Another Way to Make Love

Elude the Coolidge Effect with a forgotten approach to sex

lovers Recent posts discuss (1) why lovers might want to know more about what's going on in their limbic brains, (2) how too much intense stimulation of the brain's primitive reward circuitry can lead to subtle mood swings and a need for more stimulation, and (3) how dopamine fluctuations drive the Coolidge Effect (the tendency to lose interest in a mate after sexual satiation.) I've also mentioned that there's a way to make love that helps ease dopamine extremes and promote harmony.

The recipe for great sex: orgasm optional, research finds

playful couplePut away your vacuum pump, heavy-duty auto booster cables and edible latex Brad Pitt face mask-and-abs combo. According to a study released Thursday, such items are simply litter along the road to great sex. The study, titled The Components of Optimal Sexuality: A Portrait of 'Great Sex', suggests that sexual fulfilment has far less to do with technique and perfect bodies -- elements most often ascribed great significance by popular culture -- and more to do with such factors as presence, connection and erotic intimacy.

Aldous Huxley - essay on karezza's heritage

Huxley portraitThis essay is from a 1956 book of essays by Aldous Huxley entitled "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow" (or in the UK, "Adonis and the Alphabet"). It appeared on this web page peculiarly formatted. To make it more legible, I have inserted paragraphs as I saw fit, with apologies to the late Mr. Huxley.

Every civilization is, among other things, an arrangement for domesticating the passions and setting them to do useful work. The domestication of sex presents a problem whose solution must be attempted on two distinct levels of human experience, the psycho-physiological and the social.

Sexual Superabundance

sexy womenI was a once a contented product of the sexual revolution--or so I believed. My family was open and sensible about discussing sex, and barely religious. I concluded that orgasm was pure pleasure and the best possible relationship glue.

Sex and Depression: In the Brain, if Not the Mind

couple hanging out

Finally, a psychiatrist is acknowledging that intense orgasm can create a hangover for some people, without any apparent psychological issues. Maybe as professionals begin to explore the neurochemistry of extreme cases they will realize that the same neurochemical fluctuations are at work in more subtle ways in the problem of habituation between couples (as well as sex addiction).

Pair-Bonding: A Strength and A Weakness

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couple hit by a seagullAs we’ve seen in earlier articles, neurochemical urges motivate mammals to eat, drink and have sex. Specifically, dopamine surges in their primitive reward circuitry send them after the things that further their survival—or at least the survival of their genes.

But what about the handful of mammalian species who have evolved to team up in order to do a better job of raising their young? They may get all the food, water and sex they want, and still feel that something is missing—until they are mated.

Recipe for A Healthy World

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wise manCarl Jung recounted the following story, told to him by Richard Wilhelm, who lived in China for many years:

There was a great drought where Wilhelm lived; for months there had not been a drop of rain and the situation became catastrophic. The Catholics made processions, the Protestants made prayers, and the Chinese burned joss-sticks and shot off guns to frighten away the demons of the drought, but with no result.

Finally the Chinese said, 'We will fetch the rain-maker.' And from another province a dried up old man appeared. The only thing he asked for was a quiet little house somewhere, and there he locked himself in for three days. On the fourth day the clouds gathered and there was a great snow-storm at the time of the year when no snow was expected, an unusual amount, and the town was so full of rumours about the wonderful rain-maker that Wilhelm went to ask the man how he did it.

In true European fashion he said: 'They call you the rain-maker; will you tell me how you made the snow?' And the little Chinese said: 'I did not make the snow; I am not responsible.' 'But what have you done these three days?' 'Oh, I can explain that. I come from another country where things are in order. Here they are out of order; they are not as they should be by the ordinance of heaven. Therefore the whole country is not in Tao, and I also am not in the natural order of things because I am in a disordered country. So I had to wait three days until I was back in Tao and then naturally the rain came.'”

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