Positive, romantic thoughts could produce positive, romantic outcomes while dating.
- Fear of rejection, self-doubt, and anxiety are just some of the obstacles humans need to overcome to make a meaningful, romantic connection with another person.
- According to a 2020 project by a group of psychologists at the University of Rochester (and the Israeli-based Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya), humans see possible romantic partners as a lot more attractive if they go into the interaction with a "sexy mindset."
- Across three separate studies, this team discovered that this sexual activation helps people initiate relationships by inducing them to project their desires onto prospective partners.
Being in a frisky mood improves your chances with potential romantic partners<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzNzk0OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Mjc3MDA5NH0.lwJquRq9_gTYX5c_2sRzCBfkyWldjMqCJig_kGCL1uA/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C6%2C0%2C98&height=700" id="f2719" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9a29ad6b50ff3868c867fd2d0a64b8aa" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="man and woman on date woman" />
The right mood could land you the right date, according to a new study.
Credit: BlueSkyImage on Shutterstock<p><a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-09/uor-ffm092320.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">According to a 2020 study</a> by a group of psychologists at the University of Rochester (and the Israeli-based Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya), humans see possible romantic partners as a lot more attractive if they go into the interaction with a "sexy mindset."</p><p><a href="https://www.sas.rochester.edu/psy/people/faculty/reis_harry/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Harry Reis</a>, professor of psychology and the Dean's Professor in Arts, Sciences & Engineering at Rochester, and <a href="https://www.idc.ac.il/en/pages/faculty.aspx?username=birnbag" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Gurit Birnbaum</a>, a social psychologist and associate professor of psychology at the IDC (Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya) have dedicated decades of their lives to studying the intricate dynamics of sexual attraction and human sexual behavior. </p><p>In <a href="https://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/relationships-uncertainty-are-you-really-in-to-me-323512/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a previous study,</a> the pair discovered that when people feel greater certainty about a romantic partner's interest, they put more effort into seeing that person again. Additionally, this study found people will rate the possible partner as more "sexually attractive" if they knew the person was interested in seeing them again.</p><p><a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-09/uor-ffm092320.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">For this project</a>, Reis and Birnbaum, along with their team, examined what would happen if a person's sexual system is activated by exposing them to brief sexual cues that induced a thought process that included the potential for sex or heightened attraction. </p><p>Across three separate studies, the team discovered that this sexual activation helps people initiate relationships by inducing them to project their desires onto prospective partners. </p><p><strong>Study one: Immediacy</strong></p><p>In the first study, 112 heterosexual participants (between the ages of 20-32) who were not in a romantic relationship were randomly paired with an unacquainted participant of the opposite sex. Participants introduced themselves to each other (speaking about their hobbies, positive traits, career plans, etc.), all while being recorded. </p><p>The team then coded the recorded interactions and searched for nonverbal expressions of immediacy (such as close proximity, frequent eye contact, smiles, etc.) that could indicate interest in starting a romantic relationship. </p><p>In the study, the team determined that the participants exposed to a sexual stimulus before the meeting (versus those exposed to a neutral stimulus) exhibited more immediacy behaviors towards their potential partners and also perceived the partners as more attractive and/or more interested in them. </p><p><strong>Study two: Interest</strong></p><p>In the second study, 150 heterosexual participants (between the ages of 19-30) who were not in a romantic relationship served as a control for the potential partner's attractiveness and reactions. All participants in study two watched the same pre-recorded video introduction of a potential partner of the opposite sex. They then introduced themselves to the partner while being filmed themselves. </p><p>The researchers found that the activation of the sexual system led to participants viewing the potential partner as more attractive as well as more interested in them. </p><p><strong>Study three: How it all ties together</strong></p><p>In the third and final study, the team investigated whether a partner's romantic interest could explain why sexual activation impacts how we view other people's romantic interest in ourselves. </p><p>In this study, 120 single heterosexual participants (between the ages of 21-31) interacted online with another participant who was actually an attractive opposite-sex member of the research team. This was a casual "get-to-know-you" kind of interaction. The participants rated their romantic interest in the other person as well as that person's attractiveness and interest in them.</p><p>Again, the team found that sexual activation increased a person's romantic interest in the other person, which, in turn, predicted that the other person would then be more interested in a romantic partnership as well. </p><p><strong>The takeaway: Positive, romantic thoughts could produce positive, romantic outcomes. </strong></p><p>The basis of this multi-study theory is simple: Having active sexual thoughts arouses romantic interest in a prospective partner and often leads to an optimistic outlook on dating. </p><p>"Sexual feelings do more than just motivate us to seek out partners. It also leads us to project our feelings onto the other person," <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-09/uor-ffm092320.php" target="_blank">said Reis to Eurekalert</a>. </p><p>Reis goes on to explain, "...the sexual feelings need not come from the other person; they can be aroused in any number of ways that have nothing to do with the other person."</p>
Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live.
Having been exposed to mavericks in the French culinary world at a young age, three-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn made it her mission to cook in a way that is not only delicious and elegant, but also expressive, memorable, and true to her experience.
Is indulging in erotic content good or bad for your sex life?
- Erotica is defined as any type of art that is meant to cause sexual ideation or arousal. The main difference between erotica and pornography is that the former is seen as "art that has a sexual aspect."
- While there are many different misconceptions about the consumption of erotic or pornographic content, many studies on this topic prove it may not be as harmful as you think.
- Erotic literature can allow you to become more comfortable in your sexuality, communicate easier with your partner and may even impact your ability to orgasm.
Common misconceptions about written erotica<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzc5MjU4Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTk4OTA3MH0.UUHj7oImKfaRvteKGi0VdJKJmQyccFbKEGoPuM26eTE/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C103%2C0%2C1&height=700" id="1f256" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="72ddf915c4d9e920a0e27b4e7202cc16" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Concept of confused woman" />
There are many myths and misconceptions about erotic content...what are the facts?
Photo by Dean Drobot on Shutterstock<p><strong>MYTH: Women like erotica more than men.</strong></p><p>While it's a generalization that women prefer erotica and men prefer visual porn, this is not always the case. <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00224499.2015.1131227" target="_blank">This 2016 study</a> examined the effects on both men and women who read BDSM themed erotica. The findings of this study proved that there was no difference in the extent to which the erotic stories aroused men and women. </p><p><strong>MYTH: Erotica (and pornography in general) are toxic to relationships. </strong></p><p>This is a widely spread myth about all things pornography. Some people are wary of erotic content because they assume it will hurt the intimacy and sexual desire felt in their relationship. However, according to <a href="https://www.regain.us/advice/intimacy/reading-erotic-literature-online-might-help-get-couples-in-the-mood/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Regain</a>, a popular couples counseling service, reading erotic literature can help get couples into the mood. </p><p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6155976/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">This 2018 study</a> suggests whether porn hurts your relationship depends on how your partner feels about you consuming pornographic/erotic content. </p><p>"For men who are more accepting of pornography, more pornography use is associated with more relationship satisfaction; however, for men who are less accepting of pornography, more pornography use is associated with less relationship satisfaction."</p><p><strong>MYTH: Erotica is vulgar and crude. </strong></p><p>There is a large stereotype about erotic content being vulgar and crude, however, this is not always the case. There are many different kinds of written erotica available - the stories can range from romantic and subtle to aggressive and outrageous. Not all erotica is created to stun and surprise - some erotica is created to help the reader explore parts of their sexuality they've never experienced before. </p><p><strong>MYTH: Enjoying erotica is bad. </strong></p><p>There are some studies that prove this to be quite false. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK67373/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">This 1998 study</a> examined the effects of bibliotherapy (reading therapy) on patients with orgasm disorders (sexual dysfunctions), and found that "the available evidence warrants the recommended use of self-help books for sexual dysfunction, but only after proper assessment."</p><p>While erotica may not quality as "self-help" to some, for others, reading and exploring sexuality through the written word is in fact a form of self-help. </p>
How reading erotic literature can improve your sex life<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzc5MjY1My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzQ1MjMwOH0.OfgPRry6Xk6qLJU6QFzuwY7Q2JaXx-goY4_N9xx7B6E/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C4%2C0%2C100&height=700" id="95419" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6a7fb0be3ebf9473b8c2dcdbcc2552ef" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="man and woman in bed reading erotica book together" />
Reading erotica can be relaxing and boost your confidence, allowing you to communicate better with your partner about your sexual needs.
Photo by Dmytro Zinkevych on Shutterstock<p><strong>Reading relaxes you. Relaxation makes sex easier and more enjoyable.</strong></p><p>Stress can impact your health in numerous ways, including lowering your sex drive. One of the best ways to relieve daily stress and overcome anxiety is to lose yourself in a good book. </p><p>According to the <a href="https://worldliteracyfoundation.org/reading-reduces-stress/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">World Literacy Foundation</a>, reading has been found to decrease blood pressure, lower your heart rate, and reduce stress. In fact, as little as 6 minutes of reading can slow down your heart rate and improve your overall health. </p><p>Reading erotica can rid society of stigmas around sexual satisfaction.</p><p>According to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/life/how-reading-erotica-can-unlock-sex-drive/12127924" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ABC Life</a>, reading erotica may just be a key to unlocking your sex drive. Kate Cuthbert, a program manager at Writers Victoria, explained that, "erotica reflects our sexuality in a positive way, unlike in mainstream society where a lot of it can be repressed."</p><p><strong>Erotic literature can help you discover your sexuality and feel more comfortable. </strong></p><p>Not only does it relieve stress and anxiety (which can often be barriers to an active and enjoyable sex life), but it can also help you navigate your own sexuality and express yourself in a healthier way. </p><p>"Romance novels are as much about a woman falling in love with herself—in addition to the adventures, true love, and fantastic sex," says romance novelist <a href="http://www.mayarodale.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Maya Rodale</a>.</p><p><strong>Much erotic literature highlights consent and safe sex. </strong></p><p>While there are some erotic stories that don't discuss things like birth control, safewords, and consent, these themes are becoming more and more popular among up-and-coming erotica authors. </p><p>Erotica can be a safe place to express sexuality and explore curiosities and it can also promote communication and conversations between partners around safe, healthy, vibrant sex that all parties involved are happy with.</p><p>--</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/jaimeebell_" target="_blank">Jaimee Bell</a> is the author of "All the Dirty Little Things," a six-story erotica collection now available on <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08F4JTQTZ?tag=bigthink00-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1" target="_blank">Amazon</a>. <br></p>
Big Think co-founder and CEO Victoria Brown breaks down the process of transitioning from founder to boss in her new book, Digital Goddess.
- In her forthcoming book, Digital Goddess: The Unfiltered Lessons of a Female Entrepreneur, Big Think's founder and CEO, Victoria Montgomery Brown, discusses the challenges of transitioning from founder to boss.
- Part of the problem is that women may think they need to act like men in order to be successful.
- Brown offers four pieces of solid advice to not only survive but thrive on the way to becoming a CEO.
Credit: Vicki Jauron, Babylon and Beyond Photography / Getty Images<h3>Nurture your business</h3><p>As Brown writes, women tend to be nurturers—a positive attribute for growing a business. In fact, female-led private tech startups have a <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/allysonkapin/2019/01/28/10-stats-that-build-the-case-for-investing-in-women-led-startups/#1daa8a3959d5" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">35 percent higher return on investment</a> than male-led companies. That fact could at least in part be due to a nurturing attitude.</p><p>Not that Brown always toed that line. She originally adopted a command and control attitude—the wrong approach. She thought it was what she was <em>supposed to do</em>. Modern businesses adopt a militarized language, one quite suited to the male competitive temperament. </p><p>Rising above competition doesn't require a slaughter. Some people are better at jiu jitsu than taekwondo; both have a place. Brown believes command and control might work in the short term, but she's not convinced it's a sustainable approach. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"A business is not an army, and the concept of 'controlling' them will not get the best out of people." </p><p>In nurturing Big Think, Brown hired employees who shared the values of the company. As Simon Sinek recommends, she <a href="https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en" target="_blank">started with why</a>, then found workers dedicated to that why. In the process, she found the best means for growing people's talent, not sticking them into a box and hoping they succeed.</p>
Video bonus: 8 Lessons I Learned the Hard Way So Other Entrepreneurs Don't Have To<a href="https://bit.ly/2B9sCDz" ><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzU4MTU5OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzODI5NTcwMX0.4j27ASQY7YJCbQvU6YP1rs2obh-Sl_qR2u6itbmSJpU/img.jpg?width=980" id="13ba9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9a12e19c3df8979516063f09b47fb2e2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /></a><p>Get an exclusive online course with Big Think founder Victoria Montgomery Brown, only when you <a href="https://bit.ly/2B9sCDz" target="_blank" rel="dofollow">preorder the new book</a> <em>Digital Goddess: The Unfiltered Lessons of a Female Entrepreneur. </em><br></p>
Science has been male-biased far too long.
- A new study investigates adverse drug reactions in women and men.
- Women are on average lighter in weight and have smaller organs and more body fat, which affects the absorption and distribution of drugs.
- The authors suggest more individualized dosage recommendations moving forward.
The history of women in medicine<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3277c24afe113d6e58ae492b83315fcd"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pA0_XM0zcds?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>As we know, women take these drugs, too. As a <a href="https://bsd.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13293-020-00308-5" target="_blank">new review</a>, published in Biology of Sex Differences, details, women are certainly paying the price.</p><p>Science has long been about the male body. Gynecologists were men for quite some time—the specialty <a href="https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gynecology_obstetrics/about_us/gyn-ob-history-page.html#:~:text=In%20October%201889,%20Kelly%20was,gynecology%20as%20a%20surgical%20specialty." target="_blank">began in 1889</a>, yet until 1970, women never made up <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2724816/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">more than 6 percent</a> of any medical school. As of 2019, women now <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/the-big-number-women-now-outnumber-men-in-medical-schools/2019/12/20/8b9eddea-2277-11ea-bed5-880264cc91a9_story.html" target="_blank">make up more than half</a> of medical students in America.</p><p>Still, women are twice as likely to suffer adverse drug reactions (ADRs) because the clinical trial model continues to favor men. Irving Zucker, in the psychology and integrative biology departments of University of California, Berkeley, and Brian Prendergast, in the Department of Psychology and Committee on Neurobiology at the University of Chicago, evaluated 86 drugs, and found that women had higher pharmacokinetics (PKs) and ADRs in women. </p><p>Finding ADR information presents its own challenge. As the authors write, "for 59 drugs with clinically identifiable ADRs, sex-biased PKs predicted the direction of sex-biased ADRs in 88% of cases. Ninety-six percent of drugs with female-biased PK values were associated with a higher incidence of ADRs in women than men, but only 29% of male-biased PKs predicted male-biased ADRs."</p>
Photo: Antonio Diaz / Shutterstock<p>The authors believe the problem might stem from doctors prescribing the same dosages for men and women, despite sex and weight differences, which causes overmedication in women.</p><p>While the childbearing myth held for a long time, in 1993 the NIH <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/465690a" target="_blank" rel="dofollow">required</a> that federally-supported phase III clinical trials include women. A <a href="https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?title=Medicines%20for%20women&pages=41-68&publication_year=2015&author=Fadiran%2CEO&author=Zhang%2CL" target="_blank" rel="dofollow">study</a> that looked at 300 new drug applications between 1994-2000 found that 31 percent might have been sex-biased. That report also showed that while 11 drugs showed a > 40 percent difference between genders, no dosage requirements were mandated. </p><p>The authors found a number of ADRs that affected women more than men, including depression, excessive weight gain, hallucinations, seizures, and cardiac anomalies. Besides lower body weight, women also have smaller organs and more body fat—all factors in how bodies absorb and distribute drugs. </p><p>As the authors conclude, </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The present results reveal a striking sex difference in pharmacokinetics: among patients administered a standard drug dose, females are exposed to higher blood drug concentrations and longer drug elimination times than males. This likely contributes to the near doubling of adverse drug reactions in female patients, raising the possibility that women are routinely overmedicated."</p><p>There is a movement calling for individualized medicine based on the microbiome. The same should be considered when it comes to gender. As the authors write, dosage requirements should be considered based on gender differences. Science might have been a man's world, but that time has passed. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>