To become the World’s Greatest Lover, I’m following the advice of leading scientists, sexperts and love gurus. This week I’m studying sexy college profs. No, I’m not watching gonzo college invasion porn. Instead, I’m watching nerdy professors giving TED talks.
Confession: although I look like the Whitest Man Alive, I’m actually a TED talk virgin. Yes, TED talks are definitely stuff white people like but I’ve avoided them like the plague, Arcade Fire, and office drones who say stuff like ‘ping me.’ There are two main reasons I dodge TED talks:
1. When every other white person is doing some supposedly mandatory thing (like watch The Wire), I’d prefer to back away and mock it.
2. Ever since attending the fashion-backwards University of Victoria, I have an aversion to profs who wear high-waisted polyester slacks and peep toe Birkenstock sandals. However…
3. I do like to construct my arguments in numbered sentences, so maybe I’m not so different from TED lecturers after all.
So. Today I will shed my skepticism. Much like your middle school janitor who touched you inappropriately, I’ll let TED teach me about sex.
Eventually I found an entertaining talk that should significantly improve my bedroom skills. A witty science journalist named Mary Roach delivered the speech, entitled ‘10 Things You Didn’t Know About Orgasm.’
I see why TED invited her to speak. In her non-fiction sex book, ‘Bonk: the Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Roach investigated topics like monkey sex athletes, the martial art of yin diao gung (“genitals hanging kung fu”), and “the licensing of porn stars’ genitals for blow-up reproduction.” Who wouldn’t want to know more about that?
So Roach opened her talk on orgasms with this PowerPoint slide #1:
1) “You were having them in the womb”
To illustrate, she shows an ultrasound of a fetus grabbing its penis “in a way that resembles masturbation movements.”
Then she lists 9 more things you didn’t know about orgasms:
2) You don’t need genitals.
Roach cited a medical study in which a woman had an orgasm whenever she brushed her teeth. Another woman was able to think herself to orgasm. Took her a minute.
3) You can have them when you’re dead.
Roach discovered that a ‘beating heart cadaver’, i.e. someone who is brain dead but being kept alive by a respirator, can be given an orgasm if you stimulate their spinal cord with an electrode.
Good to know. If I want to be remembered as the World’s Greatest Lover, I’d better stipulate this in my will.
4) Orgasm can cause bad breath.
According to the author of a 1930s marriage manual, Theodoor van de Velde, “a slight seminal odor can be detected on the breath of a woman within about an hour after sexual intercourse.”
How can this Intel make me a better lover? Not sure. Maybe I’ll work this factoid into some sexy doctor-patient role-playing.
5) Orgasms can cure hiccups
6) Doctors once prescribed orgasm for fertility…
7) …And pig farmers still do
According to Roach, if female pigs (‘sows’) get off during artificial insemination, they give birth to 6% more piglets. To illustrate, Roach shows an instructional video for pig farmers. In the film, a farmer stimulates a sow by fisting her. Yep.
Then he rubs and squeezes her giant pig nipples with his boot and hand while he uses his other hand to squirt boar semen inside her. Again: must try this.
8) Female animals are having more fun than you think
In the video, the pig looks nonplussed by the fisting/groping. But Roach says animals don’t register pain or pleasure in their faces like we do.
For example: say you’re having sex with a pig but she seems a bit distant. Don’t fret, my friend...instead of looking at her mouth, Roach recommends you look at the pig’s ears. Similar to dogs, pigs register emotions in the upper half of their face and Roach says that pigs’ ears are “very expressive.”
9) Studying human orgasm in a lab is not easy…
10) …But it sure is entertaining
In the 1940s, Kinsey wanted to measure how far semen travelled during orgasm. So he assembled 300 men in his lab, plus a measuring tape and a movie camera. Then, in an epic display of spunk, the men masturbated for the doctor’s camera.
Kinsey discovered that in 3/4s of the men, their ejaculate “just slopped out. It didn’t spurt with great force.” However, Roach says “the record holder landed just shy of the 8-foot mark, which is impressive.”
Her favourite part of Kinsey’s experiment? In his report, Kinsey wrote, “Two sheets were laid down to protect the Oriental carpets.”
Whether you’re knocking boots with a babe or a hog, there’s no better sex tip than that.