12 Shocking Sex Facts

Masters and Johnson revolutionized sex research in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Here what we're learning about sex now.

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Craig Blankenhorn / Showtime

William Masters and Virginia Johnson became famous for the groundbreaking sex research they conducted at Washington University in St. Louis in the 1950s and 1960s—so famous, in fact, that Showtime decided to turn their story into a new drama series, Masters of Sex. Masters and Johnson’s discoveries changed the way we think about sex and about women’s sexuality in particular. Their studies showed that women were capable of multiple orgasms, among other things. These were revolutionary ideas the time, but new research about women and sex has revealed some facts that would shock even Masters and Johnson. Here’s the latest on sex research from Dr. Eden Fromberg of SoHo OBGYN and Naomi Wolf’s most recent book, Vagina: A New Biography.

1. Cycles of light affect our fertility
Women used to menstruate during the new moon (when it’s dark at night) and ovulate during a full moon (when it’s light). Now, in a world full of artificial lighting and bright screens, women are not as in tune with the connection between their biology and nature. Some have tried “lunaception,” altering the lights in their bedrooms based on the moon lighting to change their ovulation.

2. Women can get pregnant five to eight days after having sex
Studies have shown that some sperm can live in the cervical mucus crypt before the egg is actually fertilized for anywhere from five to eight days after sex.

3. Wearing high heels can negatively affect a woman’s orgasm
Certain high-end shoe brands developed the arch in their high-heeled shoes to approximate the arch in a woman’s pelvis when she is having an orgasm. The heels create a contraction in the pelvic floor, which is problematic because the pelvic floor then cannot contract further during orgasm. “An orgasm is usually like going from zero to 60,” explains Fromberg. “If you’re already at 55 [from wearing heels], you’re not going to have a full experience.”

4. Orgasms can make women more creative
Studies have shown that orgasms can make women more confident, productive and creative. And it’s a feedback loop—women achieve fuller orgasms when they are being creative.

5. Birth control pills dampen the libido
Any hormonal contraception has that psychological side effect. Sometimes women even have trouble conceiving once they’re off the pill because while they may have been attracted to their partner on the pill, they’re not actually compatible with each other biochemically without the extra hormones.

6.  Sitting in chairs can arouse women
Pudendal nerves, underneath the buttox and the sitting bones, feed arousal tissues (in the vagina, clitoris, anus, etc.). Sitting in a certain kind of chair pressing on the pudendal nerves in a certain way can lead to sexual arousal.

7. …But it can also dampen their orgasms
On the other hand, sitting in chairs for most of the day shortens the pelvic floor and psoas muscles—muscles which are essential to a full-body orgasm. When these muscles are tight from sitting too much, women find it harder to achieve a great orgasm.

8. Women have three erogenous zones 
The clitoris, the G Spot, AND the opening of the cervix. Some argue nipples belong on that list too.

9. Nerve endings are distributed differently in every woman’s vagina
Like a snowflake, each woman is unique in that her nerve endings are distributed in her genitalia differently than anyone else. That means, every woman needs to employ slightly different methods to achieve orgasm.

10. The pulsations a woman feels during orgasm are actually her uterus trying to gather sperm
Round ligaments that end in the labia majora “rock the uterus back and forth during orgasm so that the cervix has the opportunity to potentially scoop semen up that may have pooled in the back of the vagina to enhance fertility,” says Fromberg.

11. Being well hydrated leads to better orgasms
Because the body is mostly fluid, being hydrated enhances people’s ability to achieve orgasm.

12. All woman can achieve orgasm
Almost no woman was born unable to achieve an orgasm. “Women have the innate machinery programmed to have orgasms,” Fromberg explains. “But not everybody learns how to use that machinery well.”

 

100 comments
Danaknows
Danaknows

The key to sexual satisfaction is a longer and thicker penis. See the exercises Here

WilloConner
WilloConner

These facts are really amazing. I never knew that sitting in a chair can arouse a woman. Really a great article and the hard work along with the research can be equally seen. I would like to tell everyone that at the age of seventy, 73% of males are still potent. This is another surprising sex fact that I read on another website. Read few more shocking sex facts here:

http://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/healthinfographics/strange-sex-facts.html

SuzieQuaterno
SuzieQuaterno

What a truly strange but credible collection of obscure points! I do wonder why some people are cross about this though - it seems harmless and fun. Ah well! MAybe you can do one about guys to stop the screams of misogyny!

http://phen375reports.com

IgnacioSanabria
IgnacioSanabria

The article did not mention the culprit of sex: Oxytocin.

AlfredNeuman
AlfredNeuman

I read a transcript of a speech Naomi Wolf gave about 15 years ago.  She is a bit wacko and thinks all hetero sex is rape.  I wouldn't take seriously anything with her name on it.

amd68
amd68

Just wondering why you do not allow comments to be flagged for hate speech? Some of these clearly are.

ShamsAci
ShamsAci

High heel-shoes wearing women are believed to lose their orgasm enjoyment, while their counter part ones are naturally active in orgasm more than them(high-heel-shes using women).

ShamsAci
ShamsAci

Creative women are known as enjoying more orgasm than their counter part ones.

ShamsAci
ShamsAci

In the initial stage as that many women express their sex appeal that begins from erection of their tits' nipples and then other sensitive parts of their body.

deohyouge
deohyouge

Surely an erection is as ever available at 45 years old as it was at 10. Men have no need for mental stimulation, arrousal or for that matter reason, to orgasam. Just wait the 15 seconds to pass between our bouts of "must have sex" fits. The centuries of rhino horns, bear gal bladders, dried seahorses, and recent break throughs by big pharmaceutical companies with reasons to fill your email inbox have only been to force our penis' to perform. It's common knowledge that it is clearly our fault and women need only be suggested (attendance is encouraged but not mandatory) for a man to be ready to do everything we can to cater to your orgasam. Else you get assets etc.. another subject for another time.

XiraArien1
XiraArien1

11/12 of these topics are about women and their issues.

Time is a bigoted misandrist piece of trash.

MatteoRodrigo
MatteoRodrigo

Now how about focusing on some men…and heaven forbid, gay men

shlomoshunn
shlomoshunn

Nice to see "sex" means "only women matter."

How feminist of TIME.

fibsernum
fibsernum

Sex starts in the mind; If a woman is not interested in thinking about sex, fantasizing, letting go of distractions, it's not going to happen.  Unless, of course, she has a couple of glasses of wine.

CcrAfrique
CcrAfrique

The nipples are a major factor for me ..the minute its touched I'm on a role ..a gushing one!

sallyedelstein
sallyedelstein

Before Masters and Johnson liberated sex from the closet, frank discussions about sexual behavior was done behind closed doors. Sex advise was furtively dispensed by small publishers placing discreet ads in the back of pulp magazines. Take a peek at some retro advise http://wp.me/p2qifI-1Kh

DougCheriBledsoe
DougCheriBledsoe

I have noticed that catholic girls do not orgasm as easy as other girls. I guess when you are taught from an early age that sex is dirty by your mom and family its hard to let loose. 

Pegster
Pegster

OMG ~ Ditch the heals and close the crypt.  Ten new ways to screw up our heads on good sex.

NoBigGovDuh
NoBigGovDuh

Number 5 is a lie. I had a girlfriend for 4 years before coming out and the pill if anything made her even more horny. 

LXJames
LXJames

I like the snowflake theory, it add new meaning to seek and you shall find...a good treasure hunt is always exciting... any man that thinks it's too much trouble should just stay home... and I for one believe in helping the hunter... I can see the Creativity already.   

drkevwe
drkevwe

Very interesting facts ." Orgasms make women more creative"- ; then high heels and chairs having opposite effects? Just amazing

mitchellglaser
mitchellglaser

"cervical mucus crypt"? I could have gone my whole life without hearing that term. I wish I had.

CarlosSpiceyweiner
CarlosSpiceyweiner

The universal axiom about sex is - if it's not dirty, you're not doing it right.

JuanPeinado
JuanPeinado

Masters and Johnson were a head of their time in so many ways, including on the subject of homosexuality, which their correctly determined was a choice that can be reversed.  They were not judging the choice, to them it is neither bad nor good, but their research showed that is was just that.  Gays self-select.  So let's stop pretending that they don't.  There is nothing wrong with the choice and we should tolerate it, but science has come down consistently on the side that says homosexuality is not biology.

drfamosa
drfamosa

How naive the author of this article is! No mention of tantric yoga practice

for men in which a man can have multiple orgasms without ejaculating.

Showtime should have this sex research show flash forward to the thousands

of American women and men who practice tantric yoga, the yoga of sex!

jakehawkes@rocketmail.com
jakehawkes@rocketmail.com

I recommend the book Vagina by Naomi Wolf for those who want to understand these things better.

It is a real...can I say it...eye opener.

BenIncaHutz
BenIncaHutz

"The pulsations a woman feels during orgasm are actually her uterus trying to gather sperm
Round ligaments that end in the labia majora “rock the uterus back and forth during orgasm so that the cervix has the opportunity to potentially scoop semen up that may have pooled in the back of the vagina to enhance fertility,” says Fromberg"

 I've experienced this first hand!! I thought I was crazy but I know something down there was happening. Amazing to write this and get confirmation.

SmoothEdward1
SmoothEdward1

Hight heels can negatively affect a woman's orgasm? That may be but they sure improve ours.

Annelouise
Annelouise

High heels have been great for our sex life. But then they only touch the floor maybe 10 min anyway.

leastcmplicated
leastcmplicated

I don't know about the birth control one.  I'm on BC (for reasons other than conception) and I'm as horny as ever, all the time!

pb1230
pb1230

#10 is HIGHLY disputed.  It has been proposed for quite some time but there is no direct evidence that this actually happens.

sdgdf
sdgdf

@deohyouge 

How do I know you're a virgin?

I'm a 27 year old man and a woman can ride me all day, and unless there's the right mental stimulus orgasm just isn't happening. And I have enough sex drive to masturbate 2-7 times a day easily. Its a common myth that all men suffer from premature ejaculation and obsess with the vagina so much they orgasm within 30 seconds of actually seeing one.

naasking
naasking

@deohyouge "Men have no need for mental stimulation, arrousal or for that matter reason, to orgasam."

And neither do women. Female rape victims report orgasms too, and that's part of the trauma. The idea that women need mental stimulation and men don't is a complete myth. They both need mental stimulation to enjoy sex, and they both don't need it just to experience orgasms.

RobinWright
RobinWright

i think they focused on women because when it comes to men and sex - there's not really much mystery... they've pretty much got it figured out and have no problem getting off on a regular basis... it is much harder for many women to achieve orgasm, so the list focuses on trying to make the female orgasm more understandable and achievable... just my view

danmcn61
danmcn61

@DougCheriBledsoe what Catholic school did you go to?  I was raised in the most Irish-Catholic family in the US and I don't remember either of my parents saying anything that would imply sex was "dirty"and we all knew that the six children in my family did not get there by a stork.  Check your assumptions next time.

lg1275
lg1275

@JuanPeinado On your very BEST day you might qualify is an educated fool. 

davidhoffman
davidhoffman

@SmoothEdward1 

High heels are one of the top items I dislike about women's clothing choices. I see them used in far too many places where it makes no sense.  99% of the time I think excellently fitted low or medium heels would be a better looking choice. Arousing women are going to look arousing walking in bare feet, so why the high heel nonsense? 

davidhoffman
davidhoffman

@fullyprimedamy 

Have you not read, heard, or seen the reports? Men will soon be replaced by artificial intelligence machines. Some of those machines, using the finest in Japanese AI and European materials, will substitute for the male gender when the females of Earth desire "sexual" activity . Cloning and DNA splicing will allow the creation of substitute "embryos" that will grow and be born female.  Real physical  men will not be needed as they will be replaced by genetically altered females with super strength and speed.  Thus there is no need to deal with the present form of the male, since it would waste resources needed by the females of Earth.

EvenSteven
EvenSteven

@pb1230 There are multiple examples of endoscopic video taken showing the cervix rhythmically dipping down into a pool of semen in the vaginal vault during orgasm.

Most of the footage is in the hands of researchers and professors of medicine in ob-gyn.  I am unsure how easy it is to find for the general public.

shlomoshunn
shlomoshunn

@danmcn61 @DougCheriBledsoe: Er, check your Catechism, dude.

Oh, I forgot. Popes have always urged young Catholics to have premarital sex. And nuns were all hookers before becoming novitiates....right?