Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Physics of Sex Widget Game

In the tradition of physicists through the ages, I've attempted to make a very simple model of a complex system.

This image is screen shot from a game that simulates some of the feedback issues involved in sex. It's the Physics of Sex equivalent of a spherical cow.

To play the game, you have to stimulate the floating ball with your mouse. If you do it properly, the meter on the left will show your progress. Ultimately the meter will top out and the ball will turn red and throb. I'm not going to tell you exactly how to stimulate the ball. Just like learning about the birds and bees in real life, you'll have to discover some of the details on your own. Also just like real life, it's not that hard to figure out.

If you want to give it a try, click the image to download the Widget file. If you've never installed a Widget before, you'll first have to install the free Yahoo Widget 4 engine. It should work automatically on a Mac.

The game is a bit simple and not too challenging at the lower levels(although I haven't beaten it at Level 12 yet), but it illustrates three things about sex

1. Positive feedback (provided by the level meter) helps you achieve the ultimate goal.

2. Negative feedback is necessary to help you follow the ball and apply the appropriate stimulation at the apprpriate place. That is, when the mouse cursor is too far from the ball you adjust by bringing it back.

3. The simplified orgasms simulated by playing the game, which I claim are similar to the type that men have most of the time and women have at least some of the time, are essentially the result of integrate-and-fire circuits.

The first two points are probably familiar to most folks, but integrate-and-fire circuits are a bit more obscure. Basically, this type of circuit measures some input and when it reaches a trigger point it fires.

Avalanches look a lot like integrate-and-fire circuits - snow builds and builds on a mountain until it's unstable, then the slightest disturbance can send it careening down the slope.

Neurons are often described as leaky integrate-and-fire circuits. That means that the correct input can push the neuron toward firing, but if the stimulation stops the neuron will gradually lose memory of the stimulus and return to its resting state.

Picture it in terms of a leaky balloon. If you blow it up far enough, it will eventually pop. But if you take a break before it blows, the air will slowly escape and the balloon will deflate.

I made my widget leaky too. If you stimulate the ball, the meter will climb, but stop for a while and the meter will slowly drop back to zero.

Another aspect of integrate-and-fire circuits is the fact they often experience a refractory period after firing. During that time, they don't respond to any stimulation at all. If you blow up a leaky balloon until it pops, the refractory period corresponds to the time it takes you to find another balloon. Men are intimately familiar with the refractory period that follows sex, and older men know that it seems to take longer to find their balloons with every passing year.

I added a refractory period to my model as well. If you manage to get the ball to throb, you have to wait a few moments before it's ready for you to start again.

I adapted the game from an even simpler game called Focus developed by Aaron McBride of MIT.

Check out the thousands of other widget in the Yahoo gallery. Lot's of them are as useless as the Physics of Sex widget, but plenty of them are handy and/or cool, and most are made by amateur programmers with an idea and a little free time.


Anonymous said...

Hi... very interested in this article, but I use a mac and was unable to download the widget. Is there a way you could update the link or is there somplace else I could try to download it?

Thanks! Fabulous site!

Buzz Skyline said...

I'm not sure why it didn't work for you. The widget downloads properly on my Windows machine, and I know of at least one Mac user who has managed to get it to download.

I'll be happy to email it to you if you like. Just send me a note asking for it at

I think it will work that way. If it doesn't, I'll try to figure out what's going wrong.

I may try to post the game on the Yahoo Widgets gallery, but they may not let me put it up if it's associated with the Physics of Sex because it's an adult site.

Thanks for the compliment!

All the best,


Anonymous said...

To make this work on the Mac:

1. Download the yahoo widgets app (which is kinda cool, but I wish this all just ran as dashboard apps). Install it.

2. Click the image on this page. You should see the source code of the widget in a new browser window.

3. Selct file -> save as...

4. It will prompt you to save as"PoSGasmGame.widget.txt"

5. Remove the ".txt" extension from the filename before saving.

6. OSX will ask you if you are sure you want to do this. Yes, you are. This will leave the extension as ".widget" rather than as ".txt".

7. You should then be able to go into the yahoo widgets app, and look in the upper end of the widget dock (far left side), and look for the little gear icon with the dropdown. This is the "file" menu. (Why they couldn't just put it along the top like normal people, I dunno). Choose "open widget..."

8. Browse to your desktop, you should see "PoSGasmGame.widget" with its own icon. Select it and you are good to go.

Lotta work for a Mac, but there you go...

Buzz Skyline said...

Wow, thanks for all the OSX instructions!

I really appreciate it.



ivan said...

Got the widget to run, but can't figure it out. The ball turns purple when the mouse is near it, but the meter never changes. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...


The point is : how to orgasm cow under linux ?

Why not to use Google widgets, what are not racist ? ;)

Thanks for fun

AM said...

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Robert said...

Great blog, great information

Robert said...

Great blog, great information

The Fitness Diva said...

Cool blog you've got going here.

Amiya said...

And who thought that sex was only art?

Angel said...

!!!I love this blog!!!

The Adult Sex Toy said...

Interesting widget, I sure hope buzz skyline can get it up on Yahoo Widgets. I'm definitely a full supporter of anything, anything at all that will help make sex and sexuality just a little bit less shunned in public. I'm not saying porn should be on the streets just that we need more openness in society.

Digital Media said...

This is such a wonderful post! Physics definitely plays its role everywhere! With the humor and facts it contains -- definitely entertaining and useful in dirty talks during sex! :P Anyways, I would like to also invite you to check out you might find it interesting and useful.

R2K said...

: )


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Anonymous said...

I am a Mac user too and am unable to download the widget, although its working perfect on my Windows machine. I am a college sophomore with a dual major in Physics and Mathematics @ University of California, Santa Barbara. By the way, i came across these excellent physics flash cards. Its also a great initiative by the FunnelBrain team. Amazing!!!

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