By necessity, communities (especially internet ones) need to focus on their commonalities. Otherwise, there is little cohesion and the drive to remain a community weakens. Ironically, I have even witnessed this in online communities whose explicit goal was to cultivate community for its own sake--such nascent intentional communities rarely seem to flourish. When members' interests diverge or evolve, maintaining the community becomes less useful, both for the persons with divergent interests and for any members who maintain their original reasons for joining.
For those who believe (accept?) that our species is sexually promiscuous and that social monogamy is a cultural phenomenon, it would seem necessary to think about two problems. First, why would social monogamy arise in apparent contradiction to the biological tendency? One possible answer:
A recent review of goal-seeking studies (Custers and Aarts, 2010, Science, vol. 329, pp 47-50) (Abstract: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/329/5987/47) concludes that humans may pursue goals that are not endorsed by or even apparent to conscious awareness. Furthermore, consciously-pursued goals are subject to influence by subconscious 'primers' experienced prior to conscious engagement. A principal conclusion from the article is worth quoting at length:
I have reduced my frequency of orgasm to approximately one quarter the mean of the previous six months (which was 0.76/day). At no point have I exceeded five days without orgasm, but I have had only 3 orgasms in the last 15 days, and I am set to exceed 5 days without orgasm at the end of today. The compulsion to orgasm, which I had been unable to fight for many years, has diminished perceptibly in conjunction with initiation of new activities (two new athletic pursuits) and disruption of some entrenched non-sexual behavior patterns (reduced internet, no alcohol).
I have been away from Reuniting for several months, so I shall briefly review the problems that brought me here in the first place, and the circumstances that have prompted me to post again. I was a moderately compulsive pornography user (< 5 x / week), and the images that I consumed were incongruent with mutually agreeable sexuality in my marriage. Moreover, the pornography use caused me to seriously think about infidelity. Just prior to my last posts, I had completed 42 porn-free days, and believed that I had learned two things.
I have nearly passed through the eleventh day of my second attempt at eliminating pornography from my habitual behaviors (first attempt went 31 days), and I have noticed two developments, one positive, one not.
Until recently, I believed that I could never get enough sex, and that I was unlucky because I married a woman who prefers sex not more than once every other day and does not accommodate indiscriminate penetration of every orifice. But then I successfully got through 31 days without watching pornography, masturbating only minimally, genuinely trying to appreciate my wife for her sexuality on its own terms, and actively suppressing the fantasy/obsessive urges that have progressively insinuated themselves on my personality over the last decade.
Scientists (especially in our Enlightened Age...) can usually be trusted to control for relevant variables in correlation-based studies. That is, at least for variables that are obvious and/or acknowledged. So in studies about the effect of sex on physiology and psychology, you might expect that the basic factorial design would include, even in the current society where sex is conflated with orgasm: . In studies for which the purported independent variable is orgasm (e.g.
I identified a trigger condition and at the same time realized something about my pornography viewing habits. I received some highly stressful news at work (sufficient to cause chest pain), and this news, combined with the fact that my wife will be out of town for a few days, made me think about watching porn. In the past, I have used porn to relieve stress, so I was vaguely aware of that trigger already.