Ever since French First Lady, former model and bed mate to rock stars Carla Bruni admitted that she slept with 15 people before marrying President Sarkozy, people are playing the numbers game. Is she a "slut?" Does 15 mean 30 in reality? Are we to assume she's great in bed? Have I slept with too many people? Too few?
I once interviewed a self-proclaimed marriage expert who preached limiting one's sexual experience to zip before getting married, with the idea that if you sleep with anyone besides your lifelong partner, you're more likely to cheat. He explained it thusly: "Compare your husband to vanilla ice cream. If you've already tasted peach ice cream, sooner or later you might find yourself wanting another taste. But if you've never tasted another flavor, then you won't know what you're missing, so you won't have any desire for it." Yeah, really. It was probably one of the stupidest arguments I've ever heard.
Of course, I could go on and on but I won't repeat what's already been
Blog Posts by Erin Flaherty, Shine staff
Getty ImagesRead More »from So, how many is too many?
Getty ImagesRead More »from Are we better off single?
There have been countless studies citing the never ending health benefits that um "smug marrieds" or whatever you want to call them enjoy: the idea that the social, psychological and financial resources a legal union provides makes two healthy, wealthy and wise, or something like that. While this is all fine and dandy for all those married couples out there, what about the single and divorced among us? Should we be quaking in our boots, waiting for the reaper to come and claim us? If we never marry will we be subject to inevitable social ostracization, multiple deadly diseases, made to live on the streets and end up sad, alone and stoned in public? A new study says, not so much. Shew.
The article, published in next month's issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, suggests that the gap between established health benefits between singles and marrieds is steadily narrowing, most significantly for men.
"Politicians and scholars continue to debate the value of marriage for
- Erin Flaherty, Shine staff | Love + Sex – Wed, Aug 13, 2008 5:11 AM EDT
My boy sent me this amazing video of David Attenborough kickin' it with the lyre, an Australian bird known for its uncanny ability to mimic not only the mating calls of other birds, but other sounds it hears as well. In this case, guy also does chainsaws, car alarms and camera shutters. PIMP much!?Read More »from HEAVY PETTING: Bird's mating call sounds like a chainsaw and more
Of course, as crazy as all this is (watch the video, you really have to see and hear it to believe it), is it just me or does it seem kind of shameful that this majestic little guy has been exposed to the sound of trees being cut down? If this bums you out too, check out what the World Wildlife Fund is doing to help fight deforestation and preserve biodiversity and see how you can get involved. Um, peace.
- Erin Flaherty, Shine staff | Love + Sex – Tue, Aug 12, 2008 12:56 AM EDT
Getty ImagesRead More »from Is it okay to take a "break" from your wedding ring?
I just read a story in Tango about a woman who decided to take a vacation without her wedding ring. Well, not exactly. But on a recent girly getaway with her single best friend, she simply slipped it off with the explanation: "I think my naked ring finger gave rise to more open responses and deeper interactions than I would have otherwise experienced."
Now, there is a point to that. Part of the joy of traveling is that feeling of freedom that a certain degree of anonymity might buy, being a stranger in a strange land, and being completely open to the new experiences, not to mention people, one might encounter. But what is the fine line between being "open" and well, quite literally straying?
In some ways Maya Halpen, a writer who blogs about marital struggles on FirstWivesWorld.com, presents a remarkable phenomenon: The woman who slips off her ring. The man known to casually conceal his ring on nights out at a bar is regarded as a cad in the truest sense of the word. But as she
Getty ImagesRead More »from What's all the flap about?
There's nothing like the subject of uncircumcised penises to brighten up a ladies' night out dinner conversation, eh? While discussions regarding the typical peen-snipped American man's nether regions are always guaranteed to get a rise (heh) out of the crowd, once uncut genitalia--and more specifically, the possibility that we will actually encounter one of these mythical creatures--rears its um, head, it can whip a table full of hot blooded American girls into a real tizz. What's the difference? Has anyone actually seen one? How does it feel? More importantly, what in god's name do you do with it?
Obviously, it's the fear of the unknown that initially sparks our curiosity. After all, the majority of North American guys have all had their foreskins removed. (Incidentally, there's a wrinkle-cream that boasts baby foreskin as a main ingredient, I freakin' kid you not). And while plenty of our Euro brothers remain "intact," the guys most of us grew up with always got the short end of
Carlo Allegri/Getty ImagesNo, no, not the one McCain allegedly called his wife, since I'm pretty sure there's only one way to say that one. See, today I was reading this oh so servicey TechRepublic post about the top 10 words people mispronounce, and I noticed one that was missing. Yes, the word I'm referring to is the word "clitoris." I decided to go on a nerdy, neurotic journey to uncover the true pronunciation of a word that's very important to our sex. Follow me, if you dare.Read More »from How do you pronounce the "C" word?
My first stop on the way to clitoral stimulation led me to research a familiar pop culture reference to an infamous "Seinfeld" episode where Jerry can't remember the name of a woman that he's dating, and though he deduces that it's something that rhymes with a part of a woman's anatomy, the best he comes up with is "Mulva" (hahahaha), when in reality, it's Dolores. (Here's a recap if you missed it.) But see there? Notice the emphasis is on the second syllable: klit-TAWR-is.
However, the more common pronunciation, according to this
Getty ImagesRead More »from When sexual harassment is totally okay (um, NOT)
Russian men are notoriously sexist, and one judge is actively making sure that the stereotype endures. When a 22-year old woman who hoped to "become only the third woman in Russia's history to bring a successful sexual harassment action against a male employer," well, brought it, she was shot down in court, says the Telegraph. Despite her claims that her employer locked her out of the office after she refused to have sex with him, the judge threw out her case and justified doing so with the noble cause of propagating the human species. "'If we had no sexual harassment we would have no children,' the judge ruled." No he didn't!
But um, yeah, actually he did. And if you think that's crazy, consider this evidence from a recent Russian survey: "100 per cent of female professionals said they had been subjected to sexual harassment by their bosses, 32 per cent said they had had intercourse with them at least once and another seven per cent claimed to have been raped." Furthermore, "Eighty
Getty ImagesRead More »from Big Pharma says "dudes aren't into" birth control
Don't hold your breath waiting for the male birth control pill. Despite overwhelming statistics confirming that guys would be more than willing to take one (our very own AskMen/Shine study on the subject showed that the majority of both sexes agreed that they were ready to take the plunge), drug companies refuse to continue the already huge strides they've made in making it's availability a reality. And it's not because it's toooo haaararrd wah. So what's the big hold up? According to a recent article in Time, they simply don't believe that in this case anyway, sex sells.
"With the cost of new-drug development hovering in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the pharmaceutical industry decided there wasn't enough of a market to make male hormonal contraceptives worthwhile." Um, excuse me? Even more outrageous: "...major pharmaceutical companies like Wyeth, Schering and Organon were pumping millions into hormonal birth-control development programs for men," and by many accounts, well,
- Erin Flaherty, Shine staff | Love + Sex – Tue, Aug 5, 2008 1:52 AM EDT
Read More »from So long, Playgirl: A eulogy & where women's porn goes wrong
The big news in publishing today is that Playgirl the magazine is sadly, no more. (Although I had a sneaking suspicion they were going downhill when Popcrunch reported that editors asked Spencer Pratt to pose for the mag. Hahaha...barf.) Now, now, not to worry fans, you can still find pics of your favorite oiled down beef cakes like that hot torso above on their blog, so don't despair. Still, this landmark occasion in magazine publishing history has got me contemplating why porn rags geared towards women just don't seem to sell that well in the first place.
It's not that chicks don't like porn. Many of us do. Like, a lot. But there is a reason why Playboy continues to reign as a bleached blonde, double D-sized multi-million dollar empire, while its sad, dumpy little sister Playgirl has always floundered in comparison, and not so surprisingly, always managed to attract a large constituency of gay men to its muscle-laden centerfolds. Perhaps the sophisticated lady of good taste desires
Read More »from Condom-free sex replaces the engagement ring!
NPR listeners are in a tizzy, and it's not because "A Prairie Home Companion" is going off the air (relax guys, it's not). In a recent Youth Radio broadcast of "What's the New What" clocking in at just three minutes and 14 seconds in length, teen Pendarvis Harshaw managed to turn the time-honored tradition of the engagement ring on its platinum ass. Harshaw claims that "among his friends, the transition from condoms to no-condoms signifies a lasting commitment." The articulate and controversial mini-essay inspired such heated debate that according to the site, "Commenting on this story is now closed."
But wait a minute, could he be on to something?
"My generation has known the threat of HIV/AIDS for our entire lives, and sex without a condom isn't something we enter into lightly. For a lot of my friends, the transition from having sex with, to sex without a condom, is seen as a symbolic engagement. It shows trust, commitment and the prospect of a shared future. An engagement more