The link between sex, disgust and sexual deviancy

groggy-gross-morning-sex-flirting-ecards-someecardsDisgust is tied to seven domains, one of which is sex. Humans associate what our personal sexual preferences with “correct” sexual behavior, and behaviors we personally dislike are viewed as disgusting. There’s a surprising amount of research on this.

Scientists theorize that disgust is a defensive emotion that maintains and emphasizes the line between human and animal. It is also seen as a specific reaction toward the waste products or otherwise contaminated parts of the human and animal body.

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File this under: Things I wish I could unsee

However, disgust is also shaped by culture. What is disgusting in one culture is completely acceptable in another, such as the practice of eating insects in Asia or bull penis in Los Angeles. Since we’re shaped by those around us, it makes sense that disgust is linked with prejudice, as we feel more disgust for dehumanized groups than those we view as our equals. That disgust extends to justice policy making for sex offenders and religious conservatives’ negative attitudes toward homosexuals. Humans appear to be the only species that experiences disgust and is capable of loathing its own species.

mudwrestling

Mud Wrestling. No woman ever just wanted to jump into a vat of mud just for fun. You know hormones and alcohol were involved.

However, when we’re turned on, we’re suddenly willing to get nasty. Women who are sexually aroused are more willing to do disgusting tasks, sexual (i.e. lubricate an object) and otherwise, (i.e. sip this juice with a dead insect in the bottom of the cup) than those who are not sexually aroused. This makes sense as sex, objectively, is filled with a lot of unsexy things – such as sweat, bodily fluids and body odor. We’ve gotta get over it in order to DO it.

disgustWomen tend to have higher disgust sensitivity than men. Scientists found that this is likely an adaptive behavior that reduces the chance of a woman participating in “biologically sub-optimal sexual behaviors,” as in, the ones where she’s unlikely to get pregnant. It also protects them from having sex with the wrong men, such as those with communicable diseases, are infected with parasites, or have poor hygiene.

Translation: No butt sex.

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Benedict Cumberbatch is judging you.

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