Nautilus

How Sex Is Like Your Thermostat

The systematic study of sexual feedback is woefully thin. This blind spot is unwarranted considering how common sexual problems are, and those problems can often be traced back to flawed feedback loops.Photograph by starmanseries / Flickr

Have you ever stopped to consider how sex is like a thermostat? Sex may not sit in a beige box on your wall (or it might, no judging) but there are some striking similarities. The common ingredient is feedback.

Both sex and your thermostat depend on feedback loops. They work like this: 1) An action produces a result. 2) Information about the result then influences the subsequent action. 3) Repeat. Your thermostat, for example, measures the air temperature, then turns on or cuts off when it crosses the set point. Action of the heater or air conditioner

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