Abstract Details

Sex in the Time of Plague: Awakening Melatonin Into the Entourage  Thomas Ray (Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma )   C17

Knowledge of chemical reaction mechanisms makes possible the design and synthesis of a large diversity of chemical compounds. Knowledge of human mental mechanisms of consciousness makes possible the design and creation of diverse mental states. This is nicely illustrated by the case of melatonin. We think of melatonin as inducing sleep, but it is much more than that. Melatonin mediates a nocturnal mind that evolved before the advent of artificial light. The nocturnal mind emerges with darkening and the setting sun. It is a time when we return home from the day's activities, and gather in our shelters, with other members of our group. Before artificial lighting, sleep was segmented, and included at least one prolonged period of wakefulness during the night. This night life occurred in the context of the melatonin nocturnal mind. The plague has created a situation in which we are gathered in our shelters with other members of our group, for unnaturally prolonged periods of time. The nocturnal mind is adapted to the shelter-at-home phase of our diurnal cycle, and may provide relief for people trapped at home. When melatonin is awakened fully into consciousness through primer/probe mechanisms, it produces a heart opening, a state that is experienced as gentle, peaceful, safe, comfortable, sweet, and humorous. It is believed that in the era before artificial light, most sex took place in the dark, and thus would have been mediated by the melatonin nocturnal mind. It should not be surprising then to find that melatonin reports suggest that it may be the best sex ever. It has been reported to make sex less goal oriented and more playful, and in some cases has been aphrodisiac. It can freshen sex in a long relationship. The ability to design and create diverse mental states can become a tool for self-knowledge. Envision a near future in which upon coming of age, you are offered the opportunity to embark on a journey of self-discovery. This consists in the awakening of mental organs one-by-one, in various combinations, and at various depths of consciousness (awakened CB1, full bloom 5-HT2, transcendent 5-HT7; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxrAUIIbkeM).