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Sperm Travels Faster Toward Attractive Females 347

Posted by samzenpus
from the like-father-like-gamete dept.
A new study has shown that even sperm can be superficial. Researchers found that males of many animal species, including humans, can adjust the speed and effectiveness of their sperm by regulating the amount of seminal fluid they produce during copulation. The determining factor on that amount of fluid seems to be whether the male finds the female attractive.

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Sperm Travels Faster Toward Attractive Females

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  • Research (Score:5, Funny)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:08PM (#28652619) Journal

    I've actually done some research on this aswell. On majority of times when I found a good clip, I had to clean my monitor. This didn't happen when the clip was bad or the women on it unattractive. Hmm, wonder where they sell speedometers...

  • HUH? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arizwebfoot (1228544) * on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:09PM (#28652631)

    If she was not attractive, why would he even be in there? Unless of course it is right after the bars close.

    Oh wait . . .

    Bars = alcohol
    alcohol = drunk
    ugly girls = cute girls

    Now I've got it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by GPLDAN (732269)
      Thus: Beer Goggles leads to lower chance of pregnancy.

      Perfectly logical.
    • by spun (1352)

      Why would a (more than likely) rotund, homely, socially awkward nerd who (more often than not) smells of cheetos and flop sweat be in there with an ugly girl? I can't even begin to guess.

    • by Ragnarok21 (413417) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:40PM (#28653141)

      ...drink until she's cute, but stop before the wedding.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sumdumass (711423)

        Many lives have been ruined by doing tequila shots within a physical mile of a church.

    • Re:HUH? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jo42 (227475) on Friday July 10, 2009 @02:06PM (#28653529) Homepage

      Depends on your definition of "attractive". Latest pop culture trend is to find large asses "attractive". Personally, I do not find large 'booty' or 'thick' females "attractive" and thus would not "hit it".

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by spun (1352)

        Actually, the 'latest pop culture trend' is thin girls who look like emaciated prepubescent boys. I myself prefer women who look like, well, women. I tend to think men who like women who look like little boys may be playing for the wrong team, if you know what I mean.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by COMON$ (806135)
          I dont think the opinion of designers count when referring to those trends. Pop culture maybe but I and most of the male population are with you, Women need to look like women and act like a woman. Look around to the singe girls you know and the married girls you know. Given I am in the midwest but the boyish skinny girls are still single while the women are settled down in a happy marriage.
          • Scientists have done surveys of people all over the world, from all different cultures. They asked men, "If you were stranded on a desert island with only one woman, what should she look like?" and showed the guys silhouettes of various women. They showed the same pictures to women and asked, "Which lady do you think the guys will pick?" Men like curvy women, while women, for some reason, think men want emaciated looking girls.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jhfry (829244)

      Actually, some men will take an ugly woman over no woman.

      Of course most of this research was done with animals... that way no feelings were hurt when the men rated their partner as unattractive.

  • by Hogwash McFly (678207) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:10PM (#28652647)

    I, for one, find their statistics sub-par and wish to volunteer my services for further study into the effect of having sex with attractive females on sperm behaviour.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:11PM (#28652659)

    In other news, men find sex more enjoyable with a woman who they find attractive instead of a "been-around-the-block-20-times, looks like the love child of Chewbacca and Worf, old battle-axe" woman.

  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:11PM (#28652661)

    ... I can see a problem with this study if applying it's conclusions to people. I imagine the amount of sperm has to do more with being extremely turned on and not just attractiveness, you can be with a beautiful girl and not be that turned on because you don't get along that well, and you can be with an average girl who you connect with on a fundamental level that turns you on way more then the prettier girl.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:18PM (#28652767)

      also, don't forget about anal

    • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7&cornell,edu> on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:20PM (#28652811) Homepage

      Attraction isn't just physical... "turned on" = attracted

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        Attraction isn't just physical... "turned on" = attracted

        LOL. Exactly my point, with equal insight, but in 7 words. Hat's off. :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Bigby (659157)

          The GP assumed attraction = physical attraction. The parent said attraction = all attractions, including psychological attraction. The parent is in agreement with the article while the GP is not. All is based off the definition of "attraction".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GPLDAN (732269)
      This is knows as the Hottie-Frigid paradox. The most scorching hot women are nearly certain to be lousy in bed.
      • by Zakabog (603757) <john.jmaug@com> on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:40PM (#28653137)

        This is knows as the Hottie-Frigid paradox. The most scorching hot women are nearly certain to be lousy in bed.

        Spoken like someone who has given up all hope of having sex with an extremely attractive woman. Unless she's bored, or really new to sex, it's highly unlikely that she'll be any worse at it than any other girl.

        • by swb (14022) on Friday July 10, 2009 @02:35PM (#28653895)

          Spoken like someone who's never had a shitty lay from a hot girl...

          I think there's some folk wisdom beyond the obvious "sour grapes" rationalization. In my experience, many attractive women have a tendency towards narcissism, egomania and a sense of entitlement. *If* she deems you worthy enough to fuck you, that decision is about all the effort she'll put into the entire experience -- you're just supposed to be some grateful and in awe you won't need her to suck your dick or otherwise engage.

          Look at the Paris Hilton sex tape -- in many scenes, she's entirely vacant and almost passive while Solomon hammers away with a pretty decent bit of equipment. She's more obsessed with her own appearance, like she's posing.

          Now, are all attractive women head cases? No, and the ones that are I'm usually willing to believe are victims of a society that REWARDS superficial beauty and encourages the narcissism, and aren't pathologically evil. And in some cases, sex with a hot girl does have its own internal narcissistic reward that colors the sex and makes it "better". But I think there's enough to link beauty and psychology to make it a phenomenon that can be found out there.

          Surprisingly less common is the idea that plain/ugly girls are great lays. The logic being that they have to be better lays because they can't coast on their looks. Probably also nominally true, but probably less so since many less attractive people are more socially withdrawn and less unlikely to be available, plus the demotivating factor of bad looks may be stronger than the motivating factor of good looks.

        • Says who? (Score:3, Funny)

          by raehl (609729)

          Spoken like someone who has given up all hope of having sex with an extremely attractive woman. Unless she's bored, or really new to sex, it's highly unlikely that she'll be any worse at it than any other girl.

          Spoken like someone who has either never had sex with not-so-attractive women (you're missing out!) or not had sex with extremely attractive women (you're missing out!) or someone who has not had sex with women (not that there's anything wrong with that!)

      • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Friday July 10, 2009 @02:00PM (#28653441)

        That's because scorching hot females who like sex move to places like hollywood or palm beach or even go into business in some way (even if it is only as a vegas show girl). And if you happen to hook up with them, they are likely to sleep around on you ( and not just women- attractive men also sleep around a lot ). Hot women have different expectations of life-- just like people who are born and grow up rich.

        They also have pretty severe defense mechanisms having been hit on and flattered since they were 13 by everyone. Meanwhile, the more normal females who didn't get as much flattery are still open to it. In a way, being pretty sucks because they have trouble accepting compliments.

        Never got that lucky (or unlucky?) until I was in my late 30's. And then I hooked up with a hotty who later turned out to have been a stripper back in her 20s and tho it was incredibly fun for 10 years, it ended as horrifically as you can imagine (maybe more so). Before then, I'd have a decently average hot high school sweetheart (so I missed the whole bar scene/college party scene) and then a nicely hot dancing lady who was really sweet but had terminal religious problems with me (I'm not religious-- sometimes it would be easier if I was).

      • ... At least thats what we like to believe, since the most scorching hot women will never let us test this theory.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by bitt3n (941736)

        This is knows as the Hottie-Frigid paradox. The most scorching hot women are nearly certain to be lousy in bed.

        every girl I've had in my bed has been lousy, but to be fair, most of the louses were there to begin with

    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:28PM (#28652961) Homepage

      Seems like the same conclusion to me, if you simply expand the definition of "attractive" for human males to mean more than superficial physical features; shouldn't "sexually attractive" essentially be a synonym for "sexually arousing"? The question would always be "what does the male find attractive in females?" and while for red junglefowl this may be a simple and largely empirical matter, for humans it obviously isn't. For the human version of the study, you'd probably just have to ask the man his opinion to find the correlation, though if humans have this ability then I would expect that you would see it correlate with "sexual attractiveness" as you surmise, and not "physical beauty" which isn't necessarily the same thing.

      • "Seems like the same conclusion to me"

        But the idea for evolution is that prettier women/animals are "more fit", and I doubt the definition of attractiveness in the study has much depth beyond very superficial characteristics and behavioural judgements (within a range of normalcy).

      • Also... one can be turned on just as much by other things (porn) and it doesn't necessarily have to be an attractive female, just something that really turns you on.

  • lol (Score:5, Funny)

    by syrinx (106469) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:15PM (#28652741) Homepage

    The best part of this article is the tag "!newsfornerds".

  • by DesScorp (410532) <.DesScorp. .at. .Gmail.com.> on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:20PM (#28652803) Homepage Journal

    How does a sperm "know" if a female is attractive? Or are we talking about money shots from porn films here?

    • Re:How do they know? (Score:5, Informative)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:25PM (#28652899) Homepage

      How does a sperm "know" if a female is attractive? Or are we talking about money shots from porn films here?

      Despite the misleading headline, they say that males seem to be able to adjust -- most likely related to level of hormones or arousal.

      Nobody is suggesting the sperm "know" anything, merely that the human glandular system is complex, and this is another example. :-P

      Cheers

    • by petes_PoV (912422) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:39PM (#28653117)
      More to the point, how can the researchers assess which female rats are "babes" and which ones are fuglies.

      I really hope they're not projecting their own feelings and biases into the equation here. For this experiment to have any scientific value, there must be an objective measure of attractiveness, one with a proper definition and units (including a calibration standard). Can someone please tell me, for humans, what this measurement is based on, what the units are (Helens? the amount of beauty required to launch 1000 ships - but beauty is not attractiveness) and, most important, who the calibration reference is?

      Men need to know.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130)

        For this experiment to have any scientific value, there must be an objective measure of attractiveness, one with a proper definition and units (including a calibration standard).

        No there doesn't. In fact to be as accurate as possible you must use a subjective one, because if you're trying to find a correlation between attraction and seminal potency, then it would naturally be the subject's opinion of attractiveness that matters. If you tried to find an "objective" measure of hawtness (realizing part of yo

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by mcgrew (92797)

          If you tried to find an "objective" measure of hawtness (realizing part of your point is that you can't), but the subject's metric differed, then you might find no correlation

          I've found that with age, my idea of attractiveness has changed greatly. When I was young, the skinnier a woman was the more attracted I was, but these days skinny girls don't turn me on at all. Now I prefer slightly overweight to slightly underweight, and fat to skeleton-thin.

          When I was 15, a thirty year old looked like an old hag, a

      • by merreborn (853723)

        More to the point, how can the researchers assess which female rats are "babes" and which ones are fuglies.

        A bust:waist:hip ratio of 3 to 2 to 3 (in humans, 36-24-36)

        It applies to all species. There's no debating that. It's science.

      • by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday July 10, 2009 @02:47PM (#28654037)

        If I remember correctly based on one documentary I saw, symmetry plays a very large role in attractiveness. I'm sure there are many other (possibly measurable?) factors that come into play, but the more symmetrical a person's face, figure, etc were, the more attractive others perceived them to be. All in all it comes down to healthiness. Being physically fit is associated with being healthy. Symmetry is associated with being healthy. Things like abnormal growths and the like are associated with being unhealthy. Youth is also considered positively since younger people tend to be healthier than older ones (on average). Even skill at dance or display is perceived to show health.

        What it comes down to is at a subconscious level we have an instinct to sexually pursue those who we instinctively believe to be more likely to produce strong offspring and who will be best able to care for them.

        This is also pretty much the reason for the uncanny valley in robotics. There comes a point when a robot/android/etc looks human enough that we start to mentally process it much like we would a human, but the many "tells" that is has (blank emotionless stare, oddities in body movements, cryptic dialog) that rather than an innovative robot, we start to view it more like a human who as something very, very wrong with them. It's simple instinct that we become repulsed by it.

      • by notarockstar1979 (1521239) on Friday July 10, 2009 @02:51PM (#28654101) Journal

        Helens? the amount of beauty required to launch 1000 ships

        And burn the topless towers of Ilium. Therefore 1 picoHelen is equivalent of enough beauty to put a rubber duck in the bathtub and light a scented candle.

  • Fertility (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Royanon (1594917) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:21PM (#28652835) Journal
    This article was pretty interesting; for example the possible link between this and fertility rates. If there is indeed a link, it's going to come as a slap to the face for some couples having trouble. I also found it pretty interesting that sperm quality can be improved by daily masturbation.
  • This is bad (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:22PM (#28652849)

    Combined with this research [ucl.ac.uk], which shows that ugly men release more sperm, the chance of conception appears to be highest when a stunningly attractive woman sleeps with an truly ugly man. Somebody please think of the children.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:26PM (#28652933)

    Yeah, and? It's also been established that other male mammals, including humans, can reply with something call semen displacement (circumsized males need not apply, some restrictions may apply, see mate for full rules and details) Women aren't without their biological defenses either; Concealing ovulation, various vaginal defenses, such as lack of secretions leading to a lower likelihood of fertility, etc., etc.

    But really people, is it so freaking hard to just take us out to dinner, kiss our neck afterwords in an intimate and quiet environment, and actually DO the foreplay (and for those in longer-term relationships, not have it become formulaic?) Because if the sex sucks, it isn't going to matter how much scientific knowledge you have about the mating process -- it doesn't change the fact that it will still end in tears for you! *mutters* They can tell me down to the molecular level how conception works, but they can't even get the damn condom out of the wrapper and a bra off without completely ruining it...

    • by gnick (1211984) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:49PM (#28653267) Homepage

      But really people, is it so freaking hard to just take us out to dinner, kiss our neck afterwords in an intimate and quiet environment, and actually DO the foreplay (and for those in longer-term relationships, not have it become formulaic?)

      That goes both ways (especially if you're talking about a long term relationship). We guys accept the duty of keeping things interesting, but chicks have to play too if things are going to keep going well after a decade into the relationship. But I agree - Mood >> biological process. There is very little less sexy to a guy than a chick that just wants to score a baby. Ugh - I'd rather fly solo, thanks.

      ...They can tell me down to the molecular level how conception works, but they can't even get the damn condom out of the wrapper and a bra off without completely ruining it...

      Again, it all comes down to mood. I find the best way to remove a bra is to make sure that things are moving smoothly and then say, "Lose the bra". Beats even the 1-handed Fonzie-level-cool maneuver and, assuming that the environment is right, can actually warm things up. (Of course, that is not always appropriate and a guy should be prepared to adjust.)

      On topic, though, I can personally testify that a guy who is thoroughly turned on and has been for a while will, um, launch much more thoroughly and with more velocity than somebody who's just going through the motions.

      Wow - WTF is this discussion doing on slashdot?!?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Wow - WTF is this discussion doing on slashdot?!?

        Making really interesting reading for your potential future employers.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by gnick (1211984)

          Future employers? I posted that from work. I'm making interesting reading for my current (and hopefully not soon-to-be-former) employer!

      • by bitt3n (941736) on Friday July 10, 2009 @03:33PM (#28654623)

        I find the best way to remove a bra is to make sure that things are moving smoothly and then say, "Lose the bra".

        I prefer to use that as a pickup line. To each his own I guess.

    • by NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) on Friday July 10, 2009 @02:55PM (#28654153)

      But really people, is it so freaking hard to just take us out to dinner, kiss our neck afterwords in an intimate and quiet environment, and actually DO the foreplay (and for those in longer-term relationships, not have it become formulaic?)

      Apparently it's really freaking hard for most guys, based on the difficulty many women seem to have in finding guys that meet those criteria. That said, it's apparently also really freaking hard for many women to show the same level of respect for men's similarly simple expectations.

  • by wilburx (1147939) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:27PM (#28652939)
    Don't worry, I don't need to pull out because you're ugly.
  • Doesn't make sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nysus (162232) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:28PM (#28652955)

    Then why is the world full of so many ugly people?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by spun (1352)

      Ugly people mate, too. They just mate with other ugly people. In other news, ugly men produce more sperm. Hot guys know they'll be donating a bunch of sperm to a bunch of willing ladies, while ugly guys apparently know they won't be getting many chances, so they've got no reason to hold some swimmers in reserve.

      Ah, the wonders of nature.

    • "Then why is the world full of so many ugly people?"

      Because the heritability of beauty is not 1 to 1, you can have beautiful people have ugly children and vice versa.

  • by Nukenbar (215420) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:33PM (#28653041)

    That is, if you are a 13 year old [dailymail.co.uk] "virgin".

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt." -- Mark Twain

  • in the animal kingdom and in humans, you need to talk about testicle size

    testicle size is a very good indicator of how monogamous females are. for example, chimpanzee females are very promiscuous. therefore, male chimpanzees have huge testicles. why? well, if the idea is you have to leave some offspring in this world, the only valid route you can take to ensure that with promiscuous females is to have a huge ejaculate load, to literally flood out competing males' sperm

    it follows then that attractive females, with more frequent mating possibilities, require more "output" to ensure your reproductive success. so, biologically, it may not be a matter of aesthetic pleasure leading to greater sperm volume, but simply a matter of fear: you need to dump a huge load to make sure your sperm outcompetes all the other mating opportunities an attractive female can command

    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Friday July 10, 2009 @02:17PM (#28653711)

      ...you need to talk about testicle size

      And testicle count. A common misconception is that human males only have two, when they actually have three. This is because the center testicle is hidden in a fold of scrotum between the other two. Women who are interested should check this out with their husbands and boyfriends tonight.

    • Very true. (Score:3, Informative)

      by 93,000 (150453)

      in the animal kingdom and in humans, you need to talk about testicle size

      testicle size is a very good indicator of how monogamous females are.

      Very true. My wife has HUGE testicles, and she's always flirting with other guys.

  • I wonder what the evolutionary mechanics are to this. Why race to an attractive woman's egg more than an unattractive one? Seems that from a male perspective, it doesn't matter who the recipient is as long as the generic material is transferred, so men should always give it 100%. So we then arrive at the idea that men hold back on ugly partners. Now, why put yourself at a competitive disadvantage for unattractive women? What kind of evolutionary penalty is there? Does our reproductive system recognize that

    • by MaWeiTao (908546)

      What I suspect is meant by an attractive woman is someone with nice hips and ample breasts, meaning the appropriate qualities for child-bearing. However, because of humanity's appreciation for aesthetic qualities other factors may come into play. I also think that popular culture was twisted what men find attractive so that guys end up going for woman who are overly plasticky or, at the other extreme, thin as toothpicks.

      I think there is probably a general template for what is considered attractive, but cert

    • by wasabii (693236)
      Because there is a finite amount of sperm. This is about allocation of sperm. Allocate more sperm to attractive females, where attractiveness is established by ability to care for offspring. Strong body. Upright posture. Features which hint at youth, etc. The genes which then cause you to do the allocation are promoted more strongly.
  • First Post! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Ah shit. Premature again...
  • by StaticEngine (135635) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:47PM (#28653247) Homepage

    Thus, Peter North thinks every single woman is a total babe.

  • by wisebabo (638845) on Friday July 10, 2009 @01:52PM (#28653315) Journal

    Coincidentally(?) another study (American Naturalist) claims more attractive MALES releasing fewer sperm (they don't mention any correlation as to the attractiveness of females). Not quite the same thing but related.
    Found this article at ScienceDaily.com, a great website by the way. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090709095425.htm [sciencedaily.com]

  • Doing the Dog (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tihstae (86842) <Tihstae@gmail.com> on Friday July 10, 2009 @02:09PM (#28653583) Homepage

    In my younger days, quantity was more important and I would often "do the dog". This had several advantages. They were eager because they didn't get much attention paid to them. So not much work (or money) was needed to woo them. They would also be eager to please and would do things that the hot girls wouldn't (think swallow). Now I find that there was another great reason for doing the dog. My swimmers weren't as eager and it saved me a lot of child support money.

    Yes, I am old enough to remember going bareback and not worrying (or even knowing) about AIDS. It is a different world now.

  • Isn't that discovery already demonstrated eloquently in bukake porn?
  • by drunken_boxer777 (985820) on Friday July 10, 2009 @02:14PM (#28653659)

    "Males may alter the velocity of sperm they allocate to copulations by strategically firing their left and right ejaculatory ducts, which can operate independently," they explained.

    "I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire one ejaculatory duct or two?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya?"

  • "I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women uh... women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I, uh... I do not avoid women, Mandrake.........But I... I do deny them my essence." - General Jack D. Ripper

  • by reboot246 (623534) on Friday July 10, 2009 @04:22PM (#28655097) Homepage
    sometimes the sperm are in such a damned hurry that you don't even have time to get inside.
  • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Friday July 10, 2009 @06:21PM (#28656059) Journal

    More arousal and longer buildup means more ejaculate. Also a factor is the time since last orgasm. There are also various medical conditions and anomalies that can have an effect there too. I'd say that arousal probably has the least to do with it out of those three factors.

    And either way, it's not the sperm deciding to travel faster when inside an attractive woman, it's that they can travel more easily when they are in more seminal fluid which is released in larger quantities in certain situations.

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