Being A Cat Lover Makes You More Into Kinky Sex, Says Science

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Buzz, Sex

Just another perk of owning a cat.

Your cat’s litter box could hold more than one unpleasant surprise — it could hold the key to changing your sexual fetish preferences alongside the clumps of dinners past.

That’s right: according to a study in Evolutionary Psychology, owning a cat could actually lead to your increased desire to participate in sadomasochism or bondage kinks.

Indoor cats have it made: They get fed on demand, they get attention when they want, we buy them toys to keep them occupied, and don’t mind the occasional scratch or litter on our keyboards when they decide the laptop is their new bed.

Owning a cat in and of itself can seem a pretty masochistic choice, since what you put up with often doesn’t equal what they’re willing to give back. And, to top it all off, your kitty poops in a box and you clean it up, sometimes several times a day.

Ask anyone: this is pretty much the worst part of owning a cat because fecal matter is gross. But cat poop has some unique dangers that can directly affect your drive for kinky sex.

So just how can such a cute animal alter your sexual preferences to go from regular old missionary style to BDSM? Through something rather microscopic and seemingly insignificant, it would seem.

Cats are unique in that their bodies are the perfect breeding grounds for a little creature named Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that infects rats and mice and tricks their brains into loving the scent of cat urine so that they’ll go where the cats are, get eaten, and new parasite babies can be born. Yes, it actually takes the fear-driven part of a rodent's brain and erases its natural inclination to be afraid of cats. Permanently. 

They will seek out the thing that can hurt them most like they're innocent little kids walking in the bad part of town at night. Toxoplasma gondii is pretty brutal, but that doesn’t really explain how it changes a person’s desire to engage in fetishism. Well, the answer is kind of similar, actually.

Toxoplasma gondii is designed to get into rodents so that it can reproduce, but since people handle cat poop so often, it sometimes gets into us instead and causes a bit of chaos in our bodies. In an infected human, it can cause excessive ragemental illness, and apparently, it can “increase a person’s proclivity for bondage, sadomasochism, and other unusual sexual scenarios.”

The study consisted of researchers collecting data from over 36,000 people in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Over 700 of which were infected with the parasite. The results suggested that those who were infected with Toxoplasma gondii “expressed higher attraction to bondage, violence, zoophilia, fetishism, and, in men, also to masochism, and raping and being raped.”

This connection, according to the study’s co-author Jaroslav Flegr, does not mean that the parasite is responsible for sadomasochism altogether. He did say that the parasite “succeeds in using the fact that sex-related stimuli and fear-related stimuli affect very similar circuits in the brain.” Which means that the parasite may be using your brain’s natural response to scary things (like it does in the rat) and linking it to scary or thrilling sex acts, driving infected people to seek out these “dangerous” fetishes.

It's essentially trying to steer your non-rat brain to the dangerous cat for dinner time. But the joke's on you, Toxoplasma gondii: cats still need us to groom them, clean up their poop, and serve as their amusing jesters.  

So if you’ve ever owned a cat and found yourself getting excited by the prospect of bondage, BDSM, or unusual kinky sex, then bad news: you may have a parasite. There is good news, though! You've already got a collar lying around the house... I'm sure the cat will understand if you want to borrow it.

 

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