12.10.2007  BY EM & LO
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Photo via Splash

The 7th annual New York Times Magazine Year in Ideas issue just came out, bringing us lap-dance science (you heard it here first, folks), vegansexuality (er, once again...), and handshake sex appeal (okay, we missed this one). The latter item is about an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Albany named Gordon Gallup, who, together with his undergrad son, found a connection between male handgrip strength and reproductive fitness. Apparently the stronger the grip, the more "macho" the dude--broader shoulders, narrower hips, more aggressive and dominant behavior, more notches on the bedpost, lower age of virginity loss. (Um, did they also ask whether these macho hand-shakers had also recently pledged?)

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Gallup puts it down to a much earlier definition of "macho": our primate ancestors who swung through trees without losing their grip. And there we were thinking that aggressive handshakers were just overcompensating for something--it's like the poor man's penis car. Or perhaps using evolutionary psychology to sort the macho men from the wet-noodle-handshake boys is the new penis car...? Not that Gallup and his boy have anything to prove of course: he insists that, like father like son, they've both got "pretty substantial" grips.

In case you were wondering, a lady's handshake supposedly corresponds to the time of the month--it's strongest when she's most fertile, presumably to ward off impregnation by less-than-macho males. So, we guess if you want to bed the king of the jungle, then ask him to arm-wrestle you first to test his mettle. And if he loses, give him a hug and remind him that there are plenty of so-called evolutionary misfits (we prefer the term "free spirits" or, er, "feminists") like Lo who'd take a skinny indie hairless hipster emosexual any day of the week.


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In one sense, revenge sex—when you sleep with your ex's nemesis, roommate, sibling, parent, or pet in order to pay them back for dumping you--totally works: how could your ex not be grossed out / horrified / disillusioned / damaged for life? But unless your ex is a few peas short of a casserole, your cunning plan is sure to backfire, because they'll know exactly why you slept with their paste-eating dork of a sibling, and the most overwhelming emotion they will feel is deep, abiding pity for you.
--From Buh Bye: The Ultimate Guide to Dumping and Getting Dumped






Em & Lo, more formally known as Emma Taylor and Lorelei Sharkey, are the self-proclaimed Emily Posts of the modern bedroom.

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City.

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