In Greek mythology, Tiresias was a blind prophet, the most famous soothsayer of ancient Greece. Having angered a goddess, he was transformed into a woman as punishment. Seven years later, Tiresias was able to reverse the curse, and became male once again. Since Tiresias possessed the knowledge of being both a man and woman, he was revered by even the gods.
Today's guest, Professor Ogi Ogas, is one of the first in history to see both male and female's secret sexual desires clearly and to extrapolate scientific explanations for them. The discoveries of Prof. Ogas and his academic partner, Sai Gaddam, came out of their background in cognitive neuroscience, and was bolstered by their brilliant use of the internet's empirical data. This work culminated in their groundbreaking book "A Billion Wicked Thoughts."
While working for years in the porn business, I had an intuitive idea about what men were into, but I never had the science to back it up. Three years ago, I read Ogi's Wall Street Journal article about his ingenious research, and was awed by it. I sent him an email and, to my delight, he wrote me back. We became fast friends.
This is one of my two favorite episodes of the Yoshi Didn't podcast. (The other one? Kimberly Motley.)
Ogi explains why there haven't been many discoveries in the scientific study of sexuality and erotic preference since the work of Alfred Kinsey. Like Kinsey, Ogi and Sai met social resistance in their pursuit of sexual truth. Though Kinsey struggled against the outrage of conservatives, Ogi and Sai had to deal with self-styled liberals and progressive groups who were uncomfortable with certain questions — and especially by results illuminating differences between men and women. The researchers faced the disapproval of their academic advisers, colleagues, friends and family, but bravely persevered despite the risk to their academic careers.
Kinsey's sexual research was mostly conducted via surveys of college students. This method gave him access to only a small, weighted sample of the population (generally young adult WASPs of a certain economic class), and hence had limited scope. Using the internet, Ogi and Sai, were able to vastly improve their data acquisition. Ogi explains how lucky they were to have access to billions of internet searches.
Ogi touches on a wide variety of topics: How and why women are using romance novels and fan fiction to fulfill their sexual desires, the politics of sex research, alpha males, "coconuts," the concept of the ideal mate, why women are attracted to Edward Cullens, the popularity of transsexuals among heterosexual men, how rape fantasy is fulfilled in paranormal romance stories, the four top anatomical searches by males, pedophilia, erotic optical illusions, how feminist orthodoxy can impede sexual fulfillment, why Japanese are great sexual innovators, and more. We also cover Ogi's successful career on TV quiz shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and his titanic battle with Jeopardy master Ken Jennings. We end the talk by discussing his new book (releasing this fall). My friend Alison Schelin also asks some questions and provides a woman's perspective. I thank Ogi for his insightful views, and for reminding us that we can't live in sexual ignorance. Please enjoy the episode!
Lectures by Ogi Ogas and/or Sai Gaddam:
Ogi and Sai on Twitter:
You can purchase the book here:
And here are Ogi and Sai's Psychology Today articles: