My Focus Group of One Fact-Checks Sexual Health Claims

My Focus Group of One Fact-Checks Sexual Health Claims

While Calico’s husband was sheltering in place in another state during the initial weeks and months of the pandemic, one of the things she missed most was having him around to talk about the sexual subjects she addresses in her writing. Serving as a “focus group of one,” what he lacks in eloquence, insight and wit, he more than makes up for with his tolerance for being endlessly mocked.

Today, Calico enlists her focus group on a mission to fact check some pandemic-related sexual health claims — specifically, sexual health claims which pertain to NOT having sex, something a lot of people are facing during the pandemic and associated lockdowns.

It makes good sense to Calico that going without sex could have serious implications for people, but what will her focus group/husband make of these assertions? Is having sex good for you? Is there such a thing as “touch starvation”? What the hell kind of name is “Dr. Needle” anyway? These and other questions may or may not be addressed definitively by Calico and her focus group/husband in her new post, “My Focus Group of One Fact-Checks Sexual Health Claims.”

sexual focus group

by Calico Rudasill, Adult Entertainment Films For Women and Couples

Read on…

One of the nice parts of having my sexual husband back around again following his out-of-state, sheltering-in-place exile, is the return of the service he offers as my ‘focus group of one’ – someone off whom I can bounce ideas, questions and the occasional mozzarella stick as I write my posts.

True, he’s not exactly randomly selected and the extremely small number of separate individuals he represents yields a margin of error of roughly 72% when he’s the sum total of my Random Americans respondent pool, but his opinions still carry some weight with me – at least when what I’m seeking is feedback from a cynical, apathetic, cisgender, heterosexual, middle-class white guy, age 40-64.

Fact Check: Having Sex is Good for You

Today, I’m asking my focus group/husband to evaluate some sexual health claims I’ve come across during the pandemic and related shutdowns. Specifically, these claims relate to the health impacts of not having sex, a position my focus group and I were in for several weeks while living apart during the early stages of the pandemic.

“Honey,” I say without warning to my focus group, who is just feet from me on the couch, “Dr. Rachel Needle, psychologist and co-director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes, says having sex can be positive for people’s physical and mental health. Do you think that’s true?”

Ordinarily, this question would be such a softball, with so obvious an answer, I wouldn’t bother asking it. Right now, though, my focus group is nose-deep in a book about Afghanistan, or the CIA, or maybe the CIA’s activities in Afghanistan, so I can safely assume he’ll respond without even absorbing what he’s been asked.

“Mmm hmm,” he says. “Sure. Sounds good to me.”

You’d think I just asked my sexual focus group if leftover pizza for dinner is OK by him – but I’m going to take that as a ringing endorsement of the general notion that having sex is good for people.

Getting More Specific

“Dr. Needle also says having sex helps you sleep better, decreases pain, lowers stress and lessens both anxiety and depression,” I continue. “Does that sound right, too?”

Something in there must have sparked the neuron in my sexual focus group’s head which tells him he needs to pay closer attention to what the interviewer/wife is saying, because now the focus group has lowered his book and looked directly at me.

“Wait…” the focus group says, eyes full of compassion, “you’re feeling depressed?”

“No,” I say, making my best Irritated Wife/Interviewer face, “Dr. Needle says having sex helps people sleep, decreases their pain, lowers their stress and reduces anxiety and depression; do you think that’s true?”

Doctor Needle?” he snorts. “Sounds like a euphemism for ‘heroin dealer’ to me.”

“I didn’t ask what you think of her name,” I sigh. “Do you think what she said is true?”

“I mean seriously, Doctor Needle?” he barrels right along, oblivious to my repeated query. “She should be running an immunization shot program somewhere. That would rock.”

Clearly, we’re not going to get anywhere on this question until I find a doctor with a less humorous name to whom I can attribute the claim. It’s time to give this one a “Mixture” rating and move on.

According to Dr. Dulcinea Pitagora, a psychotherapist and sex therapist in New York, “When those who would like to be having sex and are used to having it regularly experience a lack of sexual intimacy, the opposite can occur in the form of detrimental effects to mental, emotional, and physical health resulting in a variety of symptoms; and feelings of isolation, insecurity, and lowered self-esteem.”

I read that quote to my focus group. “Agree or disagree?” I ask. 

As soon as my sexual focus group’s eyes lighten up and that impish smile flashes across his lips, I know what’s coming. I also realize that, given the nature of my focus group and his incessantly reference-driven brain and what just happened moments ago with Dr. Needle, I walked right into this shit.

Grasping at his chest like some would-be diva competing on American Idol, he begins to belt out the song.

Hmm. Did I say earlier it was nice to have him back? I might need to fact check that claim, too.

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