left hemisphere / right hemisphere sex

Submitted by Helen on
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I was doing a bit of research on left/right hemisphere sexuality as it is my feeling that it is different either side. A more left hemisphere dominated person would have a different sexual experience than someone with more right access (my feeling being porn/mastubation/the urge to ejaculate/genital (very limited) orgasm being left hem. and karezza style/cosmic (whole body) orgasm being right hem. and one of the first things I came across this which I thought some people might find interesting (split brain research offers fascinating insight into this proposal):

http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/16/1/37

Interesting

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

I really like creative suggestions. However, the research you're relying on may be dated. It turns out that a lot of Parkinson's patients developed addictions, including hypersexuality, because of the dopamine-like drugs they were given. So I'm not sure his symptoms were due to the surgery. the differences you perceive may be due to the amount of dopamine connected with a person's approach to sex. (Sex with yourself has been shown to have a different neurochemical cocktail than sex with intercourse, for example. Connections with others that include affection may produce a more balanced mix of dopamine and oxytocin.)

But back to Parkinson's patients. Here's an excerpt from an article we wrote a few years ago:

"On July 12,2005, National Geographic News reported that the Mayo Clinic had found that the dopamine agonist drugs [drugs that imitate dopamine in the brain] used to treat Parkinson's can boost patients' appetites for sex, food, alcohol and even gambling. (One out of ten Scottish patients taking dopamine elevating drugs developed serious gambling addictions.)

"This is a striking effect," said J. Eric Ahlskog, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic. Pathological gambling induced by a drug is really quite unusual. In one case, a 54-year-old married pastor gambled daily at the local casino, hiding his losses from his wife. In another, a 41-year-old computer programmer who had never gambled in his life became "consumed" with Internet gambling.

All the patients were taking a dopamine agonist drug, which affects the dopamine receptors highly concentrated in the reward circuitry of the brain. Dopamine is thought to reinforce such compulsive behavior.

"These patients … identified these behaviors as being uncharacteristic of their baseline behavior," said Maryellen Dodd, the Mayo Clinic psychiatrist who led the research. "Nearly all the patients who came to our attention had never gambled or gambled very infrequently...."

At least six patients also developed other problems, including compulsive eating, increased alcohol use, and hypersexuality. At least one patient developed an obsession with pornography and engaged in extramarital affairs...."When our neurologists tapered the patients off the medication, several reported a dramatic resolution of their problem," Dodd said. "One patient said it was like a light switch going off."

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Second, the right-left brain division is very overblown. Here's a recent article on the subject: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-ledoux/why-the-right-brain-idea_b_2...

So I'm not denying your experience, just not sure where it's coming from. Please keep sharing your ideas.

I have read stuff like the

I have read stuff like the link you sent before but I just don't buy it. The evidence is overwhelming that there are differences in the two sides of the brain. Aquired savant syndrome is just one very stunning example. Aquired genius skills ONLY ever happen when the left has been damaged there is not one single case when it has been the other way round.

The parkinsons part of the link I sent was not what I was interested in although I understand the connection you are making. I will look to see if it has happened with patients without PD I am very sure it has - I will post what I find.

thanks for your respomse.

Just re read link I sent to

Just re read link I sent to be clear I had read it right - this area fascinates me and I have so much to do today but all I want to do is sit on computer all day doing research - ho hum - I'll have to wait until tonight!!

but thought I would quickly post this:

"We report a patient with profound changes in sexuality after pallidotomy surgery"

It would seem very clear from the article that this patient had these changes directly after the surgery - not just due to PD and the drugs given. He had had PD for 16 years without these symptoms - I am guessing he had been taking the drugs for it but it is not clear in article if he did and yet it was only after surgery to the right side that this hyper-sexuality manifest.

"Immediately after the pallidotomy, the patient began demanding oral sex up to 12 to 13 times a day from his wife of 41 years"

It is clear that the drugs do effect sexuality and addictions in PD patients but this does not rule out my proposal that there are sexuality differences between the two sides of the brain. It would be interesting to find reserach on the changes these drugs have on PD patients and what side of the brain the PD has effected - as it can be different in different people. It is my suspicion that dopamine effects the two sides of the brain differently too - having a much more powerful effect on the left.

Of course it's not mad

I think the behaviors you are focusing on are very real indeed...and important to understand so we can choose the behaviors that move us toward balance. I'm just suggesting that the brain is more complex than one might conclude from your remarks. Feel free to post your findings!