Do traditionalists have better sex lives?

Posted on July 9, 2011 by

A psychologist has come out with an unscientific survey purporting to find that atheists have the best sex lives. He asked atheists who were formerly religious if their sex lives had improved, and most answered in the affirmative.

I find that all a bit hard to believe, and my own personal experience points in the opposite direction. Not necessarily that my sex life is better since becoming a Christian, but that I am sexually satisfied with less variety. I am allowed to have sex with one person, and in all flavors of vanilla, and that is… enough. Contrast that to someone living the Nihilist’s Dream, who might eventually tire of asphyxiating, sodomizing, cheating, engaging in orgies, etc. and decide (click that link at your own risk!)

If it weren’t for my anti-social, anti-marriage, and generally anti-human disposition, I’d hook up with the traditionalists so I might be able to have a normal sex life again.

That is, in a nutshell, what I have: a normal sex life. What most humans were satisfied with for most of human existence. What I am satisfied with. I suppose it is incredibly dull of me. Why have normal sex when you can ingest toxic substances or mutilate yourself for the same kick? Just as dull as the fact that I am satisfied with eating home-cooked food, reading good books, hanging out with my friends and family, and attending church.

It has been said that pornography is making men less likely to rape, but there is clearly a dark-side to the exposure. As Naomi Wolf informs us:

Since then, a great deal of data on the brain’s reward system has accumulated to explain this rewiring more concretely. We now know that porn delivers rewards to the male brain in the form of a short-term dopamine boost, which, for an hour or two afterwards, lifts men’s mood and makes them feel good in general. The neural circuitry is identical to that for other addictive triggers, such as gambling or cocaine.

The addictive potential is also identical: just as gamblers and cocaine users can become compulsive, needing to gamble or snort more and more to get the same dopamine boost, so can men consuming pornography become hooked. As with these other reward triggers, after the dopamine burst wears off, the consumer feels a letdown – irritable, anxious, and longing for the next fix. (There is some new evidence, uncovered by Jim Pfaus at Concordia University in Canada, that desensitization may be affecting women consumers of pornography as well.)

This dopamine effect explains why pornography tends to become more and more extreme over time: ordinary sexual images eventually lose their power, leading consumers to need images that break other taboos in other kinds of ways, in order to feel as good. Moreover, some men (and women) have a “dopamine hole” – their brains’ reward systems are less efficient – making them more likely to become addicted to more extreme porn more easily.

What others are essentially doing, with their lustful excesses, is desensitizing themselves, so that normal sex is less satisfying for them. Traditionalists avoid this fate by following the maxim of “all things in moderation”, and keeping the pleasure of the simple things.

Posted in: Relationships