April 11th, 2003 - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal
Apr. 11th, 2003
09:17 pm - Love and voles
Sometimes between relationships I get pretty hungry for human contact. Heck, I look forward to going to the hairdresser. However, I think the quest for "just sex, no strings" or even "just caressing, no strings" may ultimately be quixotic. The act of touching, and sex release a bunch of neurotransmitters that stimulate feelings of wellbeing and emotional closeness. (See article below). So even in a "no expectations" relationship, one or both of you is likely to bond with the other.
"...How do oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine, and estrogen all interact to seal a relationship? Estrogen may prepare the vole by sending her into estrus, thus making her receptive to mating. The subsequent act of mating stimulates OT release, which encourages dopamine release. Dopamine, and its system for reward and pleasure, is positively linked to the mate--thus making sex the gateway to the formation of a long, pleasurable relationship. So far, it's still just a theory. "No one really knows yet if OT is driving dopamine, or if the reverse is true," says Insel, "but the associations indicate that they may all be vital in turning a neutral experience into a strongly positive and reinforced one that lasts for life....""
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09:28 pm - Naked as a Jaybird
09:39 pm - Vibrator Double Standard
Eugene Volokh wonders:
"...So here's a circumstance I've wondered about. Imagine that a close single female friend (just a friend) mentioned to you that she has a vibrator that's shaped like a highly stylized penis. It's not too anatomically correct, just a normal vibrator. Assume that this came up in a suitable context, for example when something -- a store you're driving by, a joke you hear on the radio, a blog post you've just read -- naturally raised the question, so it didn't just come out of the blue ("You say you're out of batteries? Speaking of batteries, I just LOVE my vibrator!"). What would you think?
I suspect that in my general circle -- coastal, relatively socially liberal professionals -- most people wouldn't think much of it. We expect that many women use vibrators occasionally. We've heard about them often enough that they're hardly shocking. If anything, some men might find the idea a bit exciting, perhaps because they see it as a sign that the woman is at ease with her sexuality.
OK, now imagine that a close single male friend (just a friend) mentioned to you, under similar circumstances, that he has a vibrator that's shaped like a stylized vagina. What would you think then?
My sense is that many people will think it's a bit icky, in some hard to pin down way. Not everyone would; some people won't care. But I think that a much higher fraction of people -- again, at least people in my social circle -- would be put off by the idea of a man using a vagina-shaped vibrator than a woman using a penis-shaped vibrator. It wouldn't be entirely like a man saying that he has an anatomically correct blow-up doll in his closet (remember Dennis Hopper in River's Edge?); our negative reaction to that, I think, would also be influenced by the greater ridiculousness of the visual image (sorry if you hadn't visualized this until this point, and have now done so and regret it). Still, it seems to me that some part of the reaction to the doll would also apply even to the vibrator.
Is that so, and, if it is, then why? Why is this sort of sexuality seen as fine for women but not for men? I have a few thoughts, which I'll probably blog Monday. But let me know yours (though as usual with these calls-for-responses, if I get a whole bunch of them, I might be unable to respond individually to each)...."
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