Regardless how many sexual partners you've had, you may still benefit from figuring out the extent to which you're wired for pair bonding. Being a pair-bonder, by the way, doesn't guarantee "happily ever after." It means socially monogamous: having the capacity to fall in love and the desire to bond, at least for a time. In contrast, most mammal species are like bonobo chimps and rats; they mate and move on. The reasons for the differences lie in brain structure.
Despite our capacity for promiscuity, we humans are a pair-bonding species. It shows up in our powerful hankering for touch and ongoing companionship—and makes perfect sense, as our offspring benefit from parents who hang around with each other for more than one estrous cycle. (For a solid analysis of human pair bonding, see "Your Sexy Brain" in The Compass of Pleasure.) As with any trait, however, there are always outliers (atypical individuals). So how do you know where you are on the pair-bonder spectrum? And what does it mean in terms of finding contentment?
For the last half-century, Western sexologists have advised men to ejaculate as frequently as the urge arises, on a par with nose-blowing. At the same time, doctors assure guys that there's no risk of excessive ejaculation because they'll stop when they've had enough.
But what if this advice is not supported by the data biologists are turning up? We've been fascinated by a debate going on over on Amazon about the realities of primate sex and mating. This debate and the self-reports from young guys on a variety of forums are making us question the standard ejaculation advice.
Images are from a fountain with a series of sculptures in Nuremberg, Germany called the "Marriage Carousel." It depicts a 400-year old poem by a former town resident about the phases of marriage. The fountain shows a couple starting out in a swan boat, the happy honeymooners. They end up grappling with each other in hell. With karezza, the story is reversed.
...When I married a girl I met in college I thought it was going to be wonderful and we would live happily ever after. I thought I was going to get my needs met once and for all. What I didn’t realize was that she had the same thing on her mind. We both approached each other with our own selfish personal agenda. To me, it seemed that all she wanted was sperm and a paycheck. And I guess to her, it seemed that all I wanted was frequent sexual loving. It became obvious that we didn’t want and value the same things in life. Ten years later found me with three children, bankrupt, jobless, homeless, divorced and heartbroken. It was a nightmare.
A friend of the site has translated the preface, chapter one and the first of the "Wisdom" essays into French, in hopes of helping to attract a French publisher to Cupid's Poisoned Arrow. Read the excerpt.
If you have suggestions of a suitable French publisher for Cupid's Poisoned Arrow, please let us know and we will pass the information on to the publisher.
Feeling "off" and wondering what to do about it? You could just be touch-starved. If so, solo sex may may not heal the feeling that something...isn't right.
by Joni Renee Original version
Over the fall I decided I had to be single for a while. While reluctant, I knew it was best, as I had some serious studying to do to become licensed in my field - and men (because of my zest for them) proved to be too much of a distraction. So I gave them up, short-term. Strange to say, this wasn’t the hardest thing to do. I have lived most of my life single. I have found that truly ecstatic relationships are not super common. I enjoyed harnessing my energies so I could study, and was rewarded as I passed several of the licensing tests (there are too many).
About a month after living the single life, I noticed my health started to suffer. Specifically, I started experiencing severe insomnia. This was unusual because I am famous for my sound sleep. I am known to lay my head down at night, and the next thing I know I wake up at daybreak. I have even participated in sleep studies, only to be told I have perfect sleep. I never could understand jetlag, as I easily adjust to the new time zone wherever I go.
Pair bonding is a biological program not a cultural construct
Despite a colorful array of cultural differences, humans everywhere fall in love, attach emotionally for long periods, and feel betrayed when mates are unfaithful. These behaviors are innate, not the products of random cultural influences. To make this point another way: Most mammals don't tattoo their mates' names on their bums, and are not subject to fits of jealous rage.
Human Brains Are Built to Fall in Love, an earlier post, explained that pair bonding behaviors have neurobiological mechanisms behind them. Now, there's more research evidence of our underlying pair-bonding programming.
I went through a number of disastrous relationships. Finally, I decided, "Why date real people? Who needs the nonsense? If I have porn, I don't need anyone." So I closed myself off to the world, worked, watched TV, watched porn...and got fat. A few years ago, I took a long, hard look at myself, and decided that I could not keep living the way I was. I used to be very active and an athlete. I had basically fallen into "the pit."
A recent study assures us that romantic, sexually active, long-term relationships are possible...for a mere thirteen percent of lucky couples.
"Young Japanese men are growing indifferent or even averse to sex, while married couples are starting to have it even less," reports The Japan Times, citing a 2010 poll. The trend is escalating rapidly. More than 36% of men aged 16 to 19 have no interest in sex, more than double the 17.5 % from 2008.