Hey fuck buddies. Before the end of the first month of 2016 I thought I’d give you a short list of my favourite pieces of sex research of 2015.
Here are the 5 important questions that these studies will answer:
#1 Do women prefer bigger dicks for one-night stands?
#2 Do Non-monogamous people have more STIs?
#3 Is Homophobia associated with psychoticism?
#4 Does porn use lead to erectile dysfunction?
#5 Do pregnant women prefer feminine faces on men?
# 1: Penis size preference using 3D models
Women’s Preferences for Penis Size: A New Research Method Using Selection among 3D Models. PLoS One. N. Prause, J. Park, S. Leung, G. Miller
This study was the first to use tactile 3D printed penis models in order to assess women’s preference for erect penis size. Past research has usually relied on selection from 2D, flaccid images or even just abstract ratings.
This study found that women preferred a larger dick (especially a girthier dick) for ‘one-time’ partners as compared to long-term partners.
For both one-time and longer term partner’s women preferred a penis larger in length and circumference than average. However, the authors of the study emphasise that this preference is only very slightly larger than average.
The women were also asked to select the model penis that was “most likely to have an STI”. Most of the women declined to do so, but of those that did, an even larger model was selected, suggesting that while a larger penis is attractive to a degree, at a certain point a big dick becomes associated with higher infection rates.
The authors suggest one reason for why a larger penis size may be preferred in short-term/one-time sexual encounters, based on findings that women typically experience more satisfying and orgasmic sex in longer term relationships. In order to compensate for reduced psychological connection in a shorter term relationship or one-night stand, women may prefer a larger penis in the hopes it will provide increased physical sensation.
#2 Consensually Non-Monogamous partners aren’t at higher risk of STIs than Monogamous partners.
Consensual non-monogamy (CNM) is a term used to refer to the many consensual alternatives to traditional monogamy, such as swinging or open relationships.
CNM relationships are often presumed to be riskier than monogamous relationships in terms of sexual health. But we know that a high proportion of individuals who make monogamous commitments are unfaithful, so are rather practicing non-consensual non-monogamy.
This study found that although CNM partners reported a higher number of lifetime sexual partners than monogamous partners, they did not have higher rates of STIs.
About a quarter of the monogamous people in the study reported cheating on their partner. And CNM partners reported taking more precautions with regards to their sexual health. They were more likely to report condom use with their primary, and extradyadic partners, and more likely to report having STI testing.
This study finds that despite a greater number of lifetime sexual partners, those in CNM relationships aren't really at more risk than those in monogamous relationships in terms of their sexual health. This is due to a greater likelihood of safe sex practices in CNM relationships. In monogamous relationships, outside sexual contact is not permitted, though it does occur at high rates. And when monogamous partners do cheat, they are less likely to practice safe sex than CNM partners.
#3 Homophobia associated with: Psychoticism, Immature Defence Mechanisms, and Fearful Attachment
Psychometric evaluation and regression analysis were used in this study to investigate various psychological factors associations with homophobia. In particular the researchers looked at how homophobia levels correlate with psychopathological symptoms, the defensive system, and attachment styles.
Higher psychoticism and immature defence mechanisms were found to be associated with higher levels of homophobia. Of course, psychoticism and immature defence mechanisms are pretty undesirable traits. Psychoticism is characterised by high aggression and interpersonal hostility, and immature defence mechanisms include behaviours such as projection, acting out, and passive aggression.
Fearful attachment style was also predictive of higher homophobia. Whilst secure attachment style was found to be an indicator of low levels of homophobia.
Again, fearful is an unfavourable attachment style. Fearfully attached adults are afraid of intimacy, or uncomfortable with closeness. Yet seek closeness and approval from others.
On the other hand securely attached adults have more positive relationships and are good at balancing intimacy and independence. They are secure and trusting and comfortable with emotional intimacy.
So this study found that homophobia correlates with being a shitty person.
#4. Porn use effects on men’s sexual functioning
Recent research finds higher prevalence rates of erectile dysfunction among heterosexual men under 40 years old. Some have suggested that increased pornography use could be the cause of such difficulties.
This study used a sample of over 3000 young hetero men to look at potential associations between use of porn and sexual dysfunction.
Erectile difficulties, lack of sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, and inability to reach orgasm were measured alongside pornography consumption.
A small and inconsistent association was found only between pornography use and erectile dysfunction among a sub-sample of Croatian men.
Besides this relationship there were no significant associations between the mens porn use and sexual difficulties. Suggesting that porn use doesn’t seem to be a significant factor in the increased rates of erectile dysfunction in young men.
#5 Pregnant women prefer men with feminine faces
Research has provided much evidence that woman’s preferences for men’s facial characteristics change significantly according to menstrual phase and sexual hormones - specifically in terms of the how feminine or masculine the face is.
In general it is found that during the most fertile stages of the menstrual cycle women show stronger preference for men with masculine faces, and when in the non-fertile phases they prefer a more feminised face.
The oral contraceptive pill is found to alter women’s preferences for male facial masculinity also. The pill is found to significantly decrease women’s preferences for facial masculinity.
These menstrual/hormonal alterations in preference for men’s faces are best explained by the adaptive function of female fertility status in informing mate choice.
Masculine characteristics in male faces are positively associated with measures of long-term health and so indicative of ‘good genes’. Therefore when their fertility is highest, women are most attracted to masculine men because they want that good healthy sperm for good healthy offspring.
However, masculine facial characteristics are also associated with a higher interest in short-term relationships. So although these guys are likelier to have the good sperm, they are less likely to stick around after sticking it in.
So when in the less-fertile or non-fertile phases of the menstrual cycle, women prefer more feminised male faces, which are associated with stability, kindness, and cooperation and caring. For these reasons, in evolutionary terms, it is adaptive for a woman to prefer feminine characteristics when looking for a long-term partner. Someone to help provide and care for their children (the children she made with the masculine man).
Because pregnancy is characterised by specific sexual hormonal patterns, pregnant women are a fabulous way to study how such hormones affect sexual behaviours.
This study found that in the third trimester pregnancy, women’s preference in male faces differed significantly from non-pregnant women. Even when in the context of a hypothetical short-term relationship, the pregnant women showed a clear preference for a less masculine face.