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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

CARRY ON



It is no secret that the purpose of reproduction is the propagation of the species. A fringe benefit is that f##%ing also happens to feel hella good. That is, until the novelty fades. I thought it was me. But I recently learned the phenomenon of let us say "falling out of love" is seen species wide. Indeed love of variety spans all of the mammalian kingdom. It even has a fancy name. As biologist Gary Wilson describes on his website yourbrainonporn, the term Coolidge effect describes the tendency of males to "exhibit continuous high sexual performance given the introduction of new receptive partners. Animals tire of intercourse with their present partner and get excited at the prospect of a new sexual partner."

That we are programmed for novelty is in the interest of our species. Have sex with the same mate many times and you are likely to become pregnant (you as in a couple). Any additional sex is redundant in that it won't lead to additional babies in the forthcoming months of gestation. And also somewhat hum-drum. However, present a male with a new partner and his dopamine level, and with it his desire, shoots through the roof, as does the height of the penis, which then, you know, skyrockets. This explains why Internet porn is so enticing to you reproductive-age males. 

The Coolidge effect is also observed in females, which I do not quite get, unless having sex with several males in a given day increases the likelihood that a girl will become pregnant over having sex with the same guy several times. Maybe more excitement means she will be having more sex, which thereby improves the odds of conception. But hey, I'm not a biologist. Nor am I a gambler, though gamblers usually speak of odds.

I do however know two things. One is that when you find yourself expecting a child, you can predict with a good deal of accuracy what type of individual that child will become. In fact, if Vegas booked such a bet, I'd play my hand right now. That is, after planting my seed. I offer in support of this my own personal history. Parents see their personal desires or inclinations manifest in their children. Particularly the father, and even more so if the child is male. Take my father, for instance. He has sired 5 children. Each of us bears in our own predilections the stamp of my father's temperament. Dad is a jack of all trades, master of none type with varied interests who dives into a subject, learns a great deal about it in a short amount of time before growing tired and moving onto something else. 

But some interests are keepers. He's always loved cars. He took shop class in high school and got his first job in college so that he could purchase a cherry set of wheels, is I think the figure of speech. He has a rugged, tough guy persona that joined a gang as a teenager and attended Raiders games when LA still had a football team. This describes my older brother Jason to a T. Jason is rough-hewn, a car lover who follows football and like my father has been married three times. 

Dad is also a lawyer, like my sister Danelle, who followed in his footsteps though she no longer practices law. He went into law when after throwing the first punch in what became an all-out brawl he was thrown in jail and decided he wanted to be on the other side of the bars, wearing a suit. Dimpled and with stick-straight hair and a thin nose, with long legs and a big chest, Danelle also bears the strongest resemblance to our dad.

He was a reckless teen, crashing cars and awkward with the girls. This description suits my younger brother Justin, who we called "Crash Corrigan." If Justin were alive today and you asked what he was doing with his life the answer very well might have been "time." God rest him.

My father was also a businessman who practiced law as a means to the millions of dollars he planned on making in various investment ventures. This never happened. But my younger brother has had success of his own that rivals my father's biggest dreams. Following in his footsteps only wearing bigger shoes, even though George is a few inches shorter than the guy who gave him life.

And of course there is yours truly, who modeled my father's love of running around barefoot, eating healthy (he was a vegetarian before it was a "thing") and reading about metaphysics. My father would have done more philosophizing had he not had so many kids to keep him busy. They say the philosopher dies with the birth of his first child. Because there are more practical matters to attend to. Which explains why I won't have kids and so won't be able to see my potential played out in their lives. But you can tell me about you and yours sometime.

And that's the second thing I know (on this topic). When you use knowledge to transcend will, letting the big brain think rather than the little one, whether to have kids becomes a choice rather than merely slavery to the dictates of your instincts. Because though we are mammals, we are still something more. So use that brain for something more. Learn piano and see if you can play this one by Styx. If you can, you've got me beat. Never throw the first punch. Turn the other cheek. And if you drive fast, be safe.


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