A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World's Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire

A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World's Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire

3.5 18
by Sai Gaddam, Ogi Ogas
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Two maverick neuroscientists use the world's largest psychology experiment-the Internet-to study the private activities of millions of men and women around the world, unveiling a revolutionary and shocking new vision of human desire that overturns conventional thinking.

For his groundbreaking sexual research, Alfred Kinsey and his team interviewed 18,000

…  See more details below

Overview

Two maverick neuroscientists use the world's largest psychology experiment-the Internet-to study the private activities of millions of men and women around the world, unveiling a revolutionary and shocking new vision of human desire that overturns conventional thinking.

For his groundbreaking sexual research, Alfred Kinsey and his team interviewed 18,000 people, relying on them to honestly report their most intimate experiences. Using the Internet, the neuroscientists Ogas and Gaddam quietly observed the raw sexual behaviors of half a billion people. By combining their observations with neuroscience and animal research, these two young neuroscientists finally answer the long-disputed question: what do people really like? Ogas and Gaddam's findings are transforming the way scientists and therapists think about sexual desire.

In their startling book, Ogas and Gaddam analyze a "billion wicked thoughts" on the Internet: a billion Web searches, a million individual search histories, a million erotic stories, a half-million erotic videos, a million Web sites, millions of online personal ads, and many other enormous sources of sexual data in order to understand the true differences between male and female desires, including:

?Men and women have hardwired sexual cues analogous to our hardwired tastes-there are sexual versions of sweet, sour, salty, savory, and bitter. But men and women are wired with different sets of cues.

?The male sexual brain resembles a reckless hunter, while the female sexual brain resembles a cautious detective agency.

?Men form their sexual interests during adolescence and rarely change. Women's sexual interests are plastic and change frequently.

?The male sexual brain is an "or gate": A single stimulus can arouse it. The female sexual brain is an "and gate": It requires many simultaneous stimuli to arouse it.

?When it comes to sexual arousal, men prefer overweight women to underweight women, and a significant number of men seek out erotic images of women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.

?Women enjoy writing and sharing erotic stories with other women. The fastest growing genre of erotic stories for women are stories about two heterosexual men having sex.

?Though the male sexual brain is much more different from the female sexual brain than is commonly believed, the sexual brain of gay men is virtually identical to that of straight men.

Featuring cutting-edge, jaw-dropping science, this wildly entertaining and controversial book helps readers understand their partner's sexual desires with a depth of knowledge unavailable from any other source. Its fascinating and occasionally disturbing findings will rock our modern understanding of sexuality, just as Kinsey's reports did sixty years ago.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Behavioral scientists Ogas and Gaddam used the Internet—sifting through a billion Web searches, analyzing hundreds of thousands of online erotic stories, the 40,000 most trafficked adult Web sites, five million sexual solicitations posted on online classifieds, and a great deal more online sexual expressions—to determine the secret desires of a billion anonymous men and women. Their less surprising findings are that male desire is instantly activated by visual cues and directed toward orgasm. Women are more aroused by psychological cues, and the vast majority of romance readers like a "strong, confident, swaggering alpha" hero. More unusual findings are that straight men and masculine professions are the dominant motif in gay male porn, and gay men like the same things in their porn as straight guys: youth, graphic details of the body, and anonymous, emotionless, nonmonogamous sex. Viewers of porn sites directed at women prefer foreplay and intercourse, and many men are aroused by the thought of their wives cheating on them. Although striving to titillate and be cute (using Elmer Fudd and Miss Marple as male and female metaphors, for example), this study can be maddeningly vague ("many men," "very popular") as it offers some insights amid mostly familiar observations. (May)
From the Publisher
"In a stroke of ingenuity, Ogas and Gaddam circumvent the deepest limitation of standard psychological surveys: that they merely tap undergraduates' socially acceptable responses, a flaw nowhere more damaging than in the touchy realm of sexuality. A Billion Wicked Thoughts is a goldmine of information about this hugely important topic, and, not surprisingly, gripping and sometimes disturbing reading."
Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate

"A refreshing look at the big picture of human sexuality, informed by the ultimate unobtrusive source of data, the internet... Regardless of your background, you're in for a treat... If you want answers to pretty much anything about sexual desire, this is the book for you."
From the Foreword by Catherine Salmon, coauthor of Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fantasies, Evolution and Female Sexuality and author of The Secret Life of Middle Children

"This is an amazing book. For the first time ever, Ogas and Gaddam skillfully tie together the latest findings from neuroscience, evolutionary biology, social psychology, and millions of internet users. Everything you always wanted to know about your desires in the bedroom."
Daniel J. Levitin, bestselling author of This Is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs

"Every invention in communication technology-the printing press, photography, motion pictures, videotape, the Internet-was quickly co- opted to produce and disseminate erotica. Just as the microscope and the telescope illuminated for the first time the very small and the very large, A Billion Wicked Thoughts uses the power of the Internet to illuminate with unprecedented wattage human male and female desires. Ogas and Gaddam analyzed a mountain of Internet data to produce a breakthrough in the study of human sexuality."
Donald Symons, Professor Emeritus, University of California Santa Barbara, author of The Evolution of Human Sexuality

"A Billion Wicked Thoughts provides a brilliant, thoroughly researched, and totally engaging analysis of human sexuality using vast and original analyses of the Internet. It furnishes an x-ray of male and female sexual minds and explains why they differ so profoundly. The insights it yields are often surprising, sometimes shocking, and never boring. I couldn't put the book down."
David M. Buss, author of Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind and The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating

"On the Internet, the evolutionary past meets futuristic technology, enabling the blossoming of all manner of sexual tastes, fantasies, and desires. Ogas and Gaddam have mined these new sources of information- arguably the world's largest experiment on human behavior-to produce a fascinating and terrific book on human sexuality, in all its timeless mysteries and ultra-modern manifestations. This well-written, entertaining book is packed with information, ideas, and insights. There is no better way to understanding your desires, your partner's, or anyone else's."
Roy Baumeister, Professor of Psychology, Florida State University

"A brilliant romp through the darkest recesses of our sexual minds, based on the unwitting confessions of millions of anonymous Internet users."
Simon LeVay, author of The Sexual Brain and Gay, Straight and the Reason Why

"Ogas & Gaddam mine the power of Internet for expressions of male and female mating psychology that are unfiltered by social expectations. In the process, they unearth A Billion Wicked Thoughts, many of which depart radically from our standard script for human mating psychology. These counter-intuitive insights into the sexual psyche of our species should provide much fodder for discussion among sex researchers."
Paul Vasey, Professor of Behavioral Science, University of Lethbridge

Library Journal
Experts in information technology and neuroscience, Ogas and Gaddam present research on Internet porn site usage. Not for prudes or children, the book identifies websites presenting a great variety of sexual practices—tame to violent; hetero-, homo- and bisexual; teen to granny. The approach is based on evolutionary psychology: males want to spread their genes, hence are easily and diversely aroused; females seek partners who will protect them and their offspring over time. The findings show that men prefer pictures, and women generally read stories. More surprising conclusions come from the authors' analysis of sites on cuckolds, gay, interracial, and granny porn (older women/younger men). The authors assume—unjustifiably—that the brain is a computer, the mind is software, and that evolutionary psychology is the key to understanding relationships. VERDICT While the numbers are large, porn site users are an unrepresentative sample, hence generalizations must be qualified. Sex educators and therapists will find much of interest here—as in the early 20th-century pioneering work of Havelock Ellis.—E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC
Kirkus Reviews

An in-depth look at the variety of forms in which human sexual desire manifests, based on an analysis of 500 million people and their anonymous—thus, likely truthful—online revelations.

Every day, millions of people voluntarilyreveal intimate details about their sexual preferences online through search queries, adult websites, classified ads, stories and videos. During the course of their research into the nature of human sexual desire, neuroscientists Ogas and Gaddam analyzed half a billion of these and, combined with the latest findings in conceptual neuroscience, discovered that the data yielded some unexpected information about sexual preference. Some quirkier examples include the Japanese fascination with a woman's "absolute territory" (the space of exposed skin between the bottom of a skirt and the top of knee-high stockings); the fact that fantasies of older women are very popular among straight men; and that paranormal erotic literature isincreasingly popular among women.Also intriguing is the authors' analysis of the relatively small divergence of sexual preference between straight and gay men (excepting the obvious masculine/feminine aspects) and the surprising discovery about which faction is most curious about transsexuals.More expected results also abound: Men are aroused visually, whereas women prefer to have their imaginations stimulated; men desire sex, and woman desire the feeling of being desired; men have a direct mind-body connection when it comes to arousal, and women experience a more complex series of thoughts and emotions, often displaying an intellectual distaste for stimuli that might simultaneously excite them physically. Perhaps partly as a result of this, there exists no pharmaceutical equivalent of Viagra for women. From cartoon porn to foot fetishes, the authors write with enthusiasm and in engaging detail, often incorporating the neuroscientific basis for results, yet retaining an accessible vernacular throughout that references pop culture as often as thelaboratory.

An enjoyable, exhaustive and often insightfullook at what turns us on—sure to excite readers.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525952091
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/05/2011
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.08(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.32(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"In a stroke of ingenuity, Ogas and Gaddam circumvent the deepest limitation of standard psychological surveys: that they merely tap undergraduates' socially acceptable responses, a flaw nowhere more damaging than in the touchy realm of sexuality. A Billion Wicked Thoughts is a goldmine of information about this hugely important topic, and, not surprisingly, gripping and sometimes disturbing reading."
-Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate

"A refreshing look at the big picture of human sexuality, informed by the ultimate unobtrusive source of data, the internet... Regardless of your background, you're in for a treat... If you want answers to pretty much anything about sexual desire, this is the book for you."
-From the Foreword by Catherine Salmon, coauthor of Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fantasies, Evolution and Female Sexuality and author of The Secret Life of Middle Children

"This is an amazing book. For the first time ever, Ogas and Gaddam skillfully tie together the latest findings from neuroscience, evolutionary biology, social psychology, and millions of internet users. Everything you always wanted to know about your desires in the bedroom."
-Daniel J. Levitin, bestselling author of This Is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs

"Every invention in communication technology--the printing press, photography, motion pictures, videotape, the Internet--was quickly co- opted to produce and disseminate erotica. Just as the microscope and the telescope illuminated for the first time the very small and the very large, A Billion Wicked Thoughts uses the power of the Internet to illuminate with unprecedented wattage human male and female desires. Ogas and Gaddam analyzed a mountain of Internet data to produce a breakthrough in the study of human sexuality."
-Donald Symons, Professor Emeritus, University of California Santa Barbara, author of The Evolution of Human Sexuality

"A Billion Wicked Thoughts provides a brilliant, thoroughly researched, and totally engaging analysis of human sexuality using vast and original analyses of the Internet. It furnishes an x-ray of male and female sexual minds and explains why they differ so profoundly. The insights it yields are often surprising, sometimes shocking, and never boring. I couldn't put the book down."
-David M. Buss, author of Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind and The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating

"On the Internet, the evolutionary past meets futuristic technology, enabling the blossoming of all manner of sexual tastes, fantasies, and desires. Ogas and Gaddam have mined these new sources of information- arguably the world's largest experiment on human behavior--to produce a fascinating and terrific book on human sexuality, in all its timeless mysteries and ultra-modern manifestations. This well-written, entertaining book is packed with information, ideas, and insights. There is no better way to understanding your desires, your partner's, or anyone else's."
-Roy Baumeister, Professor of Psychology, Florida State University

"A brilliant romp through the darkest recesses of our sexual minds, based on the unwitting confessions of millions of anonymous Internet users."
-Simon LeVay, author of The Sexual Brain and Gay, Straight and the Reason Why

"Ogas & Gaddam mine the power of Internet for expressions of male and female mating psychology that are unfiltered by social expectations. In the process, they unearth A Billion Wicked Thoughts, many of which depart radically from our standard script for human mating psychology. These counter-intuitive insights into the sexual psyche of our species should provide much fodder for discussion among sex researchers."
-Paul Vasey, Professor of Behavioral Science, University of Lethbridge
 

Read More

Meet the Author

Ogi Ogas studies computational models of memory, learning, and vision. He was a Department of Homeland Security Fellow.

Sai Gaddam studies large-scale data analysis and serves as a data mining consultant in India. They both received their Ph.D.s in computational neuroscience from Boston University.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Billion Wicked Thoughts 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very insightful. Glad to have a look into where so many human actions stem from. Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How can geeks write so well? I laughed while I learned a lot. Bought a copy for my daughter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago