The Devil and the Deep by Julie Ann Walker (and a bit of sex science)

I love how sometimes life throws a curve-ball at you and you’re just sitting in your car grinning like an idiot while listening an audiobook about a woman’s sensual lips and an “engorged shaft”. I’ve never read anything by Julie Ann Walker before and I had no idea what the book I picked up was about. I was going in blind.
Sometimes I get lucky and I pick up a book that surprises me and I get a new favourite author like it happened with The Woman Before Me * Ruth Dugdall – Book Review but sometimes you get one that’s more in the Fifty Shades variety of written porn for the bored hausfrau.

The story that surrounds the bulk of the porn is centered around retired sexy Navy Seals who work in Deep Six Salvage as treasure hunters.  Bran Pallidino is the hunk of the story, with bulging muscles and attentive lovemaking and Maddy Powers is the trembling heroine.

Maddy Powers’s is a socialite, her life revolving around cocktail parties, political fundraisers, and charity events. She’s mouse-like, with green eyes and tortoise shell glasses and a penchant for romance. She can’t forget the daring former SEAL who appropriated her father’s yacht a few months ago … or the scorching kiss they shared before he disappeared into the deep blue sea.

I was cackling like a madwoman at the clichees that kept on pouring (in audio format) in my daily commute to work.  I love lists so here’s one:

  • Maddy is small and petite and needs rescuing from big bad boys
  • Bran will save her and become her hero
  • Maddy is inexperienced in the ways of love making as she was mostly teased during school for her lack of breasts
  • Maddy is strongly attracted to the taller Navy Seal with the body of an Adonis
  • Romance in constrained quarters (all of this happens on a ship with not a lot of options for Bran)
  • Maddy spends a lot of time trying to find a reason to pull Bran into her bed and goes and boldly asks him to be her lover as there’s no-one else on the ship
  • Bran agrees half-heatedly to become her toy-boy with no strings attached
  • Maddy falls in love with her sexual partner
  • Bran decides to share intimate details of his past during pillow talk and confuses the oxytocin released from post-coital state with love
  •  Maddy gushes with love for Bran and the sex intensifies
  • Bran decides that this woman who wasn’t initially his type is actually everything he ever wanted (every freaking romance book ends up with the guy thrown off his feet by the amazing heroine)
  • Maddy is so common that any woman reading this book could easily identify herself as her and imagine the rest of the book in the arms of Bran!

All in all, the book falls under erotica fiction and the background story does not have much of a point. The characters are bland and easily forgettable but one redeeming point for the book is how much it made me laugh. It’s not a funny book but the scenes are laughable. The sex is way better than the shitty 50 shades but the sexual tension is just not there. It’s just two people hooking up and you can’t see them lasting together a lot more after they’ve gone back to land. I thoroughly recommend a bit of an older book called VOX – Nicholson Baker if you want to read about sexual tension without any of the explicit intercourse.

A bit of science

Pituitary-Gland .jpg

A key hormone released during sex is oxytocin, also known as the ‘cuddle hormone’.  It’s naturally released by touching, hugging, labour, lactation, high temperature, self-hugging, fetal positions, etc. Although oxytocin takes longer than dopamine to be released, its effect is safer, deeper, and long-enduring. It freely increases without going through the addictive cycle of dopamine’s highs-and-lows; and it even keeps dopamine from wearing off.

Because it’s secreted in high amounts during sex, it speeds up attachment to the partner we have sex with more often than others; it strengthens the bond with whomever we make love with (whether he/she is worth our love or not). It stimulates the brain to later remember the smell, voice, eye-color … of our partner, and bond us to them. Nature did this so that a male who sleeps more frequently with one female than others, becomes attached to her, and the female attached to him, preparing them both for the years-long child-raising process.

However, the problem is that the body can’t distinguish whether the person we’re with is a casual fling or marriage material — oxytocin is released either way. So while it might help you bond with the love of your life, it’s also the reason you may feel so miserable when a short-term relationship ends.


Men, on the other hand, instead of getting a surge of bonding hormone receive a surge of simple pleasure.

‘The problem is that when a man has an orgasm, the main hormone released is dopamine — the pleasure hormone. And this surge can be addictive,’ says Dr Ghosh.

That’s why so many more men tend to suffer from sex addiction.

‘It appears that the more active the neurons, the more oxygen they withdraw from the blood — so more oxygenated blood is supplied to the region, delivering a fresh supply of nutrients.’

But as well as boosting brain cells, sex could also sharpen a woman’s mind, says Dr Ghosh. That’s due to a surge in sex hormones, particularly testosterone, which can help improve concentration and reaction times. 

Dopamine & Infidelity millennia of evolution, mating and reproduction were a survival priority requiring much effort, competition and fights; thus a reward from Mother Nature was essential for motivation. The “reward center” is the part of the brain dopamine activates when a goal is achieved. The propagation of genes required having many different partners; so an exhausted male who has just had sex with a female, will not mind mating again with any number of females, provided they are all new. A NEW “HARD-TO-GET” PARTNER IS ALWAYS SEXY, because it makes body dopamine surge high, going on that highs-and-lows roller-coaster again and again. First-sight love is a pure dopaminergic urge, that may/may not develop into mature love.

Any claim that humans are naturally monogamous is nonsense. It takes some effort to be loyal. (We’ll see later how it’s worth that effort, thanks to the benefits and pleasures gained from another sex hormone: oxytocin, the hormone that increases with long-term relationships.) Following nature doesn’t necessarily make us happy. Nature cares only about reproduction and the propagation of genes. She is not that all-caring mother who loves to see her children happy. Broken hearts, divorces, abandoned children, jealousy, crimes of passion, Aids, STD’s, unwanted pregnancy, disfigured babies, and overpopulation are of no interest to Mother Nature. Civilization itself is not natural; it is for humans to make their own happiness.

When a lucky rat gets to be with a very big number of new females, he will mate with each one of them until he dies. Is this happiness? Some species of insects even pay their life for the “sole” affair they have. Generally, male mammals live shorter than females because of their blind lethal fights, mostly over females and food. We are genetically programmed to reproduce—not to be happy.

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