August 15th, 2005
Just when I thought coverage of sex ‘research’ couldn’t get any worse in the press, today The Sun proved me wrong.
In an attempt to gain more publicity for the paper alongside a rubbish PR effort for Speed Auction Television the paper came up with a story that claimed to link breast size with the time it takes a man to ejaculate.
The PR ‘survey’ supposedly measured ‘sex timings’. So here’s a quick quiz for you. Do you think that particular ‘survey’ was completed ethically or respectfully? And do you reckon that your average man getting a cold call from a market research company is going to be happy to honestly reveal the time it takes him to ejaculate? Also do you think most men, when asked, can immediately identify their average sex performance time in minutes and seconds?
If that wasn’t bad enough, the paper then attempted to associate those sex timings with average bra sizes from around the UK. But confusingly the paper gets this totally wrong, mixing up cup sizes (which indicates the fullness of breasts) with bra size (the measurement of your chest). You can see this in the list of ‘results’ below:
London: average time for sex – 5 minutes, 10 seconds; average bra size 34DD.
Newcastle: average time for sex – 4 minutes, 30 seconds; average bra size 32D.
Manchester: average time for sex – 4 minutes, 25 seconds; average bra size 34E.
Home counties: average time for sex – 4 minutes, 05 seconds; average bra size 32C.
Wales: average time for sex – 3 minutes, 45 seconds; average bra size 36B.
East Anglia: average time for sex – 3 minutes, 40 seconds; average bra size 32F.
Scotland: average time for sex – 3 minutes, 37 seconds; average bra size 32E.
Bristol: average time for sex – 3 minutes, 10 seconds; average bra size 32D.
Birmingham: average time for sex – 2 minutes, 35 seconds; average bra size 34FF.
The paper claimed that men like big breasts, but they lead to men coming too soon.
Now premature ejaculation is associated with a lot of things – psychological problems, physical difficulties, relationship issues, or lack of confidence. But the idea that a woman’s breast size has the power to make a man come ‘too soon’ is ridiculous.
This ‘research’ simply associated two random sets of factors (one lot of findings obtained from a completely unethical study). They could just as easily have linked sex timings to choice of footwear, food preference, or the colour of car a guy drives.
The paper had the courtesy to note it wasn’t a scientific study. But whilst we’re busy agreeing it’s meaningless let’s look at what it’s telling us. It’s setting out parameters for ‘normal’ male behaviour – blaming men who don’t last for a long time in bed, which will increase male anxiety.
It wrongly links sexual arousal with premature ejaculation – misleading people about sexual functioning. It assumed everyone who has sex in the UK is straight. And it blamed women for being too sexual – the bigger the breast, the paper implied, the more likely you’ll end up with a ‘bad lover’ and it’s your entire fault!
I don’t think sex coverage always has to be super serious. Quite the opposite, I’d like to see a variety of sex stories in the press. The problem is the ‘fun’ stories like this aren’t quite so fun when you think about them. They make people take sex research less seriously, and the subtext of these stories isn’t a good-humoured joke – it’s about setting up sexual standards and apportioning blame.Tweet