This is the second interview I conducted with some Sex Researchers (Amy Muise, Kristen Marek and Jocelyn Wentland). Today's Q and A gets handles by the very lovely Jocelyn Wentland, a Sex Researcher at the University of Ottawa. With that, I'm gonna let the Dr. drop some knowledge on all of us. I for one now believe, as an aside, that all sex researchers are female and gorgeous. Totally unsubstantiated, but this is my “reality.”
Alex: In the US, we're in a bit of a recession. As sex researchers, what trends do you see during economic hardship? Be as graphic and/or perverted as possible… Please. =)
Jocelyn Wentland: Perhaps the other girls will have better answers for this but I’m not sure what to say. In Canada, our recession has not been as hard-hitting as in the states, which obviously colours my answer. However, a recession is basically just a form of prolonged stress and we know that stress has different effects on people’s sex drives. For some, stress makes them hornier, more aroused, and more interested in sex. For others, stress makes them less interested in sex, more interested in just coping or surviving, which would obviously have a negative effect on people’s sex lives.
I think that if you look at the bigger picture, a recession or any financial hardship is going to affect non-essential spending. So maybe there are fewer date nights to fun restaurants, fewer weekend getaways to a cool hotel nearby, less funding available for ‘fun’ purchases, such as lingerie or sex toys…but also for the singletons, maybe that means less money to go out, less money for weekend getaways with friends or holiday trips, etc.
we must be nymphmaniacs, we must have some crazy S&M dungeon set up in our basement, we’re likely so highly-sexed that normal sex won’t please us…you can kinda tell when you tell certain men what you do…they just get this look.
Alex: What are some interesting facts about sexuality you've run across in your studying of sex?
Jocelyn Wentland:Many of the interesting facts that I’ve come across in my research probably are specific to my own research – either on highly sexual women, casual sex relationships, or related to some type of evolutionary psychology topic, such as mate selection or mate attraction. I can give you findings on any of these, if you would like.
Amy and I are also doing a project looking at how technology is changing the first date script – Is it okay to ask someone out via text? Do you Google a partner before a 1st date? We have preliminary findings if you are interested.
How about that people unknowingly rate individuals based on their pupil size since pupil size is an indicator of sexual arousal? Specifically, men rate pictures of women who have large pupils as more attractive than pictures of women with medium or smaller pupils (even when they use the same level of attractiveness for all 3 pupil sizes. Women…they don’t show a preference for large pupils, they don’t discriminate between medium and large pupils because if a man is only interested in her sexually, he loses long-term appeal.
I have lots of other factoids about evolutionary psych stuff if you are interested. I’d say overall what is so great about evolutionary psych stuff is that humans came equipped with all of these ancestral ways of detecting good partners and lots of these systems are still in place today!
Alex: Who's wanting to “do it” more? Men or women?
Jocelyn Wentland: There isn’t any easy answer to this question. Sexual patterns between men and women differ across the lifespan. There are some researchers (not us, more senior folks) who would argue that women’s sex drive is stronger than men’s because women are capable of multiple orgasms. Does that make their sex drive stronger? Maybe it just makes us women more awesome!
However, my research on highly sexual women suggests that women basically fall into 2 camps: highly sexual versus less sexual. Highly sexual women think about sex a lot, think they are better at sex than most people, fantasize about sex often and those fantasies become explicit very quickly, are more adventurous (using porn, S&M, having sex while on their periods), are comfortable telling their partners what they want sexually…lots more findings here if you would like as well.
Alex: Why do couples lose that lustful “jack rabbit” sex drive? Do they get complacent? How can they overcome it?
Jocelyn Wentland: I’m going to leave this question to Kristen (and maybe Amy) since this is more her area. I’ll just be blowing smoke out of my hot ass if I answer J …or maybe I should?! Hehehehee I think it has to do with that whole variety is the spice of life and over time, sex becomes predictable and potentially routine which is boring.
Alex: How have your significant others felt about your research? Does it make things weird for them?
Jocelyn Wentland: None of the men I have ever dated have ever had a problem with my area of research – but this has to do with the type of men that I date. You’ll likely get the same answer from all of us on this one because it’s something that we routinely talk about with each other and it’s something we continually address, both as singletons or when in relationships.
The big question is…do you disclose what you do to a potential suitor? Lots of people would say, yes, absolutely. If they freak out, then you wouldn’t want to date them anyways. Which is true and it’s the answer that I’ve been slow to accept. Because when you are an attractive sex researcher who studies really personal sexual shit, people jump to all sorts of conclusions – we must be nymphmaniacs, we must have some crazy S&M dungeon set up in our basement, we’re likely so highly-sexed that normal sex won’t please us…you can kinda tell when you tell certain men what you do…they just get this look.
The worst story – well, I’m going to shamelessly send you to my blog rather than re-typing it here. This isn’t all that uncommon either http://sexresearchandthecity.com/researching-porn/