Blog Posts by Erin Flaherty, Shine staff

  • Sexual science: 10 reasons to get it on asap

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    Not that you needed any confirmation on this, but in case you wanted to fire off a list of scientifically proven excuses to get laid and reasons why sex is really, really good for you, here ya go:

    1. It makes you thinner
    Sex burns 300 calories an hour, and uses every muscle group in the body, giving the heart and lungs one mother of a aerobic work-out. Maintaining a healthy weight also helps prevent diabetes.

    2. Sex boosts heart health
    According to a Queen's University in Belfast study, a good session at least three times a week boosts the heart, halving the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The increased blood circulation also helps keep down blood pressure.

    3. It prevents colds
    Several recent studies claim that sex twice a week is an unexpected cold cure E as it boosts IgA - the immune system's first line of defense against the common cold and flu.

    4. It's a natural anti-depressant
    Moments before orgasm, levels of the delicious feel good hormone oxytocin surge and flood the body

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  • Barbara Walters' affair to remember

    Oh Babs, you animal you! Everyone's in a tizzy about Barbara Walters' kiss and tell affair with then-married, former U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke, except well, Babs herself, who seems pretty coolly nonchalant about the whole thing. Watch the news announcement and then tell us, does this change your view (ha) of Walters, or do you think the whole scandal merits a big "meh?" Personally, I think it seems like kind of a desperado attempt to sell more copies of her new book... Funny how if it happened more recently she would be totally scandalized, but because so much time has passed she's all like "What'evs, I'm Bawbwa Wawa ywa'll!":

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  • A parasite you may already have makes men ugly, women more attractive

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    Okay folks, brace yourselves: So according to the latest issue of Australasian Science magazine, about 40 percent of the world's population, that's right, almost half of everyone (and 60 million Americans), is infected with the parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, which can be caught from eating raw or undercooked meat and inadvertently from the common household cat. Though it's largely been ignored by the scientific community due to the fact that for the most part, it's fairly harmless in otherwise healthy individuals, a Sydney University of Technology infectious disease researcher claims it has some rather fascinating mind-altering properties after all. Says Nicky Boulter:

    "Infected men have lower IQs, achieve a lower level of education and have shorter attention spans. They are also more likely to break rules and take risks, be more independent, more anti-social, suspicious, jealous and morose, and are deemed less attractive to women.

    On the other hand, infected women tend to be more

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  • Mother's Day gifts this love and sex editor can really get behind

    Vibrating Rubber Ducky courtesy of Big Teaze ToysVibrating Rubber Ducky courtesy of Big Teaze ToysAccording to the Mominatrix Kristen Chase, who writes a hilarious sex column for parents, "We all know you don't need another cotton blend sweater, and he certainly doesn't need another tie. But every parent could probably use more sex of the very hot kind. So the Mominatrix is playing personal shopper by offering you a hand-picked selection of gifts that will definitely keep on giving."

    So true Mominatrix, so true! Want more? Click here to see her picks...

  • Infuriating, bogus claim: HPV vaccine promotes sexual promiscuity

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    Although sometimes we here at Shine question certain studies (like you know, ones that say smart ladies can't have orgasms), this one is legitimate and very, very serious. The latest news is that HPV (or human papillomavirus) has now been linked to lung cancer, which is just one more organ in a long list of ones susceptible to cancer caused by this extremely common STD (it's primarily known to cause cervical cancer, but new findings also link it to penile, vulva, vaginal and anal cancers). HPV is so very common, in fact, that yet another well established study found that one in four teenage girls are infected with the disease, making it a substantial, life-threatening epidemic. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, 20 million (20 MILLION) Americans have HPV, and 6.2 million become infected each year.

    The wonderful news is that it can now be prevented. Last year, the FDA approved the Merck vaccination Gardasil which is now widely available. Unfortunately some

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  • Amazing newsflash of the day: Lesbians are actually kinda homophobic

    According to an AP news story today, "A Greek court has been asked to draw the line between the natives of the Aegean Sea island of Lesbos and the world's gay women. Three islanders from Lesbos - home of the ancient poet Sappho, who praised love between women - have taken a gay rights group to court for using the word lesbian in its name."

    Apparently their beef is that they just can't abide by the name of the group, which is called the Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece, and claim it "insults the identity" of the people of Lesbos, who are also known as, wait for it: Lesbians.

    "My sister can't say she is a Lesbian,' said Dimitris Lambrou. 'Our geographical designation has been usurped by certain ladies who have no connection whatsoever with Lesbos,' he said."

    So what do they want? Justice. When do they want it? Now. The plaintiffs are lobbying to for the gay alliance group to remove the term "lesbian" from their title. And somewhat surprisingly, the case will be heard in an

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  • Sexist video games: Boys just being boys?

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    The new Grand Theft Auto IV was released today and both professional gamers and amateurs alike are lining up to score their copies, which is being touted as the most explicit one to date. Will you be buying one for your household? If you live with a gamer (child or man-boy), chances are you're already feeling the pressure. But should you give in?

    Even though I know tons of adults (and oddly, children) who play any one of the Grand Theft Auto video games on a regular basis, I never thought it was exactly appropriate for impressionable young minds. Something having to do with the language and um, "mature" themes like violence, sex, drugs, you know, stuff like that. But in a week where we just wrote about sexual images being banned in advertising, Rockstar Games easily passed the industry green light when they added more-explicit-than-ever-before simulated sex scenes and in this NSFW video from gaming news site IGN, gamers are encouraged to have sex with prostitutes and then um, murder

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  • SEX BOMB: Smart ladies have worse sex

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    According to a recent German study, the results of which were reported in The Sun, "62 percent of women who had completed their education said they often had problems achieving orgasm. Only 38 percent of women with a lower educational qualification said they had such problems."

    Uh, I'm gonna have to call bull ----- on this. It's almost as silly as confident women being perceived as bitchy at work. Okay, well, maybe it's not exactly the same thing, but it just doesn't make sense. A smart woman knows how to educate herself about sex, and her natural curiosity should lead to more exploration in the bedroom, right? Or maybe they found that "smart" women were too busy thinking while they should have been concentrating on having an orgasm? I don't know, sometimes these studies are just too much...

    What do you think? Do brains equal less brawn in the sack?

    SEE ALSO: "Too smart for my sex, my ass"

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  • Shame on bad dads

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    What is up with all the creepy dads lately!?

    There are too many men out there giving fatherhood a bad name. First we reported on the Australian father/daughter couple who insist they have nothing to be ashamed of, then over in Austria, a filthy, disgusting criminal locked up his daughter in the basement and repeatedly raped her (fathering several children), for over two decades. A Tyra episode just chronicled a dad who not only talked his daughter into working at a brothel (under the guise of being "supportive"), but he also administers her bikini waxes (watch the controversial video here). And today, pictures of the Hulk inappropriately touching his daughter have surfaced. Stop the madness! I definitely don't consider myself conservative or uptight, but this is all so upsetting. WTF is going on!? I'm mad at the world today.

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  • Engagement news roundup: Celebs, blood diamonds & the geekiest "ring" ever

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    Maybe spring is in the air, but it seems like everyone is getting engaged lately, and each star has a different ring to prove it tailored to their personal style. Carmen Electra has been sporting a black diamond (see it here) and told People that it was "Different-it's our style," in reference to she and fiance Rob Patterson's alternative look. Leave it to Mariah Carey to show off a rock that looks heavier than her hand, reminiscent of J.Lo's ultra large pink diamond or TomKat's ostentatious eye catcher.

    Gustavo Caballero/Getty ImagesGustavo Caballero/Getty Images

    But Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson put all the others to shame by representing the voice of a new generation with their ethical, conflict-free diamond. He also told People, "It's something I care about,' Wentz added. 'I can't actually go [to Africa to pick it out] myself, but I trust [the jeweler]. He's a reputable person."

    In case you're as stumped about conflict diamonds as I was about LOLcats yesterday, the term refers to diamonds sold to fund unlawful or illegal military, rebel

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