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“Is Sex Good for Us?”

Calico Rudasil is a feature columnist for Sssh.com, the award-winning porn site for women & couples. With over 18 years’ experience under her belt, writing about and for the adult entertainment industry, Calico qualifies as something of a Web Porn Dinosaur; similar to a tyrannosaurus, only with far more attractive arms and a less pronounced overbite.

A lot of people love to look at things in binary fashion, especially when it comes to the question of whether something is “good for us.”

If you look around, you’ll see countless examples of columns and blog posts which give us “A or B” choices, many of which address things which aren’t so conveniently sorted.

The World is Often More Complicated than Simple A/B Choices Suggest

Is cannabis good for us, or dangerous? This is a good example of such a flawed A/B choice, IMO. My response to this sort of question, honestly, is a question of my own: Can’t it be both?

If a person derives a real benefit from smoking cannabis, like a sense of calm, or a mitigation of their chronic nausea, that’s good for them, right? If that same person is experiencing negative consequences from their smoking weed, do we consider the substance “dangerous” despite the benefits they get from smoking? Do we measure the two against each other and say it’s only dangerous if the negatives outweigh the positives?

I could reasonably ask the same sort of question about many entirely legal medicines people take all the time. Is Tylenol “good” for me? It provides pain relief, but can also cause liver damage, especially if you take too much of the stuff.

It Depends: With Whom Are You Having Sex?

On Christmas day this year, a post was published on PsychologyToday.com that asked: “Is Sex Good for Us?”

Naturally, I have questions about this question.

First and foremost, with whom is the author having sex? Chances are I don’t know her/him, so regardless of the answer, I’d obviously have follow-up questions. One would be: “Are they an enthusiastic provider of oral sex, or merely a willing provider?” (Obviously, if the answer is that the author’s partner refuses to offer oral sex at all, that’s a major check mark in the NO column.)

All things considered, I find this a strange question to ask of third-parties, unless they’ve been nearby during your past encounters with your partner – and are good at discerning the difference between real orgasm-noises and faked orgasm-noises.

Ohhh – You Meant the OTHER Kind of “Good for Us”

As is so often the case, the headline of the post I’m commenting on has a different implication than the text of the article. As it turns out, the author was asking whether sex is good for us from a health-maintenance perspective.

“Despite the positivity of sex, psychologist Dana Rei Arakawa and colleagues noted a disturbing historic fact among Americans,” writes Ritch C Savin-Williams. “We are ‘bitterly divided’ as to whether sex is a positive experience that gives meaning to life or whether sex constitutes a political, social, and spiritual danger—not that sex is inherently bad, but that certain sexual behaviors are wrong or hazardous.”

According to the breakdown of sex-related research done by Arakawa and her colleagues, over the past five decades “overwhelming attention” has been given to “the negative aspects of sex.”

“Only 7 percent was devoted to positive sex topics,” Savin-Williams notes. “About a third was neutral in their coverage of sex.”

The rest, “nearly 60%” was focused on things like “mental health problems, sexual dysfunction, dangers of sex, sexual stigma or shame, risky sexual behaviors, STIs, HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy, homophobia, sexual harassment, trafficking of women, forced prostitution, biphobia, transphobia, negative attitudes, and sexual violence/abuse.”

Of course, just because a bunch of people in lab coats dedicate their time to studying the negative aspects of sex, it doesn’t follow that sex is, on balance, bad for us.

The researchers have a ‘prescription,’ of sorts, to cure what ails us in terms of all this negative sex research – and they hope that if scientists change their focus, it will have a positive impact on perceptions of sex within our broader society and culture.

“By better understanding what kinds of sexual communities, behaviors, identities, politics, and laws are currently thriving, or those that create a thriving sexual culture, and by examining the more sexually relaxed cultures (of the rest of the developed world), we hope the state of American sexual culture might improve,” they wrote.

While I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for American sexual culture to improve, I applaud these scientists and their recommendation – and I sure hope that with respect to question I thought they were asking, the answer is a resounding, unqualified “OH MY GOD, YES!!!”

Calico Rudasil is a Sssh.com (@ssshforwomen) columnist and Sssh will be on Peeperz for fun times again in the near future, meanwhile why not check us out:


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