Journalists' Articles

Articles on sex, orgasm and mating

Round 2: Turning Heterosexuality On and Off

Round 2: Turning Heterosexuality On and Off

By John Tierney [2007]

The post about using a drug to change the sexual orientation of fruit flies — and some day, perhaps, of humans — generated lots of indignant reactions and questions about the research. I asked David Featherstone, one of the authors of the paper in Nature Neuroscience, to respond to Lab readers. Here’s what Dr. Featherstone, a neuroscientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has to say:

Turning Homosexuality On and Off

Turning Homosexuality On and Off

By John Tierney [2007]

What if you could take a drug that would quickly alter your sexual orientation from straight to gay, or vice versa?

To their surprise, neurobiologists have discovered that homosexuality can be turned on or off in fruit flies. They’d known that sexual orientation can be genetically programmed, but they didn’t realize it could also be altered by giving a drug that changes the way the flies’ sensory circuits react to pheromones.

Scientists find 'pleasure nerves'

Scientists say they understand more about how the body responds to pleasurable touch


stroking an arm
A team, including scientists from the Unilever company, have identified a class of nerve fibres in the skin which specifically send pleasure messages.

And people had to be stroked at a certain speed - 4-5cm per second - to activate the pleasure sensation.

They say the study, published in Nature Neuroscience, could help understand how touch sustains human relationships.

Kisses unleash chemicals that ease stress levels

Rodin's KISSCHICAGO – "Chemistry look what you've done to me," Donna Summer crooned in Science of Love, and so, it seems, she was right. Just in time for Valentine's Day, a panel of scientists examined the mystery of what happens when hearts throb and lips lock. Kissing, it turns out, unleashes chemicals that ease stress hormones in both sexes and encourage bonding in men, though not so much in women.

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).

Sex addiction has devastating effects

Marnia's picture
Submitted by Marnia on

miseryJournalist Gail Johnson interviewed Marnia and several men from the "Reuniting" forum for this article, which looks at sex addiction in terms of brain chemistry.

When David Duchovny entered rehab for sex addiction, he drew attention to a condition with devastating effects

During his second marriage, a man we’ll call Walter Logan had three or four affairs a year, every year, throughout the entire decade he and his wife were together. When the Vancouver lawyer wasn’t screwing around or indulging in pornography, he masturbated several times a day

Consummation: A very peculiar practice

We rhapsodise and obsess about it, yet the act of sex is as likely to be ridiculous as sublime. Hannah Betts considers the paradox of consummation

passionate couple[Article from UK newspaper "The Independent"]

Consummation, as set down dispassionately by the Oxford English Dictionary is "the action of making a marriage or relationship complete by having sexual intercourse"; from the Latin verb consummare, uniting con- (altogether), with summa (sum total), the feminine of summus (highest, or supreme). An end, then, that may be no less a beginning and a lofty one at that, ripe with connotations that the act itself should prove consummate.

And yet, in practice, sex is rather akin to dancing: something physical and exuberant that makes most of us look like arses.

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