The sexual distractions of cheese crumbs

Another fantastic quote from Bonk, a book about sex research by science writer Mary Roach, this time about the effects of distraction on female sexual arousal (from p251):

A thousand images can play on a woman’s mind: work, kids, problems with Ultrasuede. One nonpharmaceutical solution is to teach women to redirect their focus and pay more attention to physical sensations – a practice called mindfulness.

A pilot study – meaning it’s a preliminary investigation with no control group – by Lori Brotto and two colleagues at the University of British Colombia had promising results. Eighteen women with complaints about their ability to become aroused participated in mindfulness training. Afterward, there was a significant jump in their ratings of how aroused they’d been feeling during sexual encounters.

If it’s any solace, even female rats have trouble focusing. I give you a sentence, my favourite sentence in the entire oeuvre of Alfred Kinsey, from Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female: “Cheese crumbs spread in front of a copulating pair of rats may distract the female, but not the male”.

Full disclosure: I was sent a free copy of the book by the publishers about six months ago but I’ve only just got round to reading it.

Link to Mary Roach’s website.
Link to previous Mind Hacks review of Bonk.

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