Fact: women are usually cold. Unless she lives in, like, Dubai, is carrying a little extra insulation at the moment (hey, we’ve all been there), or it’s the dead of summer. And even then, overly-aggressive air conditioning forces us to keep an “office sweater” handy. Meanwhile, men are forced to rock socially unacceptable pit stains and sweat it out to prevent their lady love from walking around with a parka and mittens on in her own apartment.
Why? Because the male-female thermostat battle is a real thing, and it sucks.
But even though temperatures are cooling down on their own now, finding a comfortable climate zone indoors at any time of year that suits both sexes can be tricky. Enter some particularly innovative MIT students (“nerds” was said with love, promise) who just may have solved the his-temp/her-temp happy medium dilemma for good.
Their invention, called Wristify, is a “thermoelectric bracelet that regulates the temperature of the person wearing it by subjecting their skin to alternating pulses of hot or cold” depending on their need. So, instead of regulating the temperature of an entire space, it heats or cools the body of the person wearing it instead.
Wristify recently won first place at the school’s science and engineering competition, netting the group enough funds to further develop their prototype. Seen as a promising step to help alleviate a serious energy crisis caused by A/C usage, MIT senior and co-inventor Sam Shames said they were motivated by a more prosaic problem: keeping everyone happy in a room where no one can agree where to set the thermostat.
The wristband isn’t for sale yet, but as soon as they refine a more pleasing aesthetic and settle price point (the prototype operates on about $50 of off-the-shelf parts), your days of waging A/C war with your woman could be over. And as a girl who’s kept fleece blankets handy to survive boyfriend nuclear winter for most of my life, we may be even more excited by this invention than you.
BREAKING: Science can now confirm what everyone already knew – that men are Pervy McSexersons when looking at photos of womens’ bodies. Or at least, that they spend way more time checking out the breasts/hips portion of the pictures than the females’ actual faces. Because, you know, who actually cares what our smile looks like or if we have kind eyes?
And speaking of eyes, that’s how researchers at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln came to prove this long suspected theory – by using eye tracking technology to gauge where their participants’ eyes lingered when shown photos of various women. Even when the men were told to focus more on evaluating a woman’s expressions and personality, women with more curves get more positive personality ratings. Shocking, I know.
But seriously, I don’t know why anyone’s even bothering to act outraged, disappointed or surprised by this study (ahem, looking at you, Jezebel.) Dudes ogling womens’ figures? That doesn’t make you a creep, gentlemen, that’s just because science. Duh.
Kidding, you’re definitely not off the hook. The study doesn’t delve into the reasons why men engage in this oh so upstanding don’t-care-what-your-face-looks-like-only-your-ass behavior, and it doesn’t give you an excuse. It just puts actual data behind this theory, which has been self-reported and long held by women.
So does this mean we should stop spending money on teeth whitening strips, smoky eyeshadow and expensive haircuts, since none of you A-holes care about that anyway? Hardly. At least not in this girl’s opinion. I do those things because I take pride in my appearance. But I can’t say I’m not going to do an extra set of squats at the gym later, either.
For the record, the study showed that women also stared longer at the females’ figures than at their faces. Though for entirely different reasons, one would assume.
While researchers posited that the men’s motivations were because of societal sexual objectification of women or because, evolutionarily, they gravitate to more shapely women “for childbearing” reasons (coughBULLSHITcough), women were simply checking out their competition. Which I totally believe, because we scope the shit out of each other all the time.
If eye movements are difficult to inhibit, then a lot of you need to work on your subtlety, boys. Because unabashed scoping may be acceptable for science, but not so much on the sidewalk.
It bears mentioning that these findings, published in the journal Sex Roles, only included a survey of 29 women and 36 men in total. So basically, I could find a more representative population in this Starbucks right now. That’s hardly exhaustive.
Then again, I also don’t need science to tell me what anyone with a pair of breasts and a tendency to wear skirts could’ve told you ages ago. We prove it every day.
Because everyone needs their worldview toppled every now and again, a new study from the University of Toronto just shattered my optimism by isolating the real reasons couples have sex. And trust me – it’s not what you think.
Rather than doing the deed for fun, to relieve sexual tension, or just out of plain old Lusty McPleasureson reasons (how novel), researchers found that couples’ horizontal motivations fell into one of two categories: approach or avoidance.
Holy f**king depressing, Canada. Thanks a lot.
The approach method means that the participants are trying to feel connected to their partner, and the avoidance motive “aims to evade a negative outcome,” i.e. to avoid conflict or to avoid feeling guilty. And speaking as a female who (earmuffs, mom and dad) genuinely enjoys having sex, I have to say, wow – it just doesn’t get any more romantic than that, gentlemen.
The study included couples who were dating, cohabitating, or married, and further divided the avoidance and approach findings down into self-focused and partner-focused goals.
While the survey found that motivations were generally similar whether the couples were dating, cohabitating, or actually married, regardless of the respondent’s gender, and also didn’t vary greatly depending upon frequency of sexual encounters (ugh, really?), they did learn that a person’s sexual motivation greatly affected his or her partner’s gratification. I mean…duh.
So basically, couples know each other well enough to know when their partner’s heart isn’t in it, or when his or her motivations are off. Which, while still depressing, is at least a good sign. Right? Trying to find a silver lining here, people.
Interestingly enough, researchers placed special focus on whether it really matters to your partner why you want to have sex, so long as they’re getting what they want. The answer, they found, is yes. Additionally, they aimed to find out if it’s better to have sex for negative, or avoidance, reasons than not at all, and found that the answer is…complicated.
“Research shows that on days when we have sex we feel more satisfied in our relationship than on days when we don’t. And yet when people have sex more often for negative motives, the bad outcomes build up over time.” Sigh. So then are we all figuratively, if not literally, screwed?
Not necessarily. The study suggested that for couples feeling like they’d just rather go to sleep most nights, they should try tuning into the emotional connection between his or herself and their partner to help the physical connection fall into place. Communicating more about topics outside of the bedroom not surprisingly helps resolve issues inside the bedroom. So get to talking, everybody. Stat.
And if all else fails, there’s always lingerie, porn, or hitting the gym to try and rev up a stalled sex life. Just don’t resort to the charity f**k. There’s nothing worse than throwing your partner a bone out of sheer obligation. Except, you know, not doing it at all.
Whoever said that you don’t look for love, it finds you, has obviously never met Amy Webb. Six years ago, after experiencing the fahhhhk-what-am-I-going-to-do-now death blow of a particularly bad breakup, she did what any resourceful woman in her 30′s would do and turned to online dating. But, frustrated by the lack of marriageable prospects she was finding, Webb, a self-described “numbers person,” turned to a system she could understand better to help her sort through the riffraff: data.
Since my mathematic prowess peaked in 11th grade AP Calculus, I won’t even try to explain how she came up with her own algorithm to assign a points system to prospective suitors. Miss Wingman basically counts on an abacus, and most days I’m lucky if I can remember the 4-digit code to unlock my iPhone. So instead, I’ll let her do it.
But I will add for those who’re too ADD to sit through the video of her amazing TED talk (it’s long, I know – but worth it), that it included creating dummy profiles of fictitious men to emulate the characteristics she saw in her successful female “competition,” coming up a with a new 72-data point requirement scale, and also, getting scammed along the way by a date into footing a lavish dinner bill which cost her nearly a month’s rent. Ouch.
Oh, and my favorite part, finding empirical proof that there were approximately 35 men in the entire city of Philadelphia’s 750,000-male population who fit her dating criteria. If that’s not a kick in the junk, I don’t know what is.
But even if the rest of us aren’t able to go all “A Beautiful Mind” on online dating, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t valuable takeaways from Webb’s stint as the Romantic Rain Man. Thus, here’re 5 lessons the Looking For Love crowd can learn from the woman who hacked her way to a husband.
5. A picture’s worth a thousand words…or at least, a few dozen date requests, so long as you look hot in it. So change out those photos that show off your creative and quirky side and show the audience what they really want to see: that you’re not a total sloth. And, if you are a total sloth, don’t sweat it. Just try to look your Sunday best and hope that Ms. Sloth is trolling your profile, too.
4. It’s the big stuff that matters, not the details. As Webb pointed out, it’s nice to find people who have the same taste in movies, but it’s nicer to find people who share the same core values and social attitudes. Sure, I’d love to find the Ryan Reynolds look alike whose iPod is also Beastie Boys heavy, who plays hockey, loves sarcasm, hates loud chewers, and whose favorite movie is also “Braveheart.” But I’ll settle for the guy who’s supportive of me and compassionate to others. That works, too.
3. There are, sadly, a lot of assholes out there. That said, it’s important to always remember that those assholes exist regardless of how you act, how you look or what you say – it’s no reflection on you. Just do your best to try not to focus on them.
2. Grandparents are always right. And finally…
1. …Except in this case, her grandmother was – sorry, Nana – wrong. Don’t let people tell you you’re being too picky, just know the difference between being selective and lacking perspective. Prioritize what you want in a mate, and don’t settle for less than you deserve.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Set the bar. And no matter how tired your arm gets holding it up there while you wait, don’t lower it. The payoff will come eventually, you just have to keep the faith. Or, if you’re this chick, keep the algorithm going. Here’s hoping we all crack the code, too.
Everyone thinks they’re qualified to give dating advice. And truthfully, anyone can – since 95% of it sucks anyway (present company excluded.) But sometimes Miss Wingman doesn’t mind stepping aside. And when I do, who better to listen to about how to date and who to marry than people who also don’t mince words – kids.
So if you need some fresh inspiration, here’re the top 6 answers – my favorites – from a delightful piece called “How You Decide Who To Marry (written by kids).” Because sometimes they’re good for things other than free housekeeping and the HOV lane. Who knew?
How do you decide who to marry?
“You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.” – Alan, age 10
F**k yeah to the sports part, Alan. (I mean, “yayyyy.”) I couldn’t agree with you more. As for the second part: slow your roll, man. Women want to go to the game with you, not serve your ass Tostitos. What you’re describing’s a waitress, not a wife, and confusing the two will ensure that you go an awfully long time without the latter.
When is it OK to kiss someone?
“The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do.” - Howard, age 8
I admire your integrity, Howard. But that kind of conviction is what leads to more virgin-centric reality shows and people with the last name Duggar.
What would you do on a first date that was going sour?
“I’d run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.” - Craig, age 9
That’s some dark sh*t right there, Craig. Points for creativity and committing to it, though. Also, someone should probably call your parents.
Front Porch Republic
Is it better to be single or married?
“It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.” - Anita, age 9 (middle name Obi-Wan)
Sometimes in life, we need a good companion in our corner. To encourage us, to tell us which clothes in our closets we should burn, to urge us to talk to our office crush, and to make sure we don’t have any food in our teeth when we do. That’s where I come in, your friendly wingwoman. Or, in my absence, where one of your close buddies steps up to the plate. Call it the Goose to your Maverick, if you will.
But I’d be willing to bet that very few of you have a friend as good as the person who wrote the below memo. What am I talking about? Here’s the Cliffs Notes version of what one woman did for her infirmed pal.
A woman who goes by JoDiegoJo on Reddit wasn’t feeling well. She went to the ER. In a bizarre series of events, somehow a nurse allegedly gave her the wrong medication, which interacted with another medication causing hypoxia, a condition where the body is deprived of an adequate oxygen supply. (For the record, the “allegedly” is solely to be diplomatic. I totally believe her claim that the hospital F-ed up).
When she woke up, her brain was so affected that she suffered severe short term memory loss. She couldn’t remember anything for more than five minutes, causing her to ask the same questions on loop and presumably drive everyone around her nuts. So, her best friend devised a cheat sheet with the answers to her most-asked questions. All this while the woman underwent cognitive therapy much like that of a stroke victim. The situation wasn’t funny, but her friend’s candor in her letter is.
With lines like the question, “What’s wrong with me? You were vomiting, had a terrible headache and were not able to be aroused (lolz what’s new?),” her friend awesomely tries to make light of the circumstances. (Plus, she obviously knows something Jo’s husband does not).
I’m not sure what I was more amused by, the fact that Jo was informed that she called her grandmother “a dipshit,” or that her bizarre fixation with the hospital floors garnered the response, “Yeah bro, I don’t know what your fascination with the floors is, but you’ve said that like 800 times.”
And I thought it was weird that I called all my girl friends by their last names…
Apparently she is now on the mend (but I still refuse to write out her screen name again because it triggers the theme songs from “Diego” and “Dora the Explorer” to get stuck in my head).
The moral of the story – other than to avoid whatever hospital that was like the plague – is that we should all be so lucky to have friends that not only drop everything for us (her friend also took leave from work to watch her pal’s children), but also manage to infuse a little humor into the mix, too. Not to mention telling us when we’re being a dick to our Nanas.
So happy reading, Wingman faithful. Happy Friday. And may the person riding in your sidecar always be this stellar, too.
Well if you’re like Miss Wingman, you might’ve had a little too much fun watching the Superbowl last night, too. And you might also be one of the many Americans who begrudgingly dragged their tired asses into work this morning planning to covertly “desk nap” and avoid anything that requires real brain function until quitting time. (Just remember to prop your chin up, the head nod jolting you awake is a dead giveaway). There isn’t enough caffeine in New York today to fix my stupor. I know I’m not alone.
So in the spirit of football hangover camaraderie, I thought I’d provide you with a solution to your misery. It’s simple, it’s logic-driven, and it might just save all of those people out there who are phoning it in today, too.
I give you “The Scientific Hangover Cure,” brought to you by the folks at ASAPScience. They’re the nerds who know that no one liked chemistry in high school, but are using it to explain the really important questions in life, like why we procrastinate, what really happens during the big “O,” the effects of weed on the body and, of course, the piece de resistance: why you get morning wood. Pretty clever, if you ask me.
But today their useful tips might be particularly helpful to all of us, especially anyone who happens to live in, say, Baltimore. I’m bummed that it wasn’t a match up like last year (Best. New York. Moment. Ever.), but they still gave us a good game, power outage or not.
So slump down in your chair, take a sip of your venti whatever, and try to stay awake long enough to watch this fun little clip. And if you’re the curious type that needs to know how your body got so jacked up in the first place, other than, you know, those rounds of shots I – um, I mean you – kept taking, here’s your explanation.
Hang in there, fly under the radar today, and congrats to all you Ravens fans out there. You certainly earned it.