Coolidge Effect in women

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The Bored Sex

Is this due to more women orgasming more frequently today??

The sexologists' advice shows a distinct lack of imagination IMO.


They recommended pursuit of novelty

This merely defers the problem until either the couple runs out of "novel" ideas...or their pursuit of novelty leads them to incompatible, or even destructive, demands.

For example, some of the most heartrending stories we see on recovery forums are by men whose pursuit of novelty led them to driving their wives into cuckoldry so they could get their voyeuristic buzz by watching and/or by being humiliated. (Both turn-ons apparently inflated through porn viewing...given that as they unhook from porn use they strongly regret their choices and lose their taste for such things.) Grim reading.


It makes sense that as

It makes sense that as sensation-seeking escalate the partner becomes, or is felt to become, progressively unable to deliver the desired sensations or in the intensity desired and so the partner becomes itself insufficient ("there must be something better out there").So, what is in the beginning a sensation seeking approach becomes ultimately a new partner seeking behaviour, when the old partner fails to deliver novelty

First, even in animals

the Coolidge effect has shown up in females. (The study I recall was on Syrian hamsters. I can find it if you don't.) Also, I recall an article or book on the Maasai, where a woman was interviewed who explained that (in their culture's economic circumstances) women are wise to have multiple lovers (and ask gifts from each).

For a long time, humanity believed that most women wanted stable relationships and men less so. (The research bears this out.) So, until recently, most researchers weren't looking for the Coolidge Effect in women. I suspect that assumption was true where women couldn't earn their own livings and had to make sure their kids were supported by men. Women weren't watching porn and enthusiastically exploiting sex toys then either.

But things have changed. Marriages offer little stability. Women increasingly work full time whether or not they have kids. Women are watching more and more porn and orgasming more frequently on their own with the help of toys. So they increasingly undervalue the synergy and stability of a committed relationship. Also, as sex gets "hotter," overall dissatisfaction paradoxically increases after the initial fireworks inevitably die down.

Personally, I suspect this happens partly because more orgasms mean more post-orgasmic fallout. Also, more porn use is associated with decreased relationship and sexual satisfaction. (This is well established in men, and as research catches up with women's ever-increasing porn use, it is showing up in heterosexual women too.) Very little has yet been done on sex toy use and relationship satisfaction in women except in research funded (and written) by sex toy manufacturers. (Ahem) But there's lots of anecdotal evidence that women who turn to sex toys and porn later find it more difficult to orgasm during partnered sex (much as men who overconsume porn often develop sexual dysfunctions).

Obviously, in long-distance relationships, partners generally have time to "recover" from any unfortunate effects of orgasm while they're apart, which can keep things more interesting despite conventional sex for longer. But they miss out on the benefits of companionship to some degree.

The "unraveling" I'm describing has been going on for decades. As a society, we are pushing hard on the "mating" (churning relationship) pedal with our behavioral choices. This is making it more difficult to sustain our pair-bonds. In fact, they don't even look particularly attractive to many today, in part because such folks haven't seen healthy relationships thrive up close in their parents, and haven't experienced them for themselves.

The reason I wrote my book was because I saw how valuable close, trusted companionship was, and I wanted to undersand how to improve the odds of a permanent, satisfying relationship. Turns out I had to change my putting the emphasis on bonding behaviors + careful use of sexual energy (not making orgasm the goal of intercourse). I was fascinated to learn that this "prescription" had turned up over the millennia in many diverse cultures. Who would have thought??

My theory is that humans evolved from promiscuous mammals. So this "promiscuous program" is just beneath the surface. Yet humans and their offspring are benefited by pair-bonding. We thus evolved such that the attachment cues that bond us to parents and kids have been adapted to keep lovers bonded...when they're engaged in almost daily...and we don't pursue enticing (competing)  stimulation online or with toys.

Instead, most today are opting for the latter, which is making the universal mammalian promiscuous program "louder," and our pair-bonding program harder to hear. Still, we have a choice. We "vote" with our behavior.

One major risk of this situation is that agenda-driven sexologists who study the (rapidly deteriorating) current situation mistake it for humans' inescapable biological reality when it's in fact biology + behavioral choices. I think we all need to know our options more clearly...hence my book.

That said, I also believe people should make their own choices. If they prefer promiscuity, porn and sex toys to stable be it (although it appears to be less ideal for their offspring). If they want stable relationships, they need to know how to steer for them.

There are other factors

Korean society is a very chauvinistic one. I have spent time with Koreans and in a marriage, the men tend to dominate. I think this may be a reason women are not in a hurry to get into a marriage with a domineering man.

Just speculation. 

There are other forms of porn, by the way, and I’m sure the market for porn is very active in South Korea.

Indeed, there are other factors

From my experience (I'm Korean), at least, I wouldn't describe the younger generation (below 40) of the society as being chauvinistic, especially with a past election of a former female president which was already almost 8 years ago.
There are various social issues at play, if I had to guess. I would associate this phenomenon to several factors. One sure factor would be that plastic surgery is a booming business in Korea. Another would be the unholy amalgamation of shame culture and MASSIVE consumption (masses just being glued to their screens) of pop culture through screens where there is a new batch of glittering celebrities starring in a fairy tale romance series or in boy bands and girl groups every month. You can imagine that there are definitely some perception shifts. There is definitely a pressure to look and act a certain way, for men and women alike.
Also, just the idea of raising a child in Korea puts an enormous burden on people (South Korea's birth rate is currently below 1 child per woman, which probably puts us at the lowest of all countries in the world), because of heavy financial burdens with all the extracurricular prep schools, daycare, and the unemployment rate is also high in recent years. So, no one really wants a child, and if so, and the average guy or girl who's glued to the screens doesn't see the average guy or girl next door living up to the de facto fairy tale standards that have been established by the entertainment business, why marry at all?
It's not surprising then, that at the same time, video game addiction rates in South Korea have been on the rise, constantly breaking world records that it has set itself.

Marnia, thanks for being

Marnia, thanks for being generous with your time, energy, and focus, and for sharing the fruits of your research and wisdom with us. Here on a cool, damp SoCal Sunday morning, reading your response is like hearing a thoughtful sermon from a wise, caring Parish Priest or Deacon. Thanks, Teacher!

Thanks for posting those clips

It amazes me that "experts" can analyze the rapid deterioration of traditional relationships on the family across the globe without considering the impact of widespread use of hyper-stimulating sex aids, such as porn and sex toys.

There are many studies showing that greater use leads to lower sexual and relation satisfaction, and even some studies suggesting how brains change, such that real partners are no longer perceived as especially arousing (when they have to compete with such aids).

I know we'd all like to find something else to blame, but I think common sense suggests that our experts are ignoring the "elephant in the room."

In my view, trying to ask questions about women without considering the full picture (including how "off" people who overstimulate their brains with supernormal sexual stimuli become with respect to real potential partners) will not yield clarity. Sorry to sound like a broken record.

Maybe you could start a singles organization for those who want to give up artificial sexual stimuli and organize some social events. I have read many accounts of men and women who give up such stimuli...and are amazed at how much more appealing normal mates become. Finding a partner is much easier when most every potential mate is perceived to have some attractive features - and attraction rests on more than just looks. Guys Who Gave Up Porn: On Sex and Romance

I'm genuinely sorry about the mess your generation is having to deal with. Today's environment is very abnormal in the realm of sex and relationships. Don't try to make it "normal" before endeavoring to understand what is going on.

Porn and gaming

are both internet addictions. Both stimuli are apparently so stimulating that they compete with courtship with real partners.

Your story about the guy returning to gaming suggests addiction to me.

Also, just because Korea tries to ban porn doesn't mean it succeeds in distracting people from pursuit of competing thrills. Isn't "up-skirting" a major problem in Korea in some circles?

That said, my book is about the biological factors that drive potential and actual mates apart. I agree that the problem has aspects that are  more fundamental than porn. But porn worsens them, as does gaming, because they release so much competing dopamine that they have the potential to "drown out" the appeal of real partners (at least after the honeymoon neurochemicals die down in a new relationship).

Our courting brains evolved for the conditions our ancestors faced...where the "hottest thing" was pretty much a potential mate.

Women are now finding their own "more stimulating than real partners" activities. As the saying goes, "If you can't beat them, join them."

Respectful disagreement is fine

What do you make of the research coming out showing that rates of no sexual activity are rising quite dramatically in young people? Do you think that's just because of women being inherently difficult/easily bored? Or that men suddently can't find prostitutes? Japan was the first to report massive rates of no desire for sex among young people.

Again, I caution you not to assume that research on men and women today can tell you much of anything about "normal" sexual behavior.

And I remind you that when you did experiment with dating, you didn't find your partner "hot" enough for your tastes.

I would respectfully suggest that you are like a fish in water being asked to explain water. Your skewed environment seems like "reality" to you, but it is a reality that has been hugely distorted in recent years. It no longer remotely matches the environment that our ancestors faced as their brains and mating programs developed. Trying to make sense of it backwards is likely to give you a very skewed understanding.

That said, I realize that you have to live in today's environment and you have my sympathy. You face a mess.

Ultimately, my opinion on these things doesn't matter. Yours does.


I partly agree with you

I certainly agree that sexual behavior is changing. I have said this repeatedly. Men and women are both becoming more...driven by their primitive mating program, and less so by their bonding program.

This means men are looking for porn-style hotness, and women for alpha male$ and children. For the rest, men and women seem to enjoy each others' company less and less in terms of lasting companionship. Part of this is that porn-style sex quickly becomes too much stimulation, numbs sensitivity to pleasure, and becomes unappealing. And the solution in the mainstream is to "make things hotter in the bedroom," or add more partners (more novelty and risk) to the mix.

Women have unconsciously been trying to adapt to men's universal use of porn. Look at the success of Fifty Shades. But, this kind of intense stimulation is not sustainable. Habituation quickly sets in. And people are left mystified...even though the neurobiology of sex (and addiction) has clearly revealed the biological mechanism behind habituation. It's not "rocket science." And men on porn recovery forums have revealed the solution: less (overstimulation) is more (sensitivity to pleasure).

Still, what do we typically do? As orgasm feels less pleasurable...we "turn up the heat" until we give up on finding satisfaction. I think many women tend to reach that point faster than men...which is why I love men and male energy. If this situation is to be healed, men will have to take the lead.

Our mating programs were always present...and in tension with our pair-bonding mechanisms. But our mating programs are becoming "deafening" as we use sex just in pursuit of orgasm, with less daily affection for its own sake. Researchers aren't controlling for this possibility...because they simply haven't considered it.

Interestingly, when couples go to sex counselors, the counselors often recommend techniques like "sensate focus," which is essentially bonding behaviors and mindful first without the goal of orgasm.

So, I still believe the way out of the connundrum is sex without the focus on orgasm (and a focus on daily affection instead)...if couples want a better chance of sustainable relationships.

That said, good luck today...because women have little reason to hope for this, and increasingly less reason to even consider this option. They have bought the idea that they are "empowered" by pursuing casual sex and pursuit of sexual stimulation rather than relationships. And the men they have to choose from have also been altered by their porny pasts not to value companionship.

There are many studies correlating porn use with reduced sexual and relationship satisfaction, and if honest research were being done, the same thing would show up with sex toys...over time. The natural phenomenon of sexual habituation cannot be overcome with more stimulation - except in the short-term. Humanity is learning this the hard way.

Since you don't agree with my hypothesis, what do you think is the solution?

I fully sympathize

with what you describe, Yuuichi.

As I have said, I agree that women have the underlying program you describe: being drawn to novel mates, trying to "trade up," and so forth. It's the counterpart of men chasing sexually novelty.

And I agree that the current environment brings out the worst in both sexes. Some of the behavior you described isn't "female." It is caused by too much hand-held device addiction. Short attention spans are normal for many younger people of both sexes.

But back to relationships. Societies have generally developed customs that pushed people toward stable marriages...even polygynous marriages. One reason is that societies become very unstable without these rules. (If you were a father, would you want to have your pregnant daughter return to have you support her and her new family...or would you want to make sure the social order put responsbility on the real father to support them? I think the latter.)

So these strong societal rules pushed people toward more stable intimate relationships, and discouraged sexual-novelty chasing (even though some chasing went on, and some societies were more tolerant of it than others).

Now, those rules are breaking down. The fundamentalists cause their own brand of chaos...but their dire predictions about about the consequences of destabilizing relationships are being borne out. Personally, I hope something better is at the end of all this I'm not a fundamentalist.

You say I am biased in my presentation of women in my book. It's certainly possible that I am/was inadvertently biased - based on what I observed when working on the book over decades. But I would argue that I am probably no more inadvertently biased than you are - when basing your conclusions on what you see now...decades later.

I think we may both be right, because I think the situation is decaying rapidly, as pair bonds (and the social pressure behind them) are growing the face of so much artificial competition and "freedom."

In other words, it's quite possible that when I was writing, women weren't generally lacking in as much virtue as they are now (despite their underlying program), just as men weren't as messed up by porn when I was writing - even when I wrote the porn chapter in my book. In fact, an earlier version of my book didn't even have a chapter on porn. But by the time I wrote the second one, I was seeing a lot of suffering men on this very forum, and so it seemed well to tell their story. Women weren't yet watching porn to the degree they are now.

Things have been getting worse in this realm of sexual/relationship fulfillment for generations, and the process is speeding up. I like to hope that this may all eventually lead to a new understanding. But right now, the situation is ugly...and worsening.

But let me share a couple of other points.

First, my closest friend (Anya in my book) and I both noticed that when we shifted to practicing karezza consistently, our tendency to "consume" goods in the frivolous manner you saw in your female roommates dropped to the point where we both independently remarked on it. Karezza was supplying inner feelings of wholeness that we could see via these changes in our behavior. It really made me wonder if we humans would be depleting the planet the way we are if we were all practicing this. Healing a subtle sense of lack/depletion seems trivial...but it isn't.

With their purchases, your roommates are trying to fill a neurochemical "hole" (which I would argue is low dopamine). It's a craving. It is made worse by the pursuit of supernormal stimuli, but even in healthy people it shows up as the desperate desire to attract a mate.  New shoes are the equivalent of a new porn genre. Both offer a neurochemical "hit" of pleasurable anticipatioin that feels like a mood-altering medication...for a little while.

The point is that when you are no longer on that roller coaster because you have a mate and a stable, loving don't need the self-medication of constant "hits" of dopamine from novelty or drugs or the BDSM dungeon, or whatever...unless, of course, you have become addicted. That takes longer to turn around, and is very challenging.

I think the science behind what I'm saying is pretty clear, although sexologists don't want to believe it perhaps. Even in pair-bonding animals, those who are not bonded with mates consume more addictive drug-laced water, while those who were already paired up barely touch it.

The unfortunate flip-side of that is that those who are offered the drug-laced water before they are in a pair bond, may not pair bond at all...because their reward circutry has been hi-jacked to some degree by the artificial reward. With our enticement-laden environment that is available to young people before they connect with potential mates...we are setting up this second scenario. My book was an attempt to help people steer back toward the first...even if they have to heal a degree of addiction first.

The research below provides examples of the pair-bonding mechanism, its protective gifts, and its vulnerabilities. It appears that the neurochemical oxytocin is primarily associated with the benefits.


Nucleus accumbens dopamine mediates amphetamine-induced impairment of social bonding in a monogamous rodent species

Social Bonding Decreases the Rewarding Properties of Amphetamine through a Dopamine D1 Receptor-Mediated Mechanism

The behavioral anatomical and pharmacological parallels between social attachment love and addiction

Amphetamine reward in the monogamous prairie vole

Dopamine and opioid systems interact within the nucleus accumbens to maintain monogamous pair bonds

Biological Contribution to Social Influences on Alcohol Drinking: Evidence from Animal Models


The other field of research I think fits into this discussion is the research showing that porn users and erotica viewing actually impair humans' integrity. So far the research has been done on men, but I sometimes wonder if women are even more strongly and negatively affected. In my view, some of today's women who are pursuing hot sexual arousal full tilt are extremely unnerving. But maybe I've just become aware of a particularly...unfortunate sample. (And, as I believe the real mechanism has to do with the pursuit of dopamine hits to the point of imbalance in the brain...I hope you can see that this example could apply to social media addiction as much as to porn addiction.)

The point I want you to hear is that, overstimulating our reward circuitry chronically can interfere with our inner moral compass, thus altering our perception, our priorities, our actions...and thus our karma (assuming you believe in that sort of thing).

We are doing this to ourselves...and we don't understand how serious the problem is...or how to turn it around.

Here's an article I wrote about this: Sex and Morality: A Debate Between Competing Neurons.

I think your "virtueless" women might become quite virtuous if they were to understand what I have written above...and apply it. Certainly, I have been heartened by the shifts I have seen in many, many men who have unhooked from their chosen "drug" and allowed their brains to return to normal sensitivity to pleasure...such that they find real mates and everyday pleasures (music, friends, achievement, etc) deeply satisfying again.

We should take care not to judge the other sex without looking into their reward circuitry to see the state of its balance. We would likely be no better behaved if ours were out of balance.

You are right

that karezza is not an easy sell in today's environment. And you are right that part of the problem is that it is taking longer and longer for people to experience the benefits - just as it is taking longer for men to heal their delayed ejaculation and erectile dysfunction after they quit porn.

Brains are plastic...but they aren't liquid. And depending upon how well developed the brain pathways ("hooked" to the artificial stimulant) are, it can take a long time to return to normal. Perhaps some simply can't. However, we've seen guys report that they see improvements in their enjoyment of sex for several years. So it's worth the effort.

I completely disagree with you that China, and maybe even Korea (despite its valiant fight to remove porn from its internet ) are "strong evidence" that online stimuli are not at work. Some of the most clever technical geniuses in the world reside in those countries. I've even seen research from the Chinese (where "porn doesn't exist") revealing that porn use there is very high indeed. Given the rise of upskirting in Korea (the inspiration for which had to come from somewhere...), I think your culture isn't as far behind as you think. In any case, the video games today are becoming very pornified, and Korea seems to lead the world in gaming talent and enthusiasm. As explained, supernormal stimuli (porn, gaming, social media - all carefully engineered to be as "addictive" as possible -, engineered junk food, etc.) affect the brain such that "everyday pleasures" of the type our ancestors' brains registered as very enjoyable and satisfying, no longer register as pleasurable. And this tends to be a downward spiral for many - as they become desensitized and seek more potent stimulation, or longer use or whatever.

I wish I had an answer for you Yuuichi. I think massive re-education is needed, and I suspect things have to get even worse before they will get better.

Is there an activity you enjoy where you could meet women who aren't on their phones every instant? Dance class, hiking, singing, painting, some other hobby? That sounds like a better bet than competing with "the overstimulated" in a nightclub. Could be good for your peace of mind too.

With your skills...and persistence

perhaps you could start a new club for your age group called "Get off you phone on a Sunday afternoon" and plan meet-ups to take try different food, play frisbee in the park (or the Korean equivalent), visit an interesting factory or museum, or whatever. A way for singles to meet without pressure.

I am convinced from personal

I am convinced from personal experience and the research in CPA that ejaculative sex -- promoted as the norm and ideal in nearly all societies and cultures -- is the root of much addictive behavior.

My porn use was stopped cold in its tracks by Karezza with my wife.

I think Karezza (1) stops the dopamine roller coaster and (2) helps us feel love and connected, which can be very difficult to find and feel in the world.

From another side..

I was actually wondering- in a slightly different direction- if women ( South Korea?) or in general have really just had enough or have somewhat given up. I am reading Diane Richardson's book Tantric Orgasm for Women. I find it very compelling (the ideas are fairly comparable to Cupid's Poisoned Arrow, but with more of a focus on women cultivating their sexual energy and having slower, lengthened sexual experiences rather than intense orgasms). Granted, it is less scientific and more spiritually focused. However, she does mention that when women have allowed men to enter them countless times (whether with one partner or many) who have fast paced, ejaculatory goal oriented orgasms, that their sexual energy is not expressed in its more feminine form and their vaginas become desensitized and hurt by the intentional/unintentional trauma.
This is not to blame men- she says men are pressured to perform sexually in this way and hardly know any different- but if does draw attention to why perhaps many women are disappointed and perhaps end up blaming themselves for not being 'sexual' or for stopping sex with partners altogether. The disappointment and hurt becomes too great and perhaps seems insurmountable (even though it isn't- but vulnerability is challenging, especially after reinforced negativity).

This is without accounting for women choosing instead their own masturbatory practices to make up for this. Just a slightly different angle on the issue.

Why Only in Rich Countries?

I believe there is a dark Cabal that controls the world. I believe that members or their minions are in positions of power in politics, the military, industry, banking, law enforcement, media, medicine, religion, etc. I believe that the Cabal pits groups of humans against each other, so that we do not focus our attention on the underlying force -- the Cabal -- that causes war, disease, 'natural' disasters, child abductions, etc.

Two of the groups that the Cabal pits against each other is men and women. I believe that popular culture's focus on and worship of ejaculative orgasm in movies, TV, and music is purposeful. And, that purpose is to weaken men and cause strife between men and women, from unsettled neurohormones post ejaculative orgasm.

Male circumcision seems to be another Cabal project. Circumcision makes a man's penis less sensitive, leading to more forceful intercourse, which a woman could find uncomfortable or result in the male seeming to be remote and not emotionally involved. And, circumcision can result in pubic hair growing on the penile shaft, which causes irritation, sometimes very painful, in women. Both of these things can lead to less intercourse between partners, which weakens relationships and marriages.

I feel for young folks, as it seems from Yuuichi's posts that, quite possibly, the Cabal's efforts to put distance between men and women is highly effective today. I presume the Cabal's reach in less developed countries is much more limited, due to the absence of widespread watching of TV and movies. And, particularly pernicious may be Taylor Swift and similar singers who paint standoffish and cruel behavior as normal and ideal. I presume toxic Western and Eastern pop singers are not widely listened to in less developed countries.

Just my conspiratorial view of the world!