles, says Craig P. Wern, a groomer for men in New York City. This guy is the type who calls when he says he will. "He knows what's expected of him and will be attentive without being over-the-top sensitive," adds Vranich. Even better: Your wish is his command between the sheets. "He'll be conscious of what you like and how to satisfy you," says Vranich. "And he’s taken care to make sure going south on him is a pleasant experience for you."

Bald Eagle

A guy who shaves his testicles and the base of his shaft but not the hair around them may be trying to make himself look bigger, which suggests that he's insecure, says Vranich. He could be a high-maintenance boyfriend who needs praise, but his self-consciousness can benefit you in bed. "Because he's always aiming to better his technique, he is probably skilled and will try any ideas you introduce," says Vranich. A man who is waxed or shaved so that he's hairless down there has a wild side...and likely watches a lot of porn. "Some guys start trimming because they hold porn as the gold standard of sex and want to emulate shaved stars," says Vranich. "Or they heard it enhances sensation during sex." That said, in bed, anything goes, including highly choreographed positions and every other stop on the train to Naughty Town. "He is adventurous sexually and will try any kink once," says Vranich. "But this adrenaline junkie may resist settling down because he's always searching for a thrill."

The numbers from the image above that sticks out to me are the ones in response to the question "How often do you orgasm from intercourse?" A majority answered somewhere between "half the time" or "never", yet 89.4% still said sex can still be good even without an orgasm. For a good number of men, that is a hard thing to wrap one's head around; sex without climax. However, according to this survey, 43.3% of men have at one point or another had intercourse without an orgasm. (Are these guys faking it? More on that in a bit...)

Putting on my Dr. Rimjob hat for a second, anatomically it's harder for women to orgasm from intercourse than men. A controversial 1999 survey published in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) found 43% of women (compared to 31% of men) in the United States had at one point or another in their lives suffered from some form of "sexual dysfunction" (low sex-drive, problems maintaining arousal or orgasming during sex, pain during sex, etc.). Also, sex for men is more visual & physical, where, according to the Mayo Clinic, a woman's desire for sex is based "on a complex interaction of many components affecting intimacy, including physical well-being, emotional well-being, experiences, beliefs, lifestyle and current relationship." This helps to explain why some women can find sex enjoyable even without an orgasm; it's more than a physical act & becomes more about intimacy & emotion. Although, I was somewhere & a person brought up this poll by Maxim, and some of my female friends had a different take on the questions. They wondered how many of the women who claim to be having orgasms, aren't really, but think they are? My two beloveds who I shall call "Sarah"* and "Heather"* (* = names have been changed to protect the guilty) said they've had many female friends tell them that they thought they were having an orgasm from intercourse, but figured out they weren't after experiences with oral sex or masturbation.

However, what about men?

Last year, Cosmo teamed up with AskMen.com to poll 6,000 males between the ages of 18 and 35 about their sexual practices & desires. Or as Cosmo calls it:

If you click on the AskMen.com link, the numbers are broken down by country (men in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom). For the purposes of this diary, I'm going to use the U.S. numbers.

Among the results:

  • The no-fail move that immediately gets you ready for sex is usually:
  • A really long, steamy kiss: 35.4%
    When she grabs my crotch: 34.9%
    When she brushes her breasts against my chest: 24.4%
    When she licks my nipples: 5.3%

  • What over-the-top move would you like to try?
  • A threesome: 32.1%
    Getting it on in a public place: 31.7%
    Videotaping the two of us together: 21.2%
    Role-playing: 9.7%
    Talking dirty: 5.3%

  • Where's the sexiest place a girl can ambush you for a hot quickie?
  • In bed, first thing in the morning, even if I'm half asleep: 41.7%
    In the shower: 24.7%
    The doorway, just as I walk in: 22.2%
    While we're in the car: 11.4%

  • Finish this sentence: "When we're done with sex, I would love if she:
  • Cuddled up with me in bed.": 32.1%
    Pulled me into the shower with her.": 27.6%
    Begged for round two.": 18.8%
    Told me how amazing it felt.": 16.2%
    Rolled over and left me alone.": 5.3%

  • Would you be offended if a woman faked an orgasm during intercourse with you?
  • Yes, I would be offended that I wasn't able to pleasure her: 51%
    Yes, I would be offended that she was deceiving me: 27%
    No: 22%

  • Have you ever faked an orgasm during intercourse?
  • No, why would a man need to fake an orgasm?: 49%
    Yes, on more than one occasion: 20%
    No, but I have been in situations where I considered it: 18%
    Yes, but only once: 13%

  • Approximately how long do you like an entire sex session to last?
  • 30 minutes: 50.4%
    15 minutes: 25.5%
    60 or more minutes: 21.1%
    10 minutes: 3.1%

  • Have you ever insincerely told a woman you love her in order to get sex?
  • No, and I never would: 54%
    No, but I would consider it: 22%
    Yes, once, but I will not do it again: 8%
    Yes, once, and I would do it again: 8%
    Yes, many times, and I will continue to do so: 5%
    Yes, many times, but I will not do it again: 3%

I posted some of this poll in a Totally Irrelevant Crap diary when it first came out. Some people thought the plurality of men who wanted to "cuddle" in bed after sex were full of shit. Maybe, maybe not. This being a political blog, we all know the perils in polling (sample problems, people lying & giving the answer they think sounds good, etc.) and that could be true for all of these poll figures. However, it should be noted that less than a 1/3 of men picked that choice, ergo more than 2/3s don't want to cuddle.

  • Do you believe that you have a soul mate?
  • Yes, and I am looking for her: 35%
    Yes, and I have found her: 33%
    No: 32%

  • What is the most important personality trait that makes a woman "relationship material"?
  • A sense of loyalty: 32%
    A sense of humor: 24%
    A sense of caring/nurturing: 23%
    Intelligence: 21%

  • Would you dump a girlfriend if she became fat?
  • No: 52%
    Yes: 48%

  • Is it important for a girlfriend to have "wife potential"?
  • Somewhat, but I won't break up with her if I realize that she isn't: 47%
    Very, I won't bother pursuing a relationship with a woman who isn't a potential wife: 37%
    Not at all, I don't look that far ahead in my relationships: 16%

  • What is your main weapon to attract women?
  • Sense of humor: 35%
    Charm: 19%
    Confidence: 14%
    Intelligence: 13%
    Conversational skills: 9%
    Looks: 8%
    Money: 1%
    Talent: 1%

  • If you could change one thing about your wife/girlfriend, what would it be?
  • Her attitude/moodiness: 24%
    Her sexual appetite: 24%
    Nothing: 18%
    Her nagging: 9%
    Her looks: 9%
    Her domestic skills: 6%
    Her earning power: 5%
    Her intelligence: 3%
    Her sense of humor: 2%

  • How often do you make an effort to be romantic?
  • Somewhat often: 56%
    Very often: 26%
    Not very often: 17%
    Never: 1%

  • How satisfied are you with your sex life?
  • Somewhat satisfied; there is room for improvement: 47%
    Not at all satisfied because of the quantity of sex: 19%
    I have no sex life: 16%
    Completely satisfied; I wouldn't change a thing about it: 13%
    Not at all satisfied because of the quality of sex: 5%

  • Have you ever lied about the number of sex partners you've had?
  • No, never: 47%
    Yes, because it's no one's business but my own: 19%
    Yes, to protect a partner's feelings: 19%
    Yes, to protect my ego: 15%

  • On average, approximately how often do you have sex?
  • Multiple times a week: 33%
    Less than once a month: 28%
    Once a week: 22%
    Once a month: 13%
    Every day: 4%

  • How often do you think that couples with healthy sex lives have sex?
  • Multiple times a week: 76%
    Once a week: 14%
    Every day: 8%
    Less than once a month: 1%
    Once a month: 1%

  • How important is sex in a relationship?
  • Crucial, a relationship cannot survive without good, regular sex: 51%
    Important, but it's natural that over the course of a relationship it becomes progressively less so: 45%
    Negligible, relationships can survive without sex: 4%

Those last two questions & their responses are interesting when compared with some other numbers that are out there. It's been estimated that 40 million Americans have a sexless relationship (having sex less than 10 times a year). Of course, if things become stale, sometimes eyes start wandering.

So what are the opinions on cheating?

From Maxim's poll of women:
Having Sexual Intercourse - 88.7%He Cheated First - 28.3%Yes - 17.4%No, I Would Feel Too Guilty - 61.7%
Any Below The Belt Sexual Conduct (Oral Sex, Anal Sex, etc.) - 87.6%You Were Upset About Something In Your Relationship - 39.7%Yes, but they were separated. That doesn't count, right? - 6.3%Hell, yes! - 38.3%
Kissing - 81.0%You Were Bored With The Sex You Were Having - 27.4%No - 76.4%
Physical Flirting (Back Rubs, Hand Holding, Suggestive Dancing, etc.) - 56.3%You Have Issues With Commitment - 27.8%
Any Kind Of Emotional Affair, Including Relationships that Exist Solely In Cyberspace - 76.6%Other - 27.2%

The Cosmo/AskMen.com Poll is short on cheating questions, but does ask this of men:

  • If there was no chance of your partner finding out, how likely would you be to cheat on her?
  • Not at all likely, I might be tempted, but cheating violates my morals: 36%
    Not very likely, I might be tempted but I love and respect her too much: 35%
    Somewhat likely, but I would feel guilty nonetheless: 19%
    Very likely, she can't be hurt if she doesn't know about it: 7%
    I already cheat on her: 3%

  • Have you ever fantasized about a girlfriend's/wife's friend?
  • Yes, I have in the past but try to restrain myself from doing so: 44%
    Yes, I fantasize about her friends regularly: 26%
    No, I have no interest in any of her friends: 22%
    No, but I have to restrain myself from doing so: 8%

Also, some years back, GQ published a poll of 504 "cold sober American men" on the issue of infidelity (I wrote diary on it at the time). In the poll:

59% of unmarried men in committed relationships have cheated on a girlfriend.

Now, this number can be either better or worse than you think based on the ambiguity of what exactly that 59% thinks "cheated" means, as well as the 41% who claim to have been true to their relationship. For example, another result from the same poll found.....

45% of men believe a post-massage "happy ending" hand job is not cheating.

So it's possible some of the 41% claiming to have never cheated could have been "jerked off" underneath a towel at the massage pleasure palace at some point, and then answered no to the cheating question.

As far as some of the other scenarios asked about.....

  • 25% of men believe that if you fantasize regularly about another woman it's cheating.
  • 32% of men consider a lap dance at a strip club cheating.
  • 65% of men consider cybersex cheating.
  • 92% of men consider "hooking up" with a coworker cheating.
  • 96% of men consider hiring a prostitute cheating.

As to the last one, as one commenter in the original diary so eloquently wrote, "96% of men consider hiring a prostitute cheating and 4% of men are fucking hilarious".

As for the question of why men cheat......

A majority of men (53%) say that they cheated for the sex, but men married for more than 20 years are just as likely to say that they did it because "something was missing" from their marriage (41%) as they are to claim it was only for sex (43%).

While fantasizing was the least likely behavior to be viewed as cheating, it was also the activity that men were least likely to feel comfortable talking with their wives or girlfriends about. For example, while 54% of men would feel comfortable telling their wives, partners, or girlfriends about an erotic message, only 27% of men would feel comfortable sharing the fact that they fantasize about another person.

So, as Joe Scarborough (or is it Jerry Springer) says, what have we learned today? Probably not that much. People like sex, men might want to trim the pubic hair should, don't need to buy penis pumps, and should watch the grunting & crying during sex. Right now, somewhere in the world as you are reading this sentence, some man or some woman is at a club/bar/party, looking across the room at another man or woman who they will fall madly in love with. It might work out. It might not. C'est la vie.

I used to think that when the day comes that I get married, I would want to do it the way my parents did; a chapel in Vegas. Maybe get Brian May to do Queen's version of the Wedding March (if it's good enough for Ming the Merciless, it's good enough for me). However, I've totally changed my mind on this. I want a big Church wedding, if only to have the wedding party do something similar to this:

Originally posted to 医生的宫殿 on Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 09:38 PM PDT.

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