Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shake it like a bonobo

WIRED SCIENCE:   

The Urge to Sext Naked Self-Portraits Is Primal


  • By Ogi Ogas
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  • 6:30 am |  
  • Categories: Brains and BehaviorWiredOpinion

  • The desire of the man is for the woman,” Madame de Stael famously penned, “The desire of the woman is for the desire of the man.” Being the center of sexual attention is a fundamental female turn-on . Studies have found that more than half of women’s sexual fantasies reflect the desire to be sexually irresistible. In one academic survey, 47 percent of women reported the fantasy of seeing themselves as a striptease dancer, harem girl, or other performer. Fifty percent fantasized about delighting many men.
    “Being desired is very arousing to women,” observes clinical psychologist Marta Meana, president of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research. “An increasing body of data is indicating that the way women feel about themselves may be very important to their experience of sexual desire and subjective arousal, possibly even outweighing the impact of their partners’ view of them.”
     But women everywhere ask, ‘What are men thinking when they send us photos of their junk?’ The answer is that men may not be thinking at all; they may be compelled by an unconscious, evolutionary urge inherited from our primate ancestors.Male monkeys and apes routinely display their penises to females to indicate sexual interest. Primatologist Frans de Waal writes in Peacemaking Among Primates:
    Since bonobos can sheath their penis, nothing is visible most of the time. When the organ does appear, however, it is not only impressive in size, but its bright pink color makes it stand out against the dark fur. Males invite others by presenting with legs wide apart and back arched, often flicking the penis up and down — a powerful signal.
    Men do not share women’s desire to be desired. Instead, they emulate their bonobo brethren: The internet is saturated with penis self-portraits from every nation on Earth. At any given moment, one in four cameras on the webcam network ChatRoulette are aimed at a penis. On the adult networking site Fantasti.cc, 36 percent of men use an image of a penis as their avatar; only 5 percent of women use a vagina. On Reddit’s heterosexual Gone Wild forum in 2010, where users were free to post uncensored pictures of themselves, 35 percent of images self-posted by men consisted of penises.
    Though hordes of men pay to peruse amateur photography depicting the anatomy of ladies, not a single website collects cash from ladies interested in surveying amateur photography of phalluses. It is this marked gender difference in interest that reveals the dichotomous evolutionary pressures shaping male and female exhibitionism: Women feel the conscious desire to catch the universally attentive male eye, but since women’s erotic attention is rarely ensnared by a penis, the male exhibitionist urge is comparatively vestigial.   Female exhibitionism appears to be primarily cortical, while male exhibitionism is mainly subcortical
     

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