A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the Internet Tells Us About Sexual Relationships

Front Cover
Penguin, May 5, 2011 - Psychology - 416 pages
3 Reviews
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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Lousy Research; Clueless About Women's Wiring
I'm shocked by how clueless these researchers were about women's sexuality- they explored the wrong places, like the story of the blind men describing an
elephant after each one touched a separate part: none of them were correct. A little thought would have given them quite a bit of insight for where to look, but instead they approached sexuality from the male perspective. Consider a woman's behavior in bed, and in life, then look where she leads. What is the first thing a woman does? Close her eyes... it heightens sensitivity to audio and touch. Women like singers as a sex symbol more than any other male archetype. Why? She can hear emotion in voices, and watch erotic behavior... yet they didn't recognize that as sexual. Singing is the next closest thing to hearing them in bed... and no one notices- it's just music after all. Men- think I'm making this up? Try voicing a few subtle erotic sounds next time, and see her reaction. Fan fiction sites are the #1 choice for women not because they prefer to read stories (as is assumed), it's because they're fantasizing about celebrities and characters in films that will never be portrayed having sex, and it's the closest thing to it. 

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Lots of work to compile a rather boring book. J.P. Miller. Cambridge, MA

About the author (2011)

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.

Bibliographic information