Women’s sexuality is by far more effective than men’s

I often thought that only men are attracted to nudity whereas in fact women tend to find nudity more sexually erotic. The heyday of girly calendars and pinups may well be behind us, but it may still come as a surprise to know that men are no more obsessed with nudity than women.

At least that’s the conclusion of a scientific review of responses to erotic imagery.

It said that the brains of men and women reacted in the same way to erotic pictures, suggesting that the cliché that men are attracted by lingerie and nudity, while women need to be wooed to get in the mood, is not true.

While women usually rated the nudes less positively than men in questionnaires, exactly the same parts of their brain ‘lit up’ in MRI scans – those linked with emotional processing, reward and desire.

Researchers led by Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics looked at 61 studies using scans involving 1,850 people shown erotic images or short films.

They concluded that brain scans do not support the theory that men ‘respond differently to visual, sexual stimuli than women’.

Dr Hamid Noori, who led the study from the German Institute added, ‘Our study challenges the common public perception that men are more visual than women when it comes to sex.’

The results of the review were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

When you happen to look around, if you are lucky, at women engaged in sexual activities with either men or women, you will find that women involved with other women are by far the most erotic visually to both sexes since they look much more enticing and make the heart of the viewer race at an increased tempo.

At least that’s my recollection in the heydays of my youth.

 

MANNERS SHOULD MAKE MAN

I am appalled at the rise of crime in Britain, and the fall of standards everywhere – be it political or cultural – and the lack of good manners which seems to have evaporated in a society which has lost many of its inherited, well-bred qualities. Even some of our MPs’ misbehaviour, by mistreating and harassing their staff, was exposed last week in a bombshell report.

It found victims had endured abuse ranging from inappropriate banter to unwanted advances, groping and even very serious sexual assault. But despite the perpetrators being known the allegations were often ignored or swept under the carpet. The claims were compiled by Gemma White QC, in the wake of the so-called ‘Pestminster’ scandal.

More than 200 office managers, parliamentary assistants, researchers, secretaries and interns detailed their appalling treatment. One staff member said: ‘With the job of parliamentary assistant or researcher, you do become their bitch. It’s a bit like ‘the Devil wears Prada’ – you end up just doing personal stuff. No respect for hours or annual leave.’

Another said their MP would ‘intimidate, mock and undermine me every day, often shouting at me. On one occasion an MP stood directly over me shouting for over ten minutes on end.’ Others reported relentless daily intimidation and bullying, leaving them crying on their way to work: ‘The only time I have cried since I was a child.’

An MP was accused of criticising and undermining his staff until they broke down. The MP was ‘like a cat playing with a mouse, disappointed when it died,’ it was claimed. MPs plied their staff with alcohol and made unwanted advances in cars, hotel rooms and at their homes. Examples included attempts at kissing and unwanted touching, breasts being groped, buttocks being slapped, thighs being stroked and crotches being pressed and rubbed against bodies.’ Young staff members saw sexual harassment ‘as a necessary evil’ and thought that complaints would amount to ‘career suicide’.

The more I read the more I was unwilling to read more. In fact I was horrified at the extent to which some MPs behaved. It is shameful to say the least. If those who govern us in this manner, taking advantage of their power, then politics is in disgrace and men of stature would forsake such a profession to the detriment of our nation.

The authorities should not tolerate such behaviour which must reflect badly on the dignity of Britain in the eyes of the world. We pride ourselves on a democratic institution where presumably we stand supreme. Let’s wake up and banish the few amongst us who disgrace the very essence of our creed that has always been of the highest quality.

A SHIP OF FOOLS

I have always maintained that leaving the EU without a deal would be catastrophic to Britain and cause so many problems that those who believe Brexit at any cost will be beneficial to the future of our country.

Thousands of people will lose their jobs, Trade Secretary Greg Clark warned last Friday. The cabinet minister implored colleagues not to ‘visit harm’ on families by pursuing a policy that would lead to Britain crashing out of the European Union and then facing new trade tariffs and barriers. Tory leadership front runner Boris Johnson and his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt have both said they are prepared to leave the EU with no deal if an agreement cannot be reached with Brussels by October 2019.

About 30 Tory MPs, including the Chancellor Philip Hammond, have signalled they are ready to fight in parliament against such a departure from the European block. Tory MPs opposed to a no-deal are reportedly threatening a ‘sit-in’ if there is an attempt to prorogue Parliament to force through such a catastrophic exit.

I happened to watch the grilling by the BBC’s Andrew Neil of the two contestants for the Tory Party leadership last week, who gave them a hard time, to which neither of them fared well. Johnson’s performance was far from satisfactory as he bubbled along in a disorderly manner, whereas Hunt was more restrained, but equally unconvincing.

I simply cannot visualise the success of these two, aspiring to lead the nation, if they fail to agree some sort of constructive way out of the present dangerous impasse. Let us pray that common sense will prevail, even at this late hour.

We cannot afford any further disruption in the political arena where division has become such a major factor. Those crazy brexitteers must put the nation first and discard their own political ambitions at the expense of the nation as a whole.

THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS MUST BE SACROSANCT

This present government has yet again caused mayhem by encouraging Scotland Yard to take action against newspapers that had the courage to publish the contents of a secret memo to the government from our ambassador in Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, and which caused him eventually to resign.

The Daily Mail, who caused this sensational rumpus by first publishing the confidential memo, has yet again – despite Scotland Yard’s rather bullish threat – published another sensational headline to the effect that Donald Trump abandoned the Iran Nuclear deal as an act of ‘diplomatic vandalism’ to spite his predecessor Barack Obama.

Sir Kim’s bombshell memo to Downing Street – made after Boris Johnson had made a doomed trip to the White House to change the president’s mind – was revealed in leaked cables and briefing notes. The leaks had clearly led to the resignation of the ambassador last week after Boris Johnson had ducked chastising the US president, or as Sir Alan Duncan, a long time Foreign Office minister, suggested Johnson ‘had thrown the ambassador under the bus.’

The latest revelation comes after an extraordinary row over the freedom of the press which blew up over the weekend with Mr Johnson and his rival, Jeremy Hunt, leading the condemnation of Scotland Yard over its threat to prosecute the Daily Mail.

Responding to assistant police commissioner Neil Basu’s incendiary claim that publishing the contents of the documents could be ‘a criminal matter’, Mr Johnson declared: ‘Prosecution would amount to an infringement on press freedom and have a chilling effect on public debate.’ Mr Hunt said that ‘he would defend to the hilt the right of the press to publish those leaks if they received them and judged them to be in the public interest.’

What another mess, organised by Theresa May before her tenure at Downing Street comes to an end. It goes to show that this non-existent government has become a joking matter. The sooner a new administration takes over, the less embarrassment is heaped upon a state of affairs the likes of which we have never seen before. In the meantime, this Scotland Yard masquerade must be withdrawn without further delay.

Contrariness against the experts for a change

Since the death of my wife three years ago after having been blissfully married for over 60 years, I developed a chronic insomnia which began to devastate my health and render me a nervous wreck.

In desperation I now wear a sleep tracker which funnily enough has gradually helped me grab a few hours of much needed sleep although I still have some nights where for no apparent reason I manage as little sleep as 2 hours.

As a result, I was intrigued to read recently that sleep trackers could cause insomnia because users lose sleep worrying about how much they are getting.

That fortunately has not been my experience so far. Fretting over my sleep patterns and monitoring them through an app has not made it harder for me to get the right amount as experts contend.

They maintain that our obsession with getting the perfect amount of sleep – Orthosomnia – can cause stress and anxiety producing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisones which keep people awake.

o-TIRED-FACE-facebook.jpg

Dr Guy Leschzinar, a sleep expert at the Sleep Disorder Centre at Guy’s Hospital in London, says trackers rely on data which doesn’t truly represent sleep.

The consultant neurologist, speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival, said ‘we’ve seen a lot of people who have developed significant insomnia as a result of either sleep trackers or reading certain things about how devastating sleep deprivation is for you.

‘If you wake up feeling tired and you’ve had an unrefreshing night’s sleep, then you know you’ve got a problem. If you wake up every day and feel refreshed, are awake throughout the day and ready to sleep at the same time every night, then you’ve probably getting enough sleep for you and you don’t need an app to tell you that.’

In my case if I wake up having had a bad night, then I feel exhausted throughout the day and feel bereft of energy and become inclined not to sleep properly the night after.

What my tracker has done for me is, for some unknown reason, made me go to sleep and look forward to waking up the next morning to discover whether I improved my sleeping pattern. This is probably the reason that sends me to sleep in the first instance, like a gambler who dreams of winning the jackpot, even though the likelihood of not attaining his aim is far greater than his compulsion to not give up and not desert his dream.

Similarly, perhaps the tracker might have become a toy that has given me hope and comradeship, with whom I can play a game, that keeps me in good nick rather than miserably anxious.

Saving a unique beauty…

The banning of ivory, if it truly prevents the killing of elephants, is to be commended but it appears it has its drawbacks.

For it now transpires that it is currently killing hippos, conservationists have said, as poachers and hunters take advantage of a loophole in the new law.

rexusa.jpg

The Ivory Act, which will come into force later this year, was championed by Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, but conservationists argue that it puts hippos at grave risk as the import of their tusks will still be legal.

Hippo ivory, which resembles that of an elephant, is being increasingly traded globally, with 12,847 hippo teeth and tusks, weighing 3,326kg, bought and sold in 2018. Trade increased from 273 items in 2007 to 6,113 in 2011.

Records show that in 2007 just 4 hippo tusks and skulls made it back to the UK. By 2017 that number has jumped to 18. This does not include the many items that incorporate hippo tusks, such as ornaments, furniture and musical instruments which do not have to be registered with authorities as they are legally traded.

However, hippos are even more endangered than the elephant, while there are 400,000 elephants left in the wild but just 130,000 hippos.

Auctioneers have seen an increased amount of interest in hippo ivory because of the legislation, as restorers worry about its effect on business.

James Lewis, a top auctioneer who has appeared on the BBC show Flog It!, said ‘there is an increased interest in hippo ivory. That interest isn’t coming from carvers or people trying to make new pieces, but from restorers who are concerned about the legislation on the ivory contents of antiques.’

Campaigners have called on the government to close the loopholes to ensure the ban applies to all ivory bearing animals. They have also warned that it is nearly impossible to tell whether a tusk is from a hippopotamus that was slaughtered recently or many years ago, or whether it was poached or legally killed.

Will Travers, president of the Born Free foundation, said ‘authorities were shifting pressure onto hippos by only banning ivory from elephants.’ He said ‘I sometimes can’t tell the difference between different types of ivory, and I’ve been in this for 35 years. It also gives illegal smugglers a cover. Go to Gatwick and ask them to tell the difference between a piece of elephant tusk and a piece of hippo tusk. They won’t be able to. Hippos are already being negatively impacted. We have to have a blanket ban on ivory.’

MPs and celebrities have asked Mr Gove to consider banning ivory at the same time as elephants.

British hunters are also taking advantage of the fact they can legally bring back hippo carcasses as trophies.

Eduardo Goncalves, of the campaign to ban trophy hunting, said ‘despite being classed as vulnerable hippos are the 2nd most popular target animals among British trophy hunters.

‘Over 350 trophies from hippos have been brought back into the UK over the past decade.’

Elephants or hippos have been the target of collectors throughout the world as far as one can remember, but the illegal killing of these animals must be stopped as their extinctions will rob the world of these magnificent animals – a disaster which must never be allowed to happen.

Ivory to me is the best that nature can provide, so we must protect it come what may.

 

A COMEDY OF ERRORS

Whenever I turn on the television to watch what’s happening in Parliament I find myself in a total quandary as to what’s happening there. To start with, this present Tory government is beyond description when I consider the quality of their politicians’ actions and opinions.

Turning my mind back to a few generations ago, when both Labour and Conservative parties boasted men of distinction, as well as a total dedication to their profession, they became the envy of the democratic world. Now they seem replaced by second-rate moguls whose main concern is to seek power at all cost, disregarding all else. Standards have gone haywire and mediocrity has engulfed any call of duty or the vocation once expected of their profession. They promise to make ‘Britain great again’ and give the public the comfort the public seek, notwithstanding the falsity of the economic flimflam which most politicians bounce around, knowing pretty well that the solutions cited are unobtainable.

Boris Johnson might have the charm and charisma to win the present contest and become the Tory leader (and hence the prime minister of a divided nation) by claiming to be its next savior from the rot of its last administration under Theresa May, but the omens for his success are highly debatable given the fact that his present policies, unless reversed, are highly unlikely to get him where he wants to go. And as for Jeremy Hunt, although appearing to be more stable, he is less popular within his own party and although well-meaning, lacks the public appeal of the more boisterous Johnson whose jingoism remains a constant danger.

Johnson’s performance last night in the final TV debate was as a clown, but the biggest faux pas he made was refusing to defend our US Ambassador against Trump’s latest rantings about him and stand by the British government for backing Sir Kim Darroch. Johnson’s contention is that he has ‘a special relationship’. This is clearly a myth. Americans always only back those who are strong, not those who crawl up to them. It’s time we leant from history – this special relationship is simply nonsense.

As for Jeremy Corbyn, his leadership of the Labour party has proved a disaster due to his inconsistency and an inability to make his mind up. That vote of confidence in Theresa May’s Government was especially crass, giving Theresa May the opportunity to negate his threat: she bamboozled him for weeks to seek a common approach to the EU and avoid a no Brexit withdrawal. Doing so, she got a much needed breathing space to stay in power whilst maneuvering her own doomed priorities.

I dread to think what’s in store for the nation in the coming few months. No one can predict the outcome and so, in the circumstances, instability reigns with appalling chaos whispering in the wind.