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Check Out These 15 Science-Based Facts When It Comes to Sex

Here are a few things that science has to say when it comes to copulation.

Sex

Something that I know I definitely get from my late father is a desire to find out all sorts of random information. And since I write about sex a lot—I mean, A LOT—it wouldn't be right if I didn't share some of the science-based data that I've collected about that very topic.

Aside from the fact that this kind of stuff is pretty interesting, another reason why I encourage you to check it out is, sometimes, research helps us to connect dots on certain things that we may have always wondered about but didn't really know where to look for clarity. So, if sexual knowledge is also your forte, here are 15 points about it that science says are based on fact more than opinion.

1. Your Childhood Affects Your Sex Life

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I say it often because it is always true. Unfortunately, for a lot of us, adulthood really is about surviving childhood. Sex is included in this reality. There is plenty of research which states that people who had emotionally or physically unavailable parents (neglect is a form of abuse, by the way) usually end up struggling with sexual intimacy. That makes sense because our parents are our first introduction to how relationships work. So, if you've got emotional walls up during sex, you find yourself only having sex to please your partner or casual sex is all you know—do some reflecting on what your life was like growing up. The holistic intimacy that may have been lacking back then could very well be the basis for why you're having a hard time with sexual intimacy now.

2. Not Cuddling Makes Sexual Satisfaction Worse

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I actually read that one author thinks that cuddling works against sexual pleasure because it can make you feel so familiar with your partner that you end up not lusting them (what in the world?); however, in that same article, there are studies which indicate that cuddling—especially after sex—is highly beneficial for your sex life because it helps to increase the oxytocin (what is considered to be "the love hormone") levels in your body and makes the sexual experience, overall, so much better. So, after coming off of the high of intercourse (or oral sex), hug and kiss on your boo a bit. It's the icing that makes the cake more delicious in every way.

3. Sex Helps You to Get Sick Less

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Even if you're not a big fan of oral sex, I still recommend that you check out "Do You Swallow? The Unexpected Health Benefits Of Sperm". Mere words cannot express, just how much sperm/semen truly is the ultimate multivitamin. And since there are so many nutrients in it, plus the act of sex itself is a great stress reducer, I totally get how sex helps to strengthen your immune system, so that you end up getting sick less often.

4. There’s No Such Thing As “Normal” Sex Drive

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At first, I was gonna hyperlink an interview that I read where someone said a sex drive is basically non-existent because you don't need to have sex. Then I thought, "chile, please". The fact that a woman's clitoris seems to have only one function (to help us orgasm), that is enough of a reason for me to believe that sex is essential, on many levels. What science does agree on, across the board, is there's not really such a thing as a "normal sex drive". Things like gender (men have more testosterone which tends to make them hornier overall), lifestyle, diet, one's mindset of sex, religion, the kind of relationship they are in with the one they are having sex with—these are just some of the things that can factor into if someone's libido is high or not. However, the bigger concern you should have is if you once had a strong desire for sex and suddenly, you no longer do. If this is the case, make an appointment to see your doctor and if they give you a clean bill of health, then a therapist or counselor. Just make sure that you don't compare your drive to anyone other than yourself. All of us are different.

5. Less Contention Breeds More Sex

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Don't shoot the messenger. I'm just sharing the data. Did you know that according to a study that was published by The Journal of Research in Personality, women who are more agreeable in relationships tend to have more and better sex? I know for some of y'all that "agreeable" is probably a trigger, yet it makes sense if you really think about it.

Less drama. Less stress. Less stress. More sex. I don't agree with Dr. Phil often, but I do feel him when he says, "Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?" Just something to think about.

6. Clingy, and Aloof, People Have Worse Sex than Others

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Life. It's all about balance, right? Another thing that some researchers have discovered is when it comes to attachment styles that involve being super clingy or being too aloof, that can definitely put a damper on one's sex life. Being clingy projects being insecure and no one finds that sexy. As a direct result, a less sexually satisfying experience happens for and with those kinds of people. As far as being aloof goes, it's not so much that the sex isn't good; it's more that they don't prefer to have sex as often. They avoid it because they don't prefer to engage in any form of intimacy as much. Hmph.

7. Vagina Size Doesn’t (Really) Matter. It Does Shift, Tho.

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At the end of the day, the size of a woman's vagina (the tube that starts at the outer opening of the vulva and goes all the way up the neck of the uterus (the cervix) doesn't matter much. Yes, vaginally giving birth to a child can alter it some; however, for the most part, our va-jay-jay is pretty elastic and resilient. If you've ever wondered what the size of one is before, on average, vaginas are 2.44 inches long and range from 1.5 to 4 inches wide. This is why I constantly roll my eyes when women are talking about how big a man's, umm, member needs to be (check out "BDE: Please Let The 'It Needs To Be Huge' Myth Go"). Your most intense never endings are two-inches in, so long as a man can sexually scratch your itch right there, you'll be fine.

Oh, but it should go on record that the reason why your length has so much "inch range" is it tends to shift during your menstrual cycle. That's because it's common for your cervix to change positions (something I learned the hard way, once I started using a menstrual cup).

8. Men Have 9-11 Erections Every Day

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I really like to cook. To this day, perhaps the greatest compliment on my cooking comes from an ex who used to automatically get erections whenever he ate something that he truly enjoyed. So, if you're someone who thinks that men only experience a hard-on when they are sexually aroused, think again. Anything that stimulates one of a man's senses (taste, touch, scent, sight, smell) can cause his nerves to send chemical signals to the blood vessels in his penis. How often? Reportedly somewhere between 9-11 times a day it seems.

9. (Weed) Smoke Can Make Sex Better

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Last fall, I wrote "7 Proven Ways Weed Makes Sex So Much Better" for the platform. Not because it's my personal opinion but because there is some solid data behind the fact that a little "puff, puff, pass" can do everything from boost your sex drive and make you feel more relaxed, to provide you with more energy and relieve sexual discomfort. If you'd like to read a little more on the topic, you can check it out here.

10. Sexsomnia Is a Thing

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I've had a couple of people tell me that their partner has fallen asleep, right in the middle of sex before. While this probably doesn't do the most for someone's sexual self-confidence, what's a trip is there are actually some people who have what is known as sexsomnia. What it all boils down to is they are able to engage in sexual activity while they are sleeping (kinda like someone can legitimately sleep-walk). While it's probably more that folks are worn out that causes them to end up snoring during sex, there are eight percent of people who have been diagnosed with sexsomnia. No joke.

11. Men (Always) Dominating in Bed Can Backfire

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Something that quite a few husbands have told me they wish would change in the bedroom is them having to initiate sex all of the time. And you know what? They've got data to back their feelings up.

There are studies which indicate that men who either believe or are put into the position to assume the dominant role all of the time tend to communicate their needs and ask what their partner needs less often. So, if you want to please your man more or possibly fake orgasms less, come on to him sometimes. Watch what happens when you do.

12. Sexual Communication Can Reduce Depression and Improve Sex Overall

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If you and/or your partner battle depression, you may not have that strong of a sex drive. That's understandable. Yet did you know that sharing your feelings with your partner can actually curb some of your depression-related symptoms and also put you in the mood? When you feel totally accepted by your partner, to the point where you can share all of your thoughts and feelings, that, in turn, makes you want to get closer to them—sometimes this includes on a sexual level.

13. Sex Boosts Your Memory

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Got a test or presentation coming up? You might want to have sex a couple of hours before it. Aside from the fact that sex has an uncanny ability to relieve anxiety, there are plenty of studies out here that say it also makes it easy to recall verbal memory too. The breakdown of why is a bit complex. If you're curious, though, you can read more about it by clicking here.

14. Good Sex Makes “I Love Yous” Automatically Happen

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A lot of people could spare themselves plenty of heartache and disillusionment if they learned the difference between "I love you" and "I love it" during sexual activity. Meaning, sometimes, when a person exclaims "I love you!" during the heat of passion, oftentimes what they mean is they love how you make them feel—sexually. No more, no less.

Keep this in mind at all times because there's a study which states that 75 percent of men and 74 percent of women say that their partner expressed those three words during their last sexual encounter. It's a part of the reason why I wrote, "Don't Mistake A Great Sex Partner For A Great Life Partner".

15. Gratitude Improves Your Orgasms

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Selfishness never works in any setting. Sex is not exempt. In fact, I once read that couples who are intentional about expressing gratitude towards one another, outside of the bedroom, on a regular basis, end up having much better sex and more orgasms. How does this work? Well, grateful people tend to be more interested in pleasing their partner because they are so thankful for having them in the first place and because their partner feels appreciated, they are freer and desirous of making their partner happy. So, make sure to let your partner know what you adore about him. It's a good thing to do and can make sex so much better—for you both. Enjoy!

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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