Every Monday, the CSPH takes a look at a book or film focusing on an aspect of sexuality. This week we are featuring A Billion Wicked Thoughts by Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam.
A Billion Wicked Thoughts, written by Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, is the first book featuring a huge wealth of information about human desire since Alfred Kinsey’s research. The authors are two neuroscientists who strayed off the beaten path of neurology to gather the largest compilation of modern research about human desire, utilizing the best resource for such information: the internet. Tracking web searches from various sites, including anonymous AOL users and the website Dogpile (no longer in use), and searches on the most popular porn sites, pornhub.com and youporn.com, the authors aimed to discover both men’s and women’s most sought after erotic desires.
While the amount of information the two authors found could be compared to the ground-breaking research of Alfred Kinsey, one could argue that this research is more accurate since the authors gathered their information anonymously. Their research discovered such tidbits of information like: men desire overweight women rather than underweight women, women desire to read and write erotica more than outright porn, and men’s sexual desires stay fairly consistent from adolescence into adulthood while women’s desires are more likely to fluctuate.
Overall, the way the information is broken down and presented in the book is very well organized and easy to follow. Additionally, the authors added charts of information to better show the reader their data. For example, one set of charts shows the distinct differences between men’s and women’s interest in topics ranging from favorite porn sites to body parts with the highest search counts. However, they also incorporated some of their data, like the individual searches of anonymous AOL users, into lists to be more palatable for some readers. The writing throughout the book is very witty, featuring many humorous analogies and metaphors, making the reader feel like they are not learning about hard research and statistical analysis. By intertwining current neurological studies with both old and new psychology studies, the authors are able to complement their findings; for instance, they discuss Dr. John Money and how he thought he could mold and control gender, and therefore a person’s desires, even though he ended up being wrong.
Featuring a very laid back and entertaining tone, this book is filled with wit and sexy tidbits of research about human desire. Anyone reading this book will walk away from it learning many new things about sexual desire, and maybe even something new about their own desires, or at least why we desire the things we do. While there are some parts of the book that are pretty dense with research, it is definitely a book worth reading more than once to fully retain at least some of the information that the authors present.