Netballer Courtney Bruce Doesn’t Resent The Juggle Between Sport, Work And Study

Team: West Coast Fever

Comp: Suncorp Super Netball, inaugural season Feb 18 to late Jun 2017

 

How did you start playing netball?

“I grew up south of the river in Perth and I started playing with my sisters at our local recreation centre. I liked the game’s speed, competitiveness and athleticism.” 

When did you become an elite netball player?

“My first year was back in the 2010/11 season, playing with the West Coast Fever when I was 16. I’m now going into my 6th season with the West Coast Fever.”

What’s your training schedule like?

“It depends on whether we’re in pre-season or regular season, but on average we do three weights sessions per week, four court-work sessions, including both conditioning and match-play scenarios. We also fit in yoga, pilates, physio, massage, video analysis and individual court work or conditioning sessions.”

Do you work in another job as well as playing netball?

“I work in the office at Netball WA, and I’m doing a Bachelor degree in Psychology. I love having to juggle my commitments – balance in my life is the key to me performing both on and off the court. Thankfully the club, our team wellbeing and psychologist consultant, and my uni are very helpful with the balancing act.”

Do you look forward to the day when sportswomen won’t need to work to subsidise their incomes?

“I certainly do, and the new deal and league in the Suncorp Super Netball is helping bridge the gap and allow some players to focus fully on their netball. There’s still room to grow, and hopefully over the next few years the income that can be earned from netball will continue to grow with more media and sponsorships.”

Game ✌🏼with these legends! #HeartSoulSweat @westcoastfeverofficial

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What would you say to a woman toying with the idea of trying netball for the first time?

“Embrace the sport. It is a really good way to build new friendships and to just have fun. It also keeps you really fit: it helps build endurance because you run for 15 minutes without many opportunities to catch your breath. Plus it helps build core strength and overall stability, and also speed and explosiveness.”

What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?

“I’m really creative, I love to draw, paint and design. I have a real passion for art.”


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All Your Questions About Squirting, Finally Answered

For many of us, female ejaculation is the number one urban legend of sexual experiences. We’ve all heard the stories about that friend of a friend who goes off like a sprinkler system. So what’s a girl gotta do to get in on the action?

Although the exact play-by-play of squirting is still being decoded by experts, here’s what we know(ish) so far about this hotly debated, highly sought after, extremely happy ending.

1. It’s Caused By G-Spot Stimulation
Many believe that squirting happens when your G-spot is stimulated, says Dr Sherry Ross, M.D. “When sexually aroused, the G-spot fills with blood and appears to be swollen,” she explains. “Some women can have an orgasm if the G-spot is properly stimulated, and for some, this can trigger female ejaculation.”

Related: The struggles of having a vagina

2. It’s NOT Pee
You can exhale. “To the best of our understanding, women have an area equivalent to the prostate gland,” says Dr Carolyn DeLucia. “This area allows women to release fluids during orgasm.” The fluid is thought to be secreted by the skene glands, which sit on either side of the urethra, not by the bladder. Though it’s perfectly normal for a teensy bit of diluted pee to sneak out, too.

3. But It Feels Like You Might Pee

When your S.O. (or vibe) hits that sweet spot and you’re about to ejaculate, you’ll typically feel the same sense of urgency that strikes when your bladder’s full, says Dr Sara Twogood. You might even find yourself pausing mid-romp to run to the bathroom—when in fact, you were about to squirt. (Cue sad trombone.)

Related: Weird things guys say during sex

4. Word Is You Can Learn to Squirt
For some women, ejaculating can be a learned experience—alone, or with a partner. First off, hit the bathroom so your bladder doesn’t kill your buzz. “You want to hit your G-spot, which is the area about two knuckles in, on the front wall of the vagina,” says sex educator Zhana Vrangalova. Instead of a gentle massage like you’d give your clitoris, stimulating the G-spot typically involves hard and vigorous thrusting. (Grrr, baby.) “One thing women can do to increase their odds of success is to relax, and when they feel that sensation as if they have to pee, to not stop it but let it go—it’s not pee, it’s squirt,” she says. There you have it.

5. But Don’t Feel Bad if You Can’t

Unfortunately, some women might not be able to do it, no matter how many times they try. But that doesn’t mean your vagina is defective. “Not all women sexually respond to G-spot stimulation,” says Ross. “So don’t worry if you’ve tried and failed to find that sweet spot. There’s no magic button!”

6. And Don’t Be Embarrassed if You Do
On the flip side, some women might squirt all the freaking time. Don’t ever be embarrassed! “For most men, it’s a big boost to their confidence as a lover,” says DeLucia. “It makes them feel like they’re extra special in the sack.” Plus, they do it all the time. If it’s the mess you can’t stand, simply bust out a towel when you know you’re about to get busy—and enjoy!

MORE: Pubic hair myths to stop believing

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5 Signs He’s Just Not That Into You

You’ve probably heard the saying but it really does ‘take two to tango’. We have teamed up with the relationship experts from eHarmony to create your go-to guide on how to decipher ‘boy code’.

FYI we are going to be VERY honest here because the reason you are here in the first place means you probably already have your answer…

 

1. He only wants to see you late at night

It’s called a booty call for a reason. How often do you hear of people marrying their late night ‘booty call’? Our point exactly. Hold off ladies! Ignore the late night texts and wait for someone who wants to see you in daylight – with your clothes on!

2. You don’t cop an invite to big events

At the end of the day if he’s into you, he’ll want you in his life. This could mean meeting friends/family and major events like birthdays or holidays. If you aren’t invited…It’s probably time to start raising those perfectly shaped brows.

3. He pulls out corny lines, movie quotes and crack jokes to avoid d-n-m’s

Who doesn’t love a good joke, pun or cheesy line? But be careful of those who avoid serious conversations like a bad smell. Chances are if they aren’t ready for ‘the chat’ they aren’t ready for you.

4. He talks about his ex. way. too. much 

Not that we are being jealous girls or anything but enough with the ex-files. If they can’t stop talking about beautiful Berenice it sounds a lot like they are living in their past and not in your future.

5. He hates using the ‘c’ word 

No, not that word! Do you send them running every time you mention commitment? Some classic lines we’ve heard WAY too many times before are ‘I really need to focus on my career’ or ‘why do we need to define what we are? We’re us and that’s good enough for me.’ Sorry to burst your bubble but if they are really into you they are more than happy to commit.

So there you have it – sorry if we burst your love bubble but it was better we did it now than when you’d finished your mixtape.

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Meet Our Cover Stars Going For Gold At Rio 2016 – Cate & Bronte Campbell

The eldest of five siblings, Cate, 24, will join sister Bronte, 22, at her third Olympics, after overcoming shoulder surgery last year to come out on top with big hopes for a world record. Cate has been training in the pool nine times a week, with three gym sessions for the past four years in preparation for the Rio Olympics.

Bronte beat reigning world champion and elder sister Cate at the 2015 FINA World Championships in the 100m freestyle. Fun fact: the sisters became the first family to stand on a podium together as individuals in swimming history. As our fastest swimmers in the 50m freestyle, all eyes will be on the star siblings.

You’ve just got to 100 per cent believe that you can do it, because no one else is going to believe it for you.

For more on our rio-bound champions check out the September issue of Women’s Health on sale now. 

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Have Super Sex All Month Long

Week 1 – Day 1: Take control during sex

On the first day of your period you’ll feel extroverted and bold, thanks to a rise in the feel-good hormones oxytocin, testosterone, and estrogen. Your libido should be amped, too, so aim for all the pleasure you can. Woman-on-top is ideal because your clitoris is extra sensitive and you can control the depth and angle while he lies back and enjoys the view. If things get messy, throw a towel on the bed or take a shower before you get busy.

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Day 2: Indulge in slow, sensual sex

You’re feeling good, because estrogen and testosterone continue to rise today. “Estrogen magnifies the five senses, so kisses feel more intense and your man looks more attractive to you, making sex a total mind-body experience,” says Gabrielle Lichterman, author of 28 Days. Light some candles, play slow tunes, and satisfy each other from head to toe.

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Day 3: Pamper him

“A surge in testosterone boosts your confidence in your union and makes any annoying habits your partner may have seem less grating,” Lichterman says. (His snoring may not become cute, but you get the idea.) So treat him to a spine-tingling massage. There’s no doubt he’ll return the favor.

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Day 4: Think outside the box

Your right brain is famous for giving you creative ideas, and today tiny levels of rising estrogen and testosterone boost the odds you’ll use this side of your mind. “You’re apt to feel more imaginative when it comes to brainstorming or making decisions,” Lichterman says. Your creativity will spill into the bedroom, too.

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Day 5: Get competitive

“Your right brain may have been in charge yesterday, but today estrogen and testosterone will increase even more, shifting the power to your analytical left brain,” Lichterman says. Testosterone also makes you competitive. Use that bold streak to challenge him to a naughty game, such as strip poker. If you win, so does your libido: According to a study published in The Journal Evolution and Human Behavior, conquering a guy elevates your testosterone levels by 49 percent, making you even more amorous. 

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Day 6: Bond with your guy

By now, you should be feeling calm, rational, and remarkably clear-headed. “Estrogen gets another boost, making you social and articulate,” says Jed Diamond, Ph.D., author of The Irritable Male Syndrome. So take advantage of your way with words and tell your guy exactly why you love him. He’ll eat it up.

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Day 7: Sync up your sex drives

You’re still chatty due to elevated estrogen levels, and as an added perk, “your energy will skyrocket,” Lichterman says. Since guys are often raring to go in the morning (their testosterone levels peak in the a.m.), take advantage of your extra adrenaline and hop in the shower. 

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Week 2 – Day 8: Have a quickie

Many women refrain (unnecessarily) from having sex until their periods are finished. Make up for lost time by getting busy in the middle of the afternoon, or pull him into an empty room during a party for some instant action. 

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Day 9-14: Fixate on him

You’ll start getting a big boost of estrogen and testosterone during these six days, making you especially flirty. Your voice even becomes higher-pitched during this time, according to research conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles. Because back in caveman days, choices in men were limited, and once ovulation occurred, women needed a coy way to snag a man during the final push. One potential problem: You may also have a wandering eye. Scientists say women fantasize about other men 160 percent more midcycle—yet the study authors found that women initiate sex with their partners a lot more during this time, too. Keep the lights on so he has your complete attention, and gaze into each other’s eyes during missionary.

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Week 3 – Day 15-16: Stay connected

Welcome to Pre-PMS (think PMS but shorter and less intense). Rising levels of noradrenalin and declining levels of testosterone and estrogen may make you irritated and jealous when your guy drools over Scarlett Johansson. It’s biological: During Days 12 through 21, women are super catty when it comes to judging the appearances of other women. “Evolutionarily speaking, when fertile women were competing for a mate, criticizing other females may have helped catch him,” says lead study author Maryanne Fisher, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Tune out other women by holing up together with takeout and a bottle of wine. 

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Day 17: Have solo sex

In order to combat the dip in estrogen and testosterone and the rise in progesterone, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands. “Your clitoris and nipples may be less sensitive now, and orgasms are slower to occur and weaker,” Diamond says. Let him watch you masturbate: He’ll get off on the visuals, and you’ll be turned on by his gaze. According to Marta Meana, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, women can become aroused when they’re the object of desire.

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Day 18: Cuddle up

Warning: Although testosterone starts to rise again today, a boost in progesterone still has you feeling more cuddly than carnal, so unplug your BlackBerry, snuggle down with your guy, and rent a chick flick. Girlie movies raise levels of oxytocin (the “snuggle hormone”) in both men and women, and research from Kansas University found that guys like rom-coms too. (Shh!)

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Day 19-20: Take a break

“For these two days, your urge to nest and unwind may be stronger because progesterone levels jump, damping your desire to socialize,” Lichterman says. Why is progesterone such a downer? According to Lichterman, it drains your energy, lowering the risk that you’ll go out and damage your uterus in case fertilization has occurred. Relive the early days—stay up all night talking and then stay in bed all day.

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Day 21: Cook a romantic meal for him

You may find yourself wandering into the kitchen more than usual right now. Progesterone has caused an appetite spike, making you crave baked goods, salty treats, fats, and carbs. The reason: Your hormones want your body to be baby-ready in case you got preggers during ovulation. And according to Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, M.D., an ob-gyn in Los Angeles, women need a certain amount of fat for optimal fertility. So why fight nature? Whip up a candlelit comfort meal for two. 

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Week 4 – Day 22: Tweak the usual positions

You may have to work a little harder to orgasm today because progesterone is blocking your testosterone receptors. So try this surefire way to stimulate your G-spot, says Sandor Gardos, Ph.D., founder of the online adult toy store mypleasure.com: “Start by straddling your guy while you face his feet. Once you’re comfortable, lean back so you’re lying flat on top of him.” Then enjoy the ride.

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Day 23-24: Set the mood

That inevitable time of moderate misery has come: PMS. Declining levels of progesterone and estrogen from days 23 through 28 can make you weepy—or bitchy. If you’re not feeling psyched about your body right now (bloat can do that to a girl), wear your hottest lingerie, dim the lights, or do whatever it takes to feel sexy. Just don’t get a bikini wax. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that women are extra sensitive to pain at this time of the month. The good news is that scientists at the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience say that during sex, men focus on a woman’s face more than her body—meaning he won’t notice that you’re retaining five pounds’ worth of water. 

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Day 25: Focus on your O

Chances are, you’re feeling frisky. “One reason is that your endometrium [the lining of the uterus] is thickening, promoting blood flow to your genitals, which boosts libido,” Gilberg-Lenz says. And although your orgasms should be intense, it may take longer than usual to get there because a decline in estrogen and testosterone will leave you easily distracted by your surroundings. Try a little dirty talk to stay in the moment, and make sure the door is locked—scientists from McGill University found that when women nix outside distractions they become aroused in 12 minutes flat.

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Day 26-28: Conquer new territory

Your boobs may ache (tell your guy hands off today), but “your endometrium continues to thicken, stimulating your nerve endings down below, which increases your libido significantly,” Lichterman says. Since creativity is at an all-time high, it’s the perfect time to discover new erogenous zones. Experiment with various types of touch on your favorite body parts. 

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What the Set of an Indie Porn Film Is Really Like, According to the Women Making It (NSFW)

Silence falls on set as filmmaker Daniella Vale brings her hand to her chin in a display of focused contemplation, or maybe it's nerves. The New-York-City-based 30-year-old is shooting the climax of her first-ever adult film, which she has written and is now directing for Swedish director, screenwriter, and producer Erika Lust, one of the biggest names in porn. Lust has offered Vale her support and funding for the project, but the success of today's shoot is in Vale's hands.

The female lead has let her jumpsuit fall to the floor of the rented Brooklyn loft, revealing a taut torso, pierced nipples, and unstyled pubes. Wearing only black platforms, Tourma Selene lowers herself into a chair and drapes a tattooed arm over its back. She directs a sassy half-smile at her male co-lead.

"I want you to objectify me," she says, her voice slightly stilted but infused with a seductive charm. Selene's character has just accused the male character, an artist who exclusively paints nude women, of objectifying women through his work. Criticisms aside, she's intrigued.

The "artist" walks over to her, brush in hand, and runs a streak of black paint down her neck and shoulder. A few moments later, both actors have stripped down and are on the floor, their limbs twisting around each other's as the camera follows the action. There's a distinct shift in the room's energy as the director and camera operator work with quiet, hurried motions to capture the on-screen couple's adrenaline. No going back now: Vale isn't shooting second takes of any specific movement or line.

Tourma Selene and Jay Smooth.

The only person on set who has even witnessed a real sex scene firsthand is Jay Smooth, the Los-Angeles-based professional model, actor, and adult entertainer playing the male lead. Even so, no one on the eight-person film crew looks uncomfortable; of course, they're not the ones having sex in front of an audience, and after Smooth finishes performing oral on Selene and the cameras stop rolling, Selene needs a moment. Smooth guides her through some deep breaths as Vale crouches down to check in with her stars.

A sexuality educator, Selene describes herself as an "erotic alchemist," which, she says, refers to her practice of using her own sexual experiences to prompt transformation in others. Still, a public display of such raw intimacy is anything but typical for her. Afterward, however, she tells me that her adult film debut could not have gone better. "It was the best possible experience for me. Vale's team created an extremely safe space for me to perform in," she says.

Vale, for her part, admits she was so concerned about creating a comfortable environment for the actors she woke up the morning of the shoot in tears. "I was just so out of my depth," she tells me.

Vale and members of her crew on set.

Novices or not, Vale's predominantly female crew is all too rare in porn. A 2008 study published in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly found that only four to five percent of porn directors were women. It's true that over the past decade, more female porn directors have made names for themselves, including Jacky St. James and actress-turned-director Stormy Daniels (who is now in the news for other reasons). Also among them is Lust, who doesn't think the gender gap is closing fast enough.

Vale's predominantly female crew is all too rare in porn.

"The adult industry is completely male-driven," Lust tells me over the phone from her office in Barcelona, where she is based. "There are more women [making porn] today than 20, or even 10, years ago, but we need even more." Lust, who studied political science while in university in Sweden, cites the sociological concept of critical mass, which holds that a minority demonstrates influences only once it captures some 30 percent of a group. When it comes to female porn directors, "We are far from that number," she says.

But maybe not for long, if Lust has anything to do with it. In 2016, the filmmaker launched an ambitious initiative to get more women directing porn. Her XConfessions videos, which are based on sexual fantasies submitted by fans, were growing in popularity — according to Lust, the series has 10,000 subscribers — and Lust saw an opportunity to take her "crowdsourced porn" concept even further: She would invite the crowd behind the camera.

Lust saw an opportunity to take her 'crowdsourced porn' concept even
further: She would invite the crowd behind the camera.

Since then, Lust says she has invested upwards of $300,000 in 24 films written and directed exclusively by women and distributed under Erika Lust Productions. She accepts applications from director hopefuls on a rolling basis, and with agreements signed for eight more films this year and conversations underway with 20 more directors, Lust's new program is gathering momentum.

For most of Lust's guest directors, it's their first foray into the adult entertainment industry. This includes Vale, who between freelance projects and a full-time corporate gig, is the creative mind behind the steamy short filming today, titled Objectify Me. It tells the story of an erotic painter (Smooth) and his encounter with a woman (Selene) who overlooks her misgivings about the painter's work in favor of an erotic connection with him.

Vale says that if it weren't for Lust, whom she connected with through a mutual friend, it's doubtful she would have ever made an adult film. "When I looked into Erika's work, it was just beautiful filmmaking that happened to have sex in it," she tells me. "That was the thing that drew me to this project."

Vale sees her film as a snapshot of complex gender dynamics. The female character is at first critical of the artist's habit of painting women as if they're sexual objects — a charge both he and David Aronson, the artist whose paintings are used in the film, deny. On the other hand, she's also aroused by the prospect of being one of his nude subjects and ultimately finds herself having passionate sex (and an orgasm, of course) with him on the floor of his studio.

Whether or not the male character's work (or Aronson's, for that matter) is truly the product of objectification is up for viewer interpretation. Along with arousal, a discussion is exactly what Erika Lust seeks to provoke with the films she produces. Objectify Me is part porn and part conversation starter: It hits on nuances of desire by showcasing the apparent conflict that can play out between feminist principles and personal sexual fantasy. Yearning to be submissive, for example, might feel at odds with also rejecting the connection between femininity and docility.

"I think a lot of women are turned on when a man takes control. But we've been raised to be independent, and so we don't know how to make space for that desire without feeling like a 'bad feminist,'" Vale says. "What I try to demonstrate in Objectify Me is when that 'masculine' element of control shows up in a tender and intimate way, it allows for the 'feminine' to surrender. So this film is really about the dance of masculine and feminine roles, and how we navigate the nuances."

Lust behind the camera.

Lust, for her part, says she does her best to avoid stereotyping in her films. At the same time, she emphasizes the importance of eradicating the shame many women feel in response to their sexual preferences. "[Female desire] is not so clear," she tells me. "That's why it's important that we, as women, get involved in this genre that is adult cinema, and that we get to play with it and explore and see what we like and what we don't like. When we start seeing things that we connect with, then it gets interesting for us."

Women still make up a decided minority of porn viewers — in 2017, just 25 percent of Pornhub's U.S. audience was female — but they appear to be getting increasingly proactive about finding what they like. The top trending search term on Pornhub over 2017 was "porn for women," which increased in popularity by over 1,400 percent from the year before.

This indicates that women's interest in porn is expanding, but that they're not necessarily looking for traditional, mainstream content. Quality, subscriber-only content is Lust's response to an industry flooded with videos on tube sites, which she compares with fast food (and which can also be frequently stolen from creators). "What we are doing is about so many other things, and not only the ethical values, like fair working conditions. It's also about the artistic values — the creativity, the cinematography. I think that it's obvious that what we're offering is very different," she says.

Women's interest in porn is expanding, but they're not necessarily
looking for traditional, mainstream content.

Critics have long accused the mainstream porn industry of selling unrealistic, aggressive, and violent depictions of sex to a predominately cis male audience, pointing out that teen boys, in particular, may try to enact what they see without the opportunity to develop their understanding of consent. Lust's mission to shift the porn industry not only includes recruiting and incubating female porn directors but promoting diverse characters and storylines, realistic depictions of women, and safety and comfort for porn performers.

Performer treatment is more than an industry concern: Viewers care about it, too. A 2015 Marie Claire survey of over 3,000 women on their relationships with porn, 59 percent of those who reported negative feelings toward porn expressed concerns about the porn industry's treatment of women and its perpetuation of stereotypes. Meanwhile, 46 percent of respondents with negative feelings toward porn reported feeling bothered "that men seem to conflate porn with real-life sex."

Smooth, for one, says he'd love to see the porn industry include more female perspectives. "If young men have access to pornography, that's what they look at. There's no foreplay, just happy girls that want to take huge penises," he tells me. He adds that communication about "what she likes" and "how she feels" is missing from most porn. Still, the industry veteran — Smooth has been in at least 500 sexually explicit scenes and has acted in several Erika Lust films prior to Objectify Me — doesn't believe that it's up to porn creators to draw the line between fantasy and reality. "It is the responsibility of sexual education to actually [make that] distinction. This is fantasy," he says. Sex ed, he adds, is where we can "have a conversation about how, from a biology standpoint, your body works."

Lust comes down on this point differently, viewing her work as education as well as entertainment. While there are "so many people making porn that don't want to take that responsibility, it's very individual," she says. "I am a person who feels responsible. Bottom line, porn is sex ed, whether we like it or not. The best solution is to talk to children and to teenagers [about porn] the same way you do with other issues."

In that spirit, Lust recently launched "The Porn Conversation," an online platform of resources to help parents talk to their kids about porn.

Vale is hopeful about porn's potential to depict sex in a positive
light and educate viewers about healthy intimacy.

Vale is also hopeful about porn's potential to depict sex in a positive light and thereby educate viewers about healthy intimacy. "As we can see with the #MeToo movement, there's clearly a lack of communication between men and women. And as long as we relegate all sex to this dark place of shame, there's going to continue to be disproportionate power dynamics that result in hurt and trauma," Vale says. "Showing sex through beautiful, poetic films is a step toward healing these underlying issues."

Vale's film will go live on XConfessions.com soon — for a taste, view the trailer below — and the director says she's happy with the end product and the experience of creating it. Whether Objectify Me will lead to more adult filmmaking for her, she's still not sure. "There was definitely something incredibly freeing about the raw and unlimited expression of this process that I find myself wanting to go back and explore," she tells me. "I just don't know how that will manifest in my future films." In the meantime, her film will provide viewers with a statement on objectification and desire actualized through thoughtful cinematography, a complex narrative, and, of course, hot sex.

You can follow Teresa on Twitter and Instagram.

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You Don't Need to Have a Big Dick to Have Big Dick Energy

big dick energy

It doesn’t matter how many studies come out revealing the average penis size, or how many surveys are released indicating that, to most women, penis size is much less important than, say, foreplay, or a sense of humor. A lot of men really, really, really care about the size of their dicks, and that is the long and hard truth of it.

So when Allison Davis of the Cut penned a now-viral essay about the power of the Big Dick, titled “You Know He Got That Big Dick Energy,” I initially thought that would only further serve to cement men’s (misguided) notion that penis size is all that matters. Pegged to the whirlwind romance of Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, the piece speculated that Grande was attracted to the SNL comedian due to his Big Dick Energy, or BDE for short (a fact that Grande basically confirmed in a now-deleted tweet jokingly asserting that Davidson was packing 10 inches).

In her piece, Davis defined BDE thusly:

At first glance, this basically confirms every assumption that men have made about sexual attraction and penis size since the dawn of giant-bonered cave drawings. But Davis goes on to make a crucial point — that not all people with BDE actually have massive dicks:

In short, guys: You don’t have to have a big dick to have BDE. All you need to do is carry yourself like you do.

In itself, this revelation isn’t so revolutionary; pick-up artists and dating coaches (a.k.a. people who have a vested interest in capitalizing financially on men’s low self-esteem) have been dispensing such pearls for a long time. But what made Davis’s summary of BDE so compelling — and what makes it, frankly, some of the best and most useful advice for guys I’ve ever heard — is that BDE isn’t about swagger. It’s not about (excuse the pun) cockiness. Rather, it’s about carrying yourself with the quiet confidence of a guy who knows he’s the coolest and smartest guy in the world, but doesn’t necessarily feel the need to broadcast that.

Think about when you were a little kid and you had a secret that you kept from all the grown-ups. Think about how thrilling it was to walk around thinking about that secret, and how it gave you the little boost of confidence you needed to get through a long day of being told by adults where to go and what to do. The only difference is that when you were a kid, that secret was something like keeping a centipede in your pocket. With BDE, the secret is that you’re carrying a giant NERF Super Soaker in your pants.

Since Davis’s piece went viral, people on the internet have been speculating over who has BDE and who doesn’t. (Guys with BDE: the Rock; Chris Evans; Jeff Goldblum; Idris Elba; Daniel Craig; Big Bird and Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. Guys without it: Connor McGregor; Justin Bieber; Chris Pratt; Tom Cruise; Vince Vaughn; Grover and Snuffleapugus.

While this is obviously a great deal of fun, the point of BDE, to me, is less about who has it and who doesn’t, and more about how the average guy can get it — regardless of what you actually have between your legs.

Because for all the tips that self-styled dating experts and men’s publications — us included — dispense about how to be more attractive to members of your preferred sex, the answer is shockingly simple. It’s not about how cut you are, or how much hair you have, or how you look in V-necks, or how rich you are, or even whether you can cook — though it helps. It’s about acting like you know that you have, and can do, all of those things — and you don’t care a whit. It’s about having the integrity and fortitude of character to know that you don’t need to run around getting tats of snakes eating vultures or logging hours and hours at the gym or posting photos of yourself on a yacht playing bongos on butts to project to the rest of the world that you are the shit. You know that you are the shit. And you don’t need everyone else to know it, too. That’s BDE in a nutshell.

Oh, and also a supreme willingness to go down on your partner for hours and hours on end. That helps, too.

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Researchers find more genes associated with intelligence and neuroticism

A single team of researchers from around the globe conducting two different studies has found more genes related to human intelligence and more that are associated with neuroticism. They have published separate papers outlining their work and findings in the journal Nature Genetics.

To understand how the human brain functions, scientists conduct work to isolate the genes that are responsible for individual traits and characteristics. In this new effort, the researchers searched and analyzed information found in databases to isolate genes that appear to be responsible for intelligence and neuroticism.

In the first study, the researchers retrieved information from 14 databases that held health and genetic information. The datasets, they note, contain both genetic information and intelligence test scores. By cross-referencing the data, they were able to isolate 939 genes that had not previously been associated with higher intelligence levels. They report that they also found relationships between higher intelligence and living longer without developing Alzheimer’s disease—and also having a higher risk for developing autism.

In the second study, they combed similar databases searching for information surrounding neurotic traits (excessive moodiness, anxiety and nervousness) in patient information. In so doing, they report finding approximately 500 genes that they claim can be associated with neurotic tendencies.

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