Thanks to science, our understanding of the universe is constantly broadening — and not just about the world at large, but even in the small confines of the bedroom. A number of recent studies related to sex have offered interesting, and intimate, insights. Here are seven:
1. Deal or no deal
There are apparently some misconceptions about this whole monogamy thing. A recent Oregon State University study found that in 40 percent of young, heterosexual couples, one partner said there was a monogamy agreement in place, while the others said there was no such deal in existence — and married couples were no more likely than unmarried couples to have an explicit agreement about monogamy.
2. The benefits of waiting
New research out of Brigham Young University finds that couples who wait to have sex are happier, and that delaying sex could lead to a healthier marriage. "I think it's because [those who waited] learned to talk and have the skills to work with issues that come up," says scientist Dean Busby, the study's lead author.
3. Not everyone is obsessed with sex
Japan has a birth rate of just 1.21 per couple (a rate of 2.08 is needed to maintain a population). So it is a matter of national concern that, according to a Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare survey, 35.1 percent of men between the ages of 16 and 19 have an apathetic attitude towards sex. That's more than double the figure reported in 2008, when a still surprising 17.5 percent of young men said they had no interest in sex.
4. Survival of the unfittest
At last, a reason to avoid the gym. A recent study from Erciyes University in Turkey found that overweight men are able to last longer in bed than their lean, fit counterparts. According to the findings, men with lower BMI scores were more prone to premature ejaculation... and, one might suspect, lower scores in the bedroom.
5. Instant gratification
According to a recent poll from Men's Fitness and Shape magazines, 40 percent of women say that the use of social media, be it Facebook or text messaging, makes them prone to jump in bed with a partner faster. "If your goal is to have sex, [texting] is actually helpful for that because it makes the correspondence between people sort of more titillating."
An informal poll conducted by the dating site OKCupid revealed that the iPhone handily beats out other smartphones when it comes to matters of the heart... or hormones. iPhone owners reported more sexual partners than their Android and Blackberry-owning counterparts. Female iPhone users reported the most sexual partners — 12.3 on average — while male Android owners reported the least — six.
7. Making oneself sick
It's possible for a man to be allergic to his own semen, according to Dutch scientists who have been studying post-orgasmic illness syndrome, a condition in which men develop flu-like symptoms after ejaculating. Scientists at Utrecht University in the Netherlands have recently postulated that a semen allergy is to blame for such symptoms, not a psychologial causes as previously thought.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The single best way to help your kid succeed at school
- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- What Keeping Up with the Kardashians can teach America about interracial marriage
- Welcome to the age of ambivalent feminism
Subscribe to the Week