Women view other women who wear red as more interested in sex , Study shows

*Originally published on Today.com

By Meghan Holohan

Ladies, perhaps you pulled on that red dress today because it’s the only clean one in the closet. Maybe you look awesome in red. Or red makes you feel confident. We salute you for rocking red, but other women might not. A new study finds that women think ladies in red are more interested in sex and less faithful than women wearing white or green.

“The color of a woman’s shirt [affects] how men and women think about her,” says Adam Pazda, a social psychologist at the University of Rochester and one of the authors of the study. “Women don’t want other women in red near their boyfriends.”

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Picture courtesy of VastKid.com

Previous research has found that men believe women dressed in red are more interested in pursuing sex, regardless of whether they are. Pazda wondered if women shared the same perception about women in red.

Women participated in three different experiments. In the first two, they looked at pictures of women in red and white and in the third they looked at women in red or green. Because white is often associated with purity and virginity, the researchers wanted to examine a color with less emotional baggage.

In the first study, participants looked at a photo of a woman in white and the exact same photo after the color of the dress was manipulated to look red and were asked which woman appeared more receptive to sex. Overwhelmingly, the women believed that the lady in red was promiscuous.

“Women [in red] are perceived as being more interested in sex,” Pazda says.

Watch NBC’s Today Show segment on the study here:
http://www.today.com/video/today/55623478

In the second, women looked at the same photos and were asked to how they felt about the women’s fidelity and financial resources. Women were more likely to think that a woman in red would cheat on her partner, but weren’t judgmental about her finances.

“Women will derogate the sexual fidelity but not mundane things [like financial resources],” he says.

For the third study, women looked at the photos where the same woman wore a dress that had been digitally altered to be red or green. The researchers asked if they would introduce their boyfriends to or leave them alone with either woman. Again, women did not want their men around the ladies in red.

“Women are more likely to say that women in red are less faithful,” Pazda says. “They do pick up on the [sexually] receptive cue and what that leads to is some sort of defensiveness.”

The color red evokes sexy thoughts for several reasons, Pazda says. Red often represents love and lust in society. Red roses and hearts are synonymous with Valentine’s Day and amorous feelings. Men historically sought sex in red-light districts. But there’s also a biological reason why red appears sexy.

“When [women] become sexually excited, they blush,” he says.

Whether women are aware that donning red will make them seem interested in sex remains unclear. Women are more likely to wear red when ovulating or looking for a boyfriend or a hook up, Pazda says, but there’s little evidence that women intentionally dress in red for sex.

“We still don’t know if they are aware of it. So that is definitely something to look at.”

Pediatricians Say Progestin Implants Are the Best Birth Control for Teens

*Originally Published on NBC News

By Maggie Fox

The best birth control to offer teenage girls is an implantable rod, followed by an IUD, pediatricians say in new guidance. It may seem odd to think of a pediatrician prescribing birth control, but it makes perfect sense, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in new guidance. “Adolescents consider pediatricians and other health care providers a highly trusted source of sexual health information,” the new guidance reads. Pediatricians typically see their patients well into their teens and often into their early 20s, by which time most people have had sex at least once.

The academy assigned a team to check into the most effective and safe forms of contraception for teenagers. Of course, the best sex is no sex. “Abstinence is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and is an important part of contraceptive counseling,” the guidance says. But data also show that teenagers almost always ignore abstinence advice and their own promises. So pediatricians should recommend the following contraceptives in this order:

  • Progestin Implants — Implanon and Nexplanon are both single-rod implants.
  • Intrauterine devices or IUDs.
  • Progestin-only injectable contraception — known as Depo-Provera, it’s given every 13 to 15 weeks.
  • Combined oral contraceptive pills — “The Pill” is the fourth choice, because young women do not always use it reliably.
  • Condoms rank lower. While 96 percent of teens who have had sex have used condoms, and while they can protect against sexually transmitted infections, teens often neglect to use them.

‘Drag Race’ Girls Star In First Starbucks LGBT Commercial

*Originally posted on Huffington Post

By James Nichols

Well here’s one place we certainly didn’t think we’d see the “RuPaul’s Drag Race Girls” pop up.

Starbucks released what is reportedly its very first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-themed commercial this week starring the top two contestants from “Drag Race” season six: Adore Delano and Bianca Del Rio. The commercial is cheeky, fun and a little bit silly, but it’s nice to see these two gaining some more mainstream traction.

Starbucks has long been an ally to the queer community. Not only did the organization raise a Pride flag over its Seattle headquarters earlier this year, but the company’s CEO famously told an anti-gay shareholder that he was free to “sell [his] shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company” if he had a problem with the company’s pro-gay values.

Naked Warwick Men’s Rowing Team Calendar Fights Homophobia

*Originally published on The Huffington Post

 By

Ready for some tasteful nudity to support a good cause?

The 2015 naked calendar of the University of Warwick men’s rowing team is out to combat gay discrimination.

The U.K. squad has been producing a nude datebook fundraiser since 2009. When it discovered that much of its audience was gay, the team figured it should direct its charity toward the LGBT community, according to a video released to promote the new calendar.

So the team has helped established a charity called Sport Allies, “a programme to reach out to young people challenged by bullying, homophobia or low self-esteem,” per the Warwick Rowers website.

Previous calendars have raised more than $300,000 and are now sold in 77 countries, the video explains.

The team is reportedly up for a PinkNews Award, which is given out by the European LGBT news service of the same name.

Row, row, row your boats, gentlemen, and keep up the good work.

Those interested in purchasing the calendar or other merchandise can click here. The team pledges to donate at least 10 percent of every purchase to Sport Allies.

New study claims there is no such thing as a vaginal or clitoral orgasm

*Originally posted on The Telegraph

A new study claims that there is no such thing as a vaginal, or clitoral orgasm. Oh, and apparently the G-spot is a myth, too.

By

The elusive G-spot does not exist, according to a new study.

So far, so typical. It seems we can’t go a few months without researchers offering a new opinion on the supposed holy grail of the female orgasm. One minute it exists, the next it doesn’t.

But, now it turns out, this isn’t the only think we might have to rethink.

According to researchers, the vaginal orgasm and clitoral orgasm don’t exist either.

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Image courtesy of Getty Images

This may come as a surprise to any woman who thought she had experienced an orgasm in this way. But a report published in the journal of Clinical Anatomy explains that, actually, there’s only one type of orgasm a woman can have and that should just be known generally as the “female orgasm.”

The authors of the study explain that we have interpreted the female anatomy incorrectly. They say that the “internal/inner clitoris does not exist: the entire clitoris is an external organ.”

They explain that a “vaginal orgasm”, which some women report experiencing from penetrative sex, is “always caused by the surrounding erectile organs” – dubbed the “female penis.”

The study aims to help women understand the certainties of the female orgasm and clarifies whether the terms we use in everyday life have any scientific basis.

Turns out, many – female ejaculation, premature ejaculation and G-spot amplification – just don’t. What’s more, the phrase ‘vaginal orgasm’ was found to have been invented by Sigmund Freud.

The authors also tackle the assumption that some women are physically incapable of orgasm, calling this a myth. They explain that all women can have the ‘female orgasm’ if effectively stimulated.

Co-author Dr Vincenzo Puppo added: “Male ejaculation does not automatically mean the end of sex for women; touching and kissing can be continued almost indefinitely, and noncoital sexual acts after male ejaculation can be used to produce orgasm in women.”

So there you have it. From now on, we should only refer to the ‘female orgasm’. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Study Says Women Feel Free to Bang ‘Like a Man’ on Vacation

*Originally posted on xoJane

Being on vacation is magical and gives lady visitors an “an altered sense of reality… while minimizing perceptions of risk and long-term consequences.

Written by

Movies always hinted that vacations were a place to let go of your inhibitions and have all the sex you want with randos. A new study suggests that the sexual predilection to have one-night stands on vacation is true for some women.

The study’s purpose: to understand what drives women to experiment sexually in this drastically different context, and what tourists perceived the consequences would be. Apparently being on vacation is magical and gives lady visitors an “an altered sense of reality… while minimizing perceptions of risk and long-term consequences.” Basically, it’s the ideal time to make someone with whom you have zero shit in common your home away from home for a minute.

Researcher Liza Berdychevsky of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign said women told her that being on vacation made them feel like they could “have sex like a man” with “no strings attached.” The questions went deeper than the reality that there are some strings: STD risks. Berdychevsky said in the news release that she wanted to look at how vacation sex habits could influence women emotionally, mentally, and socially.

“Sometimes that introspection leads to beneficial experiences. Some learn a lesson, how to reject, how to be more empowered, how to be more vocal or how to insist on contraception.”

Rubber ducks and fast food can kill your sex drive, research finds

*Originally published on The Telegraph

Rubber ducks, shower curtains and fast food could be preventing women becoming mothers because they contain chemicals which damage sex drive, a new study suggests.

By

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Women with the highest concentrations of “phthalates” in their bodies – chemicals used to make plastics bendy – were far more likely to suffer low libido, researchers found.

Those with the most chemicals in their systems claimed that they frequently lost interest in sex, while those with low levels reported no problems.

Phthalates disrupt hormones and are already known to affect sexual function in men. But it is the first time that the link has been made in women.

“Phthalates are chemicals in plastics and basically they make plastic soft,” said Dr Emily Barrett, of the University of Rochester School of Medicine, in New York.

“So if you think of a rubber duck or raincoat or shower curtain being soft and flexible, its likely its phthalates that give them that flexibility.

“We are learning that phthalates are endocrine disruptors, they interfere with normal hormones in the body – testosterone and it looks like oestrogen as well.

“And we know that both testosterone and oestrogen are really important for many things, including libido, so we were interested in look at whether women who had higher levels of these chemicals in their bodies have a lack of interest in sex.”

Phthalates are not chemically bound to the plastics they are added to, so they are continuously released into the air or food or liquid. Bendy plastic tends to harden and become brittle over time and because the phthalates have leached out.

Dr Barrett measured levels of phthalates in the urine of 360 pregnant women in their 20s and 30s and asked them how often they lost interest in sex in the months leading up to their pregnancy.

Those with the most phthalates were two-and-a-half times as likely to have low libido as those with the least.

She recommends that women trying to get pregnant should avoid processed and fast food as the more processing that food goes through the more chance it has to come into contact with the chemicals.

Organic food, and food without packaging, is also likely to contain fewer phthalates.

“It is interesting because these are chemicals that we are all exposed to every day,” added Dr Barrett.

“They are throughout our environment and every single person studied showed measurable levels of these chemicals. So even at the levels found in the environment every day we are seeing an association with interest in sex.

“Low libido can takes its toll on relationships and wellbeing. For a lot of women with loss of libido there is no obvious reason why and it is important to know who these chemicals might contribute.”

Dr Barrett said she tried to avoid fast food when pregnant due to concern that chemicals in it would harm her unborn baby and said: “The leading source of some phthalates is food. We think that the more processing food goes through, the more likely it is to take these chemicals on.

“One of the recommendations that might be made to potentially lower your exposure is to eat less processed food and to pick fresh things without packaging.

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“Organic foods are maybe better because phthalates are sometimes used in pesticides, But you are never going to be able to totally eliminate phthalates from your life unless policy changes.”

A spokesman for The Chemical Industries Association, the UK’s leading chemical trade organisation, said it had seen no evidence that phthalates could harm sex drive.

“We are not aware of any globally accepted tests which can yet measure the effect chemical exposure may have on libedo, but this is an interesting field of work,” they added.

However, experts said the industry should stop using the chemicals.

Dr Rebecca Sokol, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine said: “Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals is difficult to avoid in our society.

“As we learn more about the effects they have on human health and reproduction, we are realising that we need to find ways to protect ourselves from them and find alternatives to their use.”

The research was presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual conference.

New Paris landmark: Giant sex toy or an Xmas tree?

Originally posted on Yahoo News

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PARIS (AP) — A giant green art installation on the tony Place Vendome in Paris is attracting perhaps more attention than American artist Paul McCarthy bargained for.

It’s called “Tree,” and vaguely resembles an inflatable Christmas tree.

McCarthy told Le Monde that it was somewhat inspired by an anal plug sex toy — but insisted it was a bit of a “joke” and meant as an “abstraction.”

Conservative French critics are decrying the sculpture on social media.

Le Monde reported that McCarthy was hit in the face Thursday by a man who said the sculpture, which had just been inflated on the square, had no place there. McCarthy was not injured.

The sculpture is part of the FIAC contemporary art exhibition in Paris. FIAC wouldn’t comment Friday and McCarthy couldn’t be reached.

Designer Vaginas: Why Young Women are Searching for Porn Star Perfection

*This article originally posted on The Telegraph

Young women who have undergone labiaplasty surgery tell Radhika Sanghani why they were so desperate to have a ‘designer vagina’

By

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“I was about 15 when I first became unhappy with the way I looked ‘down there’. Then when you become sexually active, you get more image-conscious. It was eating me up. The years went on and I tortured myself over it. Relationships went down the tube – I just switched off.”

Harriet is now 24 years old, in a long-term relationship, and works as a graphic designer in Northern Ireland. After years of hating the way her genitalia looked, she finally took action earlier this year and underwent labiaplasty, a procedure which involves shortening, or ”tidying up”, the labia – the ‘lips’ located at the opening of the vagina.

“Designer vagina” surgery, as it is sometimes known, is becoming increasingly common in the UK: figures suggest that the number of labial reduction procedures has risen fivefold in the NHS in the past ten years, with something like 2,000 operations being performed in 2010. The NHS only carries out the operation where there is an obvious abnormality or pain and discomfort involved. Figures from the private sector are harder to come by, but many cosmetic clinics report a surge of interest from young women, with one clinic saying it had around 1,200 requests for labiaplasty over the last four years.

The rise in this type of surgery has been attributed by many to pornography and its unrealistic representations of the female body, with a report last year from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) arguing that the “modified images” of female genitalia in porn is changing women’s perceptions of what is normal and causing them anxiety over the appearance of their own genitals.

“We can safely say that there might be some influence because the after-effects of labiaplasty are so similar to the pornesque vulva,” says Dr Lih-Mei Liao, a consultant psychiatrist at University College London Hospital who co-wrote the report.

Harriet’s biggest fear was of malicious rumours spread by sexual partners via social media, and bullying, especially from other other girls. She recounts an incident where a girl was bullied about her genitalia on Facebook. “I just thought, that could’ve been me,” says Harriet. “And if a rumour like that spread about me, I would just die.”

It’s why she finally asked her parents for financial help to have the surgery in June; the total cost including flights to London and accommodation was £4,000. A week afterwards, she was back at work and after two months, able to cycle and horse-ride again. Five months on, she says it has made a big difference to her self-esteem.

“I’m a lot more confident,” she says. “There is a big physical difference. I did feel like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.”

Dr Angelica Kavouni, the cosmetic surgeon who performed Harriet’s procedure, says: “Labiaplasty is very popular – there’s no question about that. For cosmetic reasons, women do get bothered by the length of the [inner] labia. They want to make them smaller so they don’t show outside the bigger lips. That’s the main concern.”

She says she screens women who come to her for suitability, to ensure they do not need psychological counselling rather than surgery. “My opening statement to a young woman is: ‘I want you to know you’re normal and there’s nothing wrong with you’,” she says. “They have to have the right attitude about this.”

Dr Kavouni agrees that pornographic images can be a factor in women deciding to have the procedure, but adds that this assumption often means that women feel guilty when they come to see her. They say: “I don’t want you to think it’s because of Playboy – actually, it’s when I’m in the shower I feel this way, or as a child it bothered me, or you can see it through my bikini.”

Jenny, 33, a marketing professional from Surrey, had been bothered by her labia ever since her teens. “It was something I’d always been quite self-conscious about,” she says. “I went and saw my doctor, to ask if I was normal. I was told I was bigger than most but still defined as normal.

“But it still affected me, especially my sex life. I wanted to stop feeling paranoid.” She was anxious that her sexual partners would judge her. “I think porn played a part. I was aware that probably they’re seeing this type of stuff and have a view on what perfection looks like.”

It’s why she had the procedure carried out privately earlier this year, at a cost of £3,800. “I haven’t been involved with anyone since, but I feel a lot more confident,” she says. “It was an awful lot of money but I don’t regret it.”

Dr Nick Morris, a consultant gynecologist who performs labiaplasty at The Cadogan Clinic, says: “Young women are more likely to have a partner who’ll have watched awful porn where the labia have been distorted or removed. It makes them feel they’re not normal.” However, an important reason for some women wanting surgery, he says, is discomfort or soreness when cycling or taking part in sport.

He feels that labiaplasty should be freely available on the NHS to those who suffer a loss to their quality of life, and are psychologically affected by the size of their labia. “Why should women feel victims of their own anatomy?” he says.

NHS Choices, however, says it is natural for the labia to vary in appearance and also warns there’s “no guarantee you’ll get the result you expected” from an operation.

Dr Liao argues that women considering the surgery need to be aware of the risks – including possible lack of sensitivity in the area – and be given accurate information about what normal genitalia look like. “Women should also be told that the research on the effects of this procedure hasn’t been done. Everything is based on claims that haven’t been scientifically validated.”

She explains that there is a particular risk for young women having the surgery, as their genital organs are still developing; the procedure should not be performed on girls younger than 18 years unless it is “strictly necessary”, says the NHS.

Dr Liao also thinks there is a danger that some young women may focus on their genitalia as the reason for their basic insecurity. “There’s a psychological risk they could feel dissatisfied: ‘I thought it would make feel better’, but realising, ‘actually now I feel bad again’. That’s the nature of body dissatisfaction: it doesn’t just stop.”

Harriet and Jenny both insist that the surgery has improved their quality of life. The only downside is when they hear people constantly critiquing ‘designer vagina’ surgery.

“I think there’s a view you should be happy with what you have,” says Jenny. “But it’s the same as everything in life. Everyone has those insecurities and if they’re causing you emotional upset or aren’t allowing you to live a normal life, it’s best do something about it.”

The Facts:

* Labiaplasty usually involves shortening or reshaping the inner ‘lips’ at the vaginal opening, called the labia minora, although sometimes the outer “lips” (the labia majora) are reduced. The unwanted tissue is cut away with a scalpel or laser, under a general or local anaesthetic, and the edges usually stitched.

* The procedure take 1-2 hours and recovery time ranges from three days to several weeks. The cost done privately is about £3,200-£3,500.

* Short-term risks include bleeding, infection and scarring. There is also a risk that sex will become painful after the operation, and that the tissue could be left with reduced sensitivity.

* Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery (FGCS) also includes procedures such as vaginal rejuvenation, where the tissue of the vagina is strengthened, and hymenoplasty, where the hymen is restored.

* Labiaplasty is offered as cosmetic treatment with a patient’s full consent. It is not a form of female genital mutilation (FGM), which intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. FGM is illegal in the UK.