The Neuroscience of Sexuality and Intimate Relationships

With Mark Olson, Ph.D.

Thursday, August 30, 7pm

At The Center for Sex & Culture, 1349 Mission in San Francisco


In this trek we will be exploring sexuality from a primarily neuroscientific perspective, with topics ranging from not-so-basic sexual anatomy to the neuroanatomy and neurochemistry of intimate experiences such as monogamy, open relationships, swinging, friends with benefits, casual sex, and polyamory. This list of experiences seems unstructured, but we will discuss a possible framework for categorizing these interactions, both monogamous and nonmonogamous, in terms of different combinations of activity in distinct neural circuits.

This act of organizing and categorizing serves not as a dull end in itself but rather as a means for developing a better understanding of what is actually going on within ourselves and thus becoming more capable of communicating effectively about these topics with others.  This discussion also includes the neuroscience of facial and pheromonal attraction, orgasm, interoception, and body maps.  In longer versions of this workshop, we delve info the sexuality of our distant human ancestors and our nearest primate cousins (as discussed in Sex at Dawn) and consider its implications for our relationships in modern society.

Mark Olson, Ph.D. has an M.A. in Education and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, specializing in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuropsychology and Neuroanatomy from the University of Illinois where he taught neuroanatomy and studied memory, attention, pheromones, environmental values, volition, and aesthetic preferences for landscapes. He is also a certified permaculture instructor, a massage and aquatic therapist, an instructor of anatomy and kinesiology for numerous massage and yoga programs throughout the Hawaiian islands, and an active advocate for a bike-friendly, touch-positive culture.

View the flyer at   

On FB:

and on Mark’s website:

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The Center for Sex & Culture, located in San Francisco at 1349 Mission St. between 9th and 10th, strives to promote creativity, information, and healthy sexual knowledge.

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The Center for Sex & Culture is proud to be a recipient of a San Francisco Arts Commission Creative Space Grant, supporting CSC's physical space in three ways: developing our library (particularly shelving); improving our lighting grid, both for library and for our stage area; and supporting disability access to the building and its restroom facilities.


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