Let's (Scientifically) Talk About Sex

Certain anatomical parts, for all human history, have been there but we haven’t asked what are they for. 

Certain anatomical parts, for all human history, have been there but we haven’t asked what are they for. What’s the function of something that we’re so intimately familiar with?  We forget to ask ourselves these things and it’s right in our face.  


Well maybe not right in our face, but sometimes it’s in our face.  And we skip those types of questions because it’s so close to the surface.  It’s only when we sort of get a scientific perspective and step back and ask these sort of objective questions about something as common as the penis or female orgasm or female ejaculation.  These sort of salacious things that people probably wonder about but they don’t necessarily pursue the scientific literature to understand them in any meaningful way.

Here's a good example.  For a long time sexologists thought female ejaculation was a myth.  They didn’t think that women could actually ejaculate.  And I’m not talking about just sort of vaginal lubrication. I’m talking about expelling copious amounts of fluid, very much like a male seminal emission.  But many women do report having these sort of ejaculatory experiences, and they thought they were urinating in bed.  They thought that they were incontinent and the husbands and the boyfriends would get upset.  “Why can’t you go to the bathroom before we have sex?”

They just didn’t understand that this was actually not urine. This was actually a type of sexual fluid that women experience when they’re intensely aroused.  And it saves marriages.  I mean, I think just having those facts and understanding that this is not anomalous, this is normal.  This is not something to be ashamed of and looking at it from a very sort of clinical objective perspective reduces anxiety. It alleviates our sense of shame, and it has practical consequences for how we interact with each other.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Related Articles

Wider-faced politicians are seen as more corrupt

New research offers a tip for politicians who don’t want to be seen as corrupt: don’t get a big head.

Researchers at Caltech discovered that wide-faced politicians are seen as more corrupt. (Keystone/Getty Images)
popular

Keep reading Show less
Playlists
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less