Monthly Archives: April 2017

Does Your Sex Life Affect How Often You Masturbate?

Does Your Sex Life Affect How Often You Masturbate?


Can the sex you’re having with your girlfriend determine how often you take matters into your own hands—erm, hand? The answer might be more complicated than you think, a new study from University of Texas at Austin and Brigham Young University suggests.

Researchers looked at survey data from 7,600 men between the ages of 18 and 60 who were asked whether or not they had masturbated in the past two weeks, how often they had sex during that time, and if they were happy with the action they were getting.

It’s not exactly shocking that 61 percent of guys admitted to masturbating within the past two weeks. (Here’s how common masturbation really is.) As it turns out, how often you get laid isn’t really linked to how often you have solo sex. People who did and didn’t get off on their own had similar amounts of sex, the researchers found.

That changed slightly when they took sexual satisfaction into account: Men who reported being happy with their sex lives were just as likely to masturbate, regardless of how often they got laid or not. But guys who were less satisfied with their sex lives had the highest masturbation rates.

Translation: Your tendency to masturbate may rely more on whether you actually like the sex you’re having, rather than how often you actually do it.

But either way, you shouldn’t hesitate to give yourself a little love every now and then, says Moushumi Ghose, a licensed sex and marriage therapist who is not affiliated with the study. If you’re having regular sex—and loving every minute of it—masturbation has the ability to complement what you’re doing in bed, the study authors say.

Ghose agrees: “I like to

think of masturbation as the gateway to a healthy sexuality,” she says. “It’s the one way to discover our inner passions and desires, by tapping into what turns us on.”

And if you’ve hit a dry spell, keeping yourself satisfied on your own is typically perfectly healthy, even though masturbation can be a taboo topic, she explains. (Here’s how you can tell if you’ve been masturbating too much.)

Bottom line: Some sexual alone time can benefit you beyond the bedroom. As if you needed any convincing, here are five reasons you should masturbate tonight.

What You Need To Know About The Disturbing Sexual Assault Trend Called ‘Stealthing’

What You Need To Know About The Disturbing Sexual Assault Trend Called ‘Stealthing’

When it comes to safe sex, a condom seems like a no-brainer. When used properly, it is the most effective way to prevent sexually-transmitted infections, and of course, it also prevents pregnancy. Yet a paper published in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law examines a disturbing new sex trend called “stealthing,” the act of intentionally and secretly removing a condom during intercourse without consent.

In the paper, author Alexandra Brodsky spoke to victims about the emotional and physical consequences of stealthing. The most obvious: unwanted pregnancy and STIs. But one victim named Rebecca told Brodsky, “None of it worried him. It didn’t perturb him. My potential pregnancy, my potential STI, that was my burden.”

On an emotional level, Brodsky reveals that the men and women who are victims of stealthing also experience a “deeply felt feeling of violation.” Another victim Brodsky interviewed for the study said, “The harm mostly had to do with trust. He saw the risk as zero for himself and took no interest in what it might be for me and from a friend and sexual partner. That hurt.” Another victim quoted in the study even referred to the act of stealthing as “rape-adjacent.”

And this isn’t something that has only happened to a few people. In her paper, Brodsky examines an online community devoted to sharing information and stories about “stealthing.” She looked, in particular, at a website that offers tips to users on how to do this to their own partners. While the website she looked at describes itself as a place for gay men, Brodsky found many comments that talked about heterosexual sex, too.

Based on the content of the site and comments from visitors, Brodsky describes this online community as males who “root their actions in misogyny and investment in male sexual supremacy.” Their communication focuses on a man’s “right” to “spread seed,” even when referring to stealthing in same-sex encounters. Brodsky argues in her study that consenting to sex with the use of a condom is not equivalent to consenting to sex without one at any point in the encounter.

In response, victims are expressing their frustration and seeking help on Reddit, with some threads amassing more than 70 comments.

According to The Guardian, a man was convicted of rape in Switzerland in January for removing his condom during sex without her consent in a landmark case. But Brodsky says she was unable to find a single legal case around this issue in the U.S.

Brodsky, for her part, concludes her paper by calling this behavior a form of “sexual violence,” and urges for a change to the law to recognize this as a punishable offense. “At its best, such a law would clearly respond to and affirm the harm victims report by making clear that ‘stealthing’ doesn’t just ‘feel violent’—it is,” she writes.

7 causes of lower sperm count and male infertility

7 causes of lower sperm count and male infertility


The production of sperms is definitely a complex process, and infertility is highly related to sperm count and sperm production. Treatment for infertility is the need of the hour because more and more couples are turning out to be victims of infertility. While several gynaecological disorders in women are causes of infertility, men too are reasons of the cause. So, like women, men too needs to be treated for infertility and should be taken into consideration when a couple is trying to enter parenthood.

Here are seven reasons that cause infertility in men by lowering sperm count or damaging sperm quality:

1. Smoking: Men who smoke consistently have a lower sperm count. Smoking not only decreases sperm count, but also lowers sperm motility.

2. Tight underwear: Wearing this inner garment increases temperature in the scrotal sac. A rise in temperature in the scrotal sac leads to a fall in sperm count.

3. Excessive alcohol intake: Like smoking, binge drinking is also a vital cause of reduced sperm count and increased cases of infertility. Alcohol intake lowers testosterone level significantly and hence the damage to sexual health is caused.

4. Long driving hours: Driving leads to sitting in the same position for a long time. Long driving hours or regualar driving raises temperature in the testicles, which in turn prevents good sperm production.

5. Keeping laptops on laps: Laptops cause heat damage to sperm. When a laptop is placed on the lap, the heat generated in the gadget passes from it to men’s lower body part, and causing damage to sperms.

6. Emotional stress: Chronic stress or prolonged mental illness adversely affects male fertility. Stress interferes with testosterone produced in the testes, a hormone necessary for sperm production.

7. Television watching: Sitting and watching television for extended hours is negatively linked to sperm count and quality. Prolonged sitting overheats the testicle, which in turn results in lower sperm production. Men who wish to enter parenthood should reduce hours of TV watching and indulge themselves in regular exercise.

Like women, men should also take care of reproductive health. After all, entering parenthood is a mutual decision!

Confidentiality concerns may deter teens from sexual, reproductive health care services

Confidentiality concerns may deter teens from sexual, reproductive health care services


According to a national survey, 12.7% of sexually-active teenagers and young adults who were on their parent’s insurance plan would not use sexual and reproductive health services due to concerns that their parents would learn about it.

“Changes in the U.S. health care system have permitted dependent children to remain on a parent’s health insurance plan until the child’s 26th birthday and required coverage of certain preventive services,” Jami S. Leichliter, PhD, from the Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention, the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention at the CDC, and colleagues wrote. “Although these provisions likely facilitate access to the health care system, adolescents and young adults might not seek care or might delay seeking care for certain services because of concerns about confidentiality, including fears that their parents might find out.”

To ascertain the prevalence of confidentiality concerns among teenagers and young adults, the researchers examined data from sexually-experienced individuals aged between 15 and 25 years (n = 10,205) included in the 2013-2015 National Survey of Family Growth. In addition to information on marriage, divorce, family life, having and raising children and medical care, the National Survey of Family Growth also measures reproductive health status and examines the efficacy or need of health education programs.

The survey included questions concerning confidentiality that addressed whether those aged 15 to 17 would “ever not go for sexual or reproductive health care because their parents might find out,” whether they had “time alone with a provider in the past 12 months without a parent, relative or guardian in the room” and the status of their current health insurance.

Respondents who received STD services were defined as those who had a sexual risk assessment or other clinical services in the past year. A risk assessment included a doctor or health care provider questioning about sexual orientation or the sex of their partners, number of partners, condom use and type of sex (vaginal, oral or anal). Other services include chlamydia testing for girls in the last 12 months or receiving treatment for an STD in the past year for both boys and girls.

Among sexually-experienced youth aged 15 to 17 years, 22.6% responded that they would not seek services with concerns that their parents would know. Girls who were concerned about confidentiality were less likely to report receipt of chlamydia testing (17.1%) compared with girls who did not have concerns about confidentiality (38.7%).

When both male and female youth received more time alone with their health care providers, researchers noted that

they were more likely to report receipt of risk assessment (71.1%); however, when parents were present, reporting dropped to 36.6%. Girls who spent more time alone with their health care provider reported a  higher rate of chlamydia testing (34.0%) than those who had a parent present (14.9%).

“Several medical organizations have emphasized the need for confidentiality for youths seeking care such as STD services,” Leichliter and colleagues wrote. “Previous research has found that females might have more general and sexual and reproductive health-specific confidentiality concerns than do males.” – by Katherine Bortz

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

New vaccine programme for gay men is introduced in Wales

New vaccine programme for gay men is introduced in Wales

HPV infections which persist can lead to some forms of cancers or cause genital warts

A new vaccination programme for men who have sex with other men has been rolled out across Wales.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is now being offered to all gay men up to 45 years old who attend sexual health clinics.

The rollout comes after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which provides independent advice to governments across the UK, recommended the introduction of a targeted programme of this type.

HPV infections which persist can lead to some forms of cancers or cause genital warts. Experts claim the HPV vaccine is very effective in reducing these risks.

Public Health Minister Rebecca Evans said: “A HPV vaccine programme for adolescent girls has been in place since 2008.

“Vaccinating the majority of girls in the UK means that their future male partners get some protection too. However boys who become men who have sex with men will get far less of this protection.

“I am pleased that a new targeted HPV vaccination programme for gay men up to the age of 45 has been introduced across Wales.

“Gay men attending clinics for sexual health services will now be offered the vaccine.”

Rhian Edwards, director of research and support at Tenovus Cancer Care, said the Welsh Government hadn’t gone far enough.

She said: “We know that four in 10 cancers are preventable and HPV cancers make up 5% of all cancers worldwide, so this is a very important step in the right direction.

“However it is vital that the Welsh Government make the HPV vaccination free for both boys and girls of school age so that they are protected against the virus before they become sexually active.

“We encourage parents to consider vaccinating their sons at the same time as girls receive the vaccination in school, although at present they would need to pay for this privately.

“This reinforces the inequalities that already exist between the most affluent and most deprived communities in Wales and must be addressed.”


Health needs of men who have sex with men neglected in SA

Health needs of men who have sex with men neglected in SA

In South Africa, men who have sex with men (MSM) are at higher risk of contracting HIV as they are ‘stigmatised and discriminated against’ in health facilities.

Men who have sex with men (MSM) in Africa are twice as likely as the general population to be HIV positive – partly because their health needs are not being met.

Although, South Africa has made great strides in the provision of HIV-related healthcare services, the health needs of MSM are often misunderstood by healthcare practitioners and neglected in HIV service programmes, according to the Anova Health Institute.

Sensitising health facilities

Gordon Khoza, Anova’s outreach ambassador, said that the MSM community is stigmatised and discriminated against in health facilities.

“The MSM community is stigmatised in a way that they cannot access the health services fully like other populations, but we have started sensitising the health facilities so they can be MSM friendly,” Khoza told an MSM forum in Johannesburg attended by representatives from southern and eastern African countries.

Nine years ago, Anova established a model called Health4Men (H4M) to lead South Africa’s response to HIV among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM).

This model provides direct health care services at two centres of excellence in MSM sexual health care, and also by building support networks of MSM competent sites.

H4M’s David Motsoagae said that they are training public health facilities to become MSM friendly and provide services that ensure people’s dignity. “We are actually a bridge between H4M and the public health facilities,” said Motsoagae.

Not very competent

Anova’s Dr Kevin Rebe said that even when clinics were friendly towards MSM they were usually not asked about anal sex, and, as a result, they were not screened for their health care needs.

“You find that the clinic can be very friendly to the MSM but it is not very competent to meet their health care needs,” said Rebe.

In contrast, the H4M centres offered health interventions aimed at protecting men who have sex with men, such as offering antiretroviral drugs as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP).

“It is absolutely clear from multiple clinical trials that PreP will prevent HIV in MSM if used correctly even if they have high risks of sexual exposure  to the virus,” said Rebe.

PrEP, for HIV prevention, involves the use of ARVs by HIV-negative people to reduce the risk of becoming infected. Daily TDF/FTC (a combination ARV marketed as Truvada) has been approved for use in populations at high risk of HIV by a number of national regulatory agencies. In late-2015, the World Health Organization recommended PrEP as an additional prevention option for HIV- negative people at substantial risk of HIV. According to a previous Health24 article, PrEP should not be viewed as the first line of defence against HIV, but in conjunction with other preventative measures, and should be taken daily.

According to Rebe H4M currently has two sites that are providing PreP for MSM, one in Cape Town and one in Johannesburg. He added that the Department of Health will also be increasing access of PreP to MSM as they will be opening new sites starting from April 2017.