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December 08, 2008


Summer Lashley

How can I get more information about this conference? I work in Student Life at a University and would love to attend this conference.


Hi Summer,
The Anscombe Society:http://www.princeton.edu/~anscombe/

and the Love and Fidelity Network:


Summer, the conference already happened.

Details here:

Hopefully they'll post videos soon.


I found your article very interesting, especially the plasticity idea is intriguing. I do not see to much evidence of men making much effort to control or mold their desires. It would be interesting to hear a male perspecive on this. Were there many men at the conference and what's their reaction?


Hi Eve,
That's a good question. I'd say the conference was half male, half female. Unfortunately I can't offer you a male perspective. If I'd have to guess by attendance, I'd say plasticity is a possible for both sexes.

Marnia Robinson

Casual sex has hidden costs, but oxytocin is not the enemy. Oxytocin is what makes love, friendship, love of God, and even affection for pets possible. It also increases plasticity in the brain, which may actually helps us forget former romantic attachments and accommodate to new ones. (See psychiatrist Norman Doidge's book, "The Brain that Changes Itself.")

We need not fear nurturing or healthy affection with the opposite sex. Both are nourishing. The danger is in not understanding how sex itself affects the brain. In this regard, this article might be interesting: http://www.reuniting.info/science/sex_in_the_brain

Obsessing about a partner is painful, but it is partly a function of being a pair-bonding mammal. We humans are molded to find the loss of a mate painful. The more centered and balanced we are in the rest of our lives, the better we can cope.

Love is not dangerous. And marriage will not necessarily protect us against the workings of our biological mating program, which actually urges us to fall in love madly, and then habituate to a partner and long (often) for a new one. There's a very ancient solution to this problem, but it calls for a different way to manage sex itself.

Rofigo de la Mancha

Thank you, Marnia, for phrasing so much better than me what I feel myself.

Oxytocin is not the enemy. It is the reason we seek love in the first place. It is that beautiful "morning after" feeling between two lovers, after a night of steamy passion. For me, it is that hug where I don't want to let go, and worry that she wants to stop... but find that she doesn't want to let go either. It felt like we just stood there, locked in affection, for what seemed like 15 straight minutes (which long in "real-time" romance).

I'm not with her anymore, but I won't forget what that feels like. And it's moments like that, that fuel my efforts to seek out and welcome romance, not hide from it. Am I picky/cautious about who I give such moments to? Yes. But it's quite okay to let them happen with the right person.

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