A question has been nagging away at the back of my mind for a long time. Ever since I first started writing for this blog, hunting out the latest intriguing sex news for you. That question is this: why do we need scientific studies to give us excuses to have more sex?
This week, I spotted a fantastic NHS article that debunked a few rather dramatic headlines from last week.
The original headline in The Sun claimed that “Scientists have found you can hold back the hands of time with a regular romp” - a reference to a (very small) study that showed a correlation between having had sex in the last week and having longer 'telomeres.' Telomeres are protective tips on the end of our chromosomes that shorten as we age. The NHS Choices website thoroughly debunked the headline , pointing out that the scientists who ran the original study were very careful not to make the kind of grandiose claims that the press were making.
So far, so normal: scientists do a small study that might be linked to sex, press blows its wad early so to speak, we all pop home and have a nice big shag just in case it might make us younger.
But the question remains: why do we need science to tell us to have sex?
Sex makes you stronger, faster, and basically superman
I've covered lots of these studies for this blog before – the ones that claim sex gives you superhuman memory powers , or tell us selfless people have more sex . And while it might be fun to announce to your partner that sex will make you a better team in the pub quiz next week, or that it'll prove to your friends that you're both nice people, in reality we shouldn't need these excuses.
Yet we keep searching for them anyway. Humans are constantly fascinated by sex. We are in turns prudish about it, yet also deeply curious. And those of us who enjoy it are often ready to hunt down any old excuse.
So we – and the press - leap on these small studies even when they don't really say what we want them to say. And we find new and bizarre reasons to have sex.
I find that quite comforting, because it's nice to know that there are so many people out there like me: horny and always looking for a reason to get down to it. But at the same time it makes me a little sad. Why do we need an excuse, other than that sex is fun and we want to do more of it? Is our desire for a scientific seal of approval a throwback to the old days when sex was seen as shameful or pervy? Something which should be done only for the purpose of procreation, and never for pleasure?
I hope not.
Non-scientific reasons to have sex
So in the name of anything-but-science, here are five reasons to have sex that you don't need a study to prove.
5. There's nothing good on telly.
New Game of Thrones isn't out until Sunday, after all.
4. There's something sexy on telly, and you want to try acting out the parts.
Use this excuse when Game of Thrones is out, obviously.
3. You've just bought an awesome new sex toy and you want to try it out.
My current obsession – as I mentioned on the blog last week – is furry tail butt plugs . Because, well, meeeee-ow. But pick whatever you like from the new sex toys or bestselling sex toys sections – and you have a great excuse because this week if you spend over £30 you get free shipping.
2. Your lover could do with cheering up.
Let's face it, we all have crappy weeks sometimes. Whether it's been a stressful one for them at work, or they've had to spend hours on the phone to their bank trying to sort out an overdraft, or they just have that general sense of malaise that comes during summer when you suspect everyone's having more fun than you are: a nice back rub and a hell of a lot of oral sex could work wonders for their mood.
1. You're horny.
This reason is very rarely announced in newspaper headlines. It wouldn't surprise many people to read that 'Horny People Have More Sex!' But it's true: the number one excuse for having sex is that you're horny, and you want to enjoy yourself.
So this is me telling you to go ahead and enjoy yourself: you don't need a study to justify it.