Correlation or causation?

I’d like to think this is another data point for the validation of Dr. Joe’s Cure for Everything but I worry it is more about correlation than causation:

A healthy sex life in old age may help keep the brain healthy as well, though this connection may not work the same way for both sexes, a U.K. study suggests.

After adjusting for other factors that might explain the link between brain function and sexual habits – age, relationship status, living arrangements, education, wealth, exercise routines, depression, loneliness and quality of life – older men’s sexual activity levels were still tied to how well they did on both word-recall and number sequencing tests, the study found.

But in women, only word recall was associated with sex.

Skirt Club

This is interesting:

Attractive, open-minded women are secretly gathering to explore their sexual curiosities…with each other. It’s the epitome of the male fantasy but—sorry fellas—this club is strictly ladies only.

Billing itself as, “An underground community for girls who play with girls,” Skirt Club is quickly catching on. What began as one woman’s passion project to embrace sexual fluidity in the UK has expanded to Sydney, Australia, and Miami, Florida, in two short years.

Now, the club has come to New York City. 

I wonder if I could attend as a member of the media or a researcher…

Quote of the day—Polybius

All the Britons dye their bodies with woad, which produces a blue colour, and this give them a more terrifying appearance in battle. They wear their hair long, and shave the whole of their bodies except  the head and the upper lip. Wives are shared between groups of ten or twelve men, especially between brothers and between fathers and sons; but the offspring of these unions are counted as the children of the man with whom a particular woman cohabitated first.

About 140 B.C.
As told by Winston Churchill in A History of the English-Speaking Peoples: The Birth of Britain
[I’m not certain I believe this. I mean, why would all the people shave their entire bodies except the head and upper lip? That’s a lot of shaving.

Interesting about the group marriage thing though.

Winking smile—Joe]

Stupid research

Sometimes people do stupid research. I don’t know how this came about but it might have been they realized the question they really wanted answered was too difficult and they settled for something that was easier and was similar. Or it could have been any number of other things including just total crap for brains. I used to be research scientist for the government and I understand how these things happen. But still, I’m annoyed with this:

When two researchers at Chapman University in California began to study whether tall heterosexual men have had more sex partners than other heterosexual men, they assumed the answer would be “yes.” There was already extensive academic literature showing that height signals dominance, physical (and hence heritable) fitness, and social status to women who are seeking sex partners.

What I suspect they really wanted to measure was whether tall men had a larger selection of sexually interested women. Or that the women interested in them were of higher “quality”. But measuring those items would be much more difficult than asking people how many sex partners they have had. In essence, I suspect, they ended up using quantity as a proxy for quality.

As a result they ended up with rather uninteresting results:

To their surprise, that’s not what they found. Tall men don’t have a history of more sex partners than men of average height or most short men, according to their study in the latest online issue of Evolutionary Psychology. After dividing respondents into different height groups, the researchers found that every group of men taller than 5 feet 4 inches had the same median number of sex partners: seven. Only men classified as “very short,” or between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 4 inches, had a significantly different sexual history. They reported a median of five sex partners.

Because they are using quantity instead of quantity there are numerous other factors that enter into the result. They hint at this some:

There’s another important thing to keep in mind when interpreting this data: The number of sex partners people have had might not be the best indicator of how desirable they are. It’s possible that someone might be highly sexually desirable but choose a monogamous or celibate lifestyle for an extended period of time. Also, “sex” was not defined in the survey, so participants might have differed in their interpretation of “sex partner” when providing their responses.

And there are other things as well.

What about men who find their mate “settle down” quickly? If tall guys have a better selection of quality women to choose from then might not they have fewer sex partners in their lifetime? Or at least the higher quality available early in life counteracts the increased availability of potential sex partners to the point the substitution of quantity for quality renders the results meaningless?

And what about men who pay for play? If short men have trouble finding willing sex partners might they not pay for someone that was more interested in the money than in the height of their customer? That could counteract the expected results as well.

If they really wanted to explore the height issue I would suggest they do some sort of “speed dating” testing. Or a test where two or more groups of women were given the same “online” profiles of men but the groups were told different heights for the men. Then see how many women were interested the men of the various heights.

I do know this, several women have agreed with Barb that it is important their man is as tall or taller than them. Barb is 6’ 1” and that severely curtailed her selection of men. This explains how I, being 6’ 3”, lucked out and she settled for me.

Why women should panic?

I don’t think women have any reason to panic. The article was written by a homosexual man. He seems more than a little bitter toward women at times. He makes some interesting and entertaining points, but I disagree with most of them for the most part.

I can only speak for sure for myself, but I’m pretty sure that the drive among men to solve problems is not a result of wanting to impress women. Sure, for a young buck, that may be a big part of it, but he’ll rarely get very far in his problem solving if he’s distracted by an over-active sex drive. Once you’ve been married for decades and your children have gone on to lead their own lives, and you realize that happiness and sex have virtually nothing do to with one another, the desire to “impress women” (which is idiotic in the first place) goes by the wayside.
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Support for Dr. Joe’s cure for everything

This time the study shows it boosts your immune system. That shows it really is a “cure for everything”. The many joyous health benefits of having more sex:

Sex combats illness

You know those people who say “I never get ill”? Well, it’s possible that they’re revealing more about themselves than they realise.

According to a study carried out in Pennsylvania and published in Psychology Report, people who have sex once or twice a week have, on average, 30pc more Immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is used to fight illness, than those who are not sexually active.

However, it’s worth pointing out that this link between intercourse and immunity is not always positive. The same study found that the people with the lowest level of Immunoglobulin A were those who had sex more than twice a week.

I think more research is required for the conclusion in that last paragraph. I’m volunteering for the treatment group.


Sex powers up the brain

Ok, so it’s only been proven in rats to date – but one scientific study suggests that a rumble in the (pubic) jungle can boost brain power.

In 2010, research published in the journal PLoS ONE suggested that rats who mate regularly had a higher rate of cell proliferation in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain linked to memory. The rats also experienced more brain cell growth and a rise in the number of connections between brain cells than those who did not.

So, forget about sudoku and instead consider more virile endeavours as your brain exercise.

Who said sex isn’t a thinking man’s game?

Count me in for the human studies.

Posted in Sex

Interesting data

Ashley Madison was a bunch of dudes talking to each other, data analysis suggests:

Gizmodo editor-in-chief Annalee Newitz analyzed the data from the site’s user database and found a lot of suspicious stuff suggesting that nearly all the female accounts were fake, maintained by the company’s employees.

she found three really damning pieces of data:

  • Only 1,492 of the women in the database had ever checked their messages on the site. That’s compared with more than 20 million men.
  • Only 2,409 of the women had ever used the site’s chat function, versus more than 11 million men.
  • Only 9,700 of the women had ever responded to a message from another person on the site, versus almost 6 million men. (This number was greater than the number of women who checked messages because it’s possible to answer messages in bulk when you first visit the site, without ever opening your inbox.)

It’s possible that most of the women signed up but never did anything.

Either way, Newitz writes, Ashley Madison is a site where tens of millions of men write mail, chat, and spend money for women who aren’t there.”

So, basically, the business model was fraud.

Ry and I have frequently suggested to each other we could be wealthy if only we weren’t constrained by our morals. This is another data point suggesting this hypothesis may be true.

Quote of the day—Brody Jenner

I’ve had a couple threesomes in my life. And I was like, Okay, let’s try more. One time I did have four girls and just myself, and that was absolutely too much. I was totally out of my league. It was just not that fun. It was a nightmare, actually. It was too much going on. You’re doing, like, a puppet show. You’re trying to take care of too many girls at once and there’s one of you.

Brody Jenner
July 20, 2015
Brody Jenner Explains Why Fivesomes Are ‘a Nightmare’
[As if you needed to try it to figure that out. Guys tend to greatly overestimate their sexual capacity.

This is one area where women overshadow men by an order of magnitude or more (see the last quote in that post). I sometimes wonder if this is part of the reason why many cultures repress female sexuality. Could it be men are envious of women and would rather repress women than suffer the envy?—Joe]

Sex and happiness

From here:

It is Carnegie Mellon professor George Loewenstein’s firm belief that, generally, married couples would be happier if they had more sex.

But a study that he published this month in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization found just the opposite.


The way the study was carried out could have biased the results:

For three months, half of the 64 married couples who participated in the study were told to double their current level of sexual activity, and half were given no instruction on changing their sexual frequency.

Those who increased their frequency had a slightly lower happiness level than couples whose sexual frequency remained unchanged. “They were, if anything, less happy,” said Mr. Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology. “They ended up wanting sex less and enjoying the sex that they did have less.”

The sample size seems a little small, and it would seem to me they should have divided their subjects into three groups and told one of the groups to reduce their sexual frequency by half.

Another thing that could be an issue is perhaps “double” is too much to see the benefits Loewenstein expected. Perhaps breaking the subjects into nine groups and have four increase by 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% and four groups decrease by 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%.

Loewenstein himself offers some other rationalizations for why he didn’t see the expected results.

I have to give Loewenstein credit for publishing his study results which contradict his expectations.

Posted in Sex

Helen Fisher: Why we love, why we cheat

H/T to Justin J. Lehmiller.

This is a bit long but I found it very interesting:

This TED talk is centered around this observation of human brain systems:

Millions of years ago, we evolved three basic drives: a sex drive, romantic love, and attachment to a long-term partner. These circuits are deeply embedded in the human brain.

The comments are very hostile and complain about her feminist agenda, that she incorrectly described the mechanism of how anti-depressants work, and “humans” were very different a million years ago, and other stuff unrelated to her basic points.

I didn’t really pick up on the feminist agenda. I presumed she had good data on women worldwide are entering the workplace and tending toward achieving economic parity with men. It certainly seems plausible to me.

I gave her a pass on a few things that weren’t 100% correct in their details because they were unrelated to her main point and when giving a talk it is easy to misstate something that isn’t your main point (100,000 years versus 1,000,000 years for long term human/ape brain circuitry development).

Given that, I found it fascinating to just have the model of the three different basic drives. It explains some things such as what is described in Sex at Dawn- How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships. And it also explains some almost shocking comments I ran across today (“GB” means “Gang Bang”). This is representative:

S.: I’m headed out solo on Wednesday and my wonderful hubby will be with me on Friday! Anxiously awaiting my first GB experience on Friday. Let’s have some fun party people!

How do you resolve that with the typical model of romantic monogamous love and marriage? The typical model doesn’t explain that and therefore has to have some extreme exceptions or we need a better model. I think we need a better model and Fischer’s model might be that model.

Posted in Sex

What ball game?

XKCD gives me the intro:


Be sure to check out the image caption by hovering over the image with your mouse.

My hobby results in conversations similar to this:

Someone: What did you think of the game?

Joe: Which game?

Someone: The Hawks.

Joe: Is it the Sea Hawks? [If I could pronounce it differently I would say “See Hawks”.]

Someone (hint of confusion in their voice): Yes.

Joe: They play football, right?

Someone (they get a shifted eyed look, perhaps looking for an escape route): Yeah…

Joe: Good! Glad I got that right. Do they play with a spherical ball or the funny oblong one?

Someone (grim look): [Crickets]

Joe: I missed that game. I was probably shooting, having sex, or doing something else fun or productive. Was the game on Sunday? There seemed to be a lot of woman interested in me the other day.


Here is an interesting chart (via Justin J Lehmiller) which is “data from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) [1,2]. The NSSHB was conducted in 2009 and involved a nationally representative U.S. sample of over 5,000 adults. In the table below, you can see the frequency of penile-vaginal intercourse reported by married men and women of different ages”:


Obviously comparing yourself to others in your age group is interesting. But what I found most intriguing was comparing the frequency reported by the married men versus the married women.

It’s difficult to say for certain because any given couple may not fall into the same age range, but look at the frequency for women ages 18-24 and men 18-24. The percentage of married men in that age range who claim to be having sex 2-3 times per week is 45.8% but the percentage of women claiming the same frequency is only 35.3%. That is a difference of over 10%. What does this mean?

I see three possibilities:

  1. Misreporting. The men have a upward bias and/or the women have a downward bias.
  2. A significant number of the women in this age range are not married to men in the same age range.
  3. A significant portion of the sex the married men are having is with someone who is not married.

Any ideas as to what is really going on?

Posted in Sex

High heels

I’ve occasionally blogged about high heels before. Supposedly they improve women’s sex life because they “directly work the pleasure muscles linked to orgasm”. As I pointed out it would seem to me there are better ways to directly work those muscles without the risk of breaking an ankle, but whatever. I don’t have any real interest in them. But this article was very interesting to me (H/T Glenn Reynolds):

Scientists from the Universite de Bretagne-Sud conducted experiments that showed that men behave very differently toward high-heeled women. The results, published online in the journal “Archives of Sexual Behaviour,” may please the purveyors of Christian Louboutin or Jimmy Choo shoes — yet frustrate those who think stilettos encourage sexism.

The study found if a woman drops a glove on the street while wearing heels, she’s almost 50 percent more likely to have a man fetch it for her than if she’s wearing flats.

Another finding: A woman wearing heels is twice as likely to persuade men to stop and answer survey questions on the street. And a high-heeled woman in a bar waits half the time to get picked up by a man, compared to when her heel is nearer to the ground.

I could see myself being more likely to help them pick up something. But answering survey questions? Really? That just doesn’t resonate for me. I have never picked up a woman in a bar and only go to a bar when Barb wants to hang out with some of her friends. I therefore I have zero personal data on that point as well.

I am attracted to tall women. But what I find is that after “prying” my eyes from her face at something approaching my eye level I look at her feet. If she is wearing heels my interest is severely degraded. So, to me, high heels are negatively associated with attraction.

Barb has an interesting “relationship” with high heels too. In addition to being difficult for her to walk in them she says that when she wears them it’s as if people don’t see her. She is nearly 6’ 1” in her bare feet so with high heels she is pushing 6’ 4” and many people end up looking at something approximating her bellybutton (she has very long legs, much longer than mine). For her to make eye contact with people while wearing high heels involves hand gestures, verbal cues, and sometimes offering them a stepstool.


Barb: She told me about her “Vertical Vixens” group of female friends. It’s a group of women, all over six feet tall, that go out together occasionally.

Joe: Would this be opposed to the “Horizontal Vixens”?

Barb: Only a guy would have that as his first thought.

Actually, that wasn’t my first thought. It was just the first thought I allowed myself to express. But correcting her on that point would not have been in my best interest.

I have “a thing” for tall women.

Dr. Joe’s cure for prevention of prostrate cancer

News you can use:

Sleeping with more than 20 women protects men against prostate cancer, a study has suggested.

Men who had slept with more than 20 women lowered their risk of developing cancer by almost one third, and were 19 per cent less likely to develop the most aggressive form.

In contrast, men who slept with 20 men doubled their risk of developing prostate cancer compared with men who have never had sex with another man.

Researchers at the University of Montreal believe that intercourse protects men, and men who are more promiscuous have more sex than those in monogamous relationships.

Does Obamacare provide this preventive care to all men? Or do they need to have a family history of prostrate cancer?

But more entertaining would to be a “fly on the wall” when some guy tries to sell the story of “preventive care” when they get caught fooling around by their spouse.

Posted in Sex

Mind blowing

I found this experiment mind blowing (Can Previous Mating Partners Influence The Traits Of Future Offspring?):

Perhaps not surprisingly, DNA paternity analyses confirmed that the most recent male partner had indeed sired the offspring in the vast majority of cases. However, the scientists also found that the size of the offspring was strongly related to the size of the female’s first mating partner. At the same time, offspring size was unrelated to the size of the most recent partner, even in cases where there was definitive evidence that the most recent partner was the father. That’s right—the young flies tended to look more like mom’s first mate than they did their dads.

As mentioned in the article we may have a lot more to learn about how traits are inherited.

Posted in Sex

Habitat destruction update

I posted on this topic nearly seven years ago. We now have an update on the risk of species extinction due to habitat loss of this well known species:

Every few years an alarm is raised; habitat loss puts this species at risk. “Pubic grooming has led to a severe depletion of crab louse populations… an environmental disaster in the making for this species,” said one entomologist (who also happens to work for a company that specializes in ectoparasite control).

Will the noble pubic louse Pthirus pubis, which once grazed the rolling plains of our crotches in great herds, be driven into extinction? Do we need to erect habitat reserves for crab lice conservation in New Jersey? Will these insects that “swing from hair to hair” in our undergrowth someday only be known from medieval kings and mummies?

The short and curly answer is no, even with new evidence in a research paper that links hair removal to declining crab lice infection rates:

Pubic Lice: An Endangered Species? Dholakia, S., et al. Sexually Transmitted Diseases: 2014. Volume 41.  Issue 6: 388-391.

It’s good to know the general pubic is doing their job of habitat conservation to save this species for the enjoyment of our children and grandchildren.

There’s a moral here

From the New York Post (H/T @michellemalkin):

The wild night began Saturday in a tavern in College Point, Queens, where boat owner Craig Gallo, 51, James Benenato, 60, and Mary Ann Belson, also 60, began chatting between drinks, another source said.

Neither of the two men had met Belson before.

Gallo, who lives in New Jersey and works for a financial company on Long Island, invited them aboard for a moonlight cruise. And before very long, the boat was rocking.

The joyride ended abruptly at the end of Runway 22, where the boat got impaled on a lighting stanchion.

Before the wreck, “a consensual three-way sex endeavor was going on,’’ the source added.

“There’s a moral here: If you’re feeling amorous aboard a boat, I suggest you drop your anchor before you drop your pants.’’

I don’t have a boat but perhaps this is news you can use.