Category Archives: random surveys

Are hot women more likely to be straight? Doubtful…

A study recently presented to the American Sociological Association has argued that “hot” women are more likely to be straight than bisexual or gay. If that has made you do a double take, you’re not alone.

The study, conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Aura McClintock of the University of Notre Dame, tracked 5,018 women and 4,191 men from 1994 onwards and checked in with them at ages 16, 22 and 28 to ask what their self-reported sexual identity was.

Dr McClintock found that women were more likely to report being sexually fluid, and were more than three times as likely to change their sexual identity between the ages of 22 and 28.

So far, so normal — other studies have found that women are more likely to experiment with same-sex attraction, and are more willing to admit to it even if their sexual experiences have been exclusively heterosexual.

The McClintock study gets into a minefield once it tried to align physical attractiveness with sexual identity. McClintock claims that women who were attractive were more likely to be straight, but that there was no link between a man’s looks and his sexual identity.

The study suggests that women who are not attractive may feel less pressure to conform to heterosexual norms and therefore are freer to explore same-sex attractions. There are a number of problems with this conclusion. Let’s have a look at them.

First off, there is no objective standard for who is hot, and who is not. What one person finds attractive another may not. Chris Hemsworth was voted sexiest man alive last November, but nope, I don’t see it — and I love men with long blond hair. In this study, it was the researchers who decided which participants qualified as physically attractive or not, but the cliché puts it, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Secondly, beauty standards vary across time and culture. For example, the actresses Lucy Liu, Bai Ling, and Ming-Na Wen are all regarded as attractive in the West, but apparently the average Chinese person would disagree.

Thirdly, what is regarded as attractive in women is what straight men find attractive. A woman with long hair and wearing a dress is more likely to seen as attractive than a woman with a buzz cut wearing combats — by straight men. Plenty of lesbians would disagree.

Fourthly, women from conservative or religious backgrounds are more likely to accept gender roles as natural instead of cultural. They are therefore more likely to adhere to conventional standards of proper femininity in their self-presentation. They are also more likely to repress their experiences of same sex attraction and self report as heterosexual. That’s because in conservative social circles there are greater costs associated with defying gender roles and or being anything less than 100 percent straight.

Finally, beauty is often as much the result of effort as it is of good genes. Yes, there are features and physical characteristics that are generally regarded as attractive, and these can cross many different cultures, but while some of these are innate, a huge amount of them are the result of grooming.

Hair can be grown, styled, coloured; teeth can be straightened and whitened; diet and exercise can give your a fitter body; a dermatologist and a good skin care routine can make a helluva difference to your skin; and lipstick and a decent bra and give the impression of fuller lips and fuller breasts. Sure, genes and age means there are limitations as to what can be achieved, but most women can look better if they have the time, inclination and money to do so.

This is important — only heterosexual women have the inclination to make themselves attractive to men. So yes, heterosexual woman are more likely to adhere to cultural beauty norms. The more attractive to men you are, the more men you have to choose from.

Straight and gay women look for mates in different contexts, and therefore they use different physical cues to attract sexual partners. If you are not attracted to men, you have little or no motivation to be “pretty” in the ways men like. If anything, you may choose to present yourself in a manner which is off putting to straight men, but attractive to other women. As this clip from the wonderful Cameron Esposito explains, her look — masculine clothes. side mullet — are purposely chosen not to attract men but women.

The conclusion of the study — that less physically attractive women are less likely to be able to snag a man and therefore gravitate towards women — is not only insulting, it’s bad science.

Do Straight Women Secretly Hate Themselves?

Are you a straight woman who prefers the old P in V to oral sex? If so, maybe you are suffering from internalised misogyny and body issues.  That’s according to an not-very-scientific study done by vlogger Arielle Scarcella.

Scarcella hosts the popular “Lesbians Explain” YouTube series, and she wanted to know what kind of sex her viewers preferred, so she asked 500 of her straight female viewers and 500 lesbian viewers whether they prefer oral sex or penetration. She found that a majority, 55 percent, of her straight female viewers preferred penetration, but only 25 percent of lesbian viewers agreed. Scarcella wanted to know why there was such a large difference, and analysed the responses.

Many of the straight women felt that oral sex requires a greater level of vulnerability, and felt uneasy about receiving pleasure without giving any in return is uncomfortable. That’s entirely believable given that simultaneous orgasm is the Holy Grail of straight sex – despite the fact that this is can be very difficult for many couples to achieve.  Gay and lesbian sex tends to be more turn-based, for obvious reasons, so it is not surprising that Scarcella’s lesbian viewers felt more comfortable being on the receiving end.

However Scarcella loses me when she concludes that a preference for penetrative sex “all relates back to misogyny and how women feel about their bodies.” Er no. I can think of several reasons why straight women might prefer P to O more so than their lesbian sisters that have nothing to do with sexism or self-esteem. Here’s a few:

1. Penises are better than strap-ons or dildos. No matter how fancy your strap-on is, it is never going to be as flexible or as fleshy as a dick. If you are in an exclusive sexual relationship you have skin-to-skin contact, which allows a man and woman a lot of sensory feedback about their partner’s enjoyment, which is not possible with a toy.

2. Furthermore, penetrative sex is *supposed* to be about mutual pleasure, if not necessarily mutual orgasm. If you are both having a great time simultaneously, that can feel more emotionally satisfying than taking turns.

3. Practice. Straight couples probably have more penetrative sex than oral. Orgasm is partly a learnt response, so if you have more P in V than oral, and learn to achieve orgasm this way, you’re likely to prefer it.

4. Many men are not that good at oral. If you have a full set of lady parts, you’re probably going to be better at dealing with them than if you don’t. No disrespect intended. I’d bet good money that the average gay man is better at blowjobs than the average straight woman too.

5. Having to return the favour. Many women just don’t like giving blowjobs, and if you nix oral in favour of penetration, you won’t feel obliged to.

That’s off the top of my head. Anybody have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them.

Sex at the XMas Party

JENNA’S BACK

Jenna Jameson quit the adult entertainment industry in a blaze of glory in 2008. She was the world’s most famous porn star with a number of top-grossing adult films, a best-selling novel, and a website that racked in millions. Five years after pledging that she would never return to porn and that she’d “rather live under a bridge”, Jameson has returned to work as a cam girl. Now a mother of two, with a string of financial and legal troubles, including complaints of domestic violence and drunk driving, it seems Jameson’s life after porn was not the happily-ever-after she’d hoped.

SEX AT THE XMAS PARTY

A third of Irish people have had sex with a co-worker during their annual Christmas bash. That’s according to a survey by the website, GiftsDirect – so not very scientific. But if you are hankering after the hot marketing dude or lovely lady in the IT department, it’s good to know that your Christmas dreams may come true… attentions is fond of completing online surveys.

COERCED SEX IN THE UK

This is truly troubling. The UK’s National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) has found that one in ten women living in Britain has been coerced into sex against her will. Forty percent of those were with a current or former partner, and 83 percent of incidents involved a perpetrator who was known to the victim. The average age of the victim was just 18 years old. Wendy Macdowall, the lead Natsal author, has argued that the issue needs to be addressed at an early age and that coercion had become “normalised… with rape at the extreme end of the spectrum.” The Natsal study also found that one in 71 men have experienced coerced sex as well.

SEXTON’S MISCELLANY:  YOUR FANTASIES COME TO LIFE

If you’ve ever wished you could find a porn fi lm that fulfilled your particular fantasy, help is at hand. Erika Lust is an author and filmmaker as well as a four time winner of the Feminist Porn Awards and her new project, XConfessions, turns real life fantasies into beautifully shot short erotic films. To take part, log onto xconfessions.com and submit your fantasy. Make it an interesting one though – Lust has received several hundred and has promised that each month she’ll choose her two favourites to get the filmic treatment.

Sexton’s Miscellany: European Penises

Eherm, it seems the Irish would clean up in the smallest penis contest. A comparison of penis sizes across Europe suggests that Irish men are not particularly well-endowed, while Hungarians are well “hung” (Oh, I love a pun!). Here are the figures – but bear in mind that this is self-reported data and it is possible that some countries were indeed telling whoppers (or perhaps, little lies).

 

16cm+

Hungary (16.51cm); France (16.01)

15.5-15.99cm

Czech Republic (15.89); The Netherlands (15.87); Italy (15.74); Belgium (15.65); Georgia (15.61)

15-15.49

Denmark (15.29); Slovakia (15.21); Slovenia (15.13); Bulgaria (15.02)

14.5-14.99

Serbia (14.87); Sweden (14.80); Croatia (14.77); Greece (14.73); Albania (14.73); Belarus (14.63); Iceland (14.56)

14-14.49

Germany (14.48); Switzerland (14.35); Norway (14.34); Poland (14.29); Austria (14.16); Turkey (14.11)

13.5-13.99

Macedonia (13.98); Ukraine (13.97); United Kingdom (13.97); Spain (13.85); Estonia (13.78); Finland (13.77)

13-13.49 cm

Armenia (13.22); Russia (13.21); Portugal (13.19)

12.5-12.99 cm

Ireland (12.78); Romania (12.73)

High IQ=High Sex-Drive?

Students at top universities spend more on sex toys – that’s according to research from online sex toy retailer, Lovehoney. According to Lovehoney’s consumer research, a high intelligence is correlated with a high sex-drive. However there is another way of interpreting the correlation: that the super-smart have less sex and, therefore, are more willing to spend money on sex toys! More rigorous research suggests this may be the case – a study from MIT and Wellesley College in the US found that young people who attend university have sex less frequently, and fewer sexual partners, than those who quit studying after high school.

Sexton’s Miscellany

The French atlas of sexuality highlights some interesting differences in attitudes and behaviours around the world. Here are some of the nuggets the researcher found:

• Paris is the most unfaithful city in Europe,

• Cheaters tend to be pretty smart – more than half of those who cheat on their partners are highly-educated, and over a fifth work in finance, banking or insurance. The most common reason given for infidelity is a desire to test one’s powers of seduction,

• In Greece, Poland and Brazil, four-fifths of people say sex is very important, while in Thailand and Japan just 38% do,

• People in Britain, Norway and Sweden are the most avid users of sex toys,

• According to the data, a whooping 98% of porn is made in the United States and the remaining 2% mostly comes from Russia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Porn Star stats

What is the average American
porn star like? Jon Millward spent
months analysing data from the
Internet Adult Film Database and
discovered that American adult
performers are most likely to be
white brunettes, 5’ 5” tall with an
average size bust of 34B. Most are
22 years old when they debut and
generally last three years in the
industry. 87% have done facials;
62% have performed anal but only
53% have taken part in interracial
scenes. US porn stars are most
likely to be born in California; the
most common porn star name is
Nikki Lee.

Oops! Wrong Person!

One in seven people have sexted the wrong person. That’s according to a survey done by a mobile phone insurance company.

Hmmm… I have my doubts. Let me explain why.

Apparently the “wrong” people were as follows:

Friend – 37 percent; Ex-partner – 25 percent; Colleague – 17 percent; Family member – 9 percent; Stranger – 7 percent

To send a suggestive message, or worse still, a picture, to a family member is presumably a mistake… at least one hopes so. Ditto a stranger. But a friend, ex or colleague? I  bet a good deal of those were “accidentally on purpose”, a sort of “Look what you could be having!”

I could be wrong of course. And in fairness I did send a somewhat embarrassing text to a (sort of) stranger once. I had to meet somebody for work and put his contact details into my phone. The night before the poor man received as message from me that was something along the lines of, “I’m really looking forward to seeing you. Love you lots! xxx”. “Not sure I love you. Who is this?” came the response. Ah oops! I explained that the message had been for my mother (which was true. I love my mammy you know and was due home the following week). Luckily he believed me, or chose to, but the meeting was rather embarrassing nonetheless.

A friend did accidentally sexted me, and I am pretty sure it was a mistake. My phone beeped and there was a message from Ben. Two seconds later Ben rang.

“That message I sent you – have you opened it?” he asked. I hadn’t – he’d not given me much of a chance.

“Please don’t,” he asked. He wouldn’t explain why but made me promise to delete it without looking at it. Naturally I was curious, but I did as he asked. He sounded so stressed. The next time I saw him he asked me again if I had looked at it, repeatedly, and finally accepted my assurances that I hadn’t. I kind of wish I had. It must have been quite something…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day, Irish style

Durex have been quizzing Irish people to find out what they think about Valentine’s Day. Here’s what we had to say:

• Valentine’s Day is important for 55 per cent of us who believe it is a good opportunity to show their partner how much they love them
• However, 40 per cent of men either don’t notice Valentine’s Day or think it is over commercialized. Can’t argue with that.
• 1 in 3 women hope a secret love interest will surprise them to make Valentine’s Day as a single more exciting. Keep dreaming ladies…
• 22 per cent have scored a random so they have someone for Valentine’s Day. This rises to 41 per cent of people in Ulster compared to 20 per cent from Leinster (excluding Dublin)
• 21 per cent of men have scored a friend so they have someone on Valentine’s Day, compared to 13 per cent of women
• 37 per cent of us would have no-strings sex with a friend on VD if it was guaranteed that nobody else would know.
• For almost half of Irish men and women (48 per cent), the perfect Valentine’s Day would be a dirty weekend away
• 25 per cent of men would choose sex as the perfect Valentine’s gift, compared to just 11 per cent of women
• A quarter of women (25 per cent) would say a romantic home-made dinner is the perfect Valentine’s Day present
• Almost 1 in 3 Irish men and women (29 per cent) have dressed up in fantasy costumes for Valentine’s night
• The most popular fantasy to enact as a Valentine’s surprise is the naughty school girl (23 per cent), closely followed by a sexy nurse at 18 per cent
• 43 per cent of women have used handcuffs during sex on Valentine’s Day compared to 27 per cent of men who have done the same
• More than half (53 per cent) have used massage gels on Valentine’s Day, while 47 per cent have tried a sex toy and 46 per cent pleasure enhancing condoms

Heart

STATS FROM NATIONAL CONDOM WEEK

Wow, I have been banging on for years about the importance of sex education and it seems I am talking to a brick wall. Results from Durex’s survey for National Condom Week reveal that just over half of Irish 18-year-olds will leave secondary school with any formal sexual health education at all. A third of all Irish people have received none.

So where are we learning about sex?

41 percent say their friends and peers enlightened them, 35 percent read up on the subject in books, 31 percent look to magazines and 27 per cent get it from television. No porn? I find that hard to believe.

Discussing their first experience of sex, 30 percent of us felt ready but only 11 percent felt well-informed. Hardly surprising. Although what is surprising is that we were more ready than our Australians (23 percent), Greeks (18 percent) and Japanese (5 percent) peers.

Even more surprising is that more than a third of us enjoyed our first sexual experience. Presumably there is a cross-over between those who feel ready and those who have a good time, although for many people their first experience of sex is a letdown. But things certainly improve with practice!

Rather worryingly, more than 80 per cent of Irish men and women risk STIs and unplanned pregnancy by not always using a condom with a new partner or someone who is not their main partner. Not clever, especially as the average number of sexual partners we have is steadily creeping up. In 2012, men averaged 17 sexual partners while women had 8.