So you see an ad in the paper from a lab looking for test subjects. They say they want to study the effects of getting high, or eating too much, or having sex. Oh, and they'll pay you to do all of those things.
Preposterous, right? Got to be a setup for some kind of elaborate prank. But, these experiments were very real, and all of them proved with science that it's horrifyingly possible to have too much of a good thing.
5The Have Sex For Money Experiment
Wanted: a healthy, sexually functional male to have sex with a woman. You will be paid. We get to watch.
Yes, that happened, and yes, it was legal. Back in the 1950s and 60s, sex researcher William Masters was determined to find out everything there was to know about boning. Up to that point, research had been carried out via surveys, which were contaminated by the fact that people lied their asses off (which might explain why at the time the average penis length was thought to be around 13 inches long).
No, he needed to study the humping first hand. He hired Virginia Johnson, an attractive female assistant 10 years his junior, and started paying people to have sex with strangers.
For the subjects, it offered all of the benefits of prostitution without the constant threat of genital sores and being locked in a rape dungeon that normally goes along with it. There could not possibly be a downside to this, right?
The Harsh Reality
First, you found out that these people would be watching you the whole time:
That's Masters and Johnson. Of course, watching wasn't enough. This is science! So you also had sensors hooked to you and your partner that would measure sexual response, monitoring your mojo the same way a polygraph test detects when you're lying. Only instead of measuring your lies, it's measuring how bad of a job you're doing at arousing a total stranger.
Putting the "strange" in "sex with a total stranger," partners were matched randomly (if you still think that sounds awesome, the next time you're in line at Burger King, imagine getting randomly matched up for sex with any one of the people around you). Oh, by the way, the subjects ranged in age from 18 to 89.
We'll let that sink in for a moment.
We're not knocking the work Masters and Johnson did--it was absolutely revolutionary and totally changed the way the modern world thinks about sex. We're just saying it wasn't the erotic carnival of flesh the subjects probably had in mind upon entering a sex laboratory. And in case it's not obvious enough that this was a worse deal for the women involved, they had the added bonus of having their orgasms studied via a prosthetic penis with a video camera in it.
4The NASA Bed Rest Study
If you could design your perfect job, what would it be? If you said, "Staying in bed all day, surfing the web and playing video games on a laptop," well, you're most people in our target demographic. You're also a couple of years too late.
In 2008, NASA was recruiting regular people using radio and TV ads for a 90-day study that involved earning $17,000 for doing little more than being confined to a bed (yes, you could play WoW if you wanted to). Shit, that's more than your mom makes, and she ain't just lying there, if you know what we mean (we mean she's a whore).
The only hitch was that you had to stay in their testing facility and you were pulled from bed occasionally for simple tests. Easiest 17 grand ever, right?
We get pulled away from our sleeping areas all the time.
The Harsh Reality
Unless you're planning to buy shit on the Internet, it could be awhile before you can actually go out and spend any of that $17,000. See, the purpose of the study was to determine the effects of prolonged exposure to zero gravity environments on the body. More specifically, they wanted to know how much of a Johnny Noodle Legs an astronaut would be after completing a six month flight to Mars. Scientists know that from what we've seen of guys who spend a lot of time in space, the results aren't pretty.
They have trouble adjusting.
After a very short time in low/no gravity (replicated in the study by the beds being slightly lower at your head than at your feet) your muscles begin to atrophy.
Even worse, your bone mass plummets and can take years to return to normal, even in regular gravity, thereby rendering you approximately half as durable as a lactose intolerant octogenarian. Your blood pressure also gets completely fouled up to the point that it's higher in your feet than your head.
This won't help.
The study included a 14-day period after the test where you would have to do rehab to become strong enough just to do everyday tasks again.
Also, the description of the study seems to steadfastly avoid mentioning whether or not you have to poop in the bed.