An alternative theory

Size really does matter when it comes to fertility as a new study suggests men who are infertile are also less well endowed.

Having a shorter appendage was more common in men who were struggling to conceive than in those with other genital health problems. The research, to be presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Colorado this week, is the first ever to link penile length with fertility.

It found that on average, men who were infertile were around one centimetre shorter than their fertile counterparts. Those without reproductive issues had an average length of 13.4 cm while those in the infertile group were 12.5cm.

Fertility is rarely a one shot issue.

Could be that larger – up to a size, an optimal one – just gets more shots at it.

This seems entirely sensible

I’ve been married 27 years to a man I love very much. We’d always been happy and our sex life was passionate until 10 years ago, when he announced he wanted to live as a woman. There was no warning, no discussion, and I was shell-shocked; I told him that were he to have surgery, the marriage would be over.

We eventually arrived at a truce, whereby he agreed not to have surgery and I am trying to live with the way he presents himself, which is stereotypically female – using makeup, dresses, tights and a bra. I find this hard to deal with; although I was very attracted to my partner as a man, I find it impossible to be attracted to him as a woman.

I also recall a journalist (HuffPo? Verge? Summat) who had been a woman living with her wife and transitioned to male. The wife then took a girlfriend.

Maybe, you know, the wife was a lesbian who didn’t find men attractive? Possible?

Yes, great, why not?

As usual, someone gets a twee idea and doesn’t think it through:

According to Wednesday Martin, if you want to know how early humans organised their sex lives, before prudery, habit and agrarian production got in the way, you should take a look at bonobos. Once known as pygmy chimps, these primates are the closest thing we have to a living ancestor. Certainly, they resemble us more than the common chimp. They are fine-boned, with pink lips, proportionately long legs on which they can walk upright and hair that falls into a neat centre parting.

However that prissy hair-do is misleading. Bonobos are, as is well known, shameless sexual gluttons, especially the females. They wander around in a girl gang and, when they fancy a bloke, go up and put their arm around him. If he moves away the female follows him for a bit. Pretty soon, though, she gets exasperated by his coyness and turns to one of her girlfriends instead. Together they have a lovely time, rubbing their enlarged clitorises together, with murmurs of pleasurable excitement. If a boy wanders up at this point, he’s likely to be seen off with an exasperated nip for being far too late to the party.

Martin argues that we should all be a bit more bonobo (minus the nipping, obviously). Our cousins can teach us a lot about how human sexuality operated before it was corralled into an essentialist narrative about men being “naturally” polygamous while women “instinctively” seek out their one and only. Of course, this call to revision is not uniquely Martin’s. Although she has a PhD in anthropology from Yale, she remains a journalist, reporting and synthesising the work of such pioneering fieldworkers as Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Meredith Chivers, Alicia Walker, Cacilda Jethá and many more.

Chesterton’s Fence. Why don’t we do that? Why don’t we have herds, with the one male covering multiple females, the majority of men never passing on genes (actually, the majority of all men never have done). Why not like lions where the stud taking over the pride kills the cubs of his predecessor? Why this specific arrangement we have?

Some of Martin’s authorities, such as Brooke Scelza of UCLA, work with human subjects. Scelza’s research on the semi-nomadic Himba tribe of Namibia provides a window into alternative ways of dealing with what anthropologists call “extra-dyadic sexuality” (AKA consensual cheating). With the Himba men periodically away at remote cattle stations, their wives keep busy by “going to the far place to collect water” – another way of saying they bunk off to meet their lover. If a baby is the result, no one sees any reason to fuss: the child will simply have two dads (AKA partible paternity). Indeed, Scelza reveals that those Himba women who are particularly keen on going to collect water end up with more and healthier children than those few who to decide to stay “true” to their husbands. Might we actually be looking at a state of affairs, Martin asks, where, from an evolutionary point of view, a woman’s insistence on monogamy starts to seem just the tiniest bit selfish?

Yep, it is selfish. The reason for that being that a bloke who thinks he’s raising his own children brings along with him the resources he can generate to support his own children. Which increases the chances of survival of those children – a selfish act by that mother. Both in her own children gaining those resources and those of some other woman not.

Give up the claim to those resources and why not shag as you wish? Many men will be happy to oblige.

The why is important, d’ye see?

Lessee now

I was dating a boy I really liked, so when another classmate made a pass at me, I explained that I was going with someone else, and I turned him down. The next morning, my “friend” – let’s call him Rat – told classmates that I’d slept with him. Since I had declined to have sex with the boy I actually liked, the ugly rumor made me look like a lying hypocrite. Hurt and humiliated, my boyfriend promptly broke up with me, leaving me heartbroken and bewildered. I hadn’t even done what I was accused of doing – and yet that didn’t protect me from public scorn, let alone the loss of my first love.

But there was worse to come. When I started college, I was 16 years old. On my first day, I met a sophomore whose blue eyes were speckled with gold. Soon we were spending every free moment together. He knew I was a virgin, and he was respectful of my wishes – until his roommate went home to Boston for the weekend. In a diabolical coincidence, the roommate was invited to a party where he met Rat, who was attending college there. When he learned the name of Rat’s hometown in New York, he asked if Rat knew me – whereupon Rat gleefully regaled him with a sordid account of what a tramp I had been in high school.

The roommate was astonished, because he knew me as the clueless virgin who wouldn’t sleep with his friend. But of course he came back to our university in Philadelphia and told all his fraternity brothers I was a deceitful slut. Like my high school boyfriend, my college boyfriend responded by ending our relationship.

Not yet 17 and still a virgin, I had now been slandered up and down the eastern seaboard by a single false rumor spread by one boy who managed to wreck my reputation in high school and in college, which had in turn cost me both my high school boyfriend and my college boyfriend.

And? And what?

The losses left me reeling, but the emotional blows were greatly exacerbated by the fear they generated. The power of malicious gossip was terrifying; even when it wasn’t true, it could ruin your life.

The pain of being shamed that way has never left me. Fifty years later, I couldn’t bear the thought of going to my high school reunion. This month, when I was invited to the latest get-together, I stayed home once again.


It seems to be so easy for men to forget the damage they’ve wrought. Do they know that the women they hurt will never be able to forget, let alone heal?

Err, teenage dating? What are we supposed to do about this?

Oh, and when do we get to hear from the male side of this? Not the male side o this particular story, but all teenage girls have always ad everywhere been just perfect in their treatment of teenage boys, right?

We’re surprised, right?

Newly released data from the Department of Defense shows female sailors are at the highest risk of sexual assault, compared to women serving in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The risk is highest on U.S. Navy ships, including on a majority of the nation’s aircraft carriers, the data shows.

In other news the military seems safer for women than college campuses…..


What’s next for Brett Kavanaugh? The US supreme court nominee’s path to the bench has been stalled by accusations that he tried to rape a girl when they were both in high school; that girl, now a professor in her 50s, initially tried to tell her story anonymously, but put her name to the charges when it became clear she was going to be outed anyway.

Drunken teenage fumbles – the allegation itself – are now rape?

Well, why not?

An Iranian couple who asked a GP to carry out a virginity test on their 18-year-old daughter after discovering she had a secret boyfriend, have gone on trial charged for subjecting her to coercive or controlling behaviour.

Mitra Eidiani, 42, and husband Ali Safaraei, 56, are thought to be the first parents to be charged under the law that was brought in three years ago to clamp down on people who subject their partners to psychological abuse.

Well, why not? This isn’t something we normally do, to be sure. But now be in a culture where virginity determines the possibility of a good marriage or not.

And is that really controlling behaviour?

Now isn’t this a surprise?

Transgender person accused of rape is remanded into female prison and sexually assaults inmates within days

Will you look at that? The use of “person”

The prison service has apologised after a transgender inmate, charged with raping a woman, sexually assaulted four fellow inmates just days after being remanded into an all female jail.

Convicted paedophile Karen White, who was born Stephen Wood, was undergoing gender reassignment, but had not undergone full surgery, when she was accused of repeatedly raping a woman in 2016.

The 52-year-old, who had been previously been jailed in 2001 for a sex attack on a child, told the authorities she identified as a woman and was remanded into HMP New Hall near Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

But within days of arriving at the women-only prison in September last year, White made a sexual advance to another inmate, while in an aroused state.

A fortnight later, White approached another female inmate and struck up a conversation in which she made comments about oral sex.

Doesn’t everyone realise how damaging it is to not recognise pronouns of choice?

Why not change the British rules on British donations?

The sperm shortage sounds, initially, like a rather silly story, an example of “project fear” at its most desperate, and it has been covered in a typically smutty way by the tabloids, who say we must stiffen our resolve, and harden our intentions, to produce more sperm, exactly as one would expect them to.

But the breakdown in supplies of European, and specifically Danish, sperm will have genuine detrimental consequences for British couples trying to conceive artificially, and for scientific research, an area already set to be severely damaged by the withdrawal of EU funding and data sharing. With a national fertility crisis mushrooming, and our status as a global leader in scientific breakthroughs threatened, there has never been a worse time for Britain to be shut out of the sperm loop.

The thing being there’re plenty of willing volunteers out there but they’ve been regulated out of that legal market. One only has to look for the stories about people doing it all privately on Facebook to realise that.

Did they film it?

Two women found guilty of attempting to have sex have been caned in Malaysia’s conservative north-eastern state of Terengganu, in the first punishment of its kind.

The two women, aged 22 and 32, were caned six times each in the Terengganu sharia high court just after 10am, after the sentence was read out.

Specialist market and all that but still…..

Shock, Horror!

One child in every primary school class has been sent a sexual image by an adult, major NSPCC study finds

The kids of today don’t seem any worse than those of yesteryear, before digital photography was commonplace.

From which we should probably conclude that being sent a sexual image by an adult doesn’t do much to children.

That rather being something we think is true about children, why we insist they cannot give valid consent for example, they don’t really understand what sex is and thus sexual imagery.


Annie Bond, 28, began working at Center Camp Café in 2012 and corroborated reports of gender discrimination. At first she was under contract by a vendor working at Burning Man, but she got poached by the Burning Man organization. She dated her manager, who promoted her as his assistant, but after they broke up, she quickly realized where the organization’s priorities lay: with her ex.

“Previously we had a great working relationship and it seemed really infallible and strong, and all of a sudden he was not talking to me; he would put me on hold on the radio and never come back, and he wouldn’t tell other departments I was his assistant,” she said.

Bond was told a position was waiting for her, after she decided to take a year off, but the following year she was told the organization didn’t have a budget to rehire her. Bond said she agreed with a friend who said Burning Man culture was pervaded with “toxic masculinity.”

There was “manipulation through, you know, various forms of male-generated power of persuasion,” she explained.

Which is the toxic masculinity? Getting the promotion because you’re putting out to your boss or getting ignored because you’re not?

Err, well, yes….

A married couple who had been trying to conceive for four years were told they had mistakenly been having anal sex all this time.

And, well, no, not really.

While asking about the wife’s medical history during visit, Doctor Liu was told that the couple had sex regularly. The wife also revealed that the experience was ‘unusually painful’ for her every time, but she suffered through it in the hope of becoming pregnant.

The woman’s symptoms led Doctor Liu to believe that she may have had some sort of gynaecological disease. But following an examination, the wife was revealed to be a virgin. Doctor Liu then inspected the woman’s anus and discovered that she ‘could fit three fingers’ inside.

No, that’s not how an arse works, is it? Wouldn’t keep the food in if it did.

Shaggy dog story just usefully allotted to somewhere far away…..

Makes sense

It’s the age-old question – whether looks or brains are more important.

And now one study has concluded that while it’s not possible for them to be too physically attractive, men can be too clever for their own good.

Figures from a paper published in the British Journal of Psychology show that women want men to be smart – but not too smart.

The data shows that a man who is more intelligent than 90 per cent of the population is the most desirable, beating out a rival who is more intelligent than 99 per cent of others.

People do tend to get a bit weird once they’re up into that 0.1, 0.001 etc range at the top.

Hmm. Maybe it’s really that they want someone still stupid enough to think that talking about shoes is important?