Dirty Minds

Philosophers, theologians, artists, and boy bands have waxed poetic about the nature of love for centuries. But what does the brain have to say about the way we carry our hearts? In the wake of a divorce, science writer and single mother Kayt Sukel made herself a guinea pig in the labs of some unusual love experts to find out.

In each chapter of this edgy romp through the romantic brain, Sukel looks at a different aspect of love above the belt. What in your brain makes you love someone—or simply lust after them? (And is there really a difference?) Why do good girls like bad boys? Is monogamy practical? How thin is that line between love and hate? Do mothers have a stronger bond with their children than their fathers do? How do our childhood experiences affect our emotional control? Should you be taking an oxytocin supplement to improve your luck in love? Who is most at risk for love addiction? In her search for truth, Sukel also has an fMRI during orgasm, ponders a cure for heartbreak, and samples a pheromone spray called Boarmate.

As science allows us a more focused examination on the intricate dance between the brain and our environments, we can use it to shed new light on humanity’s oldest question: What is love and why does it torture, delight, and transform us so?

Fiercely honest and wonderfully funny, Sukel can offer no simple solutions for the curveballs love throws our way. But after reading this gimlet-eyed look at love, sex, and the brain, you’ll never look at romance the same way again.

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