TEDTalk: Orgasm Trivia

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If Mary Roach‘s books on sex, death, and the afterlife make science writing look like the most fascinating gig on the planet, her recently released TEDTalk video proves it. Roach’s talk, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Orgasm,” is wonky, hilarious, and prurient in equal measure. Like this part, for example (video and transcript excerpt below):

One fine day Alfred Kinsey decided to calculate the average distance traveled by ejaculated semen. This was not idle curiosity. Doctor Kinsey had heard — and there was a theory kind of going around at the time, this being the 1940s, that the force with which semen is thrown against the cervix was a factor in fertility. Kinsey thought it was bunk. So he got to work. He got together in his lab 300 men, a measuring tape, and a movie camera. (Laughter) And in fact he found that in three quarters of the men the stuff just kind of slopped out. It wasn’t spurted or thrown or ejected under great force. However, the record holder landed just shy of the eight foot mark. Which is impressive. (Laughter) (Applause) Yes. Exactly. (Laughter) Sadly, he’s anonymous. His name is not mentioned.

In his write up, in his write up of this experiment in his book, Kinsey wrote, “Two sheets were laid down to protect the oriental carpets.” (Laughter) Which is my second favorite line in the entire ouevre of Alfred Kinsey. My favorite being, “Cheese crumbs spread before a pair of copulating rats will distract the female, but not the male.”

Watch the video below, then go buy Bonk, the book behind the talk.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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