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sexresearchTristan Taormino recently went to the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality conference. Besides the fact that there were some evening activities that sounded like a lot of fun, Tristan made some recommendations for further areas of research and I have to say that I couldn't agree more:
1. Female Ejaculation. We still have very little scientific information about female ejaculation?most of what we know is based on anecdotal evidence. We need some heavy-hitting studies to prove wrong all the people who still insist that "women are just peeing." 2. Sex-Toy Use. In his talk about the history of sex-toy stores in North America, Cory Silverberg from Come As You Are, a sex-positive shop in Toronto (comeasyouare.com), pointed out that no research has been done on people who buy sex toys, how they use them, and how the toys affect their sex lives and attitudes about sexuality. Silverberg sounded an unabashedly activist note when he called on sex researchers to pay attention to current trends; sadly, there were only a dozen people in the room. 3. BDSM. There were a handful of papers on BDSM, but I'd like to see lots more, particularly a study on the intersection between people who do BDSM and their perceptions and attitudes about body image. In my experience, people in BDSM communities appear to be more comfortable with nudity and diverse body sizes; I'd love to see if this hypothesis holds up with research. 4. Female Porn Viewers. There were only two papers on porn at this conference, but that's pretty representative of the lack of information we have about porn consumption. We know especially little about how women react to different kinds of porn and what they want to see in porn. And not just college students. I get it?college students are a convenient pool of research subjects because they're in the professor's backyard?but there seemed to be far too many studies of college students. 5. Sex-Toy Safety. We don't have enough information about sex-toy materials, like the safety or toxicity of those made with phthalates (which I reported on in my February column, "Dangerous Dildos," part one and two.). My suggestion: Why not study a population of people that has extensive "exposure" to these toys?i.e., porn stars?
I'm especially interested in #4 because I am trying to write a paper about women and porn and I'm having a hard time finding any new porn-positive research out there. Most of it is either about the negative effects of porn or it's about how women do not watch porn which I know for a fact is not true considering how many women I've sold porn to over the years.So, I'm conducting an informal survey. If you identify as female and would like to take a few minutes, please answer the following questions in the comments:1. When do you first remember watching porn?2. How did you feel the first time you watched it?3. Do you view porn regularly?4. What do you like to see in porn?5. What is your favorite film?6. Have you ever purchased porn?Thanks!