The secrets of sexual arousal are hidden in plain sight.
You just have to know what you’re looking for.
Physical sexual arousal – the sexually aroused body – has been endlessly studied, most famously by Masters and Johnson in the 1960′s. And less rigorously but no less intensely by every sexual couple since the dawn of human self-awareness.
Most couples study the male partner’s erections and the female partner’s state of lubrication carefully, for reassurance about their respective states of sexual arousal. Urban legends rise and fall concerning other putative guides to one’s partner’s level of sexual arousal (see “nipple erection,” “pupil dilation”). But through all of this, we’re in the realm of the sexually aroused body.
The sexually aroused mind has proved harder to study. Research on mental sexual arousal continues to await its Masters and Johnson.
In the meantime, when patients ask me how to recognize arousal, I tell them to look for the following signs: Read more
Orgasm Research: Climax in an MRI Machine? Been There, Done That
by Kayt Sukel for Huffington Post
If you ever want to make even the most cosmopolitan of your friends speechless, telling them you have volunteered to travel to Newark, New Jersey, so you can masturbate to orgasm in an fMRI is a great way to start. Once they overcome the shock, chances are they will start to ask questions. A lot of questions. Most I was able to answer. To start, no, I’m not kidding, I’m really going to do it. Really, it is not a joke, I promise.
Yes, I will be in the scanner, the same sort of claustrophobic tube you got your knee scanned in that one time. Yes, I know it is a very tight fit. Loud too. Yes, I’ll be self-stimulating. How? Clitorally, to be exact, until I reach orgasm. Will I use a vibrator? No, most vibrators have metal, which is a no-no in the magnet. I’ll have to rely on my own hands to get the job done. Yes, technically people will be watching — just the scientists who are running the study, I think. But I will be draped for modesty and the only thing they will really be observing, besides my brain on the computer screen, is my hand to signal when ecstasy is upon me. Both Barry Komisaruk and his colleague, Nan Wise, have explained the whole process in detail to me. No, I am not sure I’ll actually be able to do it. But, as instructed, I have been practicing at home and will give it my best shot. Read more
Philadelphia, PA — A new study of sexually active older women has found that sexual satisfaction in women increases with age and those not engaging in sex are satisfied with their sex lives. A majority of study participants report frequent arousal and orgasm that continue into old age, despite low sexual desire. The study appears in the January issue of the American Journal of Medicine.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System evaluated sexual activity and satisfaction as reported by 806 older women who are part of the Rancho Bernardo Study (RBS) cohort, a group of women who live in a planned community near San Diego and whose health has been tracked for medical research for 40 years. The study measured the prevalence of current sexual activity; the characteristics associated with sexual activity including demographics, health, and hormone use; frequency of arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and pain during sexual intercourse; and sexual desire and satisfaction in older women. Read more
Research indicates that prolactin increases following orgasm are involved in a feedback loop that serves to decrease arousal through inhibitory central dopaminergic and probably peripheral processes. The magnitude of post-orgasmic prolactin increase is thus a neurohormonal index of sexual satiety. Using data from three studies of men and women engaging in masturbation or penile-vaginal intercourse to orgasm in the laboratory, we report that for both sexes (adjusted for prolactin changes in a non-sexual control condition), the magnitude of prolactin increase following intercourse is 400% greater than that following masturbation. The results are interpreted as an indication of intercourse being more physiologically satisfying than masturbation, and discussed in light of prior research reporting greater physiological and psychological benefits associated with coitus than with any other sexual activities.
Source: “The post-orgasmic prolactin increase following intercourse is greater than following masturbation and suggests greater satiety.” from Biol Psychol. 2006 Mar;71(3):312-5. Epub 2005 Aug 10.
IN SEARCH OF THE G SPOT, A Story of Pleasure and Promise is a joyful and surprising film, with colorful characters, exploring science, sexual liberation, ideological conflicts, and of course … pleasure.
How, in 2011, can there still exist myths around female sexuality? How can an erotic region mysteriously identified as the “G spot” be known to all yet… only a few know its location, its physiology or the story of its discovery? How can the mere mention of this erogenous zone provoke such argument, doubt, and salacious laughter?
IN SEARCH OF THE G SPOT is an investigation into the heart of the fascinating world of scientific sexology, a close-up of the “G” zone.
IN SEARCH OF THE G SPOT is a journey through time illustrated by novel archives and testimony from the main players beginning in the 1970’s and ‘80’s. Through this journey, we will come to understand how this discovery became possible, and why it rapidly became a popular success. Read more
A North Carolina-based doctor claims to have found a new way to treat female sexual dysfunction, especially female orgasmic disorder, reports a prominent US news channel.
According to NBC, some years back anaesthesiologist Dr Stuart Meloy came to know that spinal cord stimulators could be used to help sexually dysfunctional women climax. The unanticipated invention was surprising to him because the device was a standard chronic pain reliever.
The woman Dr Meloy was treating moaned in sexual pleasure, later asking him to “teach (her) husband how to do that”, quotes NBC. It prompted the doctor to talk to one of his gynaecologist colleagues to figure out whether or not a spinal cord stimulator could in fact be helpful in treating female sexual dysfunction. Read more
Without nerves sending impulses back to the spinal cord and brain, an orgasm wouldn’t be possible. Just like any other area of the body, the genitalia contain different nerves that send information to the brain to tell it about the sensation that’s being experienced. This helps to explain why the sensations are perceived differently depending on where someone is being touched. A clitoral orgasm, for example, differs from a vaginal orgasm because different sets of nerves are involved.
All of the genitalia contain a huge number of nerve endings (the clitoris alone has more than 8,000 of them), which are, in turn, connected to large nerves that run up through the body to the spinal cord. (The exception is the vagus nerve, which bypasses the spinal cord.) They perform many other functions in the body in addition to providing the nerve supply, and therefore feedback to the brain, during sexual stimulation. Here are the nerves and their corresponding genital areas Read more
Perhaps more unusual-sounding than orgasmia is the concept of orgasms that have nothing to do with the genitalia at all. Some people can orgasm from being touched in other places on the body, such as the nipples. In this case, researchers believe that the sensations in the nipples are transmitted to the same areas of the brain that receive information from the genitals. However, people have also reported actually feeling orgasms in other parts of their bodies, including their hands and feet. Several people have even described having orgasms in limbs that were no longer there. One reason may be the layout of the cortical homunculus, a map that shows how different places of the brain’s sensory and motor cortices correspond to the organs and limbs of the body. A person who feels an orgasm in a phantom foot, for example, may have experienced a remapping of the senses because the foot is located next to the genitals in the homunculus. The foot is no longer there to provide sensation, so the area for genital sensation took over the space.
Wired News: What have we learned about orgasms in the past five to 10 years?
Beverly Whipple: With new technology and women being more open, we’re able to document that women can experience orgasms from many different forms of stimulation. There’s more than one nerve pathway involved: Orgasm is not just a reflex.
Barry Komisaruk: We recognize four different nerve pathways that carry sensory signals from the vagina, cervix, clitoris and uterus, and they all can contribute to orgasms. That’s a new recognition.
WN: You’ve discovered that women can have orgasms when a variety of parts of their bodies are stimulated, right?
Komisaruk: Orgasms have been described as being elicitable from any part of the body — the mouth, the nipples, the anus, the hand. It leads us to think that there is a general orgasmic principle of building up excitation from different parts of the body leading to a climax and a resolution — not necessarily ending in ejaculation, but a feeling of an orgasmic experience. Read more
[Jeanne] Warner thinks it likely that female orgasm in coitus is substantially overreported owing to women’s tendency to say what their husbands and doctors want to hear, and she adds:
“Another factor in the denial of lack of female orgasm has to do with a male bias for phallic stimulation. Although hard data on the relationship between mode of stimulation and female response are lacking at present, the literature conveys a strong impression that the penis is not the most effective means of producing a maximal level of arousal and response for a woman. Those male authorities who advocate the superiority of emotional orgasms in women [“peaks of feeling”] suggest that whatever provides the greatest satisfaction for the male should also provide the greatest pleasure for the female. It is not easy for any woman, professional or otherwise, to suggest that the culturally ingrained symbol of “manhood” is not the ultimate sensual magic wand.
“Studies have shown that during orgasm, a man’s brain lights up mainly in the pleasure centres. But when a woman enters an orgasmic state, several major areas of her brain go silent – particularly those involved with inhibition, appropriateness, and evaluating her environment for possible threats. Because of this phenomenon, a sense of safety is an absolute prerequisite for a woman to lower her guard enough to really get off.“
After much review and public controversy, the FDA met this week and determined that flibanserin, a new medication that was hoped to be an effective treatment for female sexual arousal disorder, did not significantly improve symptoms of the disorder, and ruled against approving the medication.
Female sexual arousal disorder, also known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder, (HSDD) is a relatively new diagnosis. It was historically known as frigidity, and more attention was given to the concept of the lack of sexual desire or arousal as a biological disorder potentially treatable with pharmaceuticals. When Sildenifil (Viagra) appeared on the market with enormous publicity and profit for the pharmaceutical industry, a lack of desire in women came under consideration as a potentially treatable disease. Read more