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I don't mean to brag, but I'm something of a sexual Prius: generally adequate, disconcertingly quiet, and frequently applauded for my low, environmentally friendly emissions. I figured this combination of efficiency and proficiency makes me uniquely qualified to put together this list of facts that will get you laid. Not using firsthand experience, obviously, since I just compared myself to a fucking golf cart, but with science. Science based around sexy. That's why I scoured the Internet (well known as a hotbed of sexual innovation) and read countless studies by scientists (widely regarded as the most sexually active people in the world) to put together a modern, comedic list of scientific facts (generally considered pretty sexy, as far as I can tell) that you can use in your attempts to get your tongue inside the hot lady or dude at the end of the bar.

Picking People Up Is Easier Than You Think

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The act of convincing someone to have sex with you has been mythologized to such an extent that there's an entire industry to teach you how to do it. Where I live, you can actually take classes in talking people into boning you, where a guy in what I imagine to be just the best goddamn haircut imaginable will patiently explain the art of bonery. But that's just normal behavior taken to a logical capitalist extreme: When a guy has a lot of sex, other guys will often ask him what his "secret" is, as if women are a particularly challenging video game level and Billy Bones-A-Lot is the only guy in town who managed to buy the strategy guide. If men employ this "secret," women will flock to them vagina-first, flapping their arms wildly for propulsion and screaming in erotic anticipation.

But according to science, that's not true at all: Women are people, with thinking brains and big, soft, wet lungs, and they often choose to have sex for the same reasons men do -- physical attraction, emotional connection, boredom, or even three more other things. Sorry for not linking to a study proving that women are people with thoughts and feelings -- I tried Googling it, but my laptop just told me to go outside and then started weeping openly.

In a study designed to determine the effectiveness of different kinds of pick-up lines, a bunch of scientists who are either the saddest or the suavest motherfuckers on the planet first divided the attempts into three categories: direct gambits ("Hello. Would you like to engage in some hu-man interactions?"), innocuous gambits ("Hey, what's that drink you're drinking? Is it delicious?"), and flippant gambits ("Are you an angel? Because I wanna rip off all your clothes and fuck you in my bathtub. I don't know anything about theology, which should be evident by my total willingness to engage in casual sex, an act decried by most organized religions").

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Note: I am bad at literally every type of conversation, so please don't copy
any of my pick-up lines verbatim. It will not go well for you.

Turns out that innocuous gambits -- the simplest, the least creepy, and the one that requires you to put the least on the line -- works the best on women, while direct gambits worked best on men.

On top of that, they're better for long-term relationships: Women think of men who use innocuous gambits as more intelligent and more trustworthy, which is better for getting "sexed" (as they say) more than once. But if you're more into the one-offs (as they also probably say), then don't feel bad, because ...

People Don't Really Regret Casual Sex

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The usual story we're told about casual sex is that it's fun, but unfulfilling. When we wake up, we're torn apart with regret, sorrow, and other dramatic words. But the reality is that we actually feel pretty damn good after our out-of-relationship fuck times. Why? It's simple: Sleeping with someone new is exciting, and excitement usually outweighs the risk of regret, sorrow, or angst. Basically, it's like doing anything with someone new. For example:

Do you like playing music? Ever find yourself jamming with someone who can't "keep time" or "control their volume" or keeps "accidentally calling you by their mother's name"? It's not fun, right? But you take that risk, because otherwise you never would've known for sure.

This dovetails (another great sex act) nicely with something I talked about before: how casual sex is good for your self-esteem if you do it for the right reasons. Basically, bone as much as you want. More on that in a second. First I wanna point out that ...

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Women Remember Penises as Bigger Than They Are

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This is by far my favorite fact I've ever discovered, and I've been excitedly sharing it with everyone I meet for the past few weeks. So if you ran into a skinny, seductively nerdy stranger in a Denny's outside Bloomington, Indiana, who frantically told you that scientists discovered that women remember dicks as being bigger than they actually were while waving his arms all around and seeming more drunk than a person should really be at 11:45 a.m. ... then hi, and also sorry that I said that in front of your kids.

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I feel particularly bad for teaching them the phrase "crotch cannon."

Anyway. In a study that involved both women and dicks, scientists found that if a woman fondles a dick and then tries to recall its size later, she will consistently overestimate it. So statistically speaking, if you're a guy, every lady you've ever fooled around with remembers your wangnoodle as being far more wang than noodle. By the way, this entry's mainly for the guys, and sorry for that, ladies, but hey, fellas: Do you realize what this means?

If you're a nerd and read a lot of fantasy novels, you're probably familiar with the idea that gods gain power from people who believe in them. Small Gods by Terry Pratchett is the first example of this that springs to mind, but there's also the Clash of the Titans remake, if you prefer god-awful films to great books. That's fine, no one's judging.

If we go by those rules, that means there's a god version of your penis out there that gains its powers from the memories of everyone who's ever seen your penis. Are you with me so far? If you sleep with enough women, your penis-god will gain enough power to come hang out with you, and oh what adventures you'll have. You and your cock-buddy. I know that sounds crazy, but this is real science I'm dealing with. Always remember that.

"But Sarge!" you cry, throwing your arms in the air dramatically, "what if I don't get laid? What if my flirtation fails?" Well, turns out that's not that bad, becaaaaaaauuuuuse ...

Rejection Fuels Creativity, Intuition

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Being told "no" is the worst thing that can ever happen to you, aside from a bad thing actually happening to you, so it's natural to fear it. But you know the phrase "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"? And you know how that phrase is laughably vague because obviously having your arm cut off, for example, may not kill you, but it probably won't make you stronger, either? Like perhaps in a metaphorical sense, but even that's not guaranteed, because the trauma may leave you with a crippling fear of helicopters like that one doctor on ER?

Well, this is one of the rare instances where "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is actually true: Rejection can improve your intuition and ability to read others. The idea is that we've evolved from a society where social rejection meant death -- if a cave-teen was acting like a dramatic caveman loner, wearing a Slipknot (Except We're Cavemen) shirt and smoking cigarettes under the bleachers after rock-smashing class, they were, like, super easy pickings for any leopard who happened by. So when we get rejected romantically (or in any social setting), our brain goes into overdrive and starts focusing on what other folks' faces mean. Suddenly, we're attentive to what a fake smile or a forced laugh sounds like, specifically because we were rejected.

On top of that, rejection can actually stimulate creativity in certain personalities. People who already feel like outsiders will, in a weird way, be validated by that rejection, and then feel free to focus on their weird, outside-the-box creative endeavors. Ironically, being more creative also correlates to having more sex partners, so if you're a weird, artsy type, getting turned down will, in the long run, result in even more sweaty, slightly-kinkier-than-normal pounding.

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No One Is Having as Much Sex as You Think

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Our general concept of the sex other people are having is "a lot." Over the course of Seinfeld, if you'd like a super fucking weird example, George Costanza enters a relationship with 43 different women, and he's supposed to be the schlubby character who doesn't get ladies.

The reality? Men report an average of six to eight lifetime sex partners, while women report an average of four. In their lifetime. This isn't based on a quiz of nuns, by the way, but normal human people who run the gamut from feeling like they aren't having enough sex, to feeling satisfied, to wishing they weren't such impulsive slut-monsters, slaving away to the whims of their never-satisfied genitalliac impulses.

So what gives? How'd these numbers get so out of whack? Well, I have a theory: Right now, the Western world has more leisure time than at any other point in human history, and we have Netflix to fill that time, so fiction has a greater impact on our concept of the world than ever before. On top of that, we're probably skewing higher since not only are sexual relationships great drama, but like I said, creative people tend to have more sex partners, so writers, actors, and celebrities are probably working with an inflated understanding of what's normal.

That could be totally wrong. Who knows. My point is, don't worry about it. Even the averages I mentioned above are based on such a wide spread that there's pretty much no such thing as a "normal" number of sex partners. So stop feeling pressured. Fuck as much as you want.

What This Means for You

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You're free! Literally nothing bad can happen to you, no matter what! Bars are your oyster! Dance clubs are your candy store! Gyms are your third metaphor for opportunity! You're a wizard of every social situation, flirting your way through life because it can't go wrong!

I mean, OK, it totally can, I guess. Like you can be a creepy person who won't leave people you're interested in alone, or you might become a weird pick-up artist thing who tries to play games that will deceive people into boning you, which will make everyone hate you, and that's bad. I guess my column is more focused on shy people who feel like there aren't any options, or are being crippled by social pressure. The emotions and insecurities that turn you into someone who sees sex as a weapon or something. Don't have those feelings; there's no reason for it. It's so much simpler than you've been taught to think. Just figure out what you want, be respectful to everyone, and all that other shit will just fall into place.

Oh, and if you drop acid and watch The Lord of the Rings, skip right on over The Two Towers, because that shit gets way too dark. This is the sum total of all my wisdom in the world.

JF Sargent often makes other jokes about boning on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

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