Sex is weird. How weird? Ask anyone who’s spent time browsing through Amazon’s store of erotic literature and they’ll tell you: deeply weird. Despite being experts on it for the last two million years or so, we humans are still finding new and bizarre things out about our most fundamental urges. Think you know all about sex? Think again.
10. Wealthy Men Are Better in Bed
Ever since Lady Chatterley got down and dirty with her gardener in DH Lawrence’s classic novel, it’s been accepted that the poor do it better. The upper classes may have all the money, fast cars and offshore tax havens, but when it comes down to basic animal passions, it’s the working class who really know how to get a lady’s motor going.
At least, that’s the cliché. But scientists would disagree. In 2009, researchers at Newcastle University in England conducted a study into female pleasure and partner’s earnings. They found that women with higher-earning partners tended to have more orgasms than those going out with unwashed hillbillies. Taken altogether, their results produced a kind of sliding scale, where those who had the richest partners also had the greatest time in bed.
According to the scientists, this might be because women have evolved to discriminate sexually between different quality mates. By choosing a ‘better’ or richer mate, women are rewarded with stronger orgasms. On the other hand, we should point out that lead researchers in UK universities typically earn more than double the average wage. An example of study bias, maybe?
9. Sperm Contain Insane Amounts of Data
There’s a famous scene in the Old Testament where God gets his wrath on and smites Onan for spilling his sperm on the ground. Over the years, many have taken this as proof that God dislikes both masturbation and birth control. However, there’s another theory that we think’s even-more likely. It could just be that God hates to see good data being wasted.
Every single sperm contains around 37.5 MB worth of data in its DNA. That’s about the same amount of information your average hard drive held back in 1990, contained inside a single microscopic creature. And that’s just one sperm. Add up all the guys swimming around in your average man’s testicular sack, and we’re beginning to verge into supercomputer territory.
When scientists did the math, they estimated that every single man on Earth transfers around 1,500 terabytes every single time he ejaculates. That’s like having a thousand desktop computers come firing out your genitals every time you get intimate with your girlfriend.
8. Penises Bend in All Sorts of Weird Ways
The Dutch are famously liberal about sex. Prostitution is legalized in the country, and Amsterdam is one of the world’s sex capitals. Apparently, this attitude extends to their scientists. In 1999, four Dutch researchers got hold of an MRI scanner. They immediately decided to use it to see what couples having sex looked like on the inside. Their results will make every male reading this feel incredibly uncomfortable.
When the pictures came back, they showed that penises bend in insanely-uncomfortable ways inside the vagina. Without going into too much detail, the guy’s member seemed to take an abrupt, 90 degree turn on entering his partner. The result was a penis bent into a sort of ‘L’ shape; the exact sort of shape most men never want to see their penises bend into.
Luckily, this bending is totally natural and (seemingly) painless. Just try not to think about it next time you’re having an intimate encounter.
7. Fetuses Can Get Erections
Pregnancy is an undoubtedly weird time. Your body swells up in weird places, you get bizarre cravings, and at the end of it all a little human pops out of you, demanding attention. But at least what’s going on inside is beautiful, right? The magic of creation, the miracle of life and so-on.
Well, yes, that’s all part of it. But we’ve got some other, slightly-more disgusting news for you. If you’re carrying a little baby boy around in you, there’s a chance he’s relaxing in there right now with a noticeable erection.
As early as the 1990s, doctors were discovering this odd little fact during MRI scans. According to the literature, boy fetuses can start getting erections at as early as 16 weeks. This means you could be carrying around a horny unborn baby for as long as 24 whole weeks.
This isn’t the only freaky thing to happen during pregnancy. According to one French study, a small percentage of women actually orgasm as they give birth.
6. Fat Guys Last Longer
Ask most women to imagine their ideal sexual partner, and you’ll probably get back responses about tall, dark men with rippling six packs and a tender heart. Only in the rarest of cases would anyone respond with: “a big fat guy.” Yet that big fat man has one enormous advantage over his svelte cousins. According to science, he’ll last much longer.
In 2010, Turkish researchers concluded a year-long study monitoring the sexual performance of 100 men. They found that skinny men could hold off from ejaculating for an average of only 108 seconds. Heavy guys, on the other hand, could keep going for over 7 minutes.
The reason was down to female hormones. Guys with excess flab are also more likely to have higher levels of the female estradiol sex hormone. This slowed down their build up toward orgasm, meaning they had more time to pleasure their partners. With studies showing over two thirds of US men are obese, could this be final proof that Americans are the world’s greatest lovers?
5. One Man Could Impregnate the World in Two Weeks
Most men like to think they’re pretty virile. Heck, it’s often used as a compensating factor for baldness: you may have no hair, but you’re capable of pleasuring far more women than your hirsute rivals. But the truth is that it’s not just bald men who are capable of superhero feats of virility. Every single man on Earth is technically capable of impregnating every fertile woman alive in only two weeks.
Obviously, this isn’t likely to happen. Even infamous lovers like Genghis Khan – who was so prolific one in every 200 men alive today are thought to be direct descendants – couldn’t get the whole world pregnant. Instead, think of it more as an illustration of just how many sperm the average human male produces. If we were capable of extracting each one separately, and somehow ensuring it would reach and successfully fertilize the egg, then we could theoretically impregnate billions of women in only 14 days. If anyone has the time and patience to figure out how many terabytes of data that represents, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.
4. 10% of Women Love Partners Less than Fictional Guys
Here’s a question for all you heterosexual men and homosexual ladies in relationships. Are you the ultimate love of your partner’s life? Common sense suggests somewhere near 100 percent of you just said “yes.” While most of you are probably right, science says at least ten percent of you are sadly misguided. And not because your partner is secretly shacking up with the mailman. Studies have shown that one in ten women cares more for a fictitious character than they do their own partner.
The research was commissioned by a UK polling company, and sought to figure out which characters women were most attracted to. Top of the list came James Bond, followed by Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark. As part of their questioning, researchers uncovered a sizeable number of women who admitted to more intense feelings for these characters than for their real-life partners. Interestingly, the same report also found that one in ten men get jealous about their girlfriend’s attachment to fictional characters.
3. State-Sponsored Prostitute Visits
It sounds like a fiscal conservative’s worst nightmare. A world where the government uses taxpayer dollars to fund visits to prostitutes. Well, such things exist. In places like the Netherlands, the government literally pays for some disabled people to get their end away.
The reasons behind this are actually quite sweet, if you peek behind the lurid headline. For many severely disabled people, chances to have a casual sexual encounter are practically non-existent. For some, getting lifted into and out of bed by carers is the only physical contact they experience. Nonetheless, many still have extremely active, erotic fantasy lives. When the New York Times did an article on the subject, they interviewed a French woman incapable of moving anything except her left thumb and facial muscles. Most nights she dreamed of being a powerful, able-bodied blonde who dominated men.
In parts of Europe, this situation has led sympathetic governments to stump up the cash for disabled people to visit Sexual Surrogates. This gives those trapped inside unresponsive bodies a chance to live out their desires, if only briefly. Such a policy might not win you the Republican nomination, but it sure is heart-warming.
2. The Original G-Spot
It’s the Konami Code of foreplay. The moment when you hit the exact right combination of moves to activate sex’s high score bonus. Known as the G-Spot, it’s been happily flummoxing men (and some women) for years. It’s also named after a dude: Ernest Gräfenberg, who published an influential paper on female ejaculation in 1950. That’s nothing compared to what it could have been called. At one point, scientists were hoping to call it “the Whipple Tickle.”
This wasn’t just some hilarious name they pulled out of a hat. In the early 1980s, the woman leading the way on G-Spot research (yes, that’s totally a real thing) was called Beverly Whipple. She’s the one who first identified the G-Spot; the one who first wrote a book about; and the one who’s therefore responsible for 90 percent of all Sex and the City storylines. As the discoverer, Whipple was naturally entitled to name this little bundle of nerve-endings and joy after herself. Luckily, despite some colleagues pushing the ‘Whipple Tickle’ name, she had a last-minute change of heart and named it after Dr Gräfenberg. Thank God, because we for one can’t imagine ever seriously asking a girl if we’re manging to hit her Whipple Tickle.
1. Most Sex Toys are Older Than You Think
The phrase “sex toys” immediately conjures images of late-90s culture; from low-lit Ann Summers’ stores, to the girls introducing the Rabbit vibrator in Sex and the City. Yet artificial ways of ‘doing it yourself’ have been around for much longer than a couple of decades. Much, much longer.
The vibrator, for example, was invented way back in Victorian times to help doctors perform ‘pelvic massages’ on female patients. Non-vibrating dildos are even older, with the earliest recorded one dating to around 26,000BC. To absolutely no-one’s surprise, it was found it Germany.
But even this isn’t the oldest example of stone age sex we’ve uncovered. In 2009, archaeologists dug up an ancient female statue equipped with enormous breasts and detailed genitals. It’s speculated the find was an early form of pornography, used to arouse our cavemen ancestors. Dated to 33,000BC, the statue was likewise discovered in Germany.
So there you have it, sex is much older and much weirder than any of us could have guessed. Good luck not thinking about that next time you’re trying to get your partner ‘in the mood.’