Stuff I've learned Part II (Bundling, Periods, and Sex and the City)

So last post I talked about 2 of 5 random things I learned about while researching Science Sex and the Ladies.  Here I'll finish up with the last three. Enjoy.

3. bundling
 What is bundling you say? Ha. Of course you didn't say that. Everyone knows it is a pre-marital courting custom of early America, brought here by the Puritans. Okay no one knows that, but it was a pretty juicy topic back in the day. I found a book called History of Bundling by Henry Reed Stiles randomly at Half Priced Books. When it was originally published somewhere around 1871, this book was banned in Boston - quite controversial.
The author made the argument that bundling is not a lewd, low class act, but an upstanding courting ritual that grew out of necessity and happened in many cultures throughout history and across cultures. So what is it? It's when a man and a woman - particularly a romantic unmarried couple - sleep in a bed together with their clothes on. Obviously, you can see how people would talk. But, he says, it's actually quite innocent. A man often must call on a woman in the cold of winter after a day of work. For him to walk or ride back in the night would be silly and unsafe. The house is cold, and it is important for the couple to get to know each other, so her parents would bundle them up, fully clothed in the bed, and they would talk and sleep. Simple as that. He made a good argument. I see no reason not to bundle up my own future teenager with his or her potential spouse - except clothes are a lot easier to get off these day...and houses are heated now...and of course cars are now available to get us pretty far safely at night...but back in the day, I definitely would have entertained the notion.

4. too many periods.
Here's the deal. I was found an article in Journal of Women's Health about menstruation patterns in a modern hunter gatherer society. I believe it had something to do with cancer research. However, what I remember most is that these women had a fraction of the periods we do. We start menstruation earlier on average (the onset of menstruation is largely impacted by body fat). We aren't pregnant quite as much and we don't breast feed nearly as much or in the same way. These women on average have about 8 children in their lifetime. About 30% of their fertile time is spent pregnant, and about 55% is spent in lactational amenorrhea (no period because breast feeding). That only leaves a few actual periods ever in their lifetime. They tend to breast feed for about 3 years, and their breast feeding is more often throughout the day - kinda "on demand." This frequency (and not the amount of breast milk given) is better if you want the breast feeding to keep you infertile. That's why, I believe, most western women shouldn't rely on that for birth control. Also, that's why these women were not using birth control and having only (I use only lightly) about 8 kids while we hear stories of western women from 1600's up to modern birth control times who had  12 or 17 kids. It wasn't at times popular for upper class women to breast feed at all - much less often throughout the day. Just thought that was an interesting piece of info, plus it explains why people talk about the natural birth control of breast feeding, but it doesn't ever seem to work for anyone I know.

5. everything about Sex and the City
Well, I never had much interest in Sex and the City when it was originally airing. My co-workers had made me watch one episode, and all I could do was think about how poorly acted it was, so I never got hooked. However, as I started researching female sexuality, I felt like I had to be informed about this show because people use it so often when the talking about the subject. So I went to the trusty Hancock County Library and borrowed every single DVD of the show as it appeared (not in order). I, of course, got hooked as any sensible person would to a soap-opera kinda show. I missed it when I was done.
The important part here, though, is that I recorded every depiction or discussion of physical female sexual response in that entire series. I know that sounds like a lot, but I didn't record everything sexual, just basically things that showed or discussed how, why, when, and where a woman orgasmed or experiences another physical reaction to sexual stimuli. It wasn't as much as you may think. I have a 90 sheet burgundy Mead notebook with all the info. Obviously, their is way too much to discuss in this blog, but for fun I can give the general low-down about the four characters.... They all had their share of unrealistic Hollywood orgasms, but they each had their own personality when it came to depictions of their sexual response.
Samantha - obviously my worst offender, her orgasms are always supposed to be real but what she is doing is rarely likely to give anyone an orgasm.
Carrie - she, like her character's personality, swings wildly between highly realistic and completely ridiculous in the O department.
Charlotte - She is most likely to fake an orgasm but knows she's faking or is depicted having sex, enjoyably, but with no orgasm (and in a situation where no orgasm would probably occur).
Miranda - She get's more of the realistic orgasms -classic Shere Hite style masturbation, and more "reach-arounds" than most.

Maybe one day I'll compile all this data into neat pie charts and bar graphs, and when I do, I'll post that here.

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