Tag Archives: sex

Does The Clothes You Wear Influence People’s Behavior?

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Clothes really do make a difference.

Today, I’ll focus on clothes and the color red: Red conveys energy, passion, and sex. It makes men more attractive to women. It makes women more attractive to men. The abstract from one of the studies explains:

In Experiment 1, men who viewed an ostensible conversation partner in a red versus a green shirt chose to ask her more intimate questions. In Experiment 2, men who viewed an ostensible interaction partner in a red versus a blue shirt chose to sit closer to her. These effects were observed across participants’ perceptions of their own attractiveness (Experiment 1) and general activation and mood (Experiment 2). Our findings suggest that red acts as a basic, non-lexical prime, influencing reproduction-relevant behavior in like manner across species.

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and another:

We demonstrate that women perceive men to be more attractive and sexually desirable when seen on a red background and in red clothing, and we additionally show that status perceptions are responsible for this red effect. The influence of red appears to be specific to women’s romantic attraction to men: Red did not influence men’s perceptions of other men, nor did it influence women’s perceptions of men’s overall likability, agreeableness, or extraversion. Participants showed no awareness that the research focused on the influence of color. These findings indicate that color not only has aesthetic value but can carry meaning and impact psychological functioning in subtle, important, and provocative ways.

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For those who hitchhike: 

In a different study, researchers found that wearing red helps hitchhikers get picked up. Women who were wearing red solicited a higher response in the number of male drivers who stopped to offer them a ride. Unfortunately,  the same effect could not be replicated with female drivers.   

For athletes: 

According to Hill and Barton’s study, published in the prestigious science journal Nature in 2005, athletes dressed in red had a measurable advantage. This was particularly the case with Taekwondo, where competitors who were assigned to be on the red side or team won 57 percent of all match-ups.  They found similar results for boxing as well, with boxers wearing red gloves and red shorts having a 55 percent victory quotient.

I think it’s pretty clear what we need to do now: Go out and buy some red clothes!! 

Sources:

“Red, rank, and romance in women viewing men.” Journal of Experimental Psychology. (2010)

“Red and romantic behavior in men viewing women.” European Journal of Social Psychology. (2010)

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7040/abs/435293a.html

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/col.20651/pdf

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Is Having Sex Early In The Relationship Harmful in the Long Run?

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Keep reading below.

A new study published in The Journal of Sex Research concludes that the sooner a couple starts having sex, the lower the quality of their relationship. And not surprisingly, media outlets are quick to pick up these findings and publish headlines along the lines of “First-Date Sex May Harm Couples. or “How Leaping into Bed Harms Relationships

This study, conducted by researchers at the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University (your BS meter should be on high alert at this point)* asked participants in an online survey about when they started having sex with their partner and completed several measures of relationship functioning (e.g., satisfaction, communication). Participants were then lumped into one of four groups based upon timing of first sex: Predating Sex (hooking-up before becoming a couple; 9.9%), Early Sex (sex on the first date or two; 35.5%), Delayed Sex (sex after a few weeks; 47.9%), and No Sex (couples who were still abstaining; 6.6%). Results revealed that people who waited longer to have sex scored the highest on all measures of relationship quality. Based upon these findings, the authors concluded that dating couples who have sex therefore have “poorer” outcomes than couples who abstain and that timing of sex represents an important “turning point” in the relationship.

But is this really the case? 

What every single media failed to report was that the average levels of satisfaction, communication, and commitment were high for both men and women no matter when they started having sex. For instance, looking at relationship satisfaction, which was rated on a scale ranging from 0 to 12 in this study, the midpoint for this scale was 6, which means that anything above that represents satisfaction and anything below that represents dissatisfaction. For women, those who had sex in the first month had a satisfaction score of 7.9, while those who waited six or more months had a score of 8.5. For men, the numbers were 8.2 and 8.5, respectively. Thus, average levels of satisfaction were high for all groups. 

So where is the “harm” and all of the “unhappy” couples? There aren’t any, at least in this study. Indeed, the people in the survey who delayed sex in their relationship were happier, but that does not mean people who had sex sooner were unhappy. This study simply does not provide any evidence that abstaining from sex is a better recipe for success than having sex whenever you and your partner feel most comfortable.

Will jumping into bed sooner truly hurt your chances at a lifetime of happiness? No. Just do it when you’re both comfortable.

*If you didn’t already know, Brigham Young University is a Mormon-controlled university. Mormons aren’t allowed to have sex before marriage so it’s no surprise that studies like this support their irrational doctrine through more legitimate and scientifically accepted methods. Unfortunately for them, I could sense their bias from a mile away.

Sources:

Willoughby, B. J., Carroll, J. S., & Busby, D. M. Differing relationship outcomes when sex happens before, on, or after first dates. The Journal of Sex Research (2012)

Sassler, S., Addo, F. R., & Lichter, D. T. “The tempo of sexual activity and later relationship quality,” Journal of Marriage and Family (2012)

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Sex in Japan: An Introduction

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SEX IS EVERYWHERE IN JAPAN. But the country suffers from a declining birthrate.

JAPAN’S COMMERCIAL SEX INDUSTRY ACCOUNTED FOR $20 BILLION IN 2001. But they’re strictly off-limits to foreigners.

IT’S LEGAL TO POSSESS CHILD PORNOGRAPHY IN JAPAN. But the distribution of it became illegal due to UN and international pressures.

Sex is everywhere in Japan. Stores like Don Quijote have a sex toy section that’s cordoned off by merely a thin curtain, not even three feet away from the area selling portable air conditioners and imported Pringles chips. Behind the main streets of Akihabara, Shibuya and Shinjuku, an adult video store is just as common as a Lawsons or a 7-Eleven. And let’s not forget about those Love Hotels, catering exclusively to ‘couples,’ offering rooms for both daytime ‘rest’ or a night-time stay.

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Anyone who has traveled to Japan knows tissue packets are given out like condoms at Columbia University (very freely and frequently). But did you get the ones that advertise hostess clubs, oral-sex parlors, and “soapland” bathhouses? Walking through Yokohama or Shinjuku at night, you see  hundreds of neon signs that light up the streets pointing you, a potential customer, to one of the many karaoke clubs or an upscale restaurant. But have you ever seen a sign that pointed to nude theaters, peeping rooms, “touch pubs”, and “image clubs” with elaborately decorated fantasy theme rooms? Probably not.

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Joan Sinclair, author of Pink Box: Inside Japan’s Sex Clubs, explains that the sex industry in Japan is “not an underground industry” but a heavily quarantined one. Sex paraphernalia such as adult videos, erotic magazines, sex toys, condoms, and used schoolgirl panties are easily accessible to everyone, including minors and foreigners, but the actual act of sex itself is tightly controlled.

Japan is one of the few modern societies where the social contract and the influence of social norms outweigh market forces. The uniquely Japanese phenomenon of honne and tatemae is still considered to be of paramount importance in Japanese culture. How individuals portray themselves in public became a cultural necessity resulting from the large number of people living in a comparatively small island nation. Thus, the Japanese tend to go to great lengths to avoid conflict, especially within the context of large groups through cooperation and sincere consideration.

Being able to navigate these complex situations is quintessential to being a “good” Japanese person. The great complexity and rigidity of Japanese etiquette and culture is very difficult to grasp for foreigners, even for a Japanese-Americans like myself. How to politely refuse a gift before accepting it, to remembering where a person with the highest seniority sits in restaurant, or how long and how deep you are supposed to bow before parting ways with a coworker are just a few of the many rituals one has to remember in order to maintain an awkward-free encounter. In short, Japanese people don’t want individualistic, hedonistic, narcissistic, and obnoxious Westerners completely oblivious to these social rituals to trample over their existing delicate and intricately woven social fabric. Simply, they don’t want foreigners to come fuck up what they have come to perfect. Almost all establishments will actively discriminate against foreigners, from refusing service to blocking the entrance outright (there are a few that cater specifically to foreigners but those are few and far between). And since its almost impossible to prove discrimination in court, they have no problem keeping their establishments exclusive.

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So the sex industry in Japan is not only a product of society, but a part of society. The clubs are a reflection of modern Japan: a xenophobic, literate society where the rules are written out, prices are not negotiable, and fantasies are predetermined, pre-scripted, and prepaid. The menu at sex clubs take the form of breaking rigid societal rules the Japanese abide by on a daily basis, with a common theme of fondling the cleanest and purest teenage girls in role-playing scenarios. Clients immerse themselves in fantasies and surreal fetishes, from hospitals settings with nurses without panties, naughty stewardesses and elevator attendants, bondage, softcore groping, and kinky stages with elaborate sets, the list goes on. But to all foreigners wanting to experiment with their sexuality the Japanese way, better luck someplace else.

Everybody’s got a dark side
do you love me?
Can you love mine?
Nobody’s a picture perfect
but we’re worth it
you know that we’re worth it
Will you love me?
Even with my dark side?
– “Dark Side” by Kelly Clarkson
 
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