It all started with an ad I saw posted on campus. It read:

“Seeking individuals between the ages of 20-25 to participate in a psychological study on human sexual attraction. Participation will require a commitment of 4-6 hours per week (on-site). Participants must be heterosexual in orientation and willing to abstain from any encounters of a sexual nature outside of the clinical setting during the four week duration of the study. Participants who are selected and successfully complete the full study will receive $10,000 in compensation. Participants who do not successfully complete the study will be compensated only for their actual hours of participation at a rate of $25 per hour.”

I was 23 at the time, a financially-strapped grad student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. I was two months behind in my rent and the student loans kept piling up. My parents were no help. So there was one thing that immediately stood out to me about the ad: $10,000. That was an enormous sum of money for me at the time.

But on second read, the phrase that really captured my imagination was the part about abstaining from sexual encounters outside of the clinical setting. Outside of the clinical setting? Did that mean the study involved sexual encounters within the clinical setting? Was there any other way to read that?

Needless to say, I was intrigued. I didn’t have a girlfriend at the time and didn’t have much time to go looking for one either, so the odds were strong that I’d be “abstaining from sexual encounters” anyway, regardless of whether I participated in the study. So I might as well try to earn $10,000 for my trouble. I ripped off one of the paper tabs from the poster and sent an email to the address printed on it as soon as I got back to my apartment.


When I showed up outside the psychology department a week later, as I’d been instructed to do in the reply email, there were a number of outdoor tables set up and hundreds of students milling about. I checked in at one of the tables and was given a number, as well as a stack of medical forms and other paperwork to fill out. As I took a seat on the building’s front steps to begin filling out the paperwork, I overheard two girls talking.

“…they would have to tell us that ahead of time, right? I mean, I’m not gonna just screw some random guy in the name of science. I don’t care how much they’re paying me.” The one who was talking was very cute, in a girl-next-door sort of way. She had thick, curly brown hair pulled back in simple pony tail. She was dressed in a tight baby blue t-shirt and jeans that showed off her slender figure.

“I don’t think they’re gonna tell us much of anything. This is psychology. They like to fuck with your mind, keep you guessing. You can always walk away, though. That’s your out. But I’ll tell ya, there’s not a lot I would walk away from if it meant losing $10,000.” The other girl was attractive too, but much more done up. She had long straight black hair, wore lots of makeup, and looked and sounded like your typical sorority girl.

“Maybe that’s the point, maybe this is just a way of testing us to see if we’re willing to whore ourselves out if the price is right. It’s like what’s that movie…the one with Robert Redford?”

“Indecent Proposal”

“Yeah that one.”

“Look, Abby, if there’s a guy like Robert Redford in there, I’d do him for ten grand.”

“Yeah, well, that’s because you’re a whore.” The line was delivered so deadpan that, for a moment, I couldn’t tell if it was meant in jest or not. But a moment later, both girls started cracking up. Something about the first one’s mischievous smile, her sarcasm, the way she held herself, even the inflection of her voice, it all suggested a real intelligence and personality. I liked this girl. Her friend had called her Abby. I filed that bit of information away and went back to filling out the forms.

The first few were your typical medical history and disclosure forms, including a signature line seeking authority to collect and review medical records. But then it got more interesting. One document was a lengthy survey that asked detailed questions about my sexual history and preferences. It asked how many people I’d hooked up with, had oral sex with, had sexual intercourse with. It asked whether I’d ever had any homosexual encounters or desires. There were questions about various types of sexual fetishes, some I’d hear of and some I hadn’t. It asked how often I masturbated and what kind of pornography I masturbated to. There were 15 pages of these questions, which I tried to answer as honestly as I could.

Then I got to the waivers. They looked to be mostly boilerplate legalese, but some of the lines were interesting. The document warned that psychological studies sometimes require the withholding of information from or even active deception of the study participants in order to create the conditions necessary for the experiment to be successful. Reassuringly, the document emphasized that study participants may, at any time, choose to withdraw from the study and will not be forced to engage in any conduct, sexual or otherwise, without their consent. In the very next sentence, though, it noted that the university could not be held liable for any “emotional or physical consequences resulting from the voluntary acts, sexual or otherwise, of study participants.”

By the time my number was called, I’d completed and signed every form. I was led into an empty white room that had a video camera in one corner and a one-way mirror on one of the walls. Presumably someone was on the other side watching me, but all I could see was my own reflection. After a few minutes, a woman came into the room. She was strikingly attractive. She looked to be of Indian or possibly Middle Eastern descent, beautiful, with straight, black hair that flowed over her white lab coat. She was maybe 30 years old, no more. When she spoke, it was with a British accent tinged with something else. My guess was she learned English in the UK but it was a second language to her.

“Hello…Jake” she said as she looked for and finally found my name on the form. “I’m Dr. Rupi Kaur. As a part of our screening process, I’m going to ask you some very personal questions. Please answer them completely and honestly. We’re looking for subjects who will be capable of giving us the kind of candid insight that we need for this study to be successful.”

“Understood. I’ll do my best.”

“Please describe for me the first time you had sexual intercourse. I don’t want any names, but I do want you to describe the circumstances in some detail.”

I did as I was asked, giving a very thorough account of my encounter with a girl my freshman year of college. I told her everything I could remember, including the part where I had trouble getting the condom on and the fact that the whole encounter lasted about 30 seconds.

Next, she asked me about my most embarrassing sexual encounter. I told her about the sexy grad student with the short black hair who had come on strong and invited me back to her place. I told her about the performance anxiety that had gripped me and how her frustration with me had only compounded the issue.

Finally, she asked about my most erotic encounter. I told her about the one and only threesome I’d ever been a part of, back when I was living in Japan. I spared no detail. While Dr. Kaur kept a stoic expression throughout, I could tell from her body language that she was far more interested in my threesome story than anything else I’d shared up to that point. She seemed to hang on my every word, scribbling notes occasionally.

When I was done with the story, she thanked me for my candor and told me that they would be in touch. She said that if I was chosen for the study, it would begin in exactly one week.


I received an email two days later from Dr. Kaur indicating that I had been selected to participate in the study. I was told to report to the psychology building starting Monday at 9:00 am. But then came the weird part. The email said that, in order to establish the necessary baseline for the first experiment, all study participants were required to masturbate until orgasm exactly two days before reporting for the study and then to refrain from any sexual stimulation from that point on. So when Saturday morning rolled around, I woke up and dutifully rubbed one out. Then two days later I reported for duty, somewhat apprehensively.

When I arrived, I was ushered into a lecture hall on the first floor. I was one of the first people in the room, but by the time they closed the doors there were 11 others. It looked to be an even male/female split; six guys, six girls. I immediately noticed that everyone was young, fit, and attractive, which was definitely not the case the week before, during the signup process. They must have only selected people who fit a certain profile, a thought which was immediately flattering in its implications. I considered myself a decent looking guy, six foot tall, short brown hair, a slender but athletic build, but to have satisfied whatever selection criteria resulted in this group certainly gave a boost to my self esteem.

I looked around for familiar faces and eventually spotted one, the girl whose conversation I’d overheard the week before. It took me a moment, but I eventually remembered her name: Abby. At the front of the room were 12 people who appeared to be faculty. They were all dressed in white lab coats. One of them was Dr. Kaur. They too were evenly divided, six men and six women, and all were relatively young (none older than their early 40s) and reasonably good-looking.

Eventually, a man standing next to Dr. Kaur broke the silence. “Hello everyone, my name is Dr. Snyder, and I’m a member of the faculty here. We appreciate you agreeing to participate in this important study and know that you must have many questions. Unfortunately, to ensure the integrity of the study, we can only share information with you in a group setting like this, and what we share will be very limited. We want to ensure that you are all operating off of the same baseline knowledge, to reduce the variables as much as possible.”

He continued, “this study is designed to assess the way in which the human mind processes and responds to sexual stimuli and how that response differs from person to person. As a part of this study, you will be exposed to various sexual stimuli and encouraged to masturbate.” That prompted a number of us, myself included, to look around room. I’m sure we were all trying to gauge each other’s reactions. For a moment, I made eye contact with Abby, but we both quickly looked away.

Dr. Snyder continued, “these sessions will not be filmed, but you will be expected to fully and candidly discuss your experience afterward with a member of our team. You will each have one faculty member assigned to you.” He swept his arm to indicate he was referring to himself and the 11 colleagues in lab coats flanking him.

“While you will not be recorded or filmed, you may be observed. If anyone does not feel they can masturbate while being watched, please let us know now, while we still have time to select an alternate participant.”

I glanced around the room again, wondering if anyone was going to stand up and walk out. No one did.

“What this study will NOT involve is any physical sexual contact with any of the faculty or your fellow study participants. This is important, so I want to emphasize it. If any physical sexual contact occurs, it will almost surely result in your being kicked out of the study. You will not receive the $10,000.”

Dr. Snyder paused to let that sink in. Then he continued, “the study will be divided into 12 sessions over a four week period, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9:00 a.m. The first session will be today, immediately after we’re done here. Each session will last one to two hours, including the post-session debrief. In between sessions, for the duration of your participation in the study, you must refrain from any sexual contact, including masturbation. You must also refrain from socializing with any of your fellow study participants. We’ve selected the 12 of you under the belief that none of you are previously acquainted. If that’s not the case, if you know any of the other participants, please let me know now.” No one said anything.

“Good. Okay. That’s all the background I’m at liberty to share with you at this point, so let’s get to our sessions. As I mentioned, we’ve assigned a faculty member to each of you. Your faculty member will now escort you to your room.”

“Jake,” I heard a familiar female voice say, “you’re with me.” It was Dr. Kaur.


I followed Dr. Kaur upstairs and down a long hallway. She eventually led me into a small room with no windows. It had a flat screen TV mounted on one wall and a low black leather couch opposite the TV. I was surprised to see that, unlike the room I’d been in the week before, there was no one-way mirror in this one. Dr. Kaur instructed me to disrobe completely and put on a hospital gown, which she handed to me. She said I could leave my clothes in the corner of the room. Then she shut the door and was gone.

I did as I was told, putting all my clothes in the corner and putting on the gown. Then I sat on the couch and waited. A few minutes later, I heard a knock and the door opened. Dr. Kaur wheeled in a cart that had some kind of medical equipment on it, as well as several boxes of tissues, a towel, and what looked to be a bottle of massage oil.

“Before we start, I need to attach these sensors to you,” she said, as she held up what looked like two small suction cups. “They’ll record how you respond to various stimuli and remotely transmit the data to this machine here.” She attached the two suction cups to my forehead, and then reached into the cart drawer for several more. She ended up attaching four of the sensors to my chest and four more to my back. She then attached two ‘fit bit’ like bracelets around each of my wrists. Finally, she held up a small item that looked like a thick, white rubber band.

“I’ve saved the best for last,” she cracked a half smile, “I need to place this one around your penis and testes. I promise it won’t hurt. Can you please lift your gown?”

I did what I was told. She gently placed the band around the base of my flaccid penis, then twisted it to create a loop around my cock. Then she stretched the rest of the band and pulled it around my scrotum. The band was cold, but her hands were warm. “There. That’ll do. Don’t worry, it will stretch to accommodate an erection.” Whatever the thing was made of, it didn’t feel constricting. It wasn’t like wearing a cock ring, which I’d tried once and absolutely hated. I quickly forgot the band was even there.

“Okay, we’re all set to begin.” She handed me a remote control. “You’re going to see a variety of sexual images on the screen. If you like what you’re seeing, just keep watching it. If it’s not your cup of tea, press this button to advance to the next clip. We want you to masturbate as you’re watching this. You’ll have up to an hour if you wish. I’ll set the timer before I leave. It’s important to masturbate all the way to completion, so everyone will have the same baseline going into the next session. But please only do so once, and please try last at least 30 minutes before you ejaculate. We want to get at least 30 minutes of data from every session. When you’re done, you can take off the sensors and get dressed. Then just press this button,” she pointed to a red button on the wall,” and I’ll come retrieve you for the debrief. Any questions?”

I had a million, but they all flew out of my head when I was put on the spot. “Umm…no, I’m good, I think.” With that, she pressed the red button and left the room. The TV came to life. A timer appeared in the corner of the screen, like a stopwatch, counting up. The first video that appeared was a clip of a naked woman dancing. She was clearly a porn star, platinum blonde and surgically enhanced. No thanks. I pressed the button to skip ahead to the next clip. I clicked through the next few clips as well, all of which were similar. The women looked different, different hair color, different ethnicities, but they were all very done up, boob jobs and high heels. The first clip to actually capture my attention was one that looked like it was filmed on a computer webcam. A girl was dancing to music, her enormous breasts bouncing up and down. Though her breasts were suspiciously large, she didn’t otherwise look like a porn star. Her hair was pulled back in a simple ponytail and she wore pink cotton panties. She was young and wholesome looking, with a genuine smile. The video seemed more like something a girl might record for her boyfriend than something created for a mass audience. As I watched, I felt my cock swell and reached for it under my gown. Cock in hand, I stroked myself slowly until the clip came to an end.

The next round of clips all featured women pleasuring themselves. Some I clicked through quickly, including one with a girl covered in tattoos; others I watched longer. The only clip I watched to completion featured a freckled girl who had her shirt pushed up over just one of her breasts and was fingering herself in a way that left little doubt that she was genuinely enjoying herself. The sounds she was making were incredibly sexy, subtle and involuntary, not the kind intended for an audience. By the end of that clip, I had a tremendous erection and had to fight a strong urge to finish the act. But only 20 minutes had passed. So instead, I took a break, lifting my gown above my waist and applying some massage oil to my cock.

The next round of clips featured the first actual sex. I skipped through a few that were stereotypically porn, buck-naked actors dispassionately fucking. I skipped through several girl-on-girl scenes as well. Not really my thing. I lingered a while longer on a few that had higher production value, HD video with attractive actors. But the one that finally got to me was one that featured a petite brunette girl with her hair pulled back in tight bun, the way a ballerina’s might be. She was wearing a loosely-draped t-shirt that hung to one side, exposing her left shoulder and breast. She was otherwise naked, slowing riding on top of a man who was lying flat on a couch. The production quality of the video was high and the actors were both very attractive. The woman moved her hips rhythmically, sliding up and down on the man’s cock. After building to a fairly convincing orgasm, the woman slid off the man’s cock and he sat up to kiss her. With her hand, she stroked his cock, rubbing it against her exposed breast as they kissed. Before long, the man came, releasing his load all over the woman’s breast. She smiled as she continued to rub his cock against her now dripping right breast. I was so turned on by the scene that I passed the point of no return. I felt the orgasm ripple through me and shot my cum across the floor. I looked at the screen. The timer read 37 minutes.

After I’d wiped my cum off the floor with a tissue, removed the sensors, and dressed myself, I pressed the red button. Dr. Kaur soon appeared and escorted me down the hall to another room just like the one where we’d first met for the screening interview. It had a table, two chairs, and a one way mirror on the wall. On the table was what looked like a polygraph machine. Dr. Kaur confirmed that it was in fact a polygraph machine and that its purpose was to ensure my candor. Once she’d hooked me up to the machine, she asked some baseline questions to calibrate it. Then she asked me whether I’d had any sexual encounters in the past 48 hours. I said that I hadn’t. She asked if I had masturbated to orgasm during the session and whether I had only done so once, as instructed. I answered truthfully. From there she ventured into more open-ended questions. She had a print out that must have shown her which clips I had watched and for what duration, among other things. She asked me why I had skipped certain clips and lingered on others. I answered as candidly as I could. Finally, she asked why I’d come when I did, what it was about the final clip that had pushed me over the edge. I explained that it was a combination of things, the way the girl looked and how she was still partially clothed. The way she moved and sounded. The realistic passion in the scene. And the way she made him cum onto her breast, in a way that didn’t seem contrived or implausible, in a way that seemed like it was something she actually wanted.