Sunday, October 17, 2010

Human beings are not the only animals that appreciate variety. The Coolidge effect ostensibly got its name when President Calvin Coolidge and his wife were touring a farm. The foreman noted the sexual prowess of his prize rooster: "This rooster can have sex all day without stopping," he said. "Really?" said Mrs. Coolidge. "Please tell that to my husband." The president turned to the foreman and asked, "Does the rooster mate with the same chicken each time?" "No," said the foreman, "always with a different chicken." To which the president replied, "Really? Please tell that to my wife." The story is probably apocryphal, but the phenomenon is not: Male mammals who have mated to exhaustion can usually be induced to mate again with a novel female. . . . In fact, even breeding bulls whose sperm is collected by a machine show a greatly reduced time to ejaculation when the machine to which they've become habituated is moved to a novel location.
Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling On Happiness