I recently started a new relationship with a very wonderful lover who has brought some interesting and imaginative ideas to the bedroom that I’d never tried before. He seemed a bit taken aback that these relatively minor league acts were not part of my repertoire. “But you’re a sex columnist!” he joked. “Just because I’m a sex columnist doesn’t mean I’ve done everything,” I responded. Furthermore, it doesn’t mean I’m interested in everything either.

I mean, I’m hardly a prude when it comes to sex and I’ve always said I’ll try just about anything once… or twice if I like it. I’ve done and enjoyed things some people wouldn’t even dream of yet I also recoil in horror at other lurid acts that really get some people’s juices flowing. And while I wouldn’t necessarily call myself “vanilla”, a term borrowed from the world of ice cream to connote conventional, basic and without frills, it’s certainly a flavor I like to sample from time to time.

“Because I study and write about sexuality, I am of course someone who swings naked from chandeliers while having group sex on film,” noted Lynn Comella, a sexuality scholar and women’s studies professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “And while I am not at all opposed to that in theory, in practice it is just not who I am”.

Salon.com columnist Tracy Clark-Flores observed that even though “sexual freedom means different things to different people”, within certain sexually liberated spheres there is a topsy-turvy hierarchy to the mainstream with monogamy at the bottom and “public poly-whatever-y” at the top. She cites a number of second-hand examples of people facing biases within kinky communities for being too vanilla, even though you’d think a group that has experienced enough disapproval and marginalization on account of their sexual choice would refrain from passing the same kind of judgment on others.

Everyone faces a certain degree of struggle in figuring out with what gets their motor running, especially as they become more acquainted with sexually progressive communities. As blogger Clarisse Thorn points out, “Being a sex-positive feminist, I also sometimes worry that other women will read my work and it will increase their performance anxiety. I worry that writing about some stuff I like will be misinterpreted – that it will lead other women to feel like, gosh, is this something liberated sex-positive women do? Is this something I “should” be doing?”

And like oh so many other issues in our contemporary landscape, this one is further complicated by the world of marketing. It’s a tried and true marketing axiom that when people start feeling satisfied and comfortable, they consume less. As pointed out by Bitch magazine in their smart and funny series ‘Thinking Kink’, making people feel shitty about their vanilla-ness is mainly a capitalist calculation. Just look at the spike in BDSM-related purchases since the release of “50 Shades of Grey”. Good Vibrations in San Francisco experience a 65% increase in the sales of bondage sex toys, and New York-based Babeland say a 40% increase.  While many of those purchases were likely made out of genuine curiosity, imagine how many were bought under pressure of feeling like their routine sex lives weren’t exciting enough?

Two male friends want to spice things up in the bedroom by wife swapping, and decide to go away for the weekend with their wives. They check into a log cabin and after a nice meal the two couples pair off and head to the bedrooms. After an intense night of wild sex, the two friends meet in the kitchen the next morning.

“That was awesome,” says the first guy. “We must do that again!”
“Yeah,” says the second. “I wonder how the girls got on!”

Breaking news from the scientific community: male bisexuality is no longer a joke! Yes, it does exist, at least according to a team of researchers from Northwestern University.  Really, there are men out there who are turned on by men and women?! I’m more shocked by the fact that they needed a scientific study to prove this. I mean, Freud knew this and wrote about it almost a century ago.

The new study  from the same university refutes their previous findings from six years ago when they declared that “men who identified themselves as bisexual were in fact exclusively aroused by either one sex or the other.”  And in three quarters of the cases from back then, bisexuals were four times more turned on by men, reinforcing the stereotype that bisexual men are actually closeted homosexuals in denial. Naturally, this conclusion outraged bisexuals of both sexes, since attempting to use science to negate human emotions, particularly sexual arousal, is downright insulting.

For the new study, the research team narrowed the search criteria for participants. They recruited from online venues that catered specifically to bisexuals, and required participants to have had at least two sexual experiences with members of each sex, and to have been in a romantic relationship of at least three months with a person of each sex.

It's not gay when it's in a three-way

To mirror the first study, they subjects watched erotic videos depicting male and female same-sex intimacy. The first time around, it was one or the other that tickled the subject’s fancy. This time, the subjects were aroused by both sets of videos, physically and in subjective reporting. This indicates that there are bisexual men out there who exhibit a distinctive pattern of sexual arousal, one that is mirrored in female bisexuals.

At least this time around, the research team thought to include footage of a man having sex with another man and a woman at the same time… and then patted themselves on the back when the bisexuals were aroused by it.

The major flaw in these types of scientific studies comes in the lack of accurate method of measuring arousal. In these particular studies, the subjects wore genital sensors that monitored their erectile responses. These utterly clinical conditions make me shudder.

Furthermore, there’s more to being turned on than just what’s going on in your genitals. As psychology professor at the University of Utah, Dr. Lisa Diamond observes, “Simply interpreting results about sexual arousal is complicated, because monitoring genital response to erotic images in a laboratory setting cannot replicate an actual human interaction.”


Photo credit- William Duke(http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/05/health/05sex.html?pagewanted=1)


I finally met a man who recognizes how fabulous I am! He notices when I get my hair coloured, and helps me shop for new clothes that accent my curves in all the right places. He even knows the magic words to bypass the bouncer to get into all the best parties. Just one teeny weenie problem- he’s into weenies.

The old adage of “all the best men are either taken or gay” seems truer than ever. Yes, it’s slim pickings out there for good heterosexual men, especially as we get older. Then when you do meet them, you gotta wonder why someone hasn’t scooped them up already…

The ratio of successful men to successful women is tipping in our favor, perhaps for the first time ever. According to a recent article at Slate.com, earnings for 25- to 34-year old men have fallen by 20 percent in the past 40 years. And women are outpacing men in numbers at post secondary institutions, and for the first time in history, also the workforce.

So you’d think that all these smart, successful women like myself out there would be scooped up by these flailing men into the security of a commitment. But it appears that the scarcity of ideal male partners has tipped the sexual scales in their favor… assuming that most of them are looking for sex with very few strings attached.

When there are lots of men around, women get treated better. We pay for fewer drinks, we get asked to dance more often, and we rarely have to ask for massages. In short, when we get to choose our penis, we do so carefully. It has been documented that a surplus of women causes marriage rates to rise and fewer children to be born out of wedlock.

Conversely, when there are fewer men around, women have to take what they can get. And this can include accepting terms on a sexual relationship that they might not be as willing to accept if there were more men to pick from.

Sexual economics can also have an effect on existing relationships. As a friend recently told me, “If there were more decent heterosexual men around competing for my attention, maybe it would cause my boyfriend to step up his game a little bit. But on the other hand, having so many gay men around means he also doesn’t have to validate me as much.”

But don’t worry singles, all is not lost. The Internet is bringing more people together than ever, especially in the area of sexual relationships. Right now as you are reading this, hundreds of people across the world are fucking for the first time after having met online. Hundreds are professing their love and dozens are marrying. Or if all else fails, ladies can consider moving to Sudan, Venezuela, Columbia or Bolivia, which according to a recent study, are the countries with the largest average penis size.

Photo 1 acclaimclipart.com

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