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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on Sensual Experience - Less Wrong

13 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 December 2008 12:56AM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 December 2008 09:11:02PM 9 points [-]

I was wondering who would be the first to say that. That's why I specifically talked about the signal sent out from the sex organs and contrasted it to the signal from the tongue.

Yes, if you count the whole sexual experience, it can be more complicated. But the sad fact of the matter is that Cosmopolitan has to offer 73 different bits of sex advice every month, and long-term couples have to go to such lengths to prevent sexual boredom, just because creating sexual variety is so much more difficult than sprinkling cinnamon on an apple. If our taste buds were as complexity-impoverished as our sex organs, restaurants would also have to drip hot wax on your tongue just to keep you interested.

Comment author: diegocaleiro 22 November 2010 02:00:55PM 4 points [-]

Eliezer is wrong about sexual boredom here.

It is not that couples get bored with their sexual activities because there is no variety in terms of positions, speeds, gadgets etc.....

People obviously get bored when they are long term couples because evolution has created us so that we change partners somewhat often. (Buss 2004)

The very same sex position, with the same general movements feels fantastically better when partner varies than any position would by keeping the same partner for very long.

Our minds are tuned to enjoy most something near serial monogamy with betrayal.

With all this, my point is that the complexity of an action is not what determines the size of the fun space for it. A point I think I share with David Pearce, for instance.

Comment author: diegocaleiro 22 November 2010 02:12:05PM 1 point [-]

Let me be clear about sex.

I don't think our minds were engineered to have fun with a tessarect or a rubik's cube because it is complex. I think the amount of fun we have is proportional to the likelihood that an analogous problem would get us higher up in the status hierarchy in the savannah, say, a problem about how to hunt something.

This is backed up by experiments in which we find it easier and funnier to detect cheaters drinking while underage, as opposed to problems which are exactly as complex, but use only abstract symbols. (Tooby and Cosmides, 19XX)

So the fun triggers in my brain do not care if my sex life is complex, varied, subtle, within a specific human pair. My happiness is proportional (since I am a male) to how many girls, times 1/2 their social status, times 1/2 how much they love me, and so on and so forth.

Thus I'm prone to believe that fun space is, to a great extend, independent of complexity space, which is awesome news, because it would take less bits to have the same amount of fun.

Comment author: [deleted] 31 October 2015 12:55:03PM *  -2 points [-]

And there's endless variation. An enthusiast might look up their favourite sex position on Wikipedia and try out different variations for the most fun for them and whoever decides to be their partner!

One needs not have gadgets, it could be as sample as making use of ones environment or repurposing 'tech'