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Monday, October 13, 2014

new way to play? Guest Blogger Kaitlyn and Dr. Marek investigate why we crave sexual newness.

The main drawback for myself being a hard worker here at GS is after a while of sex on a stick and on demand orgasims, you get to a point where it's almost annoying to keep using toys that all generally look similar and act with the same functions and vibe patterns. I have one of those "Novelty and Stimuli seeking brains" discussed here in more detail. Here is a little quip to illustrate why people like me (and probably most of you) Feel the need to seek out new sensations and experiences.

1.    Thrill & Adventure Seeking: the pursuit of physical activities that are exciting, unusual and potentially dangerous (e.g., sky-diving)
2.    Experience Seeking: stimulation through the mind and senses; the pursuit of unfamiliar and complex environmental stimuli, as through travel or meeting new people.
3.    Disinhibition: sensation-seeking through engagement with other people; searching for opportunities to lose inhibitions by engaging in variety in sex, alcohol, drugs, etc.
4.    Boredom Susceptibility: the tendency to be easily bored by familiar or repetitive situations or people, or by routine work.

Our very good friend Kaitlyn helps answer the question ....

"So whats next?"

The involvement of dopamine in novelty-seeking behavior may also explain the well-established relationship between high sensation-seeking and drug use. High-sensation seekers are more likely to try drugs earlier, to become addicted, and to experiment with multiple drugs than are lows. Like drugs of abuse, exposure to novel stimuli releases a rush of dopamine in reward areas of the brain. And, high-sensation seekers often develop a sort of tolerance to high-risk activities—boredom sets in, and they are compelled to add new twists that recreate the initial charge.
 “They get bored,” Zuckerman says. “Even what was initially very exciting becomes blas√© when you've done it 100 times, so you need something more exciting, something new.” The same is true for sex, Zuckerman adds. 
SO...... I am just programed to need new and more novel things to get me rocks off? Can I ever just be normal? What is life going to be like for me in 20 years? Will I be one of those people with electrodes attached to my brain, sending pulses and tricking me into giving my self a good ol' shot of dopamine? I think as long as research and product development teams can continue to develop new sexual aids that are designed to stimulate areas we have not been as focused on and give the overworked nerve clusters a moment to re-sensitize (clitoris, g-spot,and yes even the prostate) then I will be alright. Lmk what you think about trying new vibes or sticking to old school tried and true. Where do you fall on the exploration line? What do you want to see designers upgrade next on your classic favorites?

 Martin SB, Covell DJ, Joseph JE, Chebrolu H, Smith CD, Kelly TH, Jiang Y, Gold BT. (2007). Human experience seeking correlates with hippocampus volume: convergent evidence from manual tracing and voxel-based morphometry. Neuropsychologia 45, 2874-2881.
ii Joseph JE, Liu X, Jiang Y, Lynam D, Kelly TH. (2008). Neural correlates of emotional reactivity in sensation seeking. Psychological Science 20(2), 215-223.
iii Zuckerman’s research is described in his recent book: Zuckerman, M. (2007), Sensation Seeking and Risky Behavior. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
iv See for example:  Zald DH, Cowan RL, Riccardi P, Baldwin RM, Ansari MS, Li R, Shelby ES, Smith CE, McHugo M, Kessler RM. (2008). Midbrain dopamine receptor availability is inversely associated with novelty-seeking traits in humans. J. Neurosci 28(53), 14372-14378.