We’ve seen the video that we can send to people, to explain arousal nonconcordance in under two minutes. Now here’s a video to explain the dual control model – the sexual “accelerator” and “brakes” that govern the sexual response mechanism. If you’ve ever sat at a bar trying to explain it to a friend and wished you could just show them a video on your phone or something… your wish is my command:
Here’s an awesome question: I love what you’ve written on responsive desire- it makes so much sense! I wanted to know if you have any advice as far as initiating sexual activity with a partner whose desire for sex is primarily responsive? I know that communication is key, but I’m terribly shy, and have a lot of trouble initiating with my partner. My partner doesn’t really experience spontaneous desire even though they’re happy to respond. Totally! A review of responsive versus spontaneous desire: Spontaneous desire is out-of-the-blue desire for sex. Responsive desire is desire for sex that emerges
On Thursday, I attended a day-long meeting with about 30 fellow college health educators from all around New England, and at the end of it one of the new educators came up to me and say, “Hey, do you ever do talks on other campuses?” “Sure I do.” “Did you ever do one at University of Delaware?” “Yeah, I’ve done a couple there. I went there for undergrad, too.” “Oh my god. I was like, ‘Why do I recognize her?’ and I’m pretty sure it’s because I was at a talk you did in 2007 about the dual control model!
You guys, chapter 3 is my nemesis. Chapter 3 is about the role of context in sexual desire and arousal, and it requires an awful lot of stuff about stress, attachment, and the mesolimbic cortex. I’m trying to write it so that it’s interesting in itself and also obviously relevant to Your Sex Life, and there’s this one study in particular that I just find SO IMPORTANT and also it made me laugh out loud. But I can’t tell if I’m making it clear. So here, can you read it and tell me what you think? Think of the rat
About a dozen people have sent me this gushing Salon review of Daniel Bergner’s book. In the interview, Bergner makes two of the (dozen or so) mistakes I’ve devoted this blog to correcting. (1) Sex is not a drive. I’ll write about that another time (you can read about that here if you aren’t familiar with this tidbit and want to know more.) And (2) Genital response is not desire. Meredith Chivers would NOT say anything like, “the physical responses, registered in the plethysmography, really might well be a measure of being turned on, being in a state of desire.”
Hey folks, here is my Feminist Porn Conference talk, which I gave today in a session with Carol Queen and Princess Kali (holy crap). It went pretty darn well, though of course my paper was too long and (as often happens) once I got started I have a difficult time shutting my mouth. Ya know. I get enthusiastic. BTW, if anyone has any idea how to convincingly represent responsive desire in feminist porn, please let me know! First, a preface regarding the words “male,” “female,” “man,” and “woman:” because a lot of my talk references psychophysiological research conducted almost exclusively
Alain de Botton commented on my critique of his piece from Psychology Today that claimed that genitals can act as “unambiguous agents of sincerity.” My critique was both that (1) it is simply untrue that genitals are a reliable way to tell how aroused a person is feeling, and also that (2) the idea that they ARE can lead all too easily to misunderstandings, the belief that you or your partner is broken, and even apologism for sexual violence. I illustrated with two examples from women I know, both in consensual partnerships, one of whom experienced genital response when she
Last night was my Sexual Response lecture, in which I present the ideas of responsive desire, nonconcordant arousal, and non-penetrative orgasms. I consider it the intellectual core of the class. And then I asked my students to write down one important thing they learned, and they said things like this: Genital concordance. This is something I have really struggled with – the mental disconnect with my body’s physiological response to sexual arousal. Learning about this today made me feel so much better about my body and my fear of never be able to orgasm. From now on I will not