Women and men may not develop fetishes in the same manner. Scientific research has shown that there are many similarities between the two sexes with respect to how fetishes develop. Interestingly, it has also revealed a few interesting sex-dependent differences.
Orgasm and sexual behavior as primary reinforcers
T he first time I ever had sex with a woman, I remember being overwhelmed — and not in the way I had expected. It even gave me a newfound empathy for the plight of your average heterosexual male, inwardly sighing that his partner might be ready to go at it again already. Then I smugly counted my XY fortune. Back in my days as a professional dominatrix, one of my most popular services was the ruined orgasm: bringing a man — or letting him bring himself — quickly to the point of climax, causing ejaculation without the muscle-spasming respite of a full-bodied orgasmic release. I never had a female client — nor met a woman since — who was into ruined orgasms.
Evolutionary explanations for sexual behavior and orgasm most often posit facilitating reproduction as the primary function i. Other reproductive benefits of sexual pleasure and orgasm such as improved bonding of parents have also been discussed but not thoroughly. Although sex is known to be highly reinforcing, behaviorist principles are rarely invoked alongside evolutionary psychology in order to account for human sexual and social behavior. In this paper, I will argue that intense sexual pleasure, especially orgasm, can be understood as a primary reinforcer shaped by evolution to reinforce behavior that facilitates reproductive success i. Next, I will describe an evolutionary account of social shaping. In particular, I will focus on how humans evolved to use orgasm and sexual arousal to shape the social behavior and emotional states of others through both classical and operant conditioning and through both reproductive and non-reproductive forms of sexual behavior. Finally, I will describe how orgasm is a signal of sensitivity to reinforcement that is itself reinforcing. Imagine the pleasure of seeing a cute, happy baby; sitting in the warm sunshine; eating something fatty and sugary; or getting relieved of a few minutes of low-voltage intermittent shocks. You would likely estimate the pleasure of orgasm as greater than any of these things. Evolution has used orgasm to train us toward adaptive behavioral ends; orgasm and high sexual arousal are currencies that tap directly into bliss states.
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