Microscopes, notepads, test tubes, and spreadsheets. Research and inquiry come in many different shapes - particularly when it comes to studying sex! This week's Sex Stories We Love is all about sex research. Let's have a look at some of the top sex news from the past week.

A Peek Inside Pleasure

Sometimes, you just have to wonder where our priorities are. I think we’re all familiar with the fact that sex has been around a long time. And science, well, people have been into scientific inquiry for a really long time too. We like to fuck and we like to figure shit out. Why, then, have there been these gaps where our two interests do not meet? While the article is a little light on details, here is a very cool video that shows the brain response pattern to a woman masturbating to orgasm while in an MRI machine. Fascinating stuff! But why did it take so long for someone to look at masturbation in an MRI? These devices came along in the early 1980s! My scientific mind would have had people getting off inside the contraptions years ago! There is still so much to learn about our bodies and sexual response. While this study seems a bit late and basic, I hope it will lead to more research.

What You Like?

Now, I’m not suggesting that sticking our writhing bodies inside a medical contraption is necessarily going to solve all of the mysteries of our big sexual world. It might help, but some questions, such as why we like specific sexual activities, are going to require a deeper dig. Maybe the type of porn we like can give an indication as why we want to experience cuckolding or shoe fun or BDSM. Maybe our star signs and horoscopes can illuminate for us the type of roleplay we’ll best enjoy. Or maybe not .. but trying it out could be fun!

Conduct Your Own Research

In the interest of sexual research, I am trying to determine if anonymous sex could be considered a double blind study. The definition of such inquiry is “A medical study in which both the subjects participating and the researchers are unaware of when the experimental medication or procedure has been given. Double-blinded studies are often used when initial studies show particular promise.” After reading Vanessa de Largie’s intriguing ode to incognito intercourse, I am further convinced that some of the best sexual research, study, and literature comes from all of us. If we share our thoughts, observations and opinions, it could help everyone understand their sex, their partners, their friends, and the world at large.

Is Your City Sex Positive?

Of course, one of the key factors in researching sex, both individually and collectively, is to understand the environment of the participants under study. There may be some commonalities among people in general, such as general incidence of homosexuality, percentage of people into BDSM, and other markers that speak to the human condition at large. There may also be greater variance of other markers depending on whether folks live in rural, urban, suburban, and other types of living arrangements. If you look even further, major cities can also vary greatly in the types of sexual statistics being gathered. A big question remains, though: can changing attitudes change a particular sexual environment? It will be interesting to see, if a follow-up is ever done, whether these cities change over time.

Kink and Mental Health

Studying sex is not exactly new, but it hasn’t been a robust endeavor yet. The number of people moving into the field is great and that is leading them into related areas of research. One space in which a positive understanding of sex is desperately needed is mental health, particularly around issues relating to kink. Fetish, paraphilia, and kink can be very confusing and can lead to issues with other parts of our lives. That’s just natural. If you have trouble dealing with or understanding an aspect of yourself, it can contribute to difficult feelings. This is why we have psychiatrists and psychologists. But what happens if your mental health practitioner is not down with understanding your kink? What if they continue to pathologize it? Establishing that bond is key to getting you help. If you do plan to visit a therapist, you can try asking friends in the know for recommendations. When you do connect with a potential practitioner, ask lots of questions about their opinions of kink and if they are comfortable discussing these issues.

Understanding Non-Binary Sex

Finally, the gender spectrum is evolving and it is important to learn and understand the needs and desires of everybody out there. This piece is a helpful introduction to having good sex with non-binary folks and is a good read for both the non-binary people and those who fancy them.