Ogas and Gaddam: We focus on a very narrow and specific component of sexuality: the triggers of sexual arousal. Human sexuality is incredibly complicated, with social, cultural, contextual, and physical components. Rather than trying to explain all of sexuality, we tried to identify the sexual cues that activate arousal in men and women's brains. The Internet is the perfect laboratory to study this, since digital erotic content (i.e., movies and stories) can be broken down into their constituent stimuli. We would argue that the desires we explore in secrecy are absolutely reflections of part of our true sexual nature; but they aren't the whole story. The Internet is not an artificial environment: people use online content for authentic sexual purposes, including spontaneous masturbation.
O&G: So the male fascination with large penises is probably inherited from our primate cousins. Though we aren't aware of any animal studies that actually looked at how primates specifically react to large penises, males of many primate species use the penis as part of their dominance display. Often, the erect or unsheathed penis is used to signal dominance; these penises appear larger than usual, so it seems reasonable to speculate that human males still respond to larger penises the way our primate cousins do.
O&G: This is an excellent question, but one with a very important and illuminating answer: men and women's brains are designed to respond to different cues. The male brain responds to visual cues, the female brain responds to psychological cues. So when we experience cues designed for the other sex, it doesn't feel like sex to us. The female brain processes visual porn completely differently than the male brain does, and women often react with fear, discomfort, or self-righteousness because it doesn't match the way they experience sexuality. In fact, women attribute psychological and social "messages" to porn that their female brains "read" but that male brains don't experience at all. In contrast, male brains process women's erotic stories completely differently than the female brain does, and consequently men often find female erotica dull and uninteresting, because it doesn't trigger arousal in their brains. When it comes to sexual arousal, men and women stare at each other across a chasm!
O&G: Another excellent question that once again points to the fundamental differences between male and female sexual cues. We each imagine that the other sex is responding to the same cues that we respond to. Men are wired to respond to large penises and unconsciously presume that women do, too. Women are wired to respond to sociocultural messages *from other women* and unconsciously presume that men do, too, and thus tend to place greater attention on the models on women's magazines than the actresses in men's porn. We even encountered this among gay men: several gay men told us that they're convinced that straight men all secretly want to have gay sex, they're just repressing this urge because of social pressures; these gay men unconsciously presume that straight men share the exact same cues they do. When it comes to sexuality, we're all somewhat self-centered!
O&G: We're actually very interested in learning more about what congenitally blind and deaf men find arousing. Unfortunately, we have very limited data. From our very small sample size, it appears that congenitally blind men are attracted to the same anatomical features that non-blind men like (i.e., breasts, butts, curves, sexy voices), though we really need to know more. We'd predict that a man who became blind after imprinting would continue to be aroused by the same visual features that he imprinted upon—either by imagining the features "in his mind's eye" or by seeking out physical contact with the same features.
O&G: Though we didn't have any specific interest in providing market research to the adult industry, several professionals in the industry have told us how valuable the data in our book has been to them. Stephen Yagielowicz, the senior editor of the adult industry journal XBIZ, called our book "a must reader for marketers." The National Association for the Advancement of Science and Art in Sexuality (naasas.com), an adult industry educational organization, has made our book a required text in their academy.