Article by Marnia Robinson and Gary Wilson

Has Evolution Trained Our Brains to Gorge on Food and Sex?

Can dopamine receptors reveal clues about binging?

Coolidge Effect regrets Romeo Guinea Pig Causes Baby Boom:

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.

Porn and Perception: Is Your Limbic Brain Distorting Your Vision?

Porn could be changing how you see your life

xray visionCan frequent porn use change users' perception in unexpected ways? Within a month or two of stopping porn, former users posting on the website's forum report greater clarity and optimism, and less dissatisfaction with their lives. They also see women and relationships differently. It may be that porn's effects are more invasive than generally acknowledged—even if devilishly difficult to measure. Said one guy:

Sexual Fantasy: The More You Scratch the More You Itch

Looking for greater contentment? Know thy brain.

scratching dog
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.

As Porn Goes Up, Performance Goes Down?

Is there an unsuspected link between today's porn and potency?

limp light switchThrough a fluke of fate, my website has become a hangout for some amazing people, including men determined to wean themselves from porn. Their efforts have taught me more than I ever wanted to know about this subject. A few years ago one wrote,

I am sure that if a study were actually done with honest men, we would see correlation between porn viewing and erectile dysfunction. The porn industry takes advantage of the uninformed public and makes billions. Then the pharmaceutical companies sell us costly sexual enhancement drugs to treat the side effects—and make billions.

‘Straight Men, Gay Porn’ and Other Brain Map Mysteries

Brain activationFor most of the last century, neuroscientists were convinced that adult brains were pretty much set. Now, recent neuroscience reveals that our brains are suprisingly plastic throughout our lives. By learning techniques that help us sidestep unwanted wiring, we can even direct the re-wiring process—with seemingly miraculous results.

A key principle in understanding how we wire, or re-wire, our brains is "neurons that fire together wire together." That is, if two things happen at the same time, our brains often associate them by means of actual neural connections. The more intense the associated events, or the more they are repeated, the stronger the wiring. Groups of nerve cells devoted to a behavior or function are sometimes called "brain maps."

Orgasm is a neurochemical blast so delicious that our brains readily wire it (and arousal) to associated events and circumstances.

Was the Cowardly Lion Just Masturbating Too Much?

Comments: This is one of our very first posts describing one of the unexpected benefits reported by former porn users. We are not saying that Internet porn is the primary cause of social anxiety in young men. No one knows what percentage of those with SAD have porn use as a contributing factor, because no studies exist. High-speed Internet porn is a new phenomenon; no control groups are possible; and no study has asked the right questions.

Kim Hess Interviews Marnia

"Do Orgasms Lead to Divorce?"

Kim Hess, Divorce GuruKim Hess, Divorce Guru, talks to Marnia Robinson author of Cupid's Poisoned Arrow: From Habit to Harmony in Sexual Relationships.

We learn why "another way to make love" is the way to make relationships last (even after you've been through a divorce or two!) and why bonding behaviors are more important than orgasms during a relationship. Marnia teaches us there is wisdom to "steering around orgasm during intercourse," and lots of benefits!

Kim chose the title for the show.

Measuring Porn's Effects: What About the Users?

An open letter to Simon Lajeunesse

Adult Entertainment: Disrobing an American Idol film

Dear Professor Lajeunesse,

I've just read about your conclusion that porn is harmless. I'm wondering if it might be worth redesigning your questionnaire. I've been witnessing (secondhand) a lot of harm from porn, as well as some surprising benefits from leaving it behind. What I'm learning suggests that you would have to ask very different questions of your subjects if you want to measure the dangers of Internet porn use.

Supersize Orgasms?

Super size friesIs 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