Odds are, people like sex.
Sex is healthy. Of course it’s pleasurable, but it also decreases pain, promotes sleep, protects against stress, stimulates immunity, protects the heart, improves and increases self-esteem. A study in Scotland asserts it makes you look younger and live longer. Let’s hope that’s true.
Fortunately, there is a lot of it. The odds a man has had sex in the last year are 1 in 1.1, the same odds as a person is right-handed. The odds a woman has had sex in the last year are 1 in 1.2, the same odds that a woman has never paid for sex.
Sexual healing is good for you, but does it bring happiness? Yes, though no one knows which comes first, we just know they go together. In one study, women rated sex as the activity that brought the most happiness, and commuting as the least. Turns out one good ride does not deserve another.
Though one of our most intimate and private of pleasures, our sense of how we are doing sexually is contingent on our view of others. It turns out we are happiest if we are getting more sex than our neighbors. Tim Wadsworth, who analyzed data from over 15,000 people, put it this way: “Having more sex makes us happy, but thinking that we are having more sex than other people makes us even happier.”
If people having sex two to three times a month believe their peers were having sex once a week, the odds are 1 in 7 or 14 percent they are less likely to report a higher level of happiness.
Supersize Me! Is Bigger Better?
Nearly half of all men, 1 in 2.2, wish their penises were larger, though only 1 in 10 considers his to be small. Endowment was once a matter of unspoken, locker-room bragging rights. In the age of sexting and pornographic prodigies, the issue is more and more one of face and public appearance. Indeed, 1 in 2.2 are also the odds a man has a Facebook of Myspace page. So concerned are men about their penis size that they routinely overstate their endowment to researchers, so actual measurements have to be made when studying this particular subject’s object.
Women care less about penis length than men do. The odds a woman is satisfied with her partner’s penis size are 1 in 1.2 or 85 percent. This should come as no surprise since most of the nerve endings which lead to female orgasm are on the vulva and first two inches of the vaginal canal. Virtually any size of penis will do the job. What women want is not length, but girth. A study with a title begging to be spoken with an Austrian accent – “What importance do women attribute to size of the penis?” – found 1.5 times as many women rated girth as “important” compared to those who valued length.
What should men do? Relax and don’t answer that ad for sure-fire penis enlargement; they don’t work. What will improve your manly allure is a shower. The sex expert Ian Kerner puts it this way: “The vast majority [of women] rated a clean penis as being more important than a big penis.”
Sex and Cosmetic Surgery
Women are the cosmetic surgeon’s best friend. Of the over 11 million cosmetic procedures performed in the US In 2013, the odds one was for a woman were 1 in 1.04 or 96 percent. The price tag? Over $12 billion dollars.
In some sense all elective cosmetic surgery aims to make a person feel better about themselves and more attractive to others. What is striking is how often these procedures are done on the sexual parts: breasts, buttocks, and vaginas.
The odds a cosmetic surgical procedure will on a woman’s breasts are 1 in 3, with 51 percent being “purely cosmetic.” That is 628,559 procedures, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
The second fastest growing is labiaplasty, which grew 44 percent. These are procedures such as clitoral unhooding, labial reshaping, and G-spot enhancement. Although some female genital surgery is done to correct a functional impairment (31 percent), the odds the procedure is done partly or wholly for aesthetic reasons are 1 in 1.5 or 68 percent. In the UK, this is now the 3rd most popular procedure.
Considering the fact that there is not an inch of a woman’s visible body that is immune to comparison to idealized versions, it is somehow worrisome that the least visible, and highly interesting of all parts should be in the process of being robbed of its individuality. Those concerned with this trend refer to these products of the surgeon’s knife as “Designer Vaginas.” Every Stepford wife or airbrushed centerfold model must have one.
Sex and Enjoyment
James Thurber and E.B. White, the great New Yorker duo, wrote a book with the title, Is Sex Necessary? What we can say is that people like sex – a lot.
According to an ABC News poll, the odds a man will report he enjoys sex a great deal are 1 in 1.2. These are the odds a married man or woman will report they married for love.
The odds a woman will report she enjoys sex a great deal are 1 in 1.7. These are the odds an adult plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Amram Shapiro is founder of Book of Odds, and one of the authors of Book of Odds, From Lightning Strikes to Love at First Sight, The Odds of Everyday Life. It collects the odds of everyday life – those which best describe us and the world around us – in a visually striking book, published by William Morrow/HarperCollins.
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