Sex May Improve Your Memory When You're Older

Jun 4, 2018

A recent study offers a new reason why men over 50 should maintain active sex lives: it could improve your memory.

According to data from more than 6,000 people over 50 years old, a healthy sex life could improve short-term memory for older adults. The findings were published in May in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

In 2012, 6,016 men and women completed a memory test and questionnaires regarding their health, diet, sex lives, and emotional connection to their partners. In 2014, the process was repeated, and researchers from the University of Wollongong in Australia compared the results to determine what changed during that time.

Overall, people's memories declined over the two-year period — but people who had more sex, and felt a stronger emotional connection to their partners during intercourse, performed better on the memory assessments. But there's a catch: Sex was only associated with improved short-term memory — it wasn't linked to any changes in long-term memory. (You'll have to rely on exercise for that.)

The researchers believe sex could stimulate the hippocampus, an area of the brain important for memory.

Sex offers plenty of other health benefits, like making you happier. The stress-reducing hormone oxytocin floods your body after orgasm, leaving you relaxed and worry-free. There's also evidence that people who have sex at least once a week have better immune systems, because they benefit from higher levels of immunoglobulin A: an antibody that wards off illness.

A healthy sex life can also reduce prostate cancer in guys — offering even more incentive to keep the passion alive as you age.

Long: Talk to your kids about sexting

May 17, 2018

The story in the Virginia section of last Saturday’s Washington Post online was yet another reminder of what a different world our kids are experiencing than we did.
The story involved a major police investigation into “sexting” in a Falls Church middle school — yes, middle school, grades six through eight. Sexting, in case you’ve just been rescued from years of isolation on a desert island somewhere, involves the transmission of sexually explicit images via, usually, cell phone.
While no one has been charged so far in the probe, and naturally the identities of those involved are being withheld, the Post reported that “investigators with the Falls Church police have recovered explicit images, discovered some were posted on social media and learned one high school student appeared topless during a live session on Instagram, according to the search warrant.”
What will become of the investigation is unclear, because while there has apparently been some wildly inappropriate stuff going on with minors (and the implication is that this is not at all a unique situation), there is a difficulty in charging young people with sexting. The closest statute covers child pornography. Sexting sort of falls under that category since it involves explicit images of minors. But police, prosecutors, parents and judges often can see a wide distinction between the creep exploiting children for some other creep to get his jollies versus the thirteen-year-old executing bad judgment.
Some efforts have been made to codify a more appropriate law, perhaps making sexting among minors a misdemeanor as opposed to a felony. But these efforts have yet to gain much momentum. In practice, the child porn charges against minors apparently are usually reduced to lesser offenses in a plea bargain anyway.
Now, let me be clear: the suggestion that the punishment should fit the crime in no way downplays the seriousness of the offense. While some are prone to shrug off sexting as an innocent byproduct of raging hormones (for instance, look at the comments on the Washington Post story), this practice can have serious, and seriously unintended, consequences.
In the Falls Church case, part of the story involved a couple of children sending each other photos while in a relationship, wildly inappropriate to their ages though it was. However, as will come as no great surprise to anyone except adolescents, adolescent romances don’t tend to last very long. Once the couple, only a few years removed from napping with teddy bears, broke up, the lurid images were distributed farther than either party intended.
The investigation continues and charges may or may not result. But clearly these two kids can only look back on the episode with regret. What were they thinking, one wonders, and hopefully parents have asked repeatedly.
It seems to me it’s the girl who is most apt to be hurt by such inappropriate relationships. We don’t know many particulars of the case described above. But it’s not hard to imagine other cases in which girls are pressured into sending photos to their boyfriends; the boyfriends then share the images around the locker room and online. The girl finds not only her feelings crushed, but her body exploited. And why? Probably because she’s been fed the lie that this is what a relationship in 2018 is. She thinks he’ll love her forever. He just sees her as an object.
We as a society need to communicate to her that she’s of much greater value than this.
So what to do about it? Obviously the police and schools have a role to play here. There are already campaigns aimed at pointing out the pitfalls of sexting: these should continue and increase. We’ve successfully told kids for years to avoid smoking, to wear bike helmets, and to be careful of stranger danger. They eventually get the message.
But more importantly, the parents must realize the danger, understand the pressures of youth culture, and respond accordingly. Few if any middle schoolers pay for their own phones. They don’t pay for the electricity that charges them. So parents should make it clear that they can and will have all passwords and will be inspecting phones regularly. Declare that phone privileges can and will be revoked for due cause. But don’t only be a dictator about it — explain the dangers of sexting and let them know you intend to protect them from exploitative relationships.
If your teen doesn’t tell you from time to time that you’re ruining his or her life, you’re probably not doing it right.
Long is the education director for the National D-Day Memorial.

My life in sex: ‘Kissing a man dressed as a woman is still kissing a man’

May 16, 2018

I have wanted to wear skimpy women’s clothing since puberty. As an adolescent, I had little opportunity, and when I married I told my wife, but she was unsympathetic. I suppressed the urge, and focused on the good points of our relationship, although I admit our sex life was fairly average.
When my wife and I split up three years ago, I realised I could explore transvestism. I bought some sexy clothes and joined a transvestite dating website, posting a picture of myself in an alluring short silk dress, a blond wig and full makeup. I said I was interested in relationships with other TVs, women and men. My profile attracted interest from TVs and some male admirers.
The messages from male admirers were often explicit and, while I didn’t feel threatened, I felt like the object of unwanted attention for the first time in my life; the hunted rather than the hunter. I had to be firm; I didn’t want to get physical and no, I wasn’t going to give them my phone number.
So far, I’ve met three TVs and got mildly physical with them, although strangely, I don’t feel inclined to take things further. Kissing a man dressed as a woman is still kissing a man, and the whole adventure in transvestism has made me realise that, for me, it is narcissistic – more about me than the other. I am a man who likes the feel of women’s clothes and being feminine; that’s what gives me pleasure. Sadly, this means that my transvestism is always going to be a solitary experience, and like Narcissus, I fear the only relationship I will have, will be with myself.