The age difference between you and your sister’s boss is not as worrisome as the fact that the two of you want entirely different things. You are a 22-year old college student and want a relationship that goes beyond casual sex. He is a 46-year old successful entrepreneur who doesn’t really have time for you but who occasionally whisks you away on short trips. He wants the occasional sexual encounter but not a stable, defined relationship. Read more »
Jealousy and Ownership
One of the most intense feelings that arise in the context of love is jealousy. Jealousy can make us suicidal and urge us to commit murder. Evolutionary psychologists speculate that we are jealous because it was evolutionarily beneficial to our ancestors. Men go nuts if they think that their partner has sex with another man, […]
The Narcissistic Lover
Did you fall in love with a narcissist? Yes? Bad news. Narcissists are incapable of having a healthy loving relationship. The pathological kind of narcissism comes in two forms: The first, which is found primarily in young adulthood, is characterized by a grandiose sense of self, promiscuity and disagreeable behavior. The second form, which is […]
Is Romantic Love an Emotion? A Reply to Helen Fisher
According to Biological Anthropologist Helen Fisher, it is not. It’s just like sex and attachment: A drive. Fisher’s argument for this claim is that romantic love is associated with activation of neurons in the mid brain that secrete dopamine. As the dopamine system is a more primitive system than the emotional brain and the cortical […]
Don’t Necessarily Trust a Man Who Can Cry
Crying improves our well-being. It releases stress hormones from the body and increases the level of the body’s natural pain-killers endorphines. According to William Frey, former Research Director of the St. Paul-Ramsey Dry Eye and Tear Research Center, emotional tears contain: Leucine-enkephalin, a mood-elevating endorphine, ACTH, a hormone that is a reliable indicator of stress […]
When you fall in love, your bodily chemicals go haywire. The exciting, scary, mysterious and unpredictable elements of love stem from hyperstimulation of the limbic brain’s fear center known as “the amygdala”. Hyperactivation of the amygdala gives rise to a physical stress response in your body. Hans Selye, a Canadian endocrinologist, was the first to […]
It might seem like having continuous, spontaneous orgasms throughout the day would be fun, but to those with persistant genital arousal disorder (PGAD) it’s hellish. For sufferers, continual arousal means, “Being on the edge of an orgasm 24 hours a day, to the point where you can’t sleep, you can’t function, you can’t even think straight – that’s not fun.” It can destroy their deliberate sex lives, since having intercourse may exasperate their discomfort. PGAD is a particularly disruptive but rare sexual dysfunction.
According to the DSM-5, sexual dysfunctions are a varying group of disorders which have in common a “disturbance in a person’s ability to respond sexually or to experience sexual pleasure.” While causes of sexual dysfunctions might sometimes be physical, sexual experience is profoundly connected with one’s psychological wellbeing. Like other drives, if one’s sex drive is hyperactive, hypoactive or in other ways malfunctioning, this can upset a person’s love life and other areas of her life.
Brit and I also write for a blog for Psychology Today as well as the blog for our lab, the Brogaard Lab for Multisensory Research. Below is a post I wrote a while ago. It’s not directly about romantic love. But it is about perception, which certainly plays an important role in one’s experience of romantic love. In any case, we wanted to share it.
In a 1913 article in the The Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Isador Coriat describes a case of “colored pain,” which is still considered a rare form of synesthesia. These synesthetes perceive colors as they experience pain. Coriat’s subject is an intelligent forty-year-old woman suffering from anxiety, sleepwalking and headaches. As far back as she can remember she’s seen different colors when she feels pain. Pain produces clear, distinct colors and a certain “kind of pain” consistently produces a certain color.
“Each type of pain produced its individual and invariable color, for instance: Hollow pain, blue color; sore pain, red color; deep headache, vivid scarlet; superficial headache, white color; shooting neuralgic pain, white color.”
The woman sees colors as masses with no recognizable shape, except when pain “involved a jagged, longitudinal or round area, the color stimulated by this particular type of pain had a corresponding geometrical figure.” I’m guessing by this Coriat means that the woman’s pain might have a certain shape, depending on where it is on her body. But I’m not sure. This made me wonder what exactly is it to experience pain. What exactly makes a kind of pain onto which certain colors map? Read more »
Notice that the new pricing of the ebook listed in the right column won’t take effect until tomorrow.
Adolescence spans from roughly age twelve to as late as twenty-five, with the late teens and early twenties sometimes called ‘emerging adulthood.’ During this important and exciting phase of life, individuals transition from being children to being adults. Specific aspects of physical, social, and personality maturation affect the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of adolescents. Here I briefly consider how the adolescent brain makes young people susceptible to love addiction. By ‘love,’ I mean the physiological and psychological experience associated with one’s judgment that she has “fallen in love.” I mean the thrilling, intoxicating stage of new love.
Dear Social Actor,
While your main question is how to kill your libido, you might benefit from addressing issues that make you want to do that: (1) feeling disconnected from people and (2) obsessing about women and compulsively acting on these obsessive thoughts.
One form of self-therapy to consider is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can be helpful to those with mild cases of depression or anxiety. If you weren’t being facetious about being a “self-diagnosed schizoid” and believe you have a severe mental illness, you should set up an appointment with a clinical psychologist.
You say: “I’m a loner and used to being ignored by people who have no practical use for me…I’ve accepted that and have decided to become a recluse.”
You say only those who want to use you pay attention to you. How do you know that’s true? Unless your social interactions always involve someone trying to overtly, or subtly, manipulate you, you must have interactions in which people don’t try to manipulate you. In those cases, if you think people still have an angle, you might be having a cognitive distortion called ‘mind reading.’ Read more »