Apparently I’m Going to Live Forever…

.. because I like looking at women’s breasts.  Yes… that’s what I said.  Looking at women’s breasts can make you live longer… science says so.

study from Columbia University that was looking at the link between positive mental attitudes and physical health outcomes has found that having a positive attitude can make us healthier, help us live longer and better cope with pain.  And the most intriguing finding… finding little ways during the day to find pleasure – like staring at a women’s breasts – can significantly improve your mental attitude and improve your health.

In Columbia’s defence, the researchers were not specifically suggesting we all shod be googling women’s boobs.  They said that taking the time to appreciate and reflect on small, simple pleasures was all it took.  It was the creative commentaries on study that suggested boob watching as a great way to experience these pleasures .

Yet Another Reason to Drink Wine

Science is awesome… especially when it validates our vices.

With wine, things keep getting better and better. First, The Mayo Clinic reveals that red wine can reduce the risk of health disease. And now the the Yale School of Medicine says that wine may help make is smarter as well.

It’s a little complicated but apparently wine, in order for us to experience taste from it, must engage the brain differently than others foods and drinks to.  The molecules in wine, rather than stimulating out taste buds, make our brains create the flavours we experience.

So, as we drink wine, our brain works really hard to create the favours we experience.  And, as is well established, exercising your brain develops new or deeper neural pathways and makes us smarter and makes our brain healthier… just like doing crosswords or math puzzles.

I fucking love science.

In My Defence… I Was left Unsupervised

This was a funny T-Shirt I saw other night, but it made me think.. and caused me to do a survey amongst friends I’ve been out with recently to ask them “What do you do when you are home alone.. unsupervised”.  The answers were interesting and I found many of them pretty insightful of the people who have them.  Here is a smattering:

  • Put away my phone and read a good book – I like this one.. Life is busy and we often don’t allow ourselves to unplug and just lose yourself in a book.
  • Go out and do … whatever.  One guy confided that he loves to go to strip clubs when he’s alone and ‘unsupervised’. Its not something he does often or something that fits into his regular life.. but when he gets to cut loose he loves it.  Another said, similar, he likes to go to a bar and have a few drinks with strangers.
  • Commune with nature.  One friend, who I would consider someone who never likes to be alone said she can’t be alone in her house, but loves to go on long walks and think
  • Masturbate and watch porn too much — I can relate to this.  Its kind of a like a lazy, guilty indulgence you give yourself when your alone and have no responsibilities.  Two friends gave me this one.  One, a guy, I can totally see it – he’s a busy guy with lots of responsibilities; this is a way be indulges.  The other was a women and, frankly, I think she said it to impress me; I’m pretty sure she watches porn and masturbates every once in a long while but I’m pretty sure that she really juts watched TV and eats popcorn when she’s home alone… But that brings me to the next one
  • Watch TV and veg.  A few people said this, and it really disappointed me.  To think, when you have no responsibilities and time.. you do nothing.  Not to reveal my biases too much, but that sucks.
  • And my favourite, by my favourite person and the person who inspired me to blog on this topic and who I first thought of when I saw that T-Shirt ‘in my defence I was left unsupervised’… her answer… ‘I text you dirty things that I shouldn’t”.  I love her.

Smoking a Legal Joint in Canada

Justin Trudeau, the new(ish) Canadian Prime Minster, has had quite a year in his quest of positioning Canada as the most liberal progressive country in the world.

Within his first month in office he moved Canada from laggard to leader in international climate change talks, leading global negations toward the most ambitious climate change deal in history. He hit full gender parity in his Cabinet and hit a home run on a health care deal with the provinces.

And now… Canada is on track to becoming the first G7 country to legalize marijuana at a national level. Yesterday, Trudeau introduced legislation that will legalize and regulate production, sale and possession of recreational-use marijuana.  And, by all accounts, the legal proposal is pretty sound: if you’re over 18 you can grow small amounts and posses up to 60 grams; sale will be regulated in a way similar to alcohol sales; there are strict limits on advertising, and possession by minors will be dealt with by ticketing.  The approach seems to capture well 50 years of experience in regulating cigarets and alcohol.

But hold on…. all this liberal progressive socialist bullshit must be destroying the economy… right?  Nope.  Canada has had the best economic growth in the G7 over the past decade, weathered the global economic meltdown better than any country in the OECD (granted that was under a conservative government) and the OECD forecasts Canada will have the best economic growth in the G7 over the next 50 years.

So, to those who say you can’t have economic growth, environmental protection and social progressiveness.. well… you can!

I’m not a pot user myself, but I know the science well enough to know where it sits on the spectrum of health risks.  This is – yet again – a bold and impressive move by Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau.

Sex and Science: Do Open Relationships Make Us Happier?

People tend to have strong feelings about non monogamy.

People in non monogamous relationships are convinced they are the happiest people in the world and the ‘vanilla’s’ are all boring, brooding fools.  People who are monogamously committed, tend to see open relationships as risky, reckless, sinful and doomed.

So who has art right? The sinful swingers or the dutiful monogamists?  According to a new study from the University of Michigan.. both.  A survey of over 2,000 people (a decent sample) found that monogamous and non monogamous couples had almost identical levels of relationship satisfaction.

Interestingly, most of the media reporting on the study focussed on the ‘surprising’ result that non monogamous couples would be as happy as those in monogamous relationships. The assumption being, I suppose, that society would expect monogamists to be happier.  In my experience – knowing many people in open relationships and many on monogamous relationships – I had the exact opposite opening perspective.  In my experience in these two worlds, I certainly would have thought swingers and those in open relationships would be significantly happier than those leading a monogamous lifestyle. In our experience, swingers are the happiest people in the world and enjoy life and relationships at levels unparalleled in the vanilla world.

So I’m wrong.. the vanillas are happier than I thought.  At least (1) they report to be and (2) those in this study are.  I do wonder if, as couples are in their relationships longer, the vanillas have a tougher time of it. This would certainly fit my lived experience.  Many monogamous couples we have known for years had been very happy at one point in their relationship, but many are significant less happy as the years pass.  Our swinger friends, on the other hand, seem to maintain a vitality, happiness and energy as their relationship ages that alludes their monogamous counterparts.  For my wife and I for instance, as we age we are finding we enjoy spending more and more time with our swinger friends… just because they are happier.

So, maybe I’ve been too hard on the vanillas.  Maybe.

Do People Masturbate Less Than We (I) Think?

My wife and I had an interesting conversation last night about how often we thought people masturbated.  We’re both pretty sexually liberal and real, really like sex, so our assumption was that pretty much everyone masturbates pretty regularly.

Maybe not as much as we thought.

We started our search for answers with some of the websites we like best.  Jezelbel did a survey finding that 92% of women masturbate. Mic Network puts the figure in the high 80s.

This was pretty much what we were expecting. But then we considered.. are these really the most objective sources.  These are pretty edgy, sex positive sites.  What if we looked at more traditionally-oriented sources.

Psychology Today – a very respectable main stream publication – cites a very significant University of Chicago study that found only 61% of men and 38% of women had masturbated during the previous year.  Huffington Post – a mainstream and even slightly left of centre news outlet reported similar results.

So, only 60% of men and 40% of men had masturbated during the last year.  This was a surprise.  Until we thought about it more.  As much as my wife and I love sex, we are often flabbergasted at how ambivalent some/many of our friends seem to be about sex.  We are often amazed (and a little disappointed) at how often our friends come up with statements like

  • Sex just isn’t a big part of my life anymore
  • I don’t have the time or energy for sex anymore.. so it has just kind of gone away
  • I don’t really connect anymore with my wife/husband, so my desire for sex is kind of gone
  • Sex… too complicated.. I’m over it

While I’m aways a little saddened when I hear something like this, the truth is I hear it quite often.  For them, the small (or big) pleasure that is sex has become lost to them.  So, while sad, it is a reality for many.

So, when we stated discussing these numbers, while I suspect masturbation is somewhat underreported in surveys, the figure of 60 and 40 percent of men and women masturbate… likely not too far off.