My Week in Sex: PSFK's Happiness Salon and Vice and MTV's Premiere of "Vice's Guide to Everything"



This week i was invited to be the voice of sex at PSFK's Soho House Salon on Happiness. Joined by Graham Hill (Founder of Treehugger), Gretchen Rubin (Creator of The Happiness Project), and Steven Dean (Quantified Self), I had the opportunity to speak on the biological and physical relationship between sex and happiness as well as some of the cross-cultural and cross-species information (of course, mentioning the amazing bonobos, who uses sex as a tool of societal cooperation) to help put our sexual happiness into perspective.

In some cases sex can be an anti-depressant, as it increases levels of dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin released at the time of orgasm, all connected to feelings of euphoria, lust and love. Additional studies have found semen to also have anti-depressant effects on some women, based on comparing women who have sex with condoms and without. (This is not an endorsement for unprotected sex) In Sex at Dawn, authors Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha go on to say "A team of Australian researchers, for example, found that men who had ejaculated more than five times per week between the ages of twenty and fifty were one-third less likely to develop prostate cancer later in life."

But beyond the health benefits and chemical surges to make us happier, finding peace with our sexual identities is also part of the process of happiness. The history of sex has not always been one of inclusion or of pro-sexuality for many groups. For example, female sexuality has long been denied, ignored and controlled and anything beyond male heterosexuality has often been targeted and condemned. How can not being true to ones sexual orientation or sexual drives going to make anyone happy? A dissatisfaction with one's sex life and sexual self can be a a core root of unhappiness, with many trying to address with a goal toward increased happiness. So in addition to more sex, better sex, more fulfilling sex, the other members of the panel had some great ideas on how to increase one's happiness. Learn more about PSFK's 11 insights about happiness:

On Wednesday night I was fortunate enough to attend the premiere for Vice's Guide to Everything, a new show that will be airing on MTV. As Nate Freeman from The New York Observer reported "When Vice magazine first started, all we cared about was sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll," Smith said in a voice over that opened each episode...Then the hookers and booze segued to more sobering images: the North Korean army, missiles launched in the middle east, impoverished U.S. towns. "But as we started traveling around the world," Shane Smith continued, "we got more into politics, culture, fashion, are, and the environment—basically everything."

A huge fan of Vice, a media powerhouse which originated in Canada, and in my opinion one of the best resources for intelligent but in your face sex content, it was great to see that Vice will be featured on a mainstream network such as MTV. While in some cases the coverage is deeply political, some moments are reminiscent of the raw sex content they have always been known for, including a visit by Vice's Ryan Duffy to a strip club called the Thunderdome hosted in the basement of Detroit man's home.

Attended by Spike Jonze, VICE founder Shane Smith, MTV's Shannon Fitzgerald and the cast, my favorite chat was with Thomas Morton's wife, Carleigh Queenth, a Specialist in European Ceramics and Glass, about the history of erotic ceramics. I'm already learning about amazing 18th century bowls, with erotic images appearing once the level of your soup falls. A wonderful surprise for cold days like today!