Sex By Numbers: Fantasy, Fact and Fiction

A weekly look at sex and culture, by the numbers.

This week’s Sex By Numbers takes stock of things ranging from the factual to the fantastical, including virtual girlfriends, un-airbushed models, and Michelle Bachmann’s logic.

1980: Year that the erotica trilogy Sleeping Beauty, penned by Anne Rice, was first released. The books are being re-released this week to capitalize on the summer’s fantasy-lit phenomenon, spawned by 50 Shades of Grey.

3: Number of cup sizes (A, B, C) used in an anecdotal study to determine if the age-old assumption that men prefer bigger breasts is a myth. The results? Predictable, yet unconvincing.

3:36: Length of a horrendous YouTube video promoting an “augmented reality girlfriend,” which uses video goggles and a motion sensor to project a pixelated Japanese popstar into the user’s life. Best reserved for men who can’t handle a real woman.

0: The forms of contraception that grass-roots anti-birth control organization 1Flesh endorses using. Instead of condoms and the pill—the benefits of which, 1Flesh insists, are completely fabricated—we should all get married and pull out instead.

17: The magazine that announced that its August issue will stop using an unattainable and airbrushed version of beauty and instead, show “real girls as they really are.”

500: Number of public schools now offering classes separated by sex, an indication that the long-held belief that separate can’t be equal when it comes to gender in the classroom seems to be eroding in the U.S.

80: Percentage of sex-induced fatalities where the male was being unfaithful to a spouse during a cardiac event. One of a few studies in a recent Journal of Sexual Medicine literature review exploring the under-reported link of infidelity and death.

58: Despite Michelle Bachman’s fantastical notions that the HPV vaccine is linked to mental retardation, the vaccine seems to be doing it’s job. A study published in the journal Pedatrics found a 58 percent drop in the prevalence of vaccine-type HPV between two samples of females taken in 2006 and 2009.


Rosie Spinks

Rosie Spinks is a freelance journalist from California with a degree in Environmental Studies. Her work has been published in publications including Sierra magazine, GOOD magazine, the Ecologist, and the Guardian Environment Network. A passion for travel, running barefoot outdoors, and reconnecting people to what is good dominates most of her thoughts. You can follow her writing on Twitter and Tumblr.