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A lovemap is a concept originated by John Money to assist a discussion of why people like what they like sexuoerotically. According to Money, it is "a developmental representation or template in the mind and in the brain depicting the idealized lover and the idealized program of sexuoerotic activity projected in imagery or actually engaged in with that lover."[1]

A lovemap can be shaped by both positive and negative factors, things that attract or repel the person whose erotic tastes are being mapped. For reasons that are not always easy to understand, one person may be attracted to people of a particular gender, with a particular physical characteristic, with particular personality traits, and so forth. One may also find certain characteristics so threatening or objectionable that it strongly mitigates against an erotic attraction being manifested.

A lovemap can be shaped by environmental factors that facilitate the formation of an erotic bond, or that enhance or diminish erotic response. For instance, some people may bond strongly to people with whom they share a crisis situation. Some people may find their erotic responses muted in the presence of intimidating environmental factors (observant elders or nosy neighbors, for instance).

Origin[edit | edit source]

According to Money, the word lovemap was first used in 1980 in an article entitled: “Pairbonding and Limerence. Before this time, as he states, Money began to talk about lovemaps, in precursory form, with his students in lectures. The seed for this concept can be found in his 1980 book "Love and Lovesickness: the Science of Sex, Gender Difference and Pairbonding”, where on page 65 he states:

“There is a rather sophisticated riddle about what a boyfriend (or girlfriend) and a Rorschach inkblot have in common. The answer is that you project an image of your own onto each. In many instance, a person does not fall in love with a partner, per se, but with a partner as a Rorschach love-blot. That is to say, the person projects onto the partner an idealized and highly idiosyncratic image that diverges from the image of that partner as perceived by other people. Hence the popular idiom that love is blind, for a lover projects onto a partner, or love-blot, his/her unique love image, as unique as his/her own face or finger print.”

Overview[edit | edit source]

Like the acquirement of a native language, a person’s lovemap also bears the mark of his or her own unique individuality, or accent. A lovemap is usually quite specific as to details of the physiognomy, build, race, and color of the ideal lover, not to mention temperament, manner, etc. Since its inception, the concept of “love maps”, applied to interpersonal relationships, has found apt acceptance and is frequently referenced in love / relationship / sexual-evolution theory books; as for example in Wilson and McLaughlin’s 2001 The Science of Love.[2]

Variations[edit | edit source]

  • Heterosexual lovemaps – love mappings associative to the average or typical sexual relationships.
  • Vandalized lovemaps – is when the love mapping process or neurological template development stage becomes traumatized, as in for example being exposed at a young age, typically five to eight, to the sights, sounds and tortures of paraphilic sadist or masochist parents; or as in being led into a pedophilic relationship; or as being involved in an incestuous relationship.
  • Paraphilic lovemaps – when lust is attached to fantasies and practices that are socially forbidden, disapproved, ridiculed, or penalized; sometimes as a result of birth deformity (micropenis), chromosomal abnormality (45, X/46, XY), or as in accelerated growth (premature puberty).
  • Native lovemap - by analogy with native language, is a lovemap that is assimilated as one's own personal, inalienable possession, regardless of how many of its attributes are shared, or not shared by others.
  • Klismaphilic lovemap – specifies both in fantasy and performance that the person’s sexuoeroticism will be aroused, and orgasm achieved, only if the partner participates in a scenario of administering an enema.
  • Acrotomophilic lovemap – specifies a paraphilia of the stigmatic/eligibilic type in which sexuoerotic arousal and facilitation of attainment of orgasm are responsive to, and dependent upon a partner who is an amputee, or in extreme cases a thalidomide baby who has reached adulthood.
  • Zoophilic lovemap – specifies a paraphilia of the stigmatic/eligibilic type in which sexuoerotic arousal and facilitation of attainment of orgasm are responsive to, and dependent upon engaging in cross-species sexual activities, that is, with an animal.[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Money, John (1986). Love Maps - Clinical Concepts of Sexual/Erotic Health and Pathology, Paraphilia, and Gender Transpostition in Childhood, Adolescence, and Maturity, New York: Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-8290-1589-2.
  2. Wilson, G.D. & McLaughlin, C. (2001). The Science of Love, Great Britain: Fusion Press. ISBN 1-901250-54-7.
  3. When zoophilia is both relational and not clinically paraphilic, a psychological term which implies distress, it has been considered by some specialists as a sexual orientation, see Sexual orientation#Extensions of the term.

External links[edit | edit source]

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