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The Naked Brain

The brain is the largest sex organ and a testament to the mind/body connection.

“Sex is the biggest nothing of all time.” —Andy Warhol

For the longest time I have advocated the idea that the brain is the largest sex organ. I’m thrilled that the most recent special collector’s edition of of Scientific American has enough data to prove this correct. As someone who was raised with European sensibilities (where I was allowed to watch sex on television, but not fighting) during the 1960s era of free love, I could not agree more!

My most recent poetry collection, Lust, was not only about the lust for life (which was how I signed my books), but also acknowledged that we’re all about the mind/body connection. And, in the aforementioned issue of Scientific American, an article titled “Lust for Life” said that brain imaging shows that there’s definitely a connection between love and lust. Lust is grounded in more concrete sensations of the moment, whereas love is more of an abstract gloss.

While organized religion has often considered lust to be a sinful desire, most scientific and spiritual realms do not view it as a concept that should be denied or suppressed. More and more studies show the importance of the brain in sexual attraction. Visual stimuli for both men and women are important during sex. Another crucial element is the ability to let go of inhibitions. In other words, when engaging in sexual activity, “just let it rip.”

One distinction between the sexual preferences of men and women is that males are more inclined to be interested in visual erotica, evidenced by the growth in the pornography market, while females tend to be more inspired by cognition and emotional connections with their partners—thus backing up my assertion that the brain is the largest sex organ.

From a literary standpoint, we all know that “sex sells.” If a cover of a magazine has anything to do with sex or intimacy, chances are it will fly off the rack. In her book Note to Self, Samara O’Shea devotes an entire chapter to “Intimate Details.” Even though the book is about journaling, she says that if we find someone else’s journal, chances are it’s the sexy, private sections that we’re combing its contents for. That is, what attracts one person to another, and what transpires during the sex act? She claims that sex and intimacy are considered both private and public, and they permeate the media and sell products. We’re all trying to figure out others’ sexual proclivities, fantasies, beliefs, and apprehensions, but at the same time, we may be reluctant to share our own.

If you agree that the brain is the largest sex organ, it might be a good idea to write down what is going on in your brain when you’re thinking about sex, what you’re thinking about before sex, and what you’re thinking about after sex. Stream-of-consciousness writing, or writing without lifting your pen off the page, is a good way to begin. When reflecting upon your sex life, try to write about what makes you happy, what turns you on, and what your fears and inhibitions are. Consider writing about the origins of these feelings.

Here are some ideas to get you started as you write down your most intimate thoughts:

  • Think about the first time you had sex, and reflect on those feelings.
  • How are those emotions similar to your thoughts today about sex?
  • How do you feel about your body?
  • When are you most turned on?
  • When are you least turned on?
  • Write down one of your sexual fantasies.
  • What is it about another person’s way of being that turns you on?


O'Shea, S. (2008). Note to Self: On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits. New York, NY: William Morrow.

Scientific American: Special Collection Explores the Sexual Brain. March 1, 2016

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