Why is There an Orgasm Gap in Hook-Ups vs. Relationships?

Orgasm (NYC Barstool Sports)

Orgasm (NYC Barstool Sports)

In honor of International Women’s Day yesterday, let’s examine a very real issue that a lot of women face: the orgasm gap in hookups vs. relationships.

There have been a few studies on this. A 2013 study by the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University found that “women were twice as likely to reach orgasm from intercourse or oral sex in serious relationships as in hookups.” The study surveyed 600 male and female college students. A study out of New York University found that only 40% of women achieved orgasm during their most recent hookup that included sex, where 80% of men reported climaxing. This study polled 24K students at 21 colleges.

But when a woman is in a committed relationship, their orgasm rate shoots up to 75%.

Why is this?

There are several reasons for this: more frequent and consistent practice with a steady partner, communication with a partner and/or feeling empowered and confident within one’s sexuality.

Dr. Debby Herbenick of The Kinsey Institute points out that men tend to report orgasms more than women, so the number of women having orgasms might well be higher. Also, the term “hook(ing) up” includes sexual acts that might not result in having an orgasm, such as kissing.

But women can have sex and get pregnant without climaxing. So why are we so worried about having one (or multiples)?

Dr. Elisabeth A. Lloyd, author of “The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution,” puts it best:

“The female orgasm is for fun.”

And she’s so totally right. So get out there and go get yours!

Emoji Users Have More Sex

Sexytime emojis (NY Mag)

Sexytime emojis (NY Mag)

Happy Friday! [Insert hallelujah hands emoji here!]

If you don’t use emojis in everyday text-speak, you might want to start. Science shows that emoji users have more sex. And don’t you want to be part of that group? [Winking emoji]

Dating site Match.com released a wide-ranging study, Singles in America 2015, earlier this year. The study surveyed 5.6K singles (none of whom, incidentally used Match) in their 20s, 30s and 40s that represented the U.S population according to the 2010 Census. It has some pretty interesting findings, but the emoji one is gold.

For real, the Match researchers found that singles who use emojis have more sex than singles who don’t.

Cultural anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, one of the leaders of the study, found that “54% of emoji users had sex in 2014 compared to 31% of singles who did not.” [Fist-bump emoji]

There was also a direct correlation between how many emojis a single person used and how much sex they had:

Match.com 'Singles in America 2015' Emoji Survey Graph ('Time' Magazine)

Match.com ‘Singles in America 2015’ Emoji Survey Graph (‘Time’ Magazine)

Another benefit to emojis: “women who use kiss-related emojis have an easier time achieving orgasms with a familiar partner.” [Eggplant (or banana) and fireworks emojis here] This suggests that these women value good communication.

As for the emojis themselves, it mentions that the most commonly used ones are the wink (53%), smiley face (38%) and the kiss (27%).

The study showed that people tend to use emojis to show personality, which 50% of single men and women agreed on. Thirty-five percent of singles said that emojis make “expressing feelings” easier.

Fisher has an idea as to why this is happening:

“Technology reduces our ability to express our emotions, and emotional expression is a huge part of communication, so we are reinventing ways to express ourselves”

What are you waiting for?! If this doesn’t convince you to use emojis, nothing will.

If anything, this could help spread the proliferation of emojis so we can all have more sex than ever. Maybe by that time, we’ll be able to switch between English and emoji keyboards on laptops. [Side-eye and prayer emojis]




Why Are Condoms So Expensive in Venezuela Right Now?

Condoms (Prevention Justice)

Condoms (Prevention Justice)

Happy Friday!

Apropos of National Condom Week: Would you pay $755 for a box of condoms?

That’s insane, right? But right now, sexually-active and contraception-conscious Venezuelans don’t have much of a choice. That’s how much a 36-pack of Trojan condoms is going for. With the exchange rate, it works out to be $20+ per condom. If you’re shopping around, a 24-back of Durex condoms is selling for $317, making it the (slightly) more economical choice of $13+ per condom. (For context, this is about $10 more than the country’s standard black market rate.)

This is really alarming when you consider that the country’s minimum monthly wage is $888.24.

The Venezuelan people literally cannot afford to have safe sex.

The reason behind these sky-high prices? Oil.

Venezuela exports a lot of the stuff, using it to bring in around 95% of foreign earnings. But oil prices have fallen dramatically recently (over 60% drop within the past seven months), leading to fewer earnings for the country. This, in turn, inhibits Venezuela’s ability to import other basic goods (such as chicken, milk and corn), since their money doesn’t stretch as far. The Bank of America Corporation estimates the the country will import 42% less in earnings than it did in 2012.

Condoms aren’t the only contraceptive that’s hard to come by within the country. Birth control pills are also in high demand, and are very hard to find right now.

According to “Bloomberg Business,” the shortages began in late December, when the Venezuelan government “tightened dollar disbursements amid sliding oil revenue.” The Venezuelan Pharmaceutical Federation offered the following observation:

No condoms were available in 10 eastern and central Caracas pharmacies visited in late January, compared with as many as 20 different kinds available at some locations in November, including Reckitt Benckiser Group plc’s Durex and Church & Dwight Co.’s Trojan brands.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was attempting to fix this problem before it started: Last June, he announced that the government was building a condom factory to meet the country’s demand. But since then, customers disliked the quality of the condoms, and demand often outpaced supply.

Another factor in this saga is Venezuela’s own sexual health stats. According to a 2012 World Bank study, the country has the fifth-highest number of teen pregnancies out of the 21 Latin America countries. (This averages out to be 88+ live births for women ages 15-19 for every 1K women.) It also has the fourth-highest number of people living with AIDS on the continent.

If this condom (and birth control) shortage continues, it’ll impact Venezuela’s teen pregnancy and AIDS population for the worse. As prices rise, people will become more inclined to completely forgo any birth control method, and the government might not be able to support the overwhelming resulting birth rate. Let’s hope a solution arrives before these things come to pass.

I’m just thankful condoms are not only cheaper than a child, but also cheaper than a month’s rent.

How Climate Change Affects Male Miner Bee Sex

Bee pollinating a flower

Bee pollinating a flower

Wondering about the title? Read on!

Researchers at the University of East Anglia recently analyzed the long-term patterns, dating back to 1848, of male miner bees pollinating spider orchids. They’ve concluded that climate change has affected the bees’ pollination of the flowers, and could spell trouble in the future.

Here’s how it works: The male miner bee pollinates spider orchids because the flowers release a specific sex pheromone similar to that of a female miner bee. After hibernation, the male bees wake up before the females and, lured in by the orchids, pollinate with them (referred to as “pseudocopulation”). When the female miner bees wake up some days after that, the male bees find them and reproduce.

But because of global warming and its accompanying temperature increases, the female bees are emerging earlier than usual, (in one case, 15 days earlier). Naturally, the male bees are much more interested in the female bees compared to the orchids’ imitation pheromones.

The male bees are having so much sex with their female counterparts that they’re not pollinating (or pseudocopulating) with the orchids. And this could mean lower crop productivity down the line. As researcher Dr. Karen Robbirt puts it, “The orchids are likely to be outcompeted by the real thing.”

Who would’ve thought our future crop productivity might well depend on…bee sex? Not a lot of people, I’m guessing.

Now if you need a random fact to impress anyone/fill the silence, you’re all set!

Google Trends: “Sex” vs. “Gay Sex”

Internet searches can reveal so much. I’m interested in finding what light they can shed on the world’s sexual mores and appetites.

I used Google Trends to compare “sex” and “gay sex” search terms against each other, using 2004-present as my timeframe. The long-term results are below, with “sex” in blue and “gay sex” in red:

Google Trends - Sex vs. Gay Sex

Google Trends – Sex vs. Gay Sex

As we can see, there are any more searches for “sex” than “gay sex.” As a function of the world’s LGBT population (estimated to be as high as 20%), this seems very low. One explanation is that the “sex” search encompasses the “gay sex” hits, whereas the “gay sex” results logically only contain the one specific category.

Now to break it down by region and city:

“Sex:” Region:

Google Trends terms countries as regions, and shows the top 10 countries. South Asia makes a strong showing, with Sri Lanka (100%) and India (85%) grabbing the top two spots. Southeast Asian countries Vietnam (67%) and Cambodia (64%) also appeared as well.

'Sex' Regional Breakout

‘Sex’ Regional Breakout

“Sex:” City:

India dominates this category, taking 9 spots in the top 10. The only non-Indian cities are Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city, which clocks in at #6.

The strong showing in India speaks to its population, now estimated to be around 1.27 billion. So it makes sense that it’s overwhelming the data set due to sheer quantity.

'Sex' City Breakout

‘Sex’ City Breakout


“Gay Sex:” Region:

Cambodia takes the top spot here, paving the way for other Southeast Asian countries: Laos (92%, #3) and Vietnam (77%, #4).

'Gay Sex' Regional Breakout

‘Gay Sex’ Regional Breakout

“Gay Sex:” City:

Ho Chi Minh City, capital of Vietnam, took the top spot here. Hanoi placed fourth with 43%.

The Philippines grabbed the second and third spots with Manila (69%) and Makati (58%).

Indian cities comprised #5-#9 of the top 10 spots, with Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur taking the last spot at 35%.

'Gay Sex' City Breakout

‘Gay Sex’ City Breakout


South and Southeast Asian countries are robustly represented with these searches. This could point to large populations leading to larger quantities of searches. There’s also the fact that many of these countries have culturally conservative sexual mores, so any interest piqued gets some play online.


Stay tuned for more! Any specific trends you’d like to see? Let me know!