Ok, so apparently it’s not just Bruce Jenner. It seems that we’re all sexually confused, at least according to Google and Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.
You may not have heard that name before so let me introduce Mr. Stephens-Davidowitz. He’s an economist and former Google data scientist who has made a bit of a career out of analyzing Google searches and then writing New York Time op-eds on what he finds. Most recently, he’s turned his attention to sex. “Are you confused about sex?” he asks in his most recent piece, “Searching for Sex.” Then he answers his own question, “I certainly am.”
Apparently, all the numbers and statistics and percentages and bar charts (which are all lovely. I encourage you to go over and read the piece. It’s interesting, even if you come away with the idea, like I did, that it’s not particularly valuable) only made his brain hurt, which didn’t surprise me at all, as it is the exact same experience I had in Calculus freshman year. Here’s an excerpt:
In 2004, in some parts of the United States, the most common search regarding changing one’s butt was how to make it smaller. The desire to make one’s bottom bigger was overwhelmingly concentrated in areas with large black populations. Beginning in 2010, however, the desire for bigger butts grew in the rest of the United States. This interest has tripled in four years. In 2014, there were more searches asking how to make your butt bigger than smaller in every state. These days, for every five searches looking into breast implants in the United States, there is one looking into butt implants.
I belong to the skinny white girl demographic so I didn’t need to Google “how to get a big butt”–I’ve long known that it won’t happen for me without surgical intervention. Not that I ever wanted a big butt, despite knowing all the words to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” and teaching them to my little sister (which got us both punished, and I didn’t get to go to the seventh grade dance, where I was sure Bobby Anderson was going to kiss me as we swayed to
“Baby Got Back” “I Will Always Love You”).
In addition to searching how to make our butts bigger, we also want to make our penises bigger. And by “we” I mean “men.” In reviewing his data on Google searches, Mr. Stephens-Davidowitz posits that women don’t really care about penis size.
Do women care about penis size? Rarely, according to Google searches. For every search women make about a partner’s phallus, men make roughly 170 searches about their own.
Mr. Stephens-Davidowitz jumps to the (perhaps revealing?) conclusion that since women search the phrase “pain during sex” a lot, that means they are more concerned with their partner’s huge member hurting them, than with it being too small. As a woman, I’d like to tell Mr. Stephens-Davidowitz that I have experienced pain during intercourse a few times, and there are lots of reasons why this might happen, and I’ve never had sex with a guy who I thought was “too big” (but I’d like to give it a try).
Bloggers know too much about the weird stuff people Google because we see the sorts of searches that send them to our blogs. Lots of folks find Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please by searching “good places to have sex in public” because a couple of years ago I wrote a post titled “The Best Place to Have Sex in Public (without getting caught) Is to Have Sex in Private.” But you don’t even have to be a blogger to imagine what some people are out there Googling. Just spend any time at all on the Internet, and you’ll soon realize it’s mostly populated by a bunch of hormonal thirteen year olds. Now, I remember being a hormonal thirteen year old, and if we had Google back then, I’d probably spend all day asking questions about my breasts and my butt, too.
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