How Common is Gestational Surrogacy?

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York (The Huffington Post)

FILE PHOTO – Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, U.S., August 28, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

Last month, reality TV personality Kim Kardashian West and her husband Kanye West announced the birth of their third child. The couple’s daughter Chicago was carried via a gestational surrogate. She was created from a fertilized egg taken from Kardashian West, and had no genetic tie to the surrogate.

How common is gestational surrogacy?

It’s not that common, but it’s difficult to nail down exact numbers. The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) reported 1.5K+ babies born from gestational surrogates in 2011, up from 1.3K+ babies born via the method in 2009. Another source reports 1.4K+ babies born via gestational surrogacy.

It’s difficult to pin down an actual number, because some cases of gestational surrogacy may not reported. It’s also difficult to tell when the sample size is so small.

As the procedure becomes more widely available, we’ll be able to see how common gestational surrogacy really is.

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Burkini Sales Rise by 200% After French Ban

Burkini designer Aheda Zanetti (Saudi Gazette)

Burkini designer Aheda Zanetti (Saudi Gazette)

Earlier this summer, coastal French towns courted controversy when their respective mayors decided to ban burkinis on beaches. The burkini consists of a long-sleeved top with long pants and a head covering, and was developed for women who follow Islamic modesty standards so that they could go swimming while still covered. The term “burkini” comes from a portmanteau of the words “burqa” and “bikini.”

Despite the ban, burkini creator Aheda Zanetti says that online sales of now-famous swimwear have risen over 200%+ recently. (Now, we don’t know what her sales had been previously, or what the year-over-year change has proved to be, so unfortunately we have incomplete information.)

Zanetti says that her customers are not homogeneously Muslim. She reports that about 40% of her customers are from other faith traditions, such as Judaism and Mormonism, that adhere to modest dress standards.

The burkini ban stems from a stringent French view on separating religion from the state. The French government has banned religious symbols from government buildings since 2004. A ban specifically on burqas was passed in 2011.

Right now, about 30 French towns have instituted the ban, though the town of Villeneuve-Loubet has since overturned it.

 

How Many People Check Their Phones During Sex?

Woman texting in bed (Khurki)

Woman texting in bed (Khurki)

I don’t know about you, but I was taught not to be rude. In any situation (if I can help it). And that respect extends to my bedroom, and whatever partner is lucky enough to occupy it with me for that time.

This includes minimizing distractions so I can concentrate on getting it on and getting off. And in our super-connected state, what could be more distracting than your phone? Turns out others were also curious about that, and now there are, not one, but two, studies that exist on the topic.

A 2013 study done in England surveyed 1.7K+ men and women. The results found that 62% of women and 48% of men had interrupted sex to play with their phone. It broke down into specifics: Answering a call was 34% of the time, answering a text was 24%, and answering an email comprised 22%. Weirdly, the results didn’t break down the specifics by gender.

Oh yeah, and 34% of respondents claimed to be OK with the fact that their partner had turned their attention to their phone during the act. Sure, sounds legit. (I’d be mad as hell, but that’s just me.)

Also, we don’t know the ages of the respondents. I’d be tempted to speculate that the people who can’t leave their phones alone during sex would be of the millennial cohort (since my generation’s phones are practically appendages), but of course I can’t be certain.

But wait, there’s more!

Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Virginia presented findings focused on how our phones are distracting us from everything. Including, yes, sex.

(Side note: the scientists presented said research at the aptly-named Association for Computing Machinery’s Human-Computer Interaction conference. Who knew one existed?!)

Anyway, here’s an interesting discrepancy: only 10% of people admitted picking up their phones during sex. That’s a large gap between the 48-62% that the English study claimed. I don’t know whether this boils down to different social/sexual/technological mores across the pond, but that’s a huge gap in self-reporting.

Either way, it doesn’t matter. Come on, using your phone during sex is just inexcusable. Give your partner your full attention!

If you’re one of those people, do your current/future partners a favor and put that shit on airplane mode when you’re getting down.

Tinder Usage Up 129% Among Athletes at the Rio Summer Olympics

Rio Olympics 2016 (Indian Express)

Rio Olympics 2016 (Indian Express)

By now, it’s common knowledge that Olympic athletes hook up during their time in the Olympic Village. And naturally, one way to facilitate this is via dating apps. Specifically, Tinder has proved to be the number one choice for Olympic athletes looking to get laid.

Over the first weekend of this year’s Olympics, Tinder usage spiked a whopping 129% amongst the athletes. Impressive, right? But the data is incomplete.

This is the second Olympics where Tinder has made a splash. During the Sochi Olympics in 2014, it was reported that mobile dating usage surged, and that Tinder was the app of choice. However, since this is solely anecdotal evidence, no numbers have been reported so that we can’t gauge the size of said surge. And we cannot make any year-over-year comparisons of the growth.

Another issue is that, yes, Tinder usage is up 129% among athletes, but to what are we comparing the activity? Are we comparing to the usage data to the previous Summer Olympics (which would be London in 2012) or the most recent Olympics (the aforementioned Sochi)?

Though the number raises a few questions, it’s pretty entertaining to realize that elite athletes are just like the rest of us.

Drinking (Moderately) Helps Mens’ Sexual Performance

Beer (Preuss Podcast)

Beer (Preuss Podcast)

To a certain extent, we’ve been conditioned by the media to think that having sex after drinking might not be the best thing for me (see: whiskey dick). And that’s true. But moderately imbibing might actually help a man’s sexual performance.

The Keogh Institute for Medical Research at the University of Western Australia in Nedlands surveyed 1.5K+-1.7K+ men (for some reason, I couldn’t find an exact number) about their sexual performance, specifically with respect to sexual dysfunction. The moderate drinkers reported 25%-30% fewer problems than men who didn’t drink at all. This percentage took into account age, smoking habits, and heart disease, all of which affect penile function.

But there is one issue with this study’s results: nobody asked the subjects’ partners if they were satisfied!

 

Porn Site Blocks North Carolina IP Addresses

Typing on a laptop keyboard (Free Stock Photos)

Typing on a laptop keyboard (Free Stock Photos)

By now, we’ve all heard about what’s going on in North Carolina with the House Bill 2 (HB2), which has abolished statewide anti-discrimination legislation against the LGBT community. Many companies are unhappy about it, and have either threatened to, or already have, pulled their business from the state.

One company is doing something a little different. Porn site xHamster has begun blocking any inbound users from any North Carolina (NC) IP addresses. At first, users with these addresses saw only a black screen. Later, NC users were asked if they supported HB2. If they answered affirmatively, they see numbers relating to NC users who search for “gay” and “she male” as keywords for their porn consumption. (Spoiler alert: the numbers for those are not insignificant.)

xHamster.com homepage for NC IP addresses (@xhamstercom)

xHamster.com homepage for NC IP addresses (@xhamstercom)

It is unclear how many IP addresses are registered in NC, and how many visitors xHamster.com receives in a given month.

 

France Outlaws Paying for Sex

French prostitutes (The Independent UK)

French prostitutes (The Independent UK)

Earlier this month, France made a major move: The country has now made paying for sex illegal.

If someone is caught paying for sex, they’ll be fined up to $1.7K for a first offense, and up to $4.2K+ for a second time. The offender may also be required to attend classes on sex workers’ conditions.

France isn’t the only country to pass a measure of this kind, or even the first: The country follows in the footsteps of the U.K., Sweden, Iceland, and Norway.

Advocates of the new ban claim that this will help sex workers get out of the trade. But sex workers are opposing this new measure, reasoning that it will expose them to more violence.

It’s estimated that France has between 20K to 40K sex workers. (Naturally, it’s difficult to get an accurate count.)