Archive for February 8th, 2011

February 8, 2011

My Funny Valentine

Rodgers and Hart wrote “My Funny Valentine”  in 1937 for the musical “Babes in Arms.” The song’s essential message can be described as: your  flaws are endearing, so please don’t change.
To see how sentiments and expression of love and attraction have changed ( or not)  in the last 75 years, I thought I’d mash up some of 2011’s top pop singles and some current research with the classic lyrics and see what emerges.

My funny Valentine
Sweet comic Valentine
You make me smile with my heart

The back story is upfront on Ricky Martin’s “Música + Alma + Sexo” (“Music + Soul + Sex”), his first studio album since 2005 and his first since he announced last year on his Web site that he is “proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man.” On this album his usual exhortations to seize life’s pleasures mingle with coming-out manifestos, and he smiles through them all. (New York Times)

Your looks are laughable, unphotographable
Yet you’re my favorite work of art

Pretty pretty please, don’t you ever ever feel
Like you’re less than f*ckin’ perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you’re nothing
You’re f*ckin’ perfect to me! (Pink)

Is your figure less than Greek?
Here’s the situation
Been to every nation
Nobody’s ever made me feel the way that you do
You know my motivation
Given my reputation
Please excuse me I don’t mean to be rude

But tonight I’m f*cking you
Oh you know
That tonight I’m f*cking you
Oh you know
That tonight I’m f*cking you (Enrique Iglesias)

Is your mouth a little weak?

Cause I may be bad, but I’m perfectly good at it
Sex in the air, I don’t care, I love the smell of it
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But chains and whips excite me (Rihanna)

When you open it to speak, are you smart?
The video clip for the album’s first single in English, a lilting duet with Joss Stone called “The Best Thing About Me Is You,” shows Mr. Martin pulling a gag off his mouth, then juxtaposes him with gay and straight couples with equal signs painted on their chests. (New York Times)

But don’t change a hair for me
A long-term study of 3,500 people between the ages of 30 and 101 found that regular sex may shave between four and seven years off your physical appearance. Researchers at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland presented photos of the subjects to an impartial panel of judges, who were asked to guess their ages. The people who were judged to be the youngest were also those who had the most sex. What’s the connection between youthfulness and getting it on? In addition to boosting self-esteem and confidence, sex increases the production of human growth hormone, which is known to improve muscle tone.

Not if you care for me
A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that erectile dysfunction (ED) is often an early indicator of poor cardiovascular health. Researchers followed more than 2,300 men for an average of four years and found that men with ED had a 58 percent greater risk of coronary heart disease. Another study showed that men who reported having three or more orgasms per week experienced 50 percent fewer heart attacks and strokes as compared with those who had less frequent orgasms. Sex may help the heart because orgasm triggers the release of the hormone DHEA, which helps with circulation and arterial dilation.
Stay little Valentine, stay
Each day is Valentine’s Day
For reasons that are still unclear, regular sex may even add years to your life. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that men who had sex less than once per month were twice as likely to die in the next 10 years than those who had sex once per week. And guys aren’t the only ones to benefit: Researchers at Duke University found that women who claimed to enjoy their sex lives lived seven to eight years longer than women who were indifferent to sex.
Is your mouth a little weak.
The secret to good sex after marriage: low costs, high transparency. Who said economics was dismal?
When you open it to speak, are you smart?
When sex is dirt cheap, we’re much more likely to go at it like rabbits. Couple O has been together for 15 years and has a great sex life. They keep it affordable. If they’re tired, they make it quick. Maybe they don’t even bother to take their shirts off. When one of them is in the mood, they say so.

But don’t change a hair for me

Which brings us to a second principle of economics that applies to the bedroom: transparency. Transparency is what keeps the wheels of the free market—and, coincidentally, your sex life—greased. Couple O doesn’t make each other guess, because guessing takes time, and is often stressful (“Should I or shouldn’t I? If she’s not up for it, I’m going to be bummed and wonder if it’s because she’s not attracted to me. What if she’s not attracted to me? Oh Jesus. Forget it”). Bottom line: Guessing is costly.

Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine, stay

Now for your third and final economics lesson: the theory of rational addiction.

The gist of rational addiction is that we get addicted to things—alcohol, gambling, porn, crystal meth, cigarettes, loser boyfriends—by doing them over and over again, and we stay addicted to them because we feel the benefits outweigh the costs. So a heroin addict knows heroin is habit-forming and deadly, but has decided he’d still rather be high and addicted than not high and not addicted. For him, being an addict is a “rational” decision in the sense that he has considered the long- and short-term costs and benefits. According to the theory, the same applies to what might be considered “good” addictions, like working hard, or listening to music, or eating healthy food, or loving one person every day, for the rest of your life. Or having sex.

Each day is Valentine’s Day

Lady Gaga announces that her first fragrance will smell “of blood and semen.”


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