Science of Sex: Conditioning

March 11th, 2017

Welcome to the first post in a new feature on Of Sex and Love: Science of Sex. In this feature, I plan to discuss the science of sexuality in an easy-to-digest format that’s accessible to the casual reader. I will also follow up with some extended reading material for people who want to know more about the subject of each post.

I hope you enjoy. 

Science of Sex -- Conditioning

We all learned about Pavlov, his dogs and classical conditioning in school. By associating a neutral stimulus (the ringing of a bell) with a desired reward (food), Pavlov was eventually able to condition dogs to salivate at only the sound of the bell, even when there was no food in sight.

Much like food conditioning, sexual conditioning exists. However, many people first stumble across their capacity for conditioning quite by accident. Whether you masturbate to hardcore porn during your formative years and become unable to get off any other way or you realize that you’re physically turned on at the sight of a bright red lipstick that your partner wears specifically for sex, you’ve been conditioned.

Human’s aren’t the only animals capable of sexual conditioning. In fact, humans may be less prone to this type of conditioning than other animals. People who higher sex drives who more easily respond to sexual stimuli are the most likely candidates to become sexually conditioned, whether by accident or design. Most studies focus on men, who may be more likely to become sexually conditioned; however, women can experience it, too.

Upon discovering sexual conditioning, some people like to experiment it. BDSM practitioners sometimes employ sexual condition as it’s especially helpful to force someone to orgasm on command. You can certainly play around with sexual conditioning without being kinky, however.

Attempting to sexually condition someone without their knowledge may cross fall into consensual gray area. And classical conditioning has been used for nefarious purposes: specifically to change a person’s sexual orientation. The process, known as conversion therapy, attempts to change a person’s orientation with stimuli such as electricity or nausea drugs. No reputable studies show that this type of conditioning is successful, and one proponent of conversation therapy who wrote a controversial paper about it has since changed his stance and offered an apology to the gay community.

Finally, PTSD because of past trauma can lead to conditioned behavior in otherwise neutral environments because of fear conditioning. This is one reason why it can be difficult for survivors of assault to engage intimate behavior after the assault.

Fortunately, negative conditioning and fear conditioning may be reversed through a process known as counter-conditioning.

Although classic conditioning used for sexual purposes is possible and can be fun, we must address the ethical implications as well as the limitations of sexual conditioning.

Further reading on conditioning and sexuality:

Did you enjoy the first installing of Science of Sex? Do you have further questions or suggestions for next month’s subject? Leave me a comment!

Comment


Short and Sweet

September 10th, 2010

A hand on her hip. Fingers digging into flesh, grasping at bone. She gasps, ruby lips parting in a picturesque silhouette. The hand remains in place, holding her firmly and she remains still, aside from her momentary expression. His other hand roughly fondles her breast, the delicate flesh exposed to the exquisite agony of pinching and pulling and squeezing–all none too lightly.

As if on cue, the hand rests against her skin as he leans his body over hers, his mouth zoning in on her other hip. His breath is hot on her flesh and then his teeth are sinking into it, bruising and cutting her skin. He swirls his tongue inside his mouth, against her skin, before pulling away. His teeth leave marks on her skin as droplets of blood spring from open wounds.

She cries but cuts off shortly as he casts her a swift glance. She clamps her mouth shut as his finger traces the marks on her hip. The touch is gentle but every movement is searing in her imagination, worse than the bite itself. She holds her breath and, almost without realizing it, clenches her thighs. He feels the movement and is upon her in a second, roughly pushing her legs apart. Her vulva glistens in the lamp light, wet from her arousal. Yet, he knows she will be wetter still before the night ends.

Comment


Craving

February 22nd, 2010

Sex, I want it. And I can’t have it. Which makes me want it even more. I see it in movies, on TV and read about it in books. It seems like everyone is having it. Everyone but me, of course. I think about my husband (who will hopefully remain my husband). I think about our sex and my body springs to life but no relief is available.

I remember his movements, his sounds, the feel of his touch and his body against mine. My real life becomes my fantasy and I long for the past. I do not simply want sex. I want sex with him. I want the sex I remember and, yes, the sex about which I all-too-often took a passive attitude in the past.

The past? Has it really been that long. Only a few short weeks. Yet, it feels like forever. It feels like a lifetime ago even though I know, logically, it has not been. But it has been too long and every day my desire grows. It is though I have never yearned for him as I do now or perhaps it is simply how I yearn for him because I have certainly wanted (but not been able to have) sex with him before. Before, sex was always an option in the future (albeit, not always the near future) but that is not the case now.

Regardless of how things turn out, I imagine he will be the object of my fantasies as long as I fantasize and as long as I cannot have him, I will certainly have to to survive.

2 Comments


I Am a Word Whore

December 7th, 2008

My husband and I met online. We had a lot of very satisfying rounds of cybersex. By that point, I was fairly experienced in talking dirty online and I knew what I want. He definitely did the job – and then some! – and I was happy to finally have a partner who consistently performed well.

Since amrrying and moving in together, we have obviously not had the chance to participate in such arousing activities and I have missed it.Words do so much for me and physical sex does not provide as much opportunity to use words as does cyber or phone sex. I found myself not being worked into the frenzy I had once known and my desire did seem to lessen a little.

Currently, my husband is away for business reasons. Left to my own devices, I feel as though I have rediscovered my sexuality. I’ve been playing with toys a lot, not just because I have many to review but because I find myself more aroused. I am feeling that desire deep within my body that I have no felt for ages. What’s more is I have been able to funnel this desire in my husband’s direction. I’m not simply masturbating and fantasizing. Rather, I am fantasizing about him and being with him.

In an unsually naughty mood last night, we exchanged sultry texts about how much we missed and wanted one another and what we would do when we are together again. I felt my heart beating faster. I grew wetter and more aroused as he described how hard his cock was for me. Though, I was in a better position to relieve my sexual tension and I quickly broke out a new toy and fucked myself with it roughly. Until I came.

I felt so renwed sexually. And almost relieved that my husband could still bring out these feelings in myself. I hadn’t before realized how much my libido might have been suffering from a lack of words. And then is when I realized it: I am a word whore. I would much rather have satisfying cyber sex than mediocre intercourse for the rest of my life. If someone can paint a picture with their words, I am more than willing to suspend disbelief and imagine myself into a place where we are both breathing heavily, sweating and grinding against eachother.

Perhaps using these words is easier when you’re on the other end of a computer but I have been to that place again and I do not want to go back. So I will make it my mission to use more words, during sex and all the time so that I can get into that sexual frenzy and the pounding of his hard cock will be what releases me.

2 Comments


The Gears are Grinding

September 18th, 2008

I’m writing articles and reviews in the back of my mind. In the mean time, I thought I’d share with you a cycle I notice that I’m in. It seems that the less I have sex, the less I think about it and the less I want to have it. The also seems to be true; the more I have sex, the more I want it and the more I think about it.

It’s sort of a curious trend but  not without it’s logic. The less time I spend having sex, the less time I think about having sex and the further away from the idea of sex I grow. The less time I think about sex, the more I spend thinking about other things and the more I concentrate on other subjects, the more subjects arise to keep my attention. As my mind distances itself from the subject, my body does, too which is a fair assessment when you consider that female arousal and sexuality is mostly mentally based.

On the other hand, the more time I spend having sex, the closer my mind is to the issue and it will be more easily aroused to continue having sex. The effect my mind has on my body is obvious. I’m aroused more easily and quicker to accept sex. When sex takes up a larger part of my mind, other subjects are forced out and I think of it even more.

The one thing I find interesting is that these trends don’t necessarily have a correlation with masturbation quantities although quality might be something different. If I am not having sex, I might be more likely to masturbate but if I’m not thinking about sex at all, I may be less likely to engage in self stimulation. The same lack of trend is apparent when I am having sex. An increase in sex may mean an increase in general arousal and thus more masturbation or it may mean that I’m being satisfied more and thus masturbate less.

I think the difference here is in purpose of masturbation. Generally, it’s just done to get off; it’s a mechanical motion rather than a passionate or emotional one. While self gratifying, it isn’t necessarily satisfying and I usually see it more as work than play time. Of course, this changes when I have more time and space and can make it more of an experience, I will go above and beyond the call of duty but this is not all the time.

It’s interesting to see how these trends and even the lack of trends about masturbation are so heavily connected to my mind. Of course, considering how deeply rooted in mentality female sexuality and orgasm is (which is another topic for another time), I shouldn’t be surprised.

Comment