British men and women are now the most promiscuous of any big western industrial nation, researchers have found.
In an international index measuring one-night stands, total numbers of partners and attitudes to casual sex, Britain comes out ahead of Australia, the US, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany.
The researchers behind the study say high scores such as Britain's may be linked to the way society is increasingly willing to accept sexual promiscuity among women as well as men. They also believe that, among certain age groups and at certain
times, men and women are equally liberal.
The researchers say that cultural developments have meant women are now as able to engage in no-strings sex as men. Historically we have repressed women's short-term mating and there are all sorts of double standards out there where men's
short-term mating was sort of acceptable but women's wasn't, said David Schmitt, a professor of psychology at Bradley University, Illinois, who oversaw the research.
The study was conducted by asking more than 14,000 people in 48 countries to fill in anonymous questionnaires. Respondents were asked about numbers of partners and one-night stands, and their attitudes were assessed by asking them how many people
they expected to sleep with over the next five years and how comfortable they were with the idea of casual sex.
The results were combined into an index of so-called sociosexuality , the term used by evolutionary psychologists as a measure of how sexually liberal people are in thought and behaviour. Most individuals scored between 4 and 65.
The country with the highest rating was Finland, with an average of 51. Taiwan came lowest, with 19.
Britain scored 40, placing it 11th overall, behind countries such as Latvia, Croatia and Slovenia - but it was highest among the major western industrial nations. The first tranche of research was published in 2005 but analyses have continued and
Schmitt described the latest in this week's edition of New Scientist.
Britain's ranking was ascribed to factors such as the decline of religious scruples about extramarital sex, the growth of equal pay and equal rights for women and a highly sexualised popular culture.
The high scores in many Baltic and eastern European states might be linked, Schmitt said, to the fact that women outnumber men and so are under more pressure to conform to what men want in order to find a mate. In Asian countries, by contrast,
men tend to outnumber women slightly, so it is men who have to conform.
Majors League (OECD countries with populations over 10m)
Despite the fast growth in popularity of downloadable pornography, the existence of porn magazines still stands strong.
With the minimum wage hovering around 144 baht a day, it comes as no surprise that as few as 20.5 per cent of Thais are Internet users, according to Internet World Stats. Although DVDs and downloadable clips are becoming more widespread, it is
merely among those who can afford such devices, and the demand for porn magazines is still there for those who cannot.
There is a broad range of porn magazines, from romance novels with sex scenes to hardcore porn, from heterosexual porn to homosexual porn. Her area of research is male-oriented heterosexual porn magazines for people in low-income brackets, which
turn out to be read not only by the poor.
There was something quite surprising when I researched pornography. In the US, low-end porn magazines actually do very well among middle- or upper-middle-class readers. It is a way of distancing themselves from the content and looking at the
experience as an adventurous exploration into an unknown land different from their everyday life.
Pornography is illegal in Thailand, with stronger legal enforcement during the past few years. But instead of wiping out porn magazines, such enforcement only forces porn magazines to survive through more discreet distribution. In a way, it is
like the Twilight Zone. They are still available at many newsstands, but they are just not openly displayed.
Nonetheless, dissemination of pornography is an offence subject to a range of other legal consequences, including three years' imprisonment, a 6,000 baht fine or both. For the sake of survival, porn magazines have been altered and camouflaged to
protect the publishers, as well as distributors. The cover is made less obvious. There is no printing year or address, to prevent the publishers from being traced back through the magazines.
Danish women are not shy when it comes to pornography, according to figures from the porn film and TV business. A recent poll by TSN Gallup showed that 66,000 women in the country aged between 21 and 50 had tuned into city TV station Kanal
København's late-night porn programme within the past month.
In addition, the nation's leading seller of porn movies reports that women customers contribute to a significant portion of their sales.
It's definitely a step by step development, but movies for women and couples are very much in demand, Barny Nygaard, head of BN Agentur, told TV2 News.
A study conducted last year by psychologist Gert Martin Hald also suggests young Danish women are watching more pornography. He found that 50% of the 372 women he asked said they had watched a porn video within the past six months.
It also appears from the study that women are more likely than men to want to use a porn movie when they're with their partners, said Hald.
There's an alarming array of sex toys out there, so, to help you along, here is a selection of toys that work.
If you're a heterosexual couple and you make only one purchase, it has to be a vibrator, simply because they remain the easiest, most effective way to bring women to orgasm. The clitoris loves consistent, intense stimulation and nothing provides
that more efficiently than a vibrator. What to choose? There's everything from a rubber duck to something that looks like it should be in a cage. The most versatile in terms of size and all-round use is probably what's called a
"classic" or "torpedo" vibe. It's a compact, cylindrical vibrator that you hold against the clitoris while he's using his fingers or during intercourse. It's non-threatening for him because it's not big or sculpted to look
like a penis and it's small enough not to feel too intrusive.
Bullet vibes look like large tampons, are often made of metal and sit snugly between the vaginal lips, providing strong clitoral stimulation. These are very couple friendly: perfect for caressing nipples, around the rim of your bottom anywhere
you fancy a bit of a buzz really. Add perfect portability, sleek and sexy designs and you'll understand why they've shot to the top of the bestseller list. Also ingenious are butterfly vibrators with harnesses. A small vibrator nestles inside a
jelly butterfly-shaped sleeve. This is positioned on top of her clitoris, the straps then go around both her legs to hold it in place. Turn it on and the butterfly wings flutter over her most sensitive part. The main advantage is that it's
hands-free so you can leave it in place during intercourse.
Another more recent "intercourse" vibrator is one that's designed to be worn both internally and externally during intercourse, upping her chances of penetrative orgasm dramatically. The appropriately named We-Vibe is small and C-shaped
about three inches long and one inch wide. You turn it on, insert one end up to the bend and, because it's flexible, the whole thing then opens to an "L" shape. The larger clitoral pad sits against the labia and against the clitoris,
the other end works on the G-spot. It flattens out so smoothly, he can't feel it during sex but he does feel the powerful vibrations. (available exclusively through
Vibrating penis rings are also a great idea. They're penis rings usually rubber with little vibrators attached for clitoral stimulation. I was unconvinced when I first saw them. The reason why? If you use traditional in-out thrusting, the
vibrator doesn't maintain contact with the clitoris for long enough to be effective. Use a grinding, circular motion, however, with him keeping his pelvis pressed close against hers during intercourse, and you may get a very pleasant surprise.
I've got one in my range at
Liberator Ramp offers support with a deep slope elevation. It strategically lifts your lover's hips to an altitude of 12 inches, offering access at critical angles that accentuate sensitivity. It's time to teach your old doggie-style some new
tricks. The key to perfect rear-entry penetration is supported elevation. Supported elevation prevents falling forward, slipping, sore elbows and wrists and hips buried in the mattress. With Ramp a couple can sustain the doggie-style position for
longer, more satisfying sessions.
Other Ramp specialties include positions off the side of the bed and an unbeatable girl-on-top ride.
The Dutch electronics company, Philips, said it will launch a range of sex toys in Selfridges and Boots stores.
Jayson Otke, a Philips spokesman, said the products are designed to enhance couples' sexual well-being, and are specifically target the hitherto "neglected" group of sex toy users aged between 35 and 55.
Otke said the three new products will be called collectively the Intimate Massage Range, consisting of the Warm Intimate Massage, the Warm Massage and the Intimate Dual Massage.
They are attractive to look at, targeted at the over-35 market, designed like beautiful stones with contours that vibrate and in a tasteful purple case.
You would not be embarrassed to leave the product in full view of the family. The products are marketed for couples, are none-penetrative, not phallic shaped and are not meant to replace the partner but to enhance the sex life of both
After two years in evolution, the world's first, intelligent, virtual sex toy has arrived in the form of the MX.
The initial, serial port, robotic toy design has come a long way since its inception and the MX, designed and created to synchronise with especially encoded adult DVD content, works on internet protocol (IP) networks (computers and television
sets via set-top box services), Bluetooth (mobile telephones) and other compatible remote media systems.
The MX website explains: Virtual sex has been spoken of since Woody Allen's 1973 film, Sleeper, introduced the world to a fictional electromechanical device known as the orgasmatron. Now, for the first time ever, this fictional concept has
become a reality in the shape of the MX.
The MX is available in both male and female variants; the male version being a real-feel, jelly-flesh silicone sleeve and the female version resembling a superior quality vibrator. Both have been embedded with 100% user safe encoded software
motherboard and trigger modules which mirror the accompanying, personally interactive, DVD content.
The MX has no wires and does not need to be attached to anything. The male MX sleeve is fitted with a removable device consisting of a series of six trigger point modules, four down the shaft and one on either said of the base, each controlled in
accordance with the on screen action. For example, when the actress says she is going to lick the top of the viewer's penis and does so, the relevant trigger point module will simulate that specific action, essentially meaning the MX will
kinaesthetically replicate the visual and aural stimuli.
The female MX is similarly controlled, with each of the multiple functions of the vibrator triggered by the on screen action. For example, should the actor say he is going to rub the viewer's clitoris and begins to do so, the related trigger
point will vibrate accordingly.
A third MX design has been created especially for the gay market, meaning it is essentially also the world's first sex toy which specifically caters for the active gay man. As with the other versions, the gay MX works in conjunction with gay
adult video content.
The MX prototypes have now undergone vigorous and independent testing and the company is interested in speaking with toy manufacturers and distributors about partnership options.
Edison had his lightbulb, Ford had his Model T, and Jan Vinzenz Krause has his spray-on condom.
Inspired by the mechanics of a drive-through car wash, the German sexual-health educator designed a custom-fitting male contraceptive using liquid latex and some materials from a hardware store.
As a teenager, Krause had trouble finding the right size condom, which set him on a quest to aid other similarly befuddled young men. In 2001 he developed an online condom adviser, which provides printable measuring tapes and instructions to help
men determine which condom, out of all the brands available in Germany, will fit the best. According to Krause, more than 300,000 people have used the free service.
Hence his idea for a spray-on condom. The prototype, which began testing last year, consists of a hard plastic tube with nozzles that spray liquid latex from all directions, much like the water jets in the tunnel of a car wash. According to
Krause, there are numerous advantages to his spray-on condom. The condom fits 100% perfectly, so the safety is much higher than a standard condom's, and it feels more natural.
But the most serious problem with the design — which is what has kept the product off the market thus far — is that the latex takes too long to dry. Liquid latex currently takes two to three minutes to vulcanize, making it
impractical. For people to buy it , Krause says: it needs to be ready in five to 10 seconds.
That has kept the spray-on condom on hold indefinitely until a faster-drying latex comes along.
Scientists are developing a pill to be taken before sex that would stop transmission of HIV. In the latest development in the battle against the global epidemic, researchers are investigating whether drugs used to treat the disease might be
harnessed to protect against it.
Antiretroviral drugs are already used to prevent transmission from mothers to their babies during birth and scientists hope the same protection can be obtained during sex. If successful, the research would raise ethical questions about the
prevention of HIV, including who should take such a drug, in what circumstances and with what risk of side effects.
Three trials of antiretroviral drugs which are being given to uninfected people at high risk of HIV are under way around the world and are showing great promise , according to a report in The Lancet, published to coincide with the
International Conference on Aids in Mexico City.
One British researcher said yesterday that the return of the bathhouse culture among gay and bisexual men, involving sex with multiple partners, could provide the scenario in which a preventive pill might be taken.
Sheena McCormack, a specialist in HIV prevention and reader in clinical epidemiology at Imperial College London, said: The party scene involving multiple sexual partners is definitely back in London and probably in most European cities. There
is metrosexual mixing involving gay, bisexual and some heterosexual cases. We estimate new HIV infections in gay men in London are running at 3% a year.
Her clinic already offers post-exposure prophylaxis to people who have had unprotected sex with someone in a high-risk group, involving a month-long course of treatment with three drugs. But a preventive drug would provide an extra option.
People could pop a pill on a Friday night and be covered for the whole weekend, she said.
On a global scale, use of a preventive pill would have to be restricted to groups at highest risk, such as commercial sex workers or injecting drug users, who would take it daily for the duration of their exposure. Concerns about side effects and
the development of resistant strains of HIV would first have to be overcome.
The research is being driven by the lack of progress in the search for a vaccine against HIV, and the failure of efforts to develop vaginal microbicides to protect women which has left scientists determined to find any chink in the virus's
The trials include 2,400 injecting drug users in Thailand, 1,200 heterosexual men and women in Botswana and 3,000 men who have sex with men in five countries. One trial is using tenofovir, a drug used to treat Aids in the West, and two are using
Truvada, a combination of tenofovir and STC. A fourth trial involves 980 women in South Africa who are being given an experimental vaginal gel based on tenofovir.
Studies in primates have shown the drugs do prevent transmission, the Lancet report says.
Men who don't use their erections lose them, Finnish researchers find.
Aging men who have sex at least once a week have only half the risk of developing erectile dysfunction as do men who have sex less often.
But once-a-weekers shouldn't gloat. More sex means even less ED risk. Men who have sex at least three times a week are only one-fourth as likely to get erectile dysfunction as are men who have less-than-weekly sex.
Regular sexual activity preserves potency in a similar fashion as physical exercise maintains functional capacity, conclude Juha Koskimaki and colleagues at the University of Tampere, Finland.
The findings come from questionnaires mailed to Finnish men aged 55 to 75. Only the 989 men who did not have erectile dysfunction at the beginning of the study - and who returned a second questionnaire five years later - were included.
Interestingly, the study found that men who have less than one morning erection per week are 2.5 times more likely to get erectile dysfunction as are men who have two or three morning erections per week. But having a morning erection every day
did not lower a man's risk of erectile dysfunction.
One major limitation of the study, Koskimaki and colleagues note, is that they did not ask the men about masturbation, which might conceivably have the same salubrious effect on erectile dysfunction as intercourse. So as far as the researchers
can tell, the study findings apply only to sex with another person.
Doctors should support patients' sexual activity, they conclude.
Koskimaki and colleagues report their findings in the July 2008 issue of The American Journal of Medicine.
An increasing number of 70 year olds are having good sex and more often, and women in this age group are particularly satisfied with their sex lives, according to a study published recently.
Knowledge about sexual behaviour in older people (70 year olds) is limited and mainly focuses on sexual problems, less is known about "normal" sexual behaviour in this age group.
Nils Beckman and colleagues from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, studied attitudes to sex in later life among four representative population samples of 70 year olds in Sweden, who they interviewed in 1971-2, 1976-7, 1992-3, and 2000-1. In
total, over 1 500 people aged 70 years were interviewed about different aspects of their sex lives including sexual dysfunctions, marital satisfaction and sexual activity.
The authors found that over the thirty year period the number of 70 year olds of both sexes reporting sexual intercourse increased: married men from 52% to 98%, married women from 38% to 56%, unmarried men from 30% to 54%, and unmarried women
from 0.8% to 12%.
In addition, the number of women reporting high sexual satisfaction increased, more women reported having an orgasm during sex and fewer reported never having had an orgasm.
While the proportion of women reporting low satisfaction with their sex lives decreased, the proportion of men reporting low satisfaction increased. The authors suggest that this might be because it is now more acceptable for men to admit
"failure" in sexual matters.
They also note that the number of men reporting erectile dysfunction deceased, whereas the proportion reporting ejaculation dysfunction increased, but the proportion reporting premature ejaculation did not change.
What do I do when my love is away.
(Does it worry you to be alone)
How do I feel by the end of the day
(Are you sad because you're on your own)
No, I get by with a little help from my V's,
Mmm I get high with a little help from my V's,
Mmm I'm gonna to try with a little help from my V's
Sexually-transmitted infections have doubled in under a decade in people over 45 and are now rising faster than in the young, research suggests.
The Health Protection Agency study said internet dating and erectile dysfunction drugs were partly to blame.
Men were most likely to be affected, with increases in herpes, syphilis, gonorrhoea and genital warts.
The study was published in Sexually Transmitted Infections.
The number of sexually transmitted infections is rising in both young and old, despite sexual health campaigns urging people to avoid unsafe sex.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) looked at people coming to clinics in the West Midlands between 1996 and 2003. The vast majority of these were younger people - accounting for more than 95% in 2003. However, the proportion of over-45s rose
during the preceding eight years.
In total, 4,445 infections were detected in older people, with genital warts accounting for almost half of these diagnoses. Herpes was the next most common, with one-in-five diagnoses.
The overall rate of infections more than doubled over the eight-year period from 16.7 per 100,000 population to 36.3 per 100,0000.
Dr Babtunde Olowokure, from the HPA's regional surveillance unit in Birmingham, said: Older people are increasingly likely to be single or undergoing relationship changes and are less likely to consistently use condoms, perhaps because the
risk of pregnancy no longer exists. Increased international travel, internet dating, new drugs to counter erectile dysfunction and overlapping sexual networks may also be factors.
The government said using a condom was relevant for anyone having unsafe sex...regardless of age.
Scientists claim to have discovered the secret of sexual desire in a breakthrough that could change millions of lives around the world. They are developing a "wonder pill" to generate sex drive in both women and men who
struggle with their libido.
The medication could also have the potential to boost fertility rates and is believed to have the side-effect of encouraging weight-loss.
If successful, it could outsell the market-leading impotence drug Viagra, as it bolsters the brain's desire for sex, whereas Viagra boosts only physical capability.
Loss of libido affects more than a third of women and up to one in six men, but experts report a growing problem with a decline in sexual desire among stressed-out males.
The pill would use a hormone that releases Type 2 gonadotropin, which drives the reproductive system in animals and humans. Tests on animals have proved successful and researchers at the Medical Research Council's Human Reproductive Sciences Unit
in Edinburgh are working on an equivalent for humans.
Swedish mums want far more sex than they are actually getting, according to a survey done by mummy magazine Mama.
Apparently, 43% of mums under the age of 29 own a dildo and almost 28% of those questioned in the Mama survey have checked out online porn.
Having said that, 31% of those surveyed think their man's freshly showered body is the greatest turn-on. Some mums would prefer a completely different man altogether: 7% of mums have been unfaithful after becoming mothers.
39% of the Swedish mums surveyed have had anal sex and 23% fantasize about other men or women during sexual intercourse. 37% of the younger mums (under age 29) have had lesbian fantasies. 2% have had group sex and 23% of mums under the age of 29
use handcuffs as part of sex play.
But the most telling statistic in the survey - though not exactly surprising - is that 60% of mums simply want more frequent sex. They would like to have sex at least once or twice a week but only 38% of them actually get it that often.
The Mama survey questioned 918 Mama readers in an internet survey carried out in co-operation with RAM (Research-and analysis of media).
A recent global sex survey found that 70% of Thai women cannot achieve orgasm.
Others reach orgasm through masturbation or having sex with another woman, while 79% of Thai men climax during sex, according to research by condom manufacturer Durex.
The survey revealed that 54% of Thai couples cannot reach orgasm, while Italians, Spanish, Mexicans and South Africans are the most likely to climax almost every time, at 66%. Only 24% of Chinese couples achieve orgasm and the Japanese recorded
Sexologist Dr Pansak Sugkrakroek says most Thai women cannot reach orgasm because their partners do not know how to help them.
They just care about themselves, he says. Making love is a kind of art that they have to learn so that they can help their partners.
Pansak says some couples end relationships because they cannot help each other to reach orgasm.
Taking more time can have a significant impact on the quality of orgasms. Those Thais fully satisfied with the intensity of their orgasms spend on average 3.9 more minutes on foreplay than those who are not, he adds.
Even though orgasms are not the be all and end all of sex, regularly achieving them improves emotional and overall wellbeing, as well as a bond with a partner. It can also help to reduce life's stresses. Ideally, people should try to have
orgasms regularly, he says.
Raquel Pacheco, better known as “Bruna Surfistinha” is an ex-call girl from the state of São Paulo, Brazil who became famous for sharing stories about her life as a prostitute in the book The Scorpion's Sweet Venom: The Diary of a
Brazilian Call Girl . The book quickly has become a tremendous success in Brazil, and in the US and in some European countries as well. At 23 years old, Bruna has found love and left behind her three-year prostitution and brief movie career.
AEBN : How was the beginning of your life as a call girl?
Bruna : It was difficult because I was not used to have sex with strangers. I have always been able to feel pleasure though, and it helped me to relax.
AEBN : Would you have done things differently if you could go back in time?
Bruna : I really don't have any regrets. I believe that everyone has the power to choose his or her own actions in life. The only thing that I would have done differently is the way I left my parents home. I simply
ran away and left a goodbye letter to my mother. If I could go back, I would try harder to get along with them.
AEBN : What do you say to couples interested in improving their sexual performance?
Bruna : Sex is an important part of people's lives. I think that men should always respect their partners, and women should try to compromise a little more when it comes to sex. Women need to try to overcome the fear
of sex and try new stimulants- like sex toys, masturbation and anal sex, for their own pleasure – and not to please their men. Women really need to get past the taboo of anal sex- especially if they are Brazilian- because Brazilian men are crazy
for this practice! Believe me- if it wasn't good, there would be no homosexuals!
AEBN : What made you want to go public with your life blog and your book?
Bruna: In 2004, the personal blogs became extremely popular among young people in Brazil. I decided to create my own blog as a form of therapy to work on my feelings when I felt lonely. I was a good writer, and I got a lot of e-mails from people
who could not believe that a call girl could write so well, since most people think prostitutes don't have any intellectual capacity. This made me realize how strong the prejudice against prostitution was. I decided that I would show people the
other side. After beginning my blog, it didn't take very long before I was invited to write a book about my story by two Brazilian publishers.
AEBN : What was the most difficult situation you went through as a prostitute?
Bruna : I was in a motel room with this crazy guy who started insulting me and tried to force me to do several humiliating acts while we were having sex. He decided that he was not going to pay me and that he wouldn't
let me leave the room. After a lot of talking, he threw the money on the floor and let me out. It was scary.
AEBN : Where do you want to be in five years?
Bruna : I want to be an anonymous person again, and I want to have a degree in Psychology. I want to have kids and reconcile with my parents. I also want to enjoy the fruits of my labor from my book, and of the movie
based on it.
[According to the news portal “G1” from Brazilian Rede Globo, Marcus Baldini (the director of Madam Satã) will direct the movie The Scorpion's Sweet Venom produced by TV Zero. It is due for release in 2008].
AEBN : You mention the word “freedom” many times in your book. What does freedom mean to you?
Bruna : Freedom is something everybody wants, but most never reach. I was looking for freedom when I left my parents house, but ended up becoming a prisoner of the prostitution world. The fact that I've become a
celebrity is just another example of my freedom being taken away from me. I can't simply do whatever I want- I have to give away autographs and pay attention to my fans. To me, freedom is an unattainable utopia.
For many Australian men anal sex is an unattainable dream, the holiest of holies murmured about with mates yet rarely realised.
Studies put the number of men and women who've engaged in the act anywhere between 15 and 40 percent, with half that number practicing regularly.
The reason anal is such a rare bird comes down to both culture and anatomy: like going back stage at a concert or picking food up off the ground, anal sex is viewed as both forbidden and dirty by us up-tight Aussies.
But then, fifty years ago, so were blow jobs.
Kath Albury, in her book Yes Means Yes says anal sex is seen as men's sex, something only bad men ask for and only bad women agree to.
...Mark says he used to spend a lot of time trying to pick women up in clubs and bars. Now the 31-year-old business consultant from London doesn't have the time: It is a mixture of the convenience and the time aspect. I work very, very
He recognises there is a stigma, but it is one he utterly rejects: Some of my friends are fully aware that I visit prostitutes. Many of them do themselves. There is this fear that it is in some way abusive. I would disagree with the idea that
nobody chooses to do it for a living.
Patrick views it as a totally mundane transaction between adults: I see us as adults. I want to pay and someone wants to sell. As long as I'm not hurting them in any way what harm am I doing. I'm distributing my wealth to people who don't have
The trio all use a website,
PunterNet , where "punters" - the men who visit prostitutes - go to discuss their encounters.
The men speak of forming friendships with the women in the parlours and saunas.
There's always a lot of girls that I know, says Patrick: We have a good camaraderie. I treat them as my friends and I feel to some extent they confide and talk to me.
There is one aspect of the media coverage that all three men find irritating - the idea that trafficked or coerced women make up a significant proportion of prostitutes. Patrick, Mark and Pete say they have never encountered a trafficked woman
and that conversations with prostitutes lead them to believe it is rare.
The perception is that everybody is trafficked, says Mark: The figures bandied around for the numbers of trafficked women are absurd. Mark's position is clear. If he did meet a woman he suspected was trafficked he would do something
about it, there and then.
I've never come across one, says Patrick: All the people I've seen, they have always been happy, we have talked beforehand.
All three men are, needless to say, opposed to the Swedish model that is now gaining currency in the UK where, the act of buying sex is criminalised.
A search that has preoccupied many women for year, not to mention their partners, may finally be over. An Italian scientist believes he may have found the female G-spot.
Emmanuele Jannini, of the University of L'Aquila, claims to have found the first anatomical evidence for the existence of the elusive and controversial pleasure point, which some women say triggers powerful vaginal orgasms. His research could
also explain why so many women have searched for their G-spot in vain: it suggests that not all of them have one.
The G-spot is named after Ernst Gräfenberg, a German gynaecologist who in 1950 proposed that a sensitive point on the vaginal wall could provoke particularly intense orgasms in some women, which differ from normal orgasms caused by clitoral
stimulation. Finding it has since become a staple of good-sex handbooks.
Its existence, however, has been widely questioned. Many women have always found it impossible to locate, leading them to doubt their own sexual skills or that of their partners, or to wonder whether the whole idea of a vaginal pleasure point is
Dr Jannini has found anatomical differences between women who can have vaginal orgasms and those who cannot and told New Scientist magazine that it may be possible to develop an ultrasound test that can tell women whether they have one.
He used ultrasound to examine nine women who said that they could have vaginal orgasms and eleven who said that they could not. He found that the tissue between the vagina and urethra was thicker in the first group, which could be linked to their
ability to have an orgasm.
An anti-Aids gel tested on humans in Thailand and other countries has proved ineffective in preventing transmission of the HIV infection from men to women as hoped.
The study was unable to show Carraguard's efficacy in preventing male-to-female transmission of HIV, said principal investigator Khatija Ahmed of Population Council, an NGO behind the vaginal drug and trials.
Carraguard, a candidate microbicide produced by the Population Council, had spent three years in large-scale "phase three" trials, was unable to prevent transmission of the Aids virus, the investigators said. But the gel was found to be
safe for long-term vaginal use, a finding they described as extremely promising.
It is the third major setback in the seven-year-long drive to develop a vaginal microbicide, the term for a cream that would block or kill the AIDS virus during vaginal intercourse.
Antiretroviral drugs used to treat people with HIV might also prevent vaginal transmission of the virus, claims a study by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
The vast majority of new HIV infections worldwide, which total about 6,800 new transmissions daily, occur through unprotected vaginal sex with an infected partner.
For this study, the researchers used special mice with fully developed human immune systems that produced the infection-fighting cells specifically targeted by HIV in people. The Texas team found that daily doses of antiretroviral drugs before
and after exposure to HIV can prevent vaginal transmission of the virus.
The study was published in the Jan. 14 online issue of PLoS Medicine.
Our motivation is to look for interventions that can be implemented rapidly and have the potential to make a big difference, senior study author Dr. J. Victor Garcia-Martinez, a professor of internal medicine, said: We don't want
something in 10 years. We want female-controlled prevention measures now. Our observations support the potential for antiviral drugs to function as an effective pre-exposure prophylaxis against the further spread of AIDS .