Say to yourself first thing in the morning: I shall meet with people who are meddling, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, and unsociable. They are subject to these faults because of their ignorance of what is good and bad.
But I have recognised the nature of the good and seen that it is the right, and the nature of the bad and seen that it is the wrong, and the nature of the wrongdoer himself, and seen that he is related to me, not because he has the same blood or seed, but because he shares in the same mind and portion of divinity.
So I cannot be harmed by any of them, as no one will involve me in what is wrong. Nor can I be angry with my relative or hate him.
We were born for cooperation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of upper and lower teeth. So to work against each other is contrary to nature; and resentment and rejection count as working against someone.
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 2:1
Great news for anarchists!
Sexual activity is higher among self-defined political liberals than among moderates or conservatives, and it is highest among those who describe themselves as ‘extreme liberals’.
On the other hand, sexual activity is also above average among ‘extreme conservatives’.
Here are the cold, hard statistics. First is the number of sexual encounters per year for the group, followed by the same number adjusted for differences in age, race, and marital status.
Extreme liberal: 73 / 72 sexual encounters per year.
Liberal: 62 / 62
Slight liberal: 63 / 60
Moderate: 60 / 60
Slight conservative: 55 / 54
Conservative: 52 / 54
Extreme conservative: 59 / 62
These politics are also reflected in the fact that the most sexually active Americans are far more likely than average to approve of premarital or extramarital sex, to see positive benefits in pornography, to watch X-rated films, and to favor giving birth control pills to teenagers.
But it isn’t always liberal attitudes that match up with having a lot of sex. People who own guns also have higher-than-average sexual frequency.
Religion can be a minefield when it comes to having sex. But what are the stats?
A US study shows that Jews and agnostics are 20% more sexually active than Catholics and Protestants.
They also found that Baptists have slightly more sex than the national average, while Presbyterians and Lutherans are slightly below average.
But why? God only knows. I mean, I could speculate that it’s because there’s more shame and guilt associated with the Christian religions, but really I have no idea. Hell-fire and damnation tends to dampen the passions, somewhat.
Another study found that observant married Jewish women reported having sex three to six times per week more than twice as often as married women in general. Ooo-whee!
But there’s more! Statistics have also shown that people who rarely go to church have 31% more sex than people who regularly go to church. Not sure about people who never go to church.
Extremely devout people are also less likely to masturbate and use vibrators. Those who attend church regularly are less likely to become sexually active, to have multiple and casual partners, and to have extra-marital affairs.
If you want to have more sex, get rich or get poor.
People on very low incomes and those on very high incomes have sex more frequently than anybody else. Men earning a middle class income of £45,000 (US$75,000) per year average twelve fewer days of sex a year than men who earn about £15,000 (US$25,000) annually. Ouch.
I would hate to speculate why this might be, but I will nevertheless.
Low GDP has long been associated with high birth-rate in developing countries. But why? One possible answer is evolutionary.
A low income means an uncertain future for your progeny, compared to the future of sons and daughters of a person with plenty of money coming in. Poverty means inhibited access to medical care, education, food and many other things necessary to a secure life.
Therefore, in the absence of increasing wages, we have loads more sex in the hope that plenty of descendants will survive to pass on our genes through sheer statistical weight of numbers.
So why do the rich get loads of sex too?
One answer is that wealth has long been associated with desirability. If you’re rich and powerful, you are intoxicatingly attractive to the opposite sex, particularly to women if you are a man.
This doesn’t mean that men are any less shallow than women, just that we tend to go for a luscious child-bearing physique over a big bank balance.
Thanks to http://taraparkerpope.com/ for the fact.
Want to know your prenatal androgen exposure level?
I mean: want to know how much of a testosterone-fuelled beast you are?
Well, do this then:
- Measure the length of your index finger (2nd finger) from the crease at the base to the tip. Not including nails. That’s cheating.
- Now measure the length of your ring finger (4th finger).
- Do it for both hands, just for interest.
- Now get a calculator (unless you are Rain Man).
- Divide the length of your index by the length of your ring (finger). You should end up with a number between about 0.90 and 1.10.
- Do it for both hands, just for interest. They should be similar, but your dominant hand is the more important number for this game.
NOTE: Ethnicity plays a big part here, so find someone else to compare with for real fun. The interpretations below are for white Caucasians. Other populations have relatively lower or higher ratios – doesn’t mean they are more or less mannish!
If you are a MAN:
- 0.98 is the average.
- 0.94 is macho.
- 1.00 is more feminine.
If you are a WOMAN:
- 1.00 is average.
- 0.98 is more masculine.
- 1.02 is girly.
This test for testosterone and oestrogen exposure has been demonstrated in humans since the 1930s. And, since 2006, in pheasants.
What does this mean?
IMPORTANT: Much of the evidence for the traits below is tentative or based on single trials. Don’t take anything too much to heart! These results show tendencies, not hard and fast rules. But it’s still interesting.
While the ratio interpretations above are for ethnic white Caucasians, the conclusions below hold true across ethnic boundaries.
- People with a low ratio tend to have low verbal intelligence, high numerical intelligence and low ‘agreeableness’.
- Men with higher ratios tend to do better in exams.
- Men with a low ratio are more likely to be aggressive. This doesn’t hold for women, though.
- Male traders on the stock market are more likely to be profitable and stay in the business for longer if they have a low ratio. Biology and experience come out about equal as predictors of success. Which is incredible really. Men with lower ratios are better at ‘rapid visuomotor scanning,’ physical reflexes and are happier with exposure to risk.
- Men with a low ratio are more likely to suffer from attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Men with a high ratio are more likely to be depressive.
- Women with a higher ratio have a higher sexual success rate.
- Women with a low ratio are more likely to report a ‘male sex-role’ in the bedroom.
- Men with a low ratio tend to have a higher sperm count. Men with a high ratio are more likely to suffer germ cell failure, which sounds painful.
- The ratio is not a good predictor of sexualilty, however – in either men or women.
- Women with lower ratios are more likely to play sports, and to play them at a high level.
- Men with lower ratios are more physically competitive. Professional footballers have lower ratios than amateurs; footballers who played for the England national squad (i.e. ‘the best’) have lower ratios than those who haven’t.
FYI: I got all of these trials by following the footnotes in the Wikipedia article on Digit Ratio.
For what it’s worth, my ratio is 0.93. Man.
This is taken from 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman, a book that wants to make your life better – in 59 seconds or less. It is all based on scientific research. If you like that sort of thing.
How to Attract 101
The best strategy is to give the impression that, in general, you are hard to get, but you are really enthusiastic about your date: ‘I am choosy, and I choose you.’
The Touch on the Arm
This is really powerful, apparently. It will make people help you out. It also helps women find men attractive.
- Deliver at the same time as a compliment or request.
- Try the briefest of touches to the upper arm.
- Be careful. Some people don’t like to be touched – and a millimetre the wrong way could get you a slap.
Psychological similarity is a good indicator of long term satisfaction in relationships. There are three basic types.
- Very strong ideas about the type of physical and psychological traits they desire in a partner.
- Frequently experience love at first sight.
- Engage in emotionally intense relationships, which falter as the love of their life changes.
- Extroverted and giving, they feel secure in their relationships and get emotionally close to others.
- Become infatuated during the initial stages and, in this stage, would not dream of infidelity.
- Value trust over lust.
- Slowly develop a network of friends in the hope that affection will transform into deep commitment.
- Intensely loyal and supportive. Only form one or two relationships in their lives.
- Altruistic and trusting, often brought up in large families. Comfortable depending on others for support.
- No ideal type in mind, they play the field.
- Strive for novelty and thrills. Uncomfortable with commitment, many short-term relationships.
- Enjoy the thrill of the chase, display little loyalty.
- More neurotic and self-conscious than most, they have little sympathy for the feelings of others.
- Fear of being abandoned by a partner – a situation they avoid by not getting too close to anyone.
Speed Dating Tips
- Think of questions that get the people talking in creative, fun, interesting ways.
- Mimic the way they sit, hands, speech patterns, facial expressions.
- Only select the few people you had genuine chemistry with.
Sex and Sport
- Women like men who do sports that show bravery – rock climbing, football, hiking. Not aerobics.
- Men like women who keep fit – aerobics, yoga, gym. Not rugby or body-building.
- No one likes anyone who plays golf.
The Perfect Date
- Do something that will make the heart race. Thriller films, theme parks, cycle rides. Dumb humans easily confuse the fast heart rate of fear with the fast heart rate of attraction.
- Play the sharing game to build intimacy. Ask questions like:
- Imagine you are hosting the perfect dinner party – who would you invite?
- When did you last talk to yourself?
- Name two ways you consider yourself lucky?
- Name something you have always wanted to do, and explain why you haven’t done it yet.
- Imagine your house has caught fire and you can only save one thing – what would it be?
- Describe one of the happiest days of your life.
- Imagine you are going to become close friends with your date. What is the most important thing for them to know about you?
- Tell your date two things you really like about him/her.
- Describe one of the most embarrassing moments in your life.
- Describe a personal problem and ask your date’s advice on how to solve it.
Quick tips for dating
- Women rate men as more attractive if they see other women having a good time in his company.
- Hungry men show a preference for fat women.
- Disagree, then agree. Play a little hard to get for the first hour, then turn on the charm later. Talk about things you both dislike, rather than like.
- Smiles crinkle around the eyes, not just the mouth. The most attractive ones are slow and involve a slight tilt towards the other person.
- Love – leaning towards each other. Lust – licking lips.
- Previous partners: Women like men to have two. Men like women to have had four.
Here’s a list of the most pleasurable (legal) things humans can do:
- Have sex.
- Suck on a piece of dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa).
- Have a relaxed lunch with a friend.
- Learn something new.
- Go shopping!
- Use your sense of smell – really sniff that flower!
- Do some gardening.
- Sit in silence.
- Go fishing (aka sit in silence).
- Play or listen to music.
- Go for a walk (or any form of exercise).
- Trust others.
- Have a nap.
- Dream (including lucid dreams).
Just for the sake of completion: yes, certain drugs are also extremely pleasurable, but remember how harmful they can be – and just because something is less harmful than heroin doesn’t mean it’s safe!
Also realise that your use of drugs could give you such a massive high that real life just doesn’t seem that great any more. I’m being serious: a cocaine high can increase dopamine levels by 300-700%, compared to the 100% dopamine increase during sex – and you don’t even want to think about what amphetamines can do. Just remember that dopamine is involved in the wanting (i.e. addiction) rather than the liking (i.e. pleasure).
Cool, now I sound like your dad.
This list is compiled from Sex, Drugs and Chocolate: The Science of Pleasure by Paul Martin.