3 bizarre things we learned about sex this week -- It gets better for married couples

New research reveals partners ages 57-85 tend to enjoy more active sex lives than they do during middle age


Katie Halper
March 4, 2015 4:00AM (UTC)
This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNet

Here are some new sex breakthroughs sure to bring smiles to faces and genitals around the world.

1. Scratching the 50-Year Itch

As anyone who is married, has friends who are married, or has seen a television show, movie or standup set surely knows, sex is frequent at the beginning of a marriage, but tends to taper off over time. But there's great news for people who miss having sex with their partners: if you stay married to the same person, you will experience a slight rebound, after 50 years of not so hot and heavy marital bliss.

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This is one of the main discoveries of the study, "Marital Characteristics and the Sexual Relationships of U.S. Older Adults," published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, which looked at the marriages and sexual behaviors of 1,656 married adults ages 57-85. Another interesting discovery is that people who are remarried don't have have sex as frequently at the beginning of their marriages as those who are married for the first time.

The researchers offered various untested theories to try to explain the results. Samuel Stroope, a former Baylor researcher and current assistant professor of sociology at Louisiana State University hypothesizes:

It may be that the permanency of the relationship contributes to sexual relations picking up a bit at the end.... Growing old as a couple, with the experience and knowledge that come with that, may play a part. You are able to learn about your partner and build on that over time. You may have a higher level of trust when you feel that your spouse isn't going to go anywhere. The expectation that the relationship will continue may give you more reason to invest in the relationship -- including in sexual aspects of the relationship. As people age, they tend to be more even-keeled, which may help cut down on marital conflict and facilitate regular sexual activity into advanced age.

As for the less frequent sex experienced at the beginning of second marriages, Stroope surmised, "It may be that those who have been married in the past may not have as strong of a sense of permanence or lasting investment."

The bad news for those looking forward to an uptick in sex half a century later, is that a relatively small number of people actually stay alive or married to the same person for that long.

2. Penis Reduction Surgery Not Expected to Become a Popular Craze

Ron Albertson of Blaine, Missouri reported having penis reduction surgery in 1996. But that was in Waiting for Guffman, one of the greatest comedies ever made... ever, and not actually a true story. Fast forward two decades, and we have the first man to actually undergo penis reduction surgery in real life. The operation was performed in Florida on an unidentified 17-year-old whose penis was 7 inches long and 10 inches wide. The penis was also misshapen due to priapism, or painful prolonged erections.

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According to Rafael Carrion, a urologist at the University of South Florida who treated the teen, “His penis had inflated like a balloon. It sounds like a man’s dream — a tremendously inflated phallus — but unfortunately although it was a generous length, its girth was just massive, especially around the middle. It looked like an American football.” This left the boy unable to have vaginal intercourse with his girlfriend.

The doctors were able to perform what they referred to as a "double tummy tuck" for the penis. The doctors removed segments of tissue from each side of the penis, without damaging or removing any nerves related to sensation. According to Dr. Carrion, the new and improved organ is "slightly longer and slightly thicker than the average male... but now it looks symmetrical, and the patient was very satisfied.” He has experienced pain-free erections through masturbation and although he hasn't had sex yet, doctors predict it will be a possible and pleasant experience, providing a happy ending, so to speak, to the teen, his girlfriend and anyone else interested in coming into sexual contact with the post-op penis.

3. One Pig's Bladder Is Another Woman's Vagina

The 17-year-old's girlfriend isn't the only woman with a happy vagina. A Czech woman received a new vagina at the University Hospital in the town of Plzen, in the western Czech Republic. The woman suffered from scleroderma, a condition that causes a hardening and thickening of areas of the skin as well internal organs and blood vessels and can restrict a woman's vaginal opening and decrease lubrication, which can make sex painful. The case was so extreme gynecologists were unable to perform examinations, and both sexual intercourse and healthy checkups were impossible. Although many women suffer from this condition, most are too embarrassed to see a doctor about it, according to Vladimir Kalis, head doctor of the Ob/Gyn clinic at the hospital.

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The doctors performed a type of vaginal reconstruction usually used on women who have suffered a pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence. In other words, it is usually used to make the vagina tighter, not to expand it.

Human donor skin or pig intestine can be used because pigs and humans share a similar genetic makeup. Pig tissue has been used for over 30 years, in fields ranging from dermatology to cardiology. Doctors made an incision in the woman's vaginal opening, then widened the vaginal walls using mesh made from pig intestine.

No other papers have been published on this operation and doctors believe it is the first of its kind.

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Katie Halper

Katie Halper is a writer, filmmaker, comedian and host of the Katie Halper show, a weekly WBAI radio show and podcast. She writes for The Nation, Rolling Stone, Vice, The Guardian, and has appeared on MSNBC, HuffPost Live, RT, Sirius Radio. https://www.facebook.com/thekatiehalpershow https://www.instagram.com/kthalps/ https://twitter.com/kthalps http://katiehalper.com/

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