5 Bizarre Ways the Brain Links Sex With Shame

Manly Shame

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So if dudes are super into threesomes, what do you think men are ashamed of? It's time for another curious revelation! Just as women are aroused by domination but have had shameful real-life experiences with it, men enjoy the fantasy of another woman, but being with another woman is also a pretty shameful thing, at least if it's done in an illicit manner. The majority of dudes who responded cited cheating as their most shameful experience, with one-night stands with someone they weren't into as a close second. So basically men's fantasies involve sex with lots of women, and in real life, they're ashamed of having sex with those women after it happens.

For what it's worth, the question of "greatest sexual fantasy" was also on the survey and left wide open, and a good number of men, believe it or not, answered that their greatest sexual fantasy would be a sexual relationship with someone they love. I know, I had to go brew a coffee, take a sip, then do a spit-take, too. Pop culture has convinced me that all men including myself are dirty dogs and that, while I was writing this article, I slept with three women I'll never call again. But none of that is true. Shock!

In so many words, men like the idea of a lot of sex, and this includes gay men, but they're ashamed of having it with multiple partners for whom they have no real feelings. A lot of guys expressed that they feel this way some years later, so maybe it comes with age, and when you're a college bro you have no sense of self-awareness or common decency, and this is all bullshit that doesn't apply. I only got answers from 90 people and I was drunk during my stats class, so I'm not making any definitive claims, just some observations.

The Disgust Factor

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How did it happen that the fantasy cited as most arousing by men or women was so closely related to the most commonly shared moments of sexual shame? It's worth noting that the numbers weren't exact, and a lot of people have never had a shameful sexual experience, but for those who did, whose shame so closely reflects the fantasies of the majority, ain't that a little weird? A little quirky? I thought so. And I figure that's where disgust plays in.

Some people will readily admit that they enjoy a degree of humiliation in their sex, or degradation even. Lots of people enjoy dirty talk that includes name calling. In the confines of a trusting, private sexual moment, more women than you'd think will happily respond to the word "slut." And you can start building a list of names or situations from there that might seem outright offensive if it was being glimpsed by outsiders. But for a lot of people, that shit's hot. They want to be called names, they want to be tied up or beaten. They want to put their tongue in someone else's butt. People do that. I've seen it! And I won't even pretend it had anything to do with research for this. I just like butts and tongues.

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So why the hell do we get off on things that should offend us? Why, in the realm of a sexual encounter, are we turned on by things that later we feel shame about? Why does sexual arousal make us do things we readily define as gross?

Look at it this way -- how apt are you to let someone spit in your mouth? Probably not very. Now look at what sex entails. Whatever genders are involved, typically I'm smudging my fluids all in and around a hole in your body that makes its own fluids. In any other context, that is revolting as hell. Sometimes I'm even shooting that stuff all up in you. All up. Way in. And it's going to ooze around in there. And maybe your fluids are dripping all over me. And maybe someone else is there, since that's a popular fantasy, and their fluids are literally dripping off of all three of us. This whole paragraph is either extremely sexy to you or borderline nauseating. And I haven't even mentioned the butt sex yet. Or oral. Oral, for God's sake! You put your face where people expel filtered soluble toxic wastes from their kidneys that would otherwise kill them if their body couldn't remove them. And then you get all licky, sucky, slurpy on it. Fuckin' sexy!

Nature understands that sex is oddly unsexy. But since it's necessary for the continuation of the species, it came up with a way to trick you into continuing to do it, and that's by making you get turned on by unsexy things. That's both brilliant and terrible. But that also means nature has your back from now on and you don't need to ever actually be ashamed of your sexual past ever again. That shame isn't your fault, it's a biological process. Nature wants you to have all the filthy sex you can, and it makes you cool with it while it's happening, so who are you to fight biology? You put your tongue in that bum, you earned it. Nature made you want to do it. It's for the good of our entire species.

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Felix Clay

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