An in-depth look at the variety of forms in which human sexual desire manifests, based on an analysis of 500 million people and their anonymous—thus, likely truthful—online revelations.
Every day, millions of people voluntarily reveal intimate details about their sexual preferences online through search queries, adult websites, classified ads, stories and videos. During the course of their research into the nature of human sexual desire, neuroscientists Ogas and Gaddam analyzed half a billion of these and, combined with the latest findings in conceptual neuroscience, discovered that the data yielded some unexpected information about sexual preference. Some quirkier examples include the Japanese fascination with a woman's “absolute territory” (the space of exposed skin between the bottom of a skirt and the top of knee-high stockings); the fact that fantasies of older women are very popular among straight men; and that paranormal erotic literature is increasingly popular among women. Also intriguing is the authors' analysis of the relatively small divergence of sexual preference between straight and gay men (excepting the obvious masculine/feminine aspects) and the surprising discovery about which faction is most curious about transsexuals. More expected results also abound: Men are aroused visually, whereas women prefer to have their imaginations stimulated; men desire sex, and woman desire the feeling of being desired; men have a direct mind-body connection when it comes to arousal, and women experience a more complex series of thoughts and emotions, often displaying an intellectual distaste for stimuli that might simultaneously excite them physically. Perhaps partly as a result of this, there exists no pharmaceutical equivalent of Viagra for women. From cartoon porn to foot fetishes, the authors write with enthusiasm and in engaging detail, often incorporating the neuroscientific basis for results, yet retaining an accessible vernacular throughout that references pop culture as often as the laboratory.
An enjoyable, exhaustive and often insightful look at what turns us on—sure to excite readers.