Overcoming The Monogamy ChallengeLISTEN TO SHOW
Has your sex life become so dissatisfying that you feel restless with your marriage, or even resentful of your spouse?
Marnia Robinson joins us to take a look at the science behind why steamy romance is destined to fade, what that means for the future of marriage, as well as to share some of her 31 tips for reengaging sexually with your spouse.
"Financiers take too many risks; scientists do not take enough." --Seth Roberts
When your appetite changes, your perception changes. Think about how uninviting that fifth slice of pizza is compared with that delectable first slice. Recent brain research is revealing a disturbing phenomenon: intense natural stimuli can interfere with our brain’s normal appetite satiation mechanism. By numbing the pleasure response of the brain, such stimuli can make pleasures less satisfying. The effects linger for weeks. The result is less overall enjoyment and contentment, even though the superstimuli continue to register as especially “valuable.”
Could this sneaky primitive mechanism also be at play in our love lives? We can’t say, because it hasn’t been studied.
Want to use your relationship to de-stress? Try something playful and totally unfamiliar: three weeks of brief, daily bonding behaviors.
Beware the brain numbed to pleasure.
Are you gauging the value of your relationship by how often you have sex? Is your mate starting to react to your every gesture of affection as pressure to "get it on?"
If so, you may be victims of a primitive brain mechanism that promises satisfaction—but delivers its opposite. It can put couples out of sync sexually. (This is especially likely after your one-time booster shot of honeymoon neurochemistry has worn off.)
Can dopamine receptors reveal clues about binging?
A guinea pig called Sooty enjoyed a night of passion with twenty-four females after fooling his way into their cage in south Wales. Sooty wooed the lady guinea pigs, one by one, and has now become the proud father of forty-two baby guinea pigs. . . . "He was absolutely shattered. We put him back in his cage and he slept for two days."
The Coolidge Effect is biology's gallant resolve to leave no novel mate unfertilized whatever the cost. It's typical in mammals, has also been seen in females, and can be traced all the way back to our distant relatives: rodents. Although we humans are pair bonders, our bonding program still competes with this older have-opportunity-will-get-it-on impulse.
Looking for greater contentment? Know thy brain.
Sexual fantasy has long been touted as a way to meet sexual needs or fill the gap between mates’ out of sync libidos. This assumes sexual desire is like hunger: you simply eat (or orgasm) until you’ve had enough. Obviously, if you have a bigger or more varied appetite than your mate, you’ll add snacks, or masturbate, as the case may be.
Is hammering the brain’s desire circuitry a good idea?
A drug that makes you not only able but eager and willing isn't going to remain the exclusive property of the severely impaired. As with Viagra, there will be extensive off-label use.—Julian Dibbell, The Observer
The German edition of Cupid's Poisoned Arrow can now be ordered. It became available April 20, 2010.
Das Gift an Amors Pfeil
Amors Pfeil trifft mitten in einen der primitivsten Teile unseres Gehirns. Folgsam verlieben wir uns, durchströmt von einem Feuerwerk leidenschaftlicher Gefühle, für eine Zeit lang gebunden... Und dann langt es uns miteinander, wir werden reizbar, unerreichbar und zerstreut. Wir versuchen unseren Geliebten umzuformen, suchen Trost bei anderen oder stürzen uns in eine neue Liebesgeschichte. Warum bleiben Liebespaare nicht zusammen? Marnia Robinson erläutert uns die Fallstricke menschlicher Neurobiologie und weist uns den Weg in Form eines Kniffs: Nutzt das Liebeswerben und den Liebesakt selbst, um einander ins Gleichgewicht zu bringen - und natürliche Harmonie entfaltet sich von selbst! Das Gift an Amors Pfeil untergräbt viele Annahmen über Sexualität und Liebe, die wir bislang für selbstverständlich gehalten haben und bietet uns ein Praxisprogramm für die Belegung einer tragfähigen Verbundenheit in Sexualität und Beziehung.
Make the most of your sexual desire.
Mood swings born of subtle neurochemical shifts can produce distress in our lives despite best intentions. (Think PMS.) Want to reduce your inner turmoil? Try strengthening your equilibrium.