In the final part of the original essay on engineering love, I have mentioned that love is ultimately impossible. I have explained that even the most romantic love becomes, over time, a daily routine, void of excitement.
I would now like to introduce a specific term to define what happens: negative feedback.
I believe that negative feedback is one of the most essential facts of biology, on a level with facts such as evolution and adaptation.
Because of negative feedback, what stimulates initially will, over time, lose its power to stimulate us. At best, we lose sensitivity to the stimulus. A worse case is that what initially stimulates may just become irritating.
Modern medical theories (Vladimir Dilman) even view negative feedback as substantially responsible for the "biological aging" of the human organism. As we age, body tissue typically becomes less sensitive to the messages carried by hormones and prostaglandins. For example, almost all people become, as they age, to a certain extent resistant to insulin (reduced insulin sensitivity) which for many people results in subclinical type II diabetes. We also become less sensitive to hormones that tell us to feel saturated after eating, or which control the conversion of sugar into fat.
Deep in our brains, the hypothalamus depends on feedback from the whole organism in order to stimulate essential hormonal processes. When the hypothalamus partially loses its sensitivity to feedback signals, or when inappropriate feedback signals are received, we usually experience a decline in the production of many hormones that are essential to keep us biologically young: growth hormone, testosterone, dhea, melatonin.
This essay is not about human physiology, and I am in no good position to lecture on endocrinology. But there is a surprising parallelism between biological negative feedback, general psychological negative feedback, and negative feedback in your love life.
And with concern to negative feedback in matters of love, I feel sufficiently experienced to share my thoughts.
If, as a man, you can have every girl you want, you will have to deal with an initially unexpected problem: you won't get much excited about each and any of them. You lose your sensitivity towards sexual stimuli. Sometimes I feel that I would like to wipe out my whole sexual memory. How exciting must it be to see the naked body of a woman for the first time. Or, at least to believe that when one sees it, it's for the first time (because previous times are not remembered).
I have become an adult man in an age of sexual permissiveness. I preached sexual revolution as a young activist, but I have grown to be against overly permissive social orders. Boredom sets in too soon. What is forbidden, is always more exciting. (With respect to some very basic psychological mechanisms, we are all just kids).
To overcome this kind of negative feedback, drugs work to a certain extend. I have written about this in a previous chapter. My favorite is tongkat ali.
But nothing in the world beats jealousy.
People think I'm nuts. But in my own judgment, I'm raisins. Or was "reasons" the correct English word?
So, I don't just want to be an expert on love, but one on jealousy as well. This isn't easy, as jealousy isn't well researched so far. I therefore mainly depend on my own experience.
The ideal setting for me - and a setting that makes me feel many years younger than I am, and gives me an equivalent potency - is something like this: I have a love affair with a beautiful woman. I'd prefer her not to be a virgin... something contemporary males in the countries where I live usually don't understand.
I'd prefer her not to be a virgin, in order that we have something to talk about in bed.
She should be very honest with me. Unfortunately, that's something hard to find among young women in the countries where I live. As I said, I'm not so much in favor of overly permissive societies.
In permissive societies, honesty is easier to find... but it is not accompanied by shame, and therefore much less exciting.
If I have a girlfriend in Germany, and she tells me that she slept with a few dozens of men and asks "why, is there something wrong with this?", I would feel stupid to feel heartsick.
In order for a love affairs to be intense, there has to be a certain degree of irrationality. Jealousy is based on irrationality. If we have a proper understanding of the sexuality of men and women, the potential for us to be hurt because one's wife has slept with another man, is much lower. Theoretically, if we really understand that it was just a bit of fun, and that we are still on a most-loved level, the basis for jealousy would be rationalized away.
Thank biology, I do not yet suffer from such complete rational negative feedback. I am still hurt... deeply hurt by the plain imagination, or suspicion, that for my own primary sexual partner, I am also just only the primary sexual partner, and not the exclusive one. Is it funny that I need this suspicion to get my sexual engine running? But it's not the only factor. I will discuss further details in another installment of this essay.