Al Fin, You Sexy Thing!

27 October 2011

Is Internet Porn Taking the Romance Out of Sex?

Men addicted to internet porn site may develop an inability to be turned on by real partners, two new studies say. According to at least two recent studies, "More and more young Italian men are suffering from 'sexual anorexia' and are unable to get erections because of internet porn use that started in their mid-teens ." _TOI
For some young men, too much exposure to internet porn can affect their sexual performance with real life women.
"It's all free, easy to access, available within seconds, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Overstimulation of the reward circuitry in the brain is a very real possibility....Quitting can be quite challenging due to an alarming temporary drop in libido, and some men experience withdrawal symptoms. These include insomnia, irritability, panic, despair, concentration problems, and even flu-like symptoms...

..."Desperate young men from various cultures, with different levels of education, religiosity, attitudes, values , diets, marijuana use, and personalities are seeking help. They have only two things in common: heavy use of today's internet porn and increasing need for more extreme material," she said in an article in Psychology Today. Most men are astonished to learn that pornography use can be a source of sexual performance problems, she said. _TOI
The prime time for young men and women to fall in love, marry, and start families, is in the early 20's, physiologically. But in the modern age, many men and women are not ready to settle down until their early to late 30's, if not later. And for the young men -- such as many young men in some European countries -- who still live with their mothers, the women in porn may be the only ones willing to take them as they are.

Occasional viewing of internet porn is not a problem. But the compulsive need for constant stimulation, requiring more and more extreme material in order to satisfy the craving, is a problem for the addict.

If a society breeds too many addicts -- to internet porn, to drugs, to romance novels, or any guilty pleasure taken to extremes -- that society will suffer. In the case of porn addiction, patterns of mating, family formation, and procreation can suffer. That tears at the very heart of a society's future.

It seems as if internet porn is playing a role in the phenomenon identified by Lionel Tiger as "The Decline of Males." Not many women have understood how such a decline could adversely affect them, at least not yet. A more recent book, The Decline of Men by Guy Garcia, fills in some of the details which Tiger predicted a decade earlier.
In an eye-opening exploration of contemporary American manhood, The Decline of Men shows how men are struggling to redefine what being a man means in today's world. Their confusion has led to rampant male malaise, which has left many men feeling alienated and disconnected. Unable to communicate their frustrated thoughts or emotions effectively, too many guys are slacking off and opting out of their manly obligations, producing an entire generation of men who are ditching their own potential and failing the moms, wives, and girlfriends who love them. _Decline of Men
As you can imagine, adopting internet porn -- and soon, the adoption of virtual reality porn -- is not helping the situation any.

The demand for porn -- like the demand for tobacco, drugs, alcohol, gambling, prostitution, death sports, etc -- is not likely to go away. In fact, porn is likely to evolve rapidly in the coming years, perhaps to this stage:

Futurama - Don't date robots from John Pope on Vimeo.

All of the medical and societal changes that have influenced human mating and procreation were predicted many years ago. We just had to see it for ourselves before we would believe it. And now that we see what is happening, we still cannot bring ourselves to believe what it is leading to.

Fertility rates are already falling among the more advanced and intelligent populations of the world. Some countries -- such as Japan -- may well underbreed themselves into nonexistence. Others, such as Russia, are becoming empty shells of their former selves. If you wanted to destroy a country, destroying the will or ability of males to mate with females would pretty well do it.

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13 October 2011

Sexual Desire and Sexual Pleasure

Sexual desire and sexual pleasure go a long way to helping make life worthwhile. Sexual desire can be lost temporarily in many situations of physical or psychological illness, stress, discomfort, or exhaustion. More tragic is the long term loss of sexual desire due to chronic disease, depression, or unknown causes.

Perhaps the quickest way for a person to earn a billion dollars would be to invent an aphrodisiac that worked every time in either sex, at any age -- even in persons suffering from mental stress or a physical ailment. We are still waiting for the lucky researcher to experience his Eureka! moment, but sooner or later someone is likely to hit the jackpot.

Sexual desire and pleasure are complex things, which can be triggered or inhibited by a lot of different things. In order for an aphrodisiac to work in everyone, every time, it will need to be able to set in motion a highly complex sequence of events in both body and brain, and have enough staying power to conduct the symphony through to the very end.

Syracuse neuroscientist Stephanie Ortigue looked at the brain's activity in sexual desire. She discovered a number of interesting things:
Several years ago, Ortigue’s team and two others sketched a network in the brain that is always activated when we experience sexual desire. The three research teams independently landed on the same brain regions. These included areas governing emotion, motivation, body image—and, notably, memories associated with life experiences. Memories can affect desire in subtle, subconscious ways. For example, if a person has a feature or personality that reminds you of something positive in your past, a subconscious association between that person and pleasant reveries may trigger desire, Ortigue says. In this way, desire emerges from a collaboration of emotional, motivational and intellectual parts of the brain, she says.

Ortigue and her team recently took a look at these brain regions in 13 women between 26 and 47 who qualified as having hypoactive sexual desire disorder. These women either had no feelings of sexual interest or those feelings had plummeted to a low level of late; many had no sexual thoughts or fantasies. They lacked any impulse to even try to become aroused. And they said the absence of these feelings and thoughts distressed them.

The researchers asked these women—as well as 15 women with no lack of desire–to look at both pictures of male models and nonerotic photos while their brains were being scanned. As expected, the women who lacked desire showed abnormally low activity in the brain network previously linked with that feeling. More surprising, however, was that these same women also showed more activity in prefrontal brain regions involved in inhibition of action, attention to and judgment of the self, and interpreting the actions of other people. That is, that proverbial headache probably has its roots in this decision-making, self-control, theory-of-mind part of the brain.

The increased activity there suggests that people with depleted desire have two problems. One is that they are spending time trying to interpret the intentions of the other person—and probably coming to incorrect conclusions, says Ortigue. The second is that, they are monitoring or evaluating their own responses to erotic stimuli. They are not “living in the moment,” Ortigue says. Such analysis can interfere with the erotic experience, perhaps in the same way that explaining a joke can sap it of its humor. _SciAm
We have discussed this issue several times here at AFYST!. A woman needs to learn to let go before her brain and body can do their thing. Any woman (or man) who tries to overthink the situation or her own response, will have a difficult time finding her full bounty of pleasure.

There is a lot more going on in sex than what is happening in the brain. But the brain is the master sex organ, so any viable aphrodisiac will have to work at least in part via the brain circuits.

To help think these ideas through, here is a quick look at some of the things involved in sexual function and response:
...sexual function and the normal sexual response cycle may be divided into four phases. a) The desire phase, which consists typically of fantasies about and the desire to have sexual activity. b) The excitement phase, which is characterized by the subjective sense of sexual pleasure and accompanying physiological changes, namely penile tumescence and erection in men; and pelvic congestion, swelling of the external genitalia, and vaginal lubrication and expansion in woman. c) The orgasmic phase, where sexual pleasure peaks with the release of sexual tension and rhythmic contraction of the perineal muscles and reproductive organs. In men, the sensation of ejaculatory inevitability is followed by the ejaculation of semen. In woman, contractions of the outer third of the vaginal wall occur. d) The final phase, resolution, which is characterized by a sense of muscular relaxation and general well-being. _patentsonline
If there is insufficient anticipation fantasy leading into foreplay, the process may come to a screeching halt before it truly begins. But once the woman is lubricated and the man achieves firm erection, the couple must find the right rhythm for building to one or more climaxes. It is particularly important to learn to let go at this stage.

Of course we all know that a wide range of drugs can lead to heightened sexual desire and disinhibition. But most of these drugs -- except for alcohol -- are illegal, or are prescribed for other purposes.

Here is even more to think about, in association with libido, or sexual desire:
Although sexual motivation is often viewed as an internal process built upon neuroendocrine mechanisms, such as alterations in brain neurochemical function set forth by steroid hormone actions, it is also modulated by experiences and expectations, learned patterns of behavior and underlying neural activity related to sexual arousal, desire, reward, and inhibition. In turn, these aspects of sexual function feed back on mechanisms of motivation, either to increase (as in the case of arousal, desire, or reward, Fig. 3.1a) or decrease (as in the case of reward or inhibition, Fig. 3.1b) the expression of sexual interest or libido. _Springer
In other words, the person's life history and sexual history play a key role in every sexual encounter he or she has. It is not easy to let go of past traumas or disappointments. Which is why disinhibitors have been so popular ever since men stopped using the technique of "clubbing the woman on the head and dragging her by the hair back to the cave."

Men should be aware that a woman can accuse him of "date rape" if the couple has sex while the woman is under the influence of alcohol or other disinhibitors -- even if she was fully aware of what she was doing at every moment of the encounter. Some university students have been thrown out of school in disgrace, and men have even served prison time, for such episodes of consensual uninhibited sex. Sex has never been without its risk.

And yet despite the risk, despite feminist indoctrination, despite the stresses of life, men and women keep coming back for more. And the ones who don't keep coming back, often wish that they still had the desire and opportunity to do so.

And that is where the $billion market for a true aphrodisiac comes in. By taking into account the many complex interactions of psychology and physiology an aphrodisiac designer can fashion his drug to perform a sequential ballet of exquisite dynamic. And it had better wear off in time to go to work the next day, without a hangover.

Well, what are you waiting for? Do I have to do all your thinking for you? Go on and start making your first billion. And did I mention: wealth and power are strong aphrodisiacs to women. Perhaps an added incentive for you men and lesbians.


09 October 2011

If Every Child Had the Same Father, Would They All Be Jailed for Incest?

As sperm counts drop across the developed world, would-be parents are coming to rely upon reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination. As this trend develops, we are discovering "patriarchal sperm donours" who are extremely prolific at siring large numbers of children. Individual sperm donours may father hundreds -- or even thousands -- of children, with no telling what sort of sexual mischief these unwitting siblings may get into in the future. Some observers are worried about the potential for incest of all kinds.
Specialists warn over-reliance of one donor increases the risk of the transmission of genetic diseases and malformations, and some say there are dangers of inadvertent incest between half-siblings....

...Toronto documentary maker Barry Stevens has used his experiences -- born in Britain through a donor who then went on to sire some 500 to 1,000 children during his three decades working with sperm banks -- to fuel his own work. His siblings are now spread across Canada, the United States, Europe and beyond..."We can't exclude the possibility that children of one donor can meet and have sex, and children, and indeed the possibility that the donor himself could have sex with his daughter," said Stevens, who has made films about his search for his real father and his half-siblings. _DiscoveryNews

So it is possible for one donour to sire thousands of children, via artificial insemination. And logically, if the siblings remain anonymous to each other, there is a theoretical possibility that siblings might have sex -- might perchance marry and have children. But given the low probabilities involved, is it logical to become excited about the issue -- to demand that laws be passed to limit the number of sperm donations a man can make?

In Canada, sperm donation for money has been outlawed. As a result, Canada is running low on sperm supply, and must send away to the US for life-giving sustenance. Canada's population is already in danger of shriveling away, due to very low birthrates. If Canadian authorities put too many legal constraints on reproductive methods, we may soon see Canada shrinking and breaking up into multiple nations -- Francophone, First Peoples, US annexed etc.

The problem is not only in Canada. Most western nations -- as well as Russia and nations of East Asia -- are experiencing below-replacement birthrates. Low sperm counts may be part of the reason for low birth rates, but female choice is more responsible than anything else. Whatever the reason for shrinking populations, it is clear that in certain circumstances, society must step back from overregulation, and instead use a bit of common sense.

Children of sperm donours could receive an "intelligent tatoo" at birth, for example, which would contain a coded file of information relating to the father -- but omitting the actual identity of the donour. That way, prospective lovers or mates could compare tatoos before consummating the act -- or at least before producing a child. If their tatoos matched, they would have all the information they needed to make an informed choice.

No one wants a society of indiscriminate mating, which could increase the chances of genetic diseases or a breakdown in basic morals. But likewise, most of us do not want a fascist society that oversees and over-regulates virtually every aspect of our lives. We do not want our lives dictated to by government workers, documentary makers, feminist pseudo-intellectuals, talk show hosts, journalists, or any other busy-bodies of modern life.

We can take the appropriate safeguards. Step away from the sperm banks, busybodies. Make no sudden moves.

Photo credit


01 October 2011

When Childless Older Women Just Have to Have a Baby

Say hello to Fiona Palin, 49 years old in this photo. You see her with her healthy daughter Kiki, age 5 months. Fiona is just one of many older women who are unwilling to be without a baby, despite getting on in years. Among the financially comfortable and well off, this is becoming something of a trend.
In 2008, Brad Van Voorhis, head of the fertility clinic at the University of Iowa, decided he wanted to measure how well children conceived through in vitro fertilization do on intelligence tests, hoping to dispel lingering concerns about their cognitive abilities. So he and his team compared the standardized-test scores of 463 IVF kids ages 8 to 17 against the scores of other kids in their classes. They found that the IVF kids scored better overall and in every category of test—reading, math, and language skills. And they found that the older the mother, the better the kid performed.

...Some evidence even suggests that having babies late extends a person’s life. Boston University’s Thomas Perls has been studying centenarians since 1995. He found that women who gave birth to children after the age of 40 were four times more likely to live to 100 than those who did not. His study has nothing to do with reproductive technology or adoption: It shows a connection between an unusually healthy reproductive system and longevity. But longevity is complex, and Perls hypothesizes that there’s something about living with kids—all that running around, all that responsibility, all that social connectivity in the shape of picnics and playdates—that maintains health. People who’ve made a big investment to have little kids take care of themselves, and people who take care of themselves live longer.

...The relative wealth of older parents blunts their supposed shortcomings in other ways. Research supports intuition: Rich people live longer than others. Demographers at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have found that the gap in life expectancy between richest and poorest Americans has widened since 1980 to four and half years from three. Rich people are likelier to have good health insurance, and insured people live longer because they can avail themselves of checkups and screening tests. Rich people are likelier not to be smokers, they’re likelier to be thin, and they’re likelier to have good cardiovascular health.

...It is nearly impossible to have a baby at 50 by accident. “Oops” does not happen; that momentary abandonment of good sense or caution will almost never result in a pregnancy. No matter how a child is procured, whether through technology or adoption, her 50-year-old parents have likely gone through some kind of hell—paperwork, blood tests, questionnaires, waiting, visa applications, mood swings, marital discord, and recalibration of expectations—to have her. These are the most wanted of children. And their parents, some would argue, can give them something that the youngest and prettiest don’t have: the wisdom of age and an abiding sense that life is a precious gift not to be wasted.

Fiona Palin started trying to conceive ten years ago, when she was 38. She underwent six failed IVF cycles and three miscarriages—including, the final time, a miscarriage of triplets. Depressed for years, she decided to give up hope, go back to school, and become a tourism consultant. She investigated adoption. She was keeping herself busy.

Last August, when she and her husband, Nick, who is 63, decided to thaw and use their last remaining embryo, abiding in a freezer since 2002, they were done “with everything but the crying,” she says. “I thought, This won’t work. Don’t put any hopes on it.” It did, though. Fiona learned she was pregnant in the bathroom of a Ralphs supermarket in Los Angeles, where, in anticipation of a long, boozy evening with relatives, she took a do-it-yourself urine test, just to be safe. “I screamed. I was crying hysterically in the toilet. If anyone would have heard, I’m sure they would have called security. I got myself together and went outside, and Nick was there. He said, ‘What’s wrong? What’s wrong?’ and I told him, and then he started crying. So we’re crying in this parking lot of this supermarket.” According to her obstetrician, Fiona’s pregnancy was “flawless.” _NYMag
In affluent countries, healthy 50 year olds often have another 30 years of relatively vigorous life left in them. If they want to -- and are able to -- nurture and raise another child or generation of children, who is to say they cannot?

Recent research from Karolinska Institute in Sweden demonstrates that older men are more than capable of siring healthy and intelligent children -- in younger women or older.

If older women plan ahead and freeze their young eggs ahead of time, they can birth healthy and smart babies using their even older husbands' sperm. If they have no frozen eggs of their own, they can buy eggs from healthy young females willing to part with a few. Either way, IVF can help. Some older couples even have frozen embryos patiently waiting for the couple to commit to bringing it into the world as an instantiated being. And then, there are always surrogate mothers, willing to bear another couple's child for a fee.

The objections to having children at an older age can generally be met and dealt with by persons who are smart enough, healthy enough, and affluent enough. But have they truly thought about how they will deal with the teenage brain, when the time comes? I suspect that the pivotal factor in overcoming that challenge, will be how well the parents can honestly and emotionally engage the child from the earliest age up to the teenage years. And how well the parent can limit the child's exposure to an extremely dysfunctional popular culture, educational culture, and the culture of dysfunctional peers of childhood.

For many people, having to raise their own grandchildren -- when their own no-good kids fail to raise them -- will provide them with as much child-raising satisfaction in their middle and old age as they can stand. But don't be surprised if this trend toward maternity among older, childless women of affluence, begins to pick up momentum.

Above article published previously at Al Fin

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