Coming to terms with the female orgasm

Why is it so hard to understand a commonplace thing like orgasms?


This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.orgI think I know why science does not understand the female orgasm. It is because science excels when it breaks free of context, history, human complexities and anthropology, but when a topic requires one to grasp context, history, human complexities and anthropology, then science, especially the hard sciences, can fall short. Also, the nature of the female orgasm is a comparative question, but human sexuality is highly (but not entirely) derived; It is difficult to make a sensible graph or table comparing aspects of sexuality across mammals that usefully includes humans. It is not as impossible as making such a graph or table with “language” (which is entirely unique to humans) but still, it is difficult.

ResearchBlogging.orgThere is another problem as well. Female orgasm is actually a lot like male orgasm, and probably serves the same evolutionary role with one small but important difference. But, that one small but important difference, the ejaculation of seminal fluid by males, blinds researchers to any other function of male orgasms. Seminal fluid is distracting. Male ejaculation and female ovulation are rough homologues, but entirely different in their physiology and timing. Were it the case that female ovulation could only happen together with orgasm … well, the human world would be a very different place but at least science would not be fumbling around in search of an answer for this enigma.

Recent research on female orgasm

The reason I bring any of this up is because of a paper1, just published, that makes the claim that the “byproduct” theory of female orgasms is unsupported. So, I’d like to take a moment to explain the byproduct theory, to explain why this paper does not really address it let alone refute it, and then we’ll get back to the question of what female orgasms really are for. The byproduct theory will not survive this discussion.

The byproduct theory originates with the following observations:

1) Females can not have vaginal orgasms.

2) Vaginal sexual intercourse terminating with male orgasm is the primary evolutionary explanation for human sexual interaction; Everything else is irrelevant.

3) It is possible that some, possibly many, or even all females rarely, or perhaps never actually have orgasms anyway.

These “observations” are exactly what you expect if the following things are true:

1) Society is patriarchal.

2) Science is valued by some elite sections of society, even behavioral science and psychology.

3) Well, the rest is kind of obvious, isn’t it?

I remember with both trepidation and humor the time that a reasonably well known biologist made the public statement that females do not have vaginal orgasms. I remember thinking: Even though this is science and therefore objective measurement must have been involved, would a married hetero male check with his wife before making this statement publicly or not? But I digress.

The point is that female orgasms are being asked to be the same thing as male orgasms, and if they aren’t, then they must not have a valid purpose. However, male orgasms are misunderstood. As a result, female orgasm are being asked to meet the expectations of a dysfunctional view of male orgasms, and the result is they are seen as an evolutionary enigma.

(It may or may not be true that female orgasms do everything that male orgasms do but backwards and in high heels.)

Female orgasms just didn’t make the grade back in the middle and later part of the 20th century when various scientists were trying to work out this question. Neither did male nipples, by the way. Female nipples in humans are for nursing babies. Period. Males don’t nurse babies. Therefore male nipples are a developmental, accidental byproduct of female nipples. It was fairly easy to turn this limited view of both evolution and nipples to the problem of female orgasms and associated physiology. It is essential that males have orgasms or there would be no reproduction. Therefore there is male orgasm-related physiology. Just as males accidentally have female nipples because of a quirk of developmental biology, the theory went, females accidentally have some left over bits of orgasm-making machinery in their bodies so we end up with the occasional and largely unexpected female orgasm. But the orgasms have no adaptive purpose.

The study by Zietsch and Santtila, “Genetic analysis of orgasmic function in twins and siblings does not support the by-product theory of female orgasm” is one of those annoying twin studies. They compare orgasms between male and female twins and find out that the similarity in orgasmic function between closely related individual is not predicted by the genetic relatedness.

Ladies, it turns out that your genes did not make you come. Glad we’ve got that question taken care of.

This study, by the way, has been analyzed by Scicurious as part of her Friday Weird Science feature. Sci goes more into the meat of the study than I am doing here, so don’t miss it! See also this paper by Scicurious: “There are HOW many types of Female Orgasm?

Jamie Frevele at The Mary Sue Blog takes a very serious look at the problem here. And, Brandon Keim at Wired Science has a post as well.

First, a word about sex among apes

The reason that the Zietsch and Stanttila paper is wrong, in my view, is because it asks the wrong question in the wrong way with an incorrect understanding of what they are studying and why. This paper is so wrong that I’m not even really going to critique it. Instead, I’m going to do what I implied in the title of the paper: Let’s talk about the evolutionary biology of orgasms in humans. When we’re done, the Zietsch and Santtila paper will dissolve all on its own.

Humans are apes, and most sexually mature apes (here, I’m talkin’ individual apes) have one of two kinds of sociosexual interaction with other adult apes: 1) You have sexual interaction habitually with only one individual; or 2) you have sexual interaction habitually with more than one individual. For example, a male silverback gorilla has sex with a list of females, but each of those females has sex with only one male (the silverback). Gibbon males and females have sex habitually with only one other individual. And so on. You can work this out in detail for each kind of ape as homework.

Note that I said “habitually” and that’s important. A given individual who habitually has sex with only one other individual may occasionally break that rule. This does not mean that the rule is gone, or that a common pattern is of no relevance. This does not matter a lot to the present conversation but I find that discussions of primate sexuality often break down the moment someone not versed in the subject learns that monogamy is often not as monogamous as they thought. The fact that monogamy is not what you thought does not mean that it does not exist. OK, back to the point.

Whether or not an ape follows pattern 1 or 2 depends proximally on one factor.2 This most immediate factor is simple propinquity. A female gibbon typically has sex with one male gibbon, habitually, because there is only one male gibbon in the territory that she defends and lives in. A female gorilla typically mates only with her silverback because he’s the only one, and not just in the country western love song kinda way, but literally … he is the only sexually mature male anywhere around. Meanwhile, the silverback mates with any and all sexually mature females in the same group because they are there, and they are there because the apes have arranged themselves on the landscape that way on purpose.

Within the context of a social group there may be patterns and preferences and there is without doubt a complex primate-political dynamic. But, as interesting as that may be, it is for the moment a distraction. Assume for now the simple case: Adult sexually mature apes mate with the other adult sexually mature apes that are around.

Therefore, the actual mating behavior of apes is determined by social geography. If you watch what apes are doing much of the time, it turns out that other than eating and sleeping, they are spending a great deal of time manipulating their social geography at all spatial scales. If that thought has never occurred to you before, let it sink in. This should be a major can’t-turn-back “aha!” moment for you. If you are not having that moment, think about this until it happens. It’s OK to take your time with this.3

There are many important differences in all aspects of behavior between, say, monogamous pairs of gibbons and polygynandrous troops of chimpanzees. These different systems of mating (called by behavioral biologists “Mating Systems”) relate to very important biological variables such as but not limited to: Body size, growth rate and timing, defensive physiology and behavior; primary food types; fallback food types; limbic and other brain functions and communication; tooth enamel thickness and distribution; penis size; testicle size and sperm production rates; and so on and so forth.

And this all comes down to how the apes manipulate their social geography. This determines mating system, which in turn interacts with feeding ecology, and feeding ecology and mating system together relate to and mostly determine absolutely everything else of interest to behavioral biologists.

Who has sex with whom is very important in the behavioral biology of the apes. It has been shown in many studies that the way in which apes interact in groups impacts their fitness, and it is likely that many features of ape social structure that are shown to be more or less similar across groups are adaptations that arise from selection for certain behaviors, both in straight forward traditional biological sense (i.e., alleles that cause specific phenotype are selected for/against) and in the more modernized form of behavioral biology (which allows for additional routes of transmission of fitness enhancing information). It is hard to say that chimpanzee hand-salute or leafing behavior, both symbolic communicative activities, are specifically adaptive, but it is likely that the chimpanzee ability to do and interest in doing these things facilitates various kinds of inter-individual bonding which becomes very directly relevant to fitness in other areas of chimp life, in areas that are literally determining life, death, and reproduction.

In general, this is probably true of mating systems of mammals (and birds as well). Social interactions are critical and related to fitness, and they are mediated through drives, proclivities, limbic sensibilities that are fine tuned or shaped at the genetic level and to varying degrees (in primates and especially apes, and to a lesser degree in social carnivores) by cultural transmission.

That mating systems in apes are generally adaptations has not been seriously questioned by behavioral biologists for decades. The details, however, are still very much under investigation, and the study of mating systems in humans has been hampered by those pushing for human exceptionalism (of all sorts, including the “we are too cultural to have adaptations” arguments as well as the “god made us different” arguments which often come from totally opposite quarters) as well as by the “evolutionary psychologists” who have muddied the waters in human behavioral biology by having theory that is half pretty good, half totally wrong.

The evolution of sex and marriage in human ancestors

But what if the feeding ecology required a different social geography than the mating system? Well, it does for most, possibly all apes! This is something Wrangham and Smuts revealed in their seminal study way back when4. For example, fruit-eating apes need to forage apart because fruit is rare and dispersed. But if “mate guarding” is important, then they need to forage together to keep an eye on things. One solution to that is to create very serious territories and then eat and or have sex with whatever is in that territory. That would be chimps. Apes that eat more low quality food which is less dispersed and more abundant can get into bigger groups to forage and thus gorilla-like mating systems evolve. Apes that eat higher quality and more dispersed and hard to find food can’t do that. I could go on and on about the conflicts between diet and sex.

So, a theory came along a while back presented in a paper by Richard Wrangham, Jamie Jones, Me, David Pilbeam and Nancy-Lou Conklin-Brittain.5 I’m not going to toot my own horn or anything, but this paper and the idea it suggests have certain interesting characteristics: 1) Everyone who is anyone these days thinks it is either correct or could be correct (it has become textbook knowledge); 2) the paper is in the top ten cited ever in the flagship anthropology journal in which it is published (i.e., among the highest impact factors ever for any paper in any field); 3) As time goes by I start to believe it is probably mostly correct!

The idea has to do with the origin of cooking and changes in hominid social structure connected to that. Never mind the details. And, in fact, if you look at the original paper, you’ll probably see a version of this idea that I would revise today. The point is this: Human ancestors, just under 2 million years ago, underwent an ecological change that required that they live in multi-male multi-female groups, like chimps do, but that also resulted in selection for a mostly monogamous (or at least, less poygynandrous) mating system, kinda like gibbons have today, but really, not very different from typical modern human marriage.

But this causes a major conflict, more than is found in any other ape species, between the ideal social geography for mating and the ideal social geography for eating. In apes, the sexual landscape is determined by hard working apes making sure that the social geography is just right. But the ideal social geography for what we might call “proto-marriage” conflicts with the geography required for cooking and all that it entails. So something new had to be introduced to make the system work. Several new things, including what we know of today as human sexuality. Let’s look at some of the details.

Did you know that humans are the only ape where males always lack a penis bone? In order for a male to ejaculate (typically) he has to have an orgasm, and the orgasm requires a certain amount of stimulation of the penis which pretty much only works in connection with erection. Also, the erection is pretty much required for intromissive sex. With all this emphasis on erection, why is there not a penis bone? Obviously, human male sexual interaction has been tied more closely to longer term and more intensive erotic interaction to produce and maintain an erection despite the lack of the internal hard part to make that happen more easily, quickly, and effectively. Human males typically take much longer to achieve their orgasm than their ape counterparts.

Do you see what I’m getting at? Male sexuality involves a much more elaborate, longer term, and complex set of psycho-sexual-social elements than usually found in apes, that are linked to social bonding. There are of course all sorts of exceptions, but typical, normal adult male human sexuality is actually somewhat complex and nuanced and not ape-like in many ways. Yes, folks, compared to Pan trogoldytes, our nearest relative, human male sex is all about relationships. If you were thinking otherwise, this would be a good time to recalibrate.

Meanwhile, female sexuality has its own very strange differences in humans. For instance, human females are sexual even when they are not ovulating. Human females are set up, psycho-sexually and physically, for non-reproductive sex. That is not a typically ape feature.

Meanwhile, human males have another strange quirk: Relatively speaking, compared to our nearest living relative and presumably our common ancestor, human males find females who are not ovulating to be sexually attractive. Sure, there are some studies that might show that human males are more attracted to ovulating females, but the fact that you have to do carefully controlled studies and then look very closely at the data to see a pattern like this (if it even exists) should not be ignored: If human males were primarily attracted to ovulating females and not very interested in non-ovulating females, then that would be easily seen and demonstrated.

And, of course, females are adapted to this quirk of males. And so on back and forth. Human sexuality is highly complex, interactive, and typically involves attention to long term relationships. This is how we get something vaguely like a sexual gibbon living in the world of an ecological chimp.6

And female orgasms are like male orgasms but more so. They are part of human attraction, bonding, social commitment, pairing off, long term relationships, and ultimately, generating and maintaining two landscapes … sexual and ecological … in one system. (It is not a very large step from this point to understand homosexuality, but that would be a digression at this time.)

Once you’ve calibrated your understanding of human sexuality in males, it is an easy matter to understand female sexuality a bit differently than it is usually framed in evolutionary biology. In the old model, male orgasm was a simple delivery system for sperm. In pop-level evolutionary biology (a.k.a. “Evolutionary Psychology” as per David Buss and Steve Pinker), males will, shall we say, make love to mud (i.e. are indiscriminate and primarily seek novelty, etc. etc.) because every single ejaculation could make a baby even though ejaculations are easy to come by. Throw in a little patriarchic male-biased thinking and female orgasms are left with nothing important to do. They become a sexual vestigial feature in the minds of some biologists.

But in the new model, which includes our revision in understanding human ecology, long term and somewhat complex relationships are critical in raising offspring. These relationships are hard to manage in apes because of the old ape rule … the sexual landscape is mapped on the actual geographical landscape which is a product of the interaction of individuals and their feeding ecology. Therefore, social mechanisms evolve.

And part of the human social adaptive suite is proto marriage in earlier Homo and what we today call marriage, and part of that is human erotic behavior, which does very much involve orgasms. Every body’s orgasms. Even females!

_________________________________
1Zietsch, B., & Santtila, P. (2011). Genetic analysis of orgasmic function in twins and siblings does not support the by-product theory of female orgasm Animal Behaviour DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.08.002
2I just want to point out that you don’t see a pun using the word “proximate” every day.
3What I just said actually applies to mammals in general, but I’m trying to stay focused on apes to keep it relatively simple.
4See for example:R.W. Wrangham and B.B. Smuts. 1980 Sex differences in the behavioural ecology of chimpanzees in Gombe National park, Tanzania. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility supplement 28:13-31 and R.W. Wrangham. 1987. The evolution of social structure. In B.B. Smuts, D.L. Cheney, R.M. Seyfarth, R.W. Wrangham, and T.T. Struhsaker (Eds.). Primate Societies, pp. 282-296. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
5R.W. Wrangham, J. H. Jones, G. Laden, D. Pilbeam and N.L. Conklin-Brittain. 1999. The raw and the stolen: cooking and the ecology of human origins. Current Anthropology 40: 567-594. You can get a copy here.
6I should say something about bonobos because you may be thinking that I missed the fact that there is another apes species that could be thought of as “erotic.” Consider that bonobos are not like our Last Common ancestors with chimps: Like humans, bonobos are also derived in their sexual behavior. Don’t think of them as a human evolutionary stage. Also, bonbo sex is not the same as human sex. Briefly, bonobo erotic interactions fill the same role as agonistic interactions in common chimps, but instead of “I’ll bit you if you do/don’t do that” it is “I won’t give you oral sex if you do/don’t do that.” Sure, there are probably parallels in human interaction, but to the extent that there are the next point I make subsumes them. Even common chimps are fairly sexy. They don’t have “reproductive sex” that isn’t, well, reproductive but they do various erotic things just not as elaborately as bonobos. The thing is, common chimps do not use relationships that have a strong erotic/sexual componant to organize their society, except a little. It is not a requirement that for a set of traits to be “derived” in humans there can be zero representation of anything like them in chimps. One would not, in fact, expect that to be the case.

Comments

  1. #1 scott
    September 9, 2011

    As I was reading this my male dog came over and started humping my leg, when I looked down at he’s eyes staring back at me, I couldn’t help but feel he was thinking “take that bitch”

  2. #2 scottreplier
    September 9, 2011

    red the whole article and laughed at your sentences still i tnk i am an ape

  3. #3 Brook
    September 9, 2011

    I will never look at orgasms, male or female, the same way again. Not sure if that is good or bad.

  4. #4 Chase
    September 9, 2011

    Why do most write-ups on male orgasms take a very short time to read but most write-ups on female orgasms take a long time to read and you often do not get to the end?

  5. #5 Todd Caton
    September 9, 2011

    Chase wins the thread!

  6. #6 clumsygirl
    September 9, 2011

    i can break the mystery of female orgasm, i really need your attention.

    Women also fall asleep after a real orgasm.
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/09/women-also-fall-asleep-after-real.html

    Kidney also plays an important role in female ejaculation
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/09/kidney-also-plays-important-role-in.html

    No orgasm may be the key of the Menopausal Syndrome; ejaculation is the best way to treat insomnia.
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/08/no-orgasm-may-be-key-of-menopausal.html

    Understand female orgasm from difference between Male & Female Circumcision
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/08/understand-female-orgasm-from.html

    No difference in brain scan between male and female orgasm
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/08/no-difference-in-brain-scan-between.html

    Maybe there is some organ unknown in labia majora
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/08/maybe-there-is-some-organ-unknown-in.html

    Every orgasm is the result of different kind masturbation.
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/08/every-orgasm-is-result-of-different.html

    Women and men have the same ejaculation system and process.
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/08/women-and-men-have-same-ejaculation.html

    Why do women always like to fake orgasm?
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/07/why-do-women-always-like-to-fake-orgasm.html

    Ejaculation is a habit, don’t blame male
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/07/ejaculation-is-habit-dont-blame-male.html

    If you just provide your vagina as the receptacle for the penis during sexual intercourse, you will never get an orgasm
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/06/if-you-just-provide-your-vagina-as.html

    Distinguish between orgasm and urination-female incontinence is not orgasm at all
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/06/distinguish-between-orgasm-and.html

    I am challenging Barry R. Komisaruk and Beverly Whipple here
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/06/i-am-challenging-barry-r-komisaruk-and.html

    Female also require time to switch back to urine mode after ejaculation mode
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/05/female-also-require-time-to-switch-back.html

    The female body also has a system that keeps it from being able to ejaculate and urinate at the same time.
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/05/female-body-also-has-system-that-keeps.html

    Women also can get orgasm during their menstrual period
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/05/women-also-can-get-orgasm-during-their.html

    Orgasm together is never going to happen – whatever in straight couple or in gay couple
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/05/orgasm-together-is-never-going-to.html

    Women also have refractory period after a real female orgasm
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/05/women-also-have-refractory-period-after.html

    Women have two balls as homologous to the male two testes?
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/04/women-have-two-balls-as-homologous-to.html

    Female ejaculation—liquid from urethra?
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/04/female-ejaculation-liquid-from-urethra.html

    Premature ejaculation-A real disease or named by people?
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/04/premature-ejaculation-real-disease-or.html

    Female multiple orgasms -A beautiful lie
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/04/female-multiple-orgasms-beautiful-lie.html

    I don’t love porn, but I need to see it
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/04/i-dont-love-porn-but-i-need-to-see-it.html

  7. #7 javad
    September 9, 2011

    Thank you. Nice article!

  8. #8 Jay Uhdinger
    September 9, 2011

    Nice take on this subject. Great ideas there. Makes me think twice why we live how live. No surprise sex is still such a strong motivator.

  9. #9 Ernie Coyne
    September 9, 2011

    Why has the G-spot not been mentioned? There is such a thing, and it can produce female orgasms, as well as female ejaculation. Usually, the G-spot arousal needs priming by having the clitoris stimulated first, but then it can become a very powerful stimulant for female orgasm.

    The comparison may well be that the clitoris corresponds to the glans, and the G-spot corresponds to the prostate.

    It’s obvious that human sexual desire that flourishes at times of infertility, creates pair bonding. Similarly, both parties having orgasms, strengthens the bonding of pair groups.

    If these researchers need a stronger scientific reason for female orgasms, let them consider the theory discussed in Sperm Wars, where the spasming of the woman’s uterus during orgasm creates a suction-like effect that draws up the semen and increases the likelihood of impregnation.

    There were actually discussions in ancient Jewish writings to the effect that the sex of a fetus could be influenced by whether the woman orgasmed before or after the male ejaculated. This was contemplated centuries before science reached its present stage of sophistication in sexual matters.

    It seems the female orgasm continues to fascinate if not baffle.

    But experience has taught that the best foreplay to induce female orgasm is ……. the man doing the dishes.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    September 9, 2011

    So … what about dishwasher machines then?

  11. #11 Your Mom
    September 9, 2011

    So this is where Biologists and the other simple scientists end up? LMAO

  12. #12 Russell
    September 9, 2011

    Excellent post, Greg. There is another aspect to human behavior that this starts to explain. We’re the only ape that routinely operates in multiple social groups. Breaking the rigid cognitive map between social geography and social behavior seems the key step toward allowing that.

  13. #13 Wendy
    September 9, 2011

    None of the studies proposes the simplest evolutionary reason for the human female orgasm: the female orgasm encourages a woman to seek out sex!

    A normal adult woman feels a buildup of sexual tension (very uncomfortable) which can only be relieved by an orgasm. Anyone who has ever seen a female cat in heat understands the uncomfortable craving of sexual tension.

    What’s the evolutionary purpose of female sexual tension, relieved by orgasm?

    Men are often pretty unpleasant — dirty, violent, etc. Reasonable women might avoid men instead of seeking sex with them — unless sexual tension caused women to seek out sex with men. The more women seek sex from men, the more they get pregnant.

    The basis of human society (where emotionally-connected family units form instead of females avoiding males until they are raped) might be the female orgasm!

    It’s only a matter of time before some enterprising neurochemist discovers that the female brain craves oxytocin, which is made during orgasm. The oxytocin-receptor complex unbinds over time, leaving an empty receptor. As more receptors are emptied, the craving for oxytocin becomes stronger. The woman seeks out sex to obtain an orgasm, which causes her brain to release oxytocin. Sexual satisfaction occurs after all the oxytocin receptors are filled, which often takes more than one orgasm.

    Oxytocin satisfaction causes a woman to feel loved, loving and fulfilled. Oxytocin-satisfied women are trusting and caring. Caring women extend the lives of their men as well as their children.

    The mechanism of oxytocin I propose is similar to the mechanism of dopamine binding. Like dopamine-based addictions, oxytocin deprivation can cause a woman to take dangerous risks to obtain an orgasm.

    The basis for patriarchal monogamy laws is that a woman may seek satisfaction elsewhere if her regular male does not satisfy her craving for oxytocin. In many societies, female adultery is punishable by death.

    Why do male researchers propose that women don’t have orgasms or that orgasms are vestigial? Perhaps because they are such incompetent lovers that their women don’t reach satisfaction so their women don’t crave sex from them.

    I’m a multi-orgasmic female chemist. Everything I wrote above is so obvious to me that I’m stunned that nobody seems to have realized it by now.

    Yes, guys, women DO seek out sex! If you want a woman to crave sex with you, learn how to sexually satisfy her. Doesn’t matter what you look like. Sexual satisfaction is addictive. Sexual deprivation is miserable for a woman.

    Pretty weird that men “wrote the book” on female orgasm without having a clue. Even weirder that female scientists missed the most obvious point.

  14. #14 pornalysis
    September 9, 2011

    “What’s the evolutionary purpose of female sexual tension, relieved by orgasm?”

    To stop women’s violence against children and their mates.

    “Men are often pretty unpleasant — dirty, violent, etc”

    Yeah, right. Women are pretty violent all by themselves, and use aggression against men in order to get their oxytocin fix too. Now that I think about it, a few non-male, hairy arm-pitted sweat hogs I have known come to mind…

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    September 9, 2011

    Wendy, some interesting points, but I’m not entirely sure you read the original post.

  16. #16 Collin
    September 9, 2011

    Do clumsygirl’s claims make any sense?

  17. #17 Raging Bee
    September 9, 2011

    More sense than pornowotevs’ incoherent bullshit. Which, to be fair, ain’t saying much.

  18. #18 pornalysis
    September 9, 2011

    Raging butt is such an incoherent piece of shit it hasn’t written a blog post in months–stumble over there and give its page long paragraphs a try.

    Sao ni ma, tongzhi. Ye sao ni lao pigu. Amazing how you can put both your foot in your mouth, and your head up your ass at the same time.

    Do you have ass-gasms when you do that?

    And as for clumsygirl, she is obviously crossing languages to express her ideas–how rude that you should pick on her attempts at expressing herself. Maybe more than just a touch of racism?

  19. #19 Raging Bee
    September 9, 2011

    How is not writing new blog posts “incoherent?” Can’t you even come up with a coherent insult? Or better yet, can you manage to say anything relevant to the topic of this post?

  20. #20 pornalysis
    September 9, 2011

    Raging Bee/scienceman/wizeman: can YOU say anything relevant–ever? You are just an echo effect around here.

    You are incoherent even to yourself, which is why you don’t write at your own blog–with all of your page long paragraphs talking about *nothing*. Which is why you troll here.You’re incoherence no doubt baffles even your addled little mind.

    Relevant to the post is the ass-gasm,
    http://www.slate.com/id/2270622/
    which many men and women claim to be having these days–including you with your head up your ass; no doubt,you who does nothing but troll here, and at those porn or chat sites you were talking about the other day on another Greg post, are thequeen of the ass gasm, you old flamer.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2270622/

    Good insult is, as I stated above: “Amazing how you[Raging Bee] can put both your foot in your mouth, and your head up your ass at the same time.” You bendover-flexible little punk.

  21. #21 jorgpogi
    September 10, 2011

    Was it me or he just missed the whole context in the jungle of the apes lol.

  22. #22 RM
    September 10, 2011

    Viagra-like drugs do not directly affect the penis or its erection. Rather, they act directly on the major human sex organ, which we all know is the brain,

    No, No, No! Despite common perception and what all the email mass marketers want you to believe, Viagra is *not* an aphrodisiac. (Or at least it isn’t any more of an aphrodisiac than green M&Ms are.)

    Sildenafil (as well as Cialis and Levitra) is an enzyme inhibitor which messes with the regulation of blood flow to the penis. The story goes that it was originally discovered as a drug to change blood flow to the heart to treat heart attacks, but, while only so-so for treating heart attacks, had an interesting side effect …. It doesn’t have any known psychological effects over and above the ones you’d expect for a placebo given in the similar situation (which, given the role of psychology in erectile dysfunction, is not inconsiderate).

    So Viagra *does* influence the penis and its erection. You’re right that it’s not a substitute for the penis bone, but the best argument for that is that it’s only been around for less than 15 years – it hasn’t had time to affect evolution.

  23. #23 Greg Laden
    September 10, 2011

    I’ll see your “no no” and raise you an “Are you kidding me???”

    But seriously, I did not say that Viagra is an aphrodisiac. I didn’t even hint at it. It isn’t! But it is the brain that produces an erection and viagra steps in for some individual and helps that process along. But I probably did oversimplified in the post, possibly leading to an incorrect inference conclusion. Let me unsimplify.

    Tumescence is regulated by enzymes and enzyme inhibitors in the general region of the affected tissues (“down there”). These, in turn, are regulated by things going on in the brain, related to neruortransmitters and such (“up there”).

    As a great example of how Intelligent Design is a bad theory, many bodily systems “do” something because a thing that is constantly causing that system to “not do” it is running, and you turn that thing off to get it to “do.” Same with tumescence. But that is a minor yet interesting detail. The point is, that there are molecules prodcued that result in their being an erection, and this is a function of the brain, ultiamtel.

    Erectile dysfunction typically occurs where something along the line from the brain to the enzymes and their helper molecules are no longer doing (or shall I say undoing) their thing. This results, essentially, in the signal (from the brain) that says “let’s have an erection now” failing to take effect. In a sense, it is not loud enough.

    Viagra circumvents this by providing the raw material for the signal that says “cause an erection” to occur. Viagra is like a tiny megaphone causing the molecules to get in line. The signal from the brain is heard loudly and clearly instead of vaguely.

    It does not cause the penis to get erect (and is thus not analagous to a penis bone) and it does not make the brain have an erotic orientation it would not otherwise have (and is thus not an aphrodisiac) but it does allow the signal from the brain to have an effect.

    Having said that, there are probably lots of things that people call aphrodisiacs that aren’t really “aphrodisiacs” by the definition you are using. Technically an aphrodisiac is something that induces or increases sexual desire, but you know how words are.

  24. #24 Raging Bee
    September 10, 2011

    Pathetic troll is pathetic.

  25. #25 Raging Bee
    September 11, 2011

    Greg: Apparently this theory is going mainstream, as this Salon article shows:

    http://www.salon.com/life/sex/index.html?story=/mwt/feature/2011/09/10/orgasm

    And here’s a quote that takes another view of the controversy:

    On the other hand, it’s also possible that the byproduct view could actually support feminist efforts against the so-called medicalization of female pleasure. “If female orgasm is seen as having no particular evolutionary function, but rather as an evolutionary freebie, then many diagnoses of ‘Female Orgasmic Disorder’ would be out the window, and women anywhere on the spectrum of orgasmic performance might be seen as normal,” Lloyd writes in an upcoming article. She argues that this view, which she refers to as the “fantastic bonus” theory, has the benefit of casting “all women as equally ‘normal’ in their orgasmic responses to heterosexual intercourse. The account expects no particular ‘adaptive’ set of responses to intercourse, and thus privileges none.” Meaning, “women who don’t have orgasm at all are as normal as women who always have orgasm with intercourse.”

    What’s you take on this?

  26. #26 Agagooga
    September 11, 2011

    “I’d like to take a moment to explain the byproduct theory, to explain why this paper does not really address it let alone refute it”

    “This paper is so wrong that I’m not even really going to critique it”

    Your explanation was presumably the bit about “patriarchy”. While that might be true, it doesn’t point out why or how the theory is wrong.

    Anyhow, from what I know the by-product theory was not because people couldn’t explain the female orgasm in terms of the male orgasm, so it must hae been a by-product. Rather, they couldn’t find a way in which the female orgasm was adaptive, so it was a by-product. The only theory they came up with was that when a female orgasms her cervix dips, which will improve sperm uptake, but subsequent research showed that that wasn’t very well-founded.

    Your discussion of early human group dynamics was informative, but is not mutually exclusive with the paper showing that the by-product theory is false. Indeed, orgasm as a by-product theory could be false because it really had an evolutionary purpose, as you explain.

  27. #27 pornalysis
    September 11, 2011

    Pathetic old Raging Bee/scienceman/wizeman is pathetic–bending over with its head up its ass seeking an ass-gasm.

  28. #28 Greg Laden
    September 11, 2011

    Your explanation was presumably the bit about “patriarchy”. While that might be true, it doesn’t point out why or how the theory is wrong

    No. The theory is this: Male orgasms have the function of ejaculation to fertilize an egg. Full stop. Female orgasms don’t seem to have a function like male orgasms do therefore they must be a byproduct.

    Alterntive: Male and female orgasms are part of a larger sexuality that facilitates pair bonding within a social geography not normally good for pair bonding among apes.

    Anyhow, from what I know the by-product theory was not because people couldn’t explain the female orgasm in terms of the male orgasm, so it must hae been a by-product. Rather, they couldn’t find a way in which the female orgasm was adaptive, so it was a by-product.

    Adaptive in comparison to the male role in this, yes. So no, you’ve not really identified a contrast here.

    The only theory they came up with was that when a female orgasms her cervix dips, which will improve sperm uptake, but subsequent research showed that that wasn’t very well-founded.

    To put this in perspective, the buyproduct theory is a decade or two earlier than the dipping cervix observations.

    Which did happen, it really did! But yes, when subsequent researchers tried to find this again they didn’t.

  29. #29 James Sweet
    September 12, 2011

    The byproduct theory originates with the following observations:
    1) Females can not have vaginal orgasms.

    You lost me right there. I read a little further, but you only intensified the strawman you are building around byproduct theory. I don’t understand how the female orgasm being an evolutionary byproduct of selection pressure for the male orgasm depends on any of the assumptions you say that it does. We agree those assumptions are false, but it’s just silly to say that byproduct theory depends on those assumptions. It doesn’t.

    I happened to scroll slightly up before hitting “Post”, and I think I might see the problem. You are building a false dichotomy:

    No. The theory is this: Male orgasms have the function of ejaculation to fertilize an egg. Full stop. Female orgasms don’t seem to have a function like male orgasms do therefore they must be a byproduct.

    Alterntive: Male and female orgasms are part of a larger sexuality that facilitates pair bonding within a social geography not normally good for pair bonding among apes.

    Oooooooorrrr, maybe far and away the primary selective pressure for male orgasm has pretty obviously got to be to get men to deliver semen (I mean, you know, look at other species who don’t do pair-bonding at all and yet still have male orgasms…) and while there might be some other ancillary selective pressures, those have certainly not been verified experimentally.

    I mean, you’re telling Just-So stories here, Greg. There’s not enough evidence to assert the byproduct theory, but it’s pretty much the null hypothesis here, and there’s not enough evidence to assert any adaptive theory either, so…. why so down on the byproduct theory?

  30. #30 James Sweet
    September 12, 2011

    Let me build further on the false dichotomy thing.

    This all reminds me of those who desperately want to posit an adaptive explanation for masturbation. But holy christ man, obviously masturbation, of both the male and female varieties, is a (very lucky!) byproduct of a combination of the desire to have sex (selected for for very obvious reasons, I might say) together with fine motor control and our dexterous digital physiology. This seems so likely that it would take some pretty strong evidence to overturn that idea, in my mind.

    Now, it does seem that men who rarely or never ejaculate are more likely to have prostrate issues. So it’s conceivable that, for male masturbation at least, it may have some modest selective advantages, at least today. That may not necessarily have been the case when the opportunity first evolved, e.g. we can imagine that once our ancestors became adept at pocket pool, a negative selective pressure against increased sperm production (caused by prostrate irritation if ejaculation was too infrequent) was relaxed, allowing phenotypes with more sperm production to evolve — ones which also depended on masturbation in order to be reproductively advantageous.

    I realize I’m now indulging a bit in a Just-So story myself, but I mean this only as an example of a potentially plausible scenario. If that were true, I would still not say that “Male masturbation evolved so we could produce more sperm without getting prostate cancer” — instead, I would still say it was a byproduct of our sex drive combined with our dexterity at chicken-choking. And you can’t say this is some patriarchal or moralizing fantasy on my part, because I sure do love masturbation!

    By the same token, I don’t think a byproduct theory of the evolution of the female orgasm has to assert that it has no adaptive value today. It very well might. Byproduct theory only asserts that the primary reason for its appearance was as a byproduct; and that the selective advantages are far too modest to sustain its existence through a completely separate genetic pathway. And that seems fairly plausible to me. (Though as I admitted, not proven either… But why someone would get so up in arms about even the suggestion, is beyond me!)

  31. #31 Greg Laden
    September 12, 2011

    Why do men have orgasms to deliver semen?

    It is true that a by product theory could be better than the byproduct theories one comes across, but they aren’t. You are of course welcome to cite counter examples that I’ve missed.

    IOW, yeah, there’s probably a strawman here but I didn’t built it.

    I have to tell you, though, that a criticism that says “I read this part I didn’t like then stopped reading, so here’s what is wrong with what you said” is a little embarrassing. A little like “I hated that movie, I walked out in the first five minutes!”

  32. #32 pornalysis
    September 12, 2011

    I think the biggest problem in the whole debate is that the scientists are having it, and not the people who actually have sex…

    “Male sexuality involves a much more elaborate, longer term, and complex set of psycho-sexual-social elements than usually found in apes, that are linked to social bonding. There are of course all sorts of exceptions, but typical, normal adult male human sexuality is actually somewhat complex and nuanced ”

    Thanks for acknowledging that.

    But I would say that the ‘all sorts of exceptions’ IS the rule not the norm, as opposed to the stereotype of coerced and codified hetero-normative ‘male sexuality’. Most men–like women, once–are not ‘liberated’ enough to even discuss sex with their mates, much less some stranger in a lab.Their often still ashamed to pull on their own weiners…

    But give that same guy an hour with a porn star,and….emancipation? Or new awareness of his own functions, his own possibilities–his own ‘deviance’ from the ‘norms’.

    Not that science is wrong, or the scientists necessarily flawed, but it makes me wonder if any have ever actually observed a woman’s orgasm ‘in the wild’? If so, how many? How many different women’s orgasms? Personal anecdote counts in debates like this. More than one personal anecdote counts as a field study…

    Unless the debate is so politicized that the personal becomes nullified by the political. That is almost objectification, and pornographic by definition. Pasting the label of science over voyeurism or curiosity–both male and female curiosity– doesn’t make it any less pornographic, or any more “objective.” And even porn has it’s standards.

    Orgasms are all strikingly different, one to the next, and there are physically observable differences–one woman to the next. And that includes the fakers, too.

    Only four or five kinds of orgasms, based on science? Personal reports are a problem for science, (re: scientopia) in one of the most personal and intimate of actions? Yeah–because science objectifies the participant in the action, and politicizes the debate before the ‘subject’ even shows up and gets the electrode plugged in.

    For instance, in pornography, there is a whole subset of porn called “gyno-porn.” In such porn, the trope is doctors examining patients–woohoo and all( not the old doctor patient trope by any stretch–these guys and gals really get the camera in there), but the real cool part, which is where science has little to say–is where you can actually observe the things that are being discussed above with willing, sexually uninhibited participants.

    Sucking cervixes/non-sucking cervixes; ejaculations,non-ejaculations; some stuff in between, with and without electrodes or speculum. Lots of goo. But the big stumbling block of science which seems more focused on measuring goo, than the actual experience–it seems to be all of these biased, or unobservant observers.

    Greg says “And female orgasms are like male orgasms but more so.”
    Sure, right. Explain that please? Because on its surface, that sounds like ‘mate guarding,’ or a ‘herding behavior,’ a sexist statement, or a political one.

    Perhaps males with-hold orgasm for the same reason–to impress a mate? To demonstrate a willingness to confine themselves to a ‘norm’? Etc., and equivalent.

    Is it the job of science to find the facts, for science to remain objective and observant; or is science actually one of the ‘institutionalized, normalizing agents’ enforcers, and reinforcers of society?

    We are all different, one to the next and can’t be so neatly generalized or ‘normalized’ by science. If it so, then the sciences are acting as normalizers, rather than observers.

    Hard core, Gay and the new straight porn will show you guys who have multiples and ass-gassms; the mangina, and the female’boner’ is taking on new significance in the latest crop of porn people. Dildoe’s, strap-ons, metaphorical phallic power inversions of all kinds. And lots of ejaculations all around…[getting a kleenex now...]

    Soft core, girl porn, and hetero-norm straight porn destined for chain sex-shoppes all over Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas have similar themes, but they are ‘acted out’ rather than experienced, with all the powder puffed stomachs, airbrushed tans, and missionary sex. It is all about the tropes that feed ‘normal’ to people who are trained to act ‘normal’ out–they indeed serve as training films for people who are adhering to expected or coercive ‘norms.’

    Some women–AND men–in porn are truly what the feminists claim them to be–objects,and victims, while others–if not most– are professionals, or near predator like in their voraciousness, expressive and fascinating in their sexual appetites.

    And estrus? I still am not certain that human females don’t have it, what with the huge variety of vagina shapes and labia sizes out there. Hidden? Only because gatekeepers downplay it.It seems that the one holdout for all ‘norm-pandering’ benevolent sexism is to say that ‘human females do not have an estrus cycle’–again, I wonder how many women the scientists, etc. actually know–in the biblical way ;-) And shouldn’t the girl scientists know better?

    Gee, we are so progressive and all–AND THE FELLAHS ARE ALL RAPISTS and CAVEMEN, but don’t ever call the ‘ladies’ bonobo’s, who are out of touch with their inner woman…

    Human female estrus evidence from the University of NM: Ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by lap dancers: economic evidence for human estrus?☆
    Geoffrey Miller⁎, Joshua M. Tybur, Brent D. Jordan http://www.unm.edu/~gfmiller/cycle_effects_on_tips.pdf

  33. #33 Greg Laden
    September 12, 2011

    I do admit that to really understand what I’m saying here (no offence) it would be helpful to read the 11 or 12 blog posts on vertebrate behavioral biology, mammalian behavioral biology, primate and ape ecology, mating systems, behavioral biology and so on, and critiques of evolutionary psychology.

    I’ll let you know when I get those done…

  34. #34 pornalysis
    September 13, 2011

    “it would be helpful to read the 11 or 12 blog posts…I’ll let you know when I get those done”

    Are you being facetious, or have you written such posts already?

    How about just the ones that pertain directly to the orgasm claims- “women so much more” and “typical,normal adult male human sexuality is actually somewhat complex and nuanced.”

    re:”critiques of evolutionary psychology”

    Those are your thoughts on the sciences that are just one notch below–or is it barely above–your love of cultural studies as a discipline?

    But, sure, I will give it a whack…Maybe too much information can be exactly that–conflicting blind spots, and biases.

    Theory: the sky is blue

    1)It is Rayleigh scattering, says Rayleigh, whose name is on the primary claim.

    2)it’s bouncing blue light–the result of a weighted average of all light,says the physicist

    3) culture studies: no, it’s because you can SEE, and others can’t, because we are not a color blind society; blue represents a linear, oppressive, patriarchal perspective and systemic subordination by color coded symbols that dominate the visual landscape…

    4) evolutionary psychologist: perceptual-receiving modules in the visual cortex interact with cognitive modules in the temporal region, which then interact with socialization norms and expectations of cultures at local environmental levels which then serve to alter our perceptions of color to the point that the input of ‘blue particulate energy’ is visualized in one of the cognitive modules as a verbal cue, and hence, behavioral modules in response to the stimuli of ‘blue particulate energy’ becomes both an adaptation of language[English] and visual stimuli, which then evoke cognitive-perceptual modules that accommodate dominant in-group perspectives and expectations of the expression of that perception,resulting in the verbalization of ‘the sky is blue.’ However, chimp society does not have a word for blue.

    5) blind female poet: I don’t know what the hell any of you are saying–but you should see the color of the rippling wind on my skin when I have an orgasm…

  35. #35 Brachiator
    September 13, 2011

    The whole search for a purpose driven reason for the female orgasm is bad science. Heck, it is not even science. This search to validate orgasms seems a holdover from a religious view that says that in the Deity’s universe, everything fits together, and a pseudo-modernist philosophy that wants to insist that men and women are exactly alike, and everything that exists in the male must have a complementary function in females (except for lactation and reproductive organs). And lastly, apparently a lot of scientists know about as much about sex as Dungeon and Dragon nerds. Here, they want to fall back on some lazy notion that pair bonding monogamy is the default status for human beings, ignoring the variety of human societies.

    So, I don’t know whether the female orgasm has a purpose. I DO know that for much of recorded history and across all human societies, “marriage” and its variants has been as much about tribal and family alliances, and the happiness and prospective pleasure of either the male or the female has been irrelevant. And we also know that women have often been the prizes of raiders, invaders, and slaveholders, and that this sad status does not impede reproduction. We know that in the days before reliable birth control, pregnancy was an occupational hazard of prostitutes.

    And self-reporting counts, too. There are numerous examples of journals and diaries in which men and women express dissatisfaction and a distinct absence of pleasure with their spouses, and the discovery of all kinds of pleasure with lovers. And yet, the number of children produced with lovers and spouses does not much vary.

    Put another way, the underlying assumption that there are processes that encourage monogamy is nonsense, or at least is greatly complicated by reality. The larger principle is that evolution drives humans, and other species, to reproduce without regard to fun, pleasure, loyalty or fidelity.

    As an aside, the “problem” of premature ejaculation is a modern issue, that is more related to a society which rightly equally values men and women. But one could make a strong case that selective pressures balanced any “desire” to derive maximum pleasure from sex and the need to get the deed done as quickly as possible so that neither the male nor the female would be exposed to danger.

    This is obviously not to say that orgasms are not important. It is only to say that it is not up to science to validate any particular view about the value of sex or relationships, or to look for a single, reductive evolutionary “purpose” to biological processes.

  36. #36 Raging Bee
    September 13, 2011

    And lastly, apparently a lot of scientists know about as much about sex as Dungeon and Dragon nerds.

    Well, they certainly sound that way when they’re trying to use rational inquiry in an idiosyncratic, emotion-ridden subject like sex. But I think your accusation goes way too far: I’m pretty sure they know the limitations of their work, and understand that they’re only talking about a narrow question of the biological evolution of one physical response, not sexuality or relationships in general.

    Here, they want to fall back on some lazy notion that pair bonding monogamy is the default status for human beings, ignoring the variety of human societies.

    Where did you get that? I think you’re reading too much of your own pet peeves into this. The thesis here seems to be that orgasm reinforces a desire for connection, not any particular formal arrangement of marriage.

  37. #37 Brachiator
    September 13, 2011

    RE: The thesis here seems to be that orgasm reinforces a desire for connection, not any particular formal arrangement of marriage.

    I understand that this is the thesis. The data doesn’t support it. The thesis is contradicted by the facts of human societies.

    And I certainly don’t see the debate over female orgasm as trying to validate any particular formal arrangement of marriage, although I have seen some commentators make that leap.

    Again, the problem is looking for a reductive “purpose” or outcome with respect to evolutionary processes. It is like looking for a specific “fat” gene, as opposed to attempting to understand how evolutionary mechanisms relate to nutrition and survival. Today, we think of being fat as bad, and as obesity as a … huge … problem (at least in Western societies). The search for a “fat” gene is more about the abuse of science because of contemporary concerns than it is about anything real or significant.

    And I have no pet peeve on this issue. But I do see it as part of the difficulty that science often has when it tries to investigate the human species. There is an unfortunate tendency to try to validate aspects of contemporary life, as opposed to simply understanding who were are.

  38. #38 Raging Bee
    September 13, 2011

    The thesis is contradicted by the facts of human societies.

    I don’t agree. The thesis is that orgasm serves to strengthen personal bonding; but it’s understood that what sort of bonds people actually form are determined by many other factors. No one is saying that orgasm alone makes everyone form the same personal bonds all the time.

    Again, the problem is looking for a reductive “purpose” or outcome with respect to evolutionary processes. It is like looking for a specific “fat” gene, as opposed to attempting to understand how evolutionary mechanisms relate to nutrition and survival.

    True. But looking for a “fat” gene (or at least finding out whether or not there is such a gene) is part of that larger effort to understand the larger picture of nutrition and survival.

    There is an unfortunate tendency to try to validate aspects of contemporary life, as opposed to simply understanding who were are.

    A lot of people will indeed try to misuse whatever conclusions scientists draw here. But that’s not something the people dealing with the facts can control.

  39. #39 Calli Arcale
    September 13, 2011

    “But seriously, I did not say that Viagra is an aphrodisiac. I didn’t even hint at it. It isn’t! But it is the brain that produces an erection and viagra steps in for some individual and helps that process along.”

    Well, you did say it works on the brain, and sildenafil definitely doesn’t. It works on the cardiovascular system. (And actually it does work on cardiovascular problems, as originally intended; for instance, it has been used to treat “blue babies” before they can have surgery to close the holes in their hearts. It’s just not a very wide market.) I didn’t see you as claiming it was an aphrodisiac, but I do think it’s incorrect to say it’s action is primarily on the brain. Notably, it does not usually cause an orgasm all by itself. The man still needs to get in the mood. I’d argue that arousal depends on more than just the nether regions and the brain; it depends on the entire body.

    In any case, this was a very interesting article. I’d like to hear more about how cooking revolutionized our social geography. Why does cooking drive us towards monogamy, or at least pair-bonding? How does agriculture feature in that? Is it because it introduces another layer of investment — the hearth? A family unit would have one hearth that primarily feeds that family only, but they’d likely need to be part of a larger group for hunting/gathering purposes. That’s an interesting thought!

  40. #40 ponalysis
    September 13, 2011

    Brachiator: “it is not up to science to validate any particular view about the value of sex or relationships,”

    That’s kind of where I was going up there too–science is acting as a ‘normalizing’ agent, and then ‘validating’ it’s hypotheses about norms.

    Playing the role of social constructor,and institutional enforcer, rather than merely dispassionate interpreters, researchers, or collectors of the data.

    And it is interesting that you point out the inherent neo-puritanism of constructing men and women thus. I tend to agree with that perception.

    Do you think that possiblymore than just a little of this discussion is related to the fact that women are primary consumers of published information about sex (as opposed to pornography) and that such science is directed at a female-as-consumer goal?

  41. #41 Raging Bee
    September 13, 2011

    Do you think that possiblymore than just a little of this discussion is related to the fact that women are primary consumers of published information about sex (as opposed to pornography) and that such science is directed at a female-as-consumer goal?

    No, I really don’t. This sort of publication will be of interest to educated persons in positions of responsibility, male and female (biologists, psychologists, sociologists, economists, etc.); so there’s really no need to aim the material at an “average” sample of either gender.

  42. #42 pornalysis
    September 13, 2011

    Thank you for your polite response to my question directed at Brachiator, Mr. Bee, that isn’t like you at all! You are usually hostile, angry, crude, and rude!

    But I was directing those question towards Brachiator. Are you also posting as Brachiator?

    But in regards to your assertions that “This sort of publication will be of interest to educated persons in positions of responsibility, male and female (biologists, psychologists, sociologists, economists, etc.)”

    I will try to clarify, because you missed my point either way, if only the part about the democratic nature of orgasms versus the authorities interpreting orgasm for the masses.

    I would beg to differ about your view on an audience, if for no other reason than that the phrases ‘the female orgasm,’ or ‘how to female orgasm’ that Greg used in the title of his post just happens to get more hits than any other phrase in the Google adwords keyword results, @ 823,000 per month out of a total of searches = ~7.5 million.

    That’s more than any other orgasm related search, and even if we presume the trope that men are visual, ‘orgasm video’ gets 550,000.

    And then, ‘of interest to academics only?’ That isn’t even debatable when material is published on the internet. See answer above.

    And lastly, these are also the exact studies that are cited in every pop-psych, pop-sex, pop-feminist, pop-sci, or pop-socio book published; that book which is read by some woman sitting on the train next to you, doing her Keegles, while the both of you head to work in the morning without so much as saying hello.

    The books are published long after all of these old web pages are greasing the wheels of the Wayback Machine, and the latest, hottest, newest study of ‘the female orgasm’ is creating buzz, and selling the next book.

  43. #43 Brachiator
    September 13, 2011

    RE: The thesis is that orgasm serves to strengthen personal bonding; but it’s understood that what sort of bonds people actually form are determined by many other factors.

    But the idea of even a personal bond is problematic and asymmetric. For example, men can go to brothels, have sex day and night, and not develop any personal bond for any of the sex workers (male or female). So, strictly speaking, orgasm in the male has no greater “purpose” than to end the need for continued thrusting after the man has ejaculated. Scientists have not established the “purpose” of orgasm for males, let alone for females.

    Looking at it another way, the existence of a personal bond is irrelevant to impregnation and reproduction. So the problem is that scientists are not just looking at facts, they are jumping to soon from issues of reproduction to issues of social relationships.

    RE: Do you think that possiblymore than just a little of this discussion is related to the fact that women are primary consumers of published information about sex … and that such science is directed at a female-as-consumer goal?

    Very interesting observation. I think there may be some of that at play. But also I think that there is an attempt to appeal to the notion that men and women are equal in every way, so orgasms have to serve a purpose, and that purpose must be the same in men and women. By the way, I think that men and women are equal, I don’t have any ideological axe to grind here, but I don’t think that whether or not orgasm has any purpose has anything to do with the equality or value of men or women.

  44. #44 Raging Bee
    September 13, 2011

    And then, ‘of interest to academics only?’

    That’s not the phrase I used, and I certainly didn’t include the word “only.” Who, exactly, are you arguing with? That wasn’t a quote from me.

    …the democratic nature of orgasms versus the authorities interpreting orgasm for the masses…

    “Versus?” Why can’t we have both?

    And, scientists aren’t allowed to gather information and draw conclusions about sexual matters? Ever think they might have some useful information to offer the masses? Or did you expect them to keep their “interpretation” to themselves?

    So, strictly speaking, orgasm in the male has no greater “purpose” than to end the need for continued thrusting after the man has ejaculated. Scientists have not established the “purpose” of orgasm for males, let alone for females.

    Scientists can determine a “purpose” based on probable results. The mere fact that a response is not CERTAIN to accomplish a certain benefcial result does not mean the response has no value. (Perhaps we should be using the word “value” instead of “purpose.”)

    Looking at it another way, the existence of a personal bond is irrelevant to impregnation and reproduction.

    It’s relevant to child-rearing. For higher social animals like humans, that’s almost as important for the species’ welfare as reproduction.

    So the problem is that scientists are not just looking at facts, they are jumping to soon from issues of reproduction to issues of social relationships.

    No, they’re forming conclusions about behaviors that orgasm might have a hand in reinforcing. If anyone’s trying to draw conclusions about specific social relationships, that’s outside the bounds of what this particular work supports.

  45. #45 pornalysis
    September 13, 2011

    “not just looking at facts, they are jumping to soon from issues of reproduction to issues of social relationships.”

    I agree completely. That is a huge leap, because by the time humans experience orgasm with others, so much enculturation has taken place,and stigmatization, and so much other baggage has been planted in the mind and in any one vagina or another that the only thing inevitable is that scientists–full of their own biases–are now ‘necessary’ to intervene, and mitigate against common sense.

    Like,’ I am so surrounded by my culture that I can’t get a single minute to myself to actually define for myself what it is I feel, and how I feel it (or, to jerk off).’

    And women are far more sexually aware than men as a rule, and far more orgasmic, if multiples are any standard. By that token, men are thus unaware of any orgasm but their initial contraction–the two-minute-man ‘standard.’ They are trained to be so. Lord forbid if men ever figure out how to hold it back–why them girls won’t stand for that too long;-)

    But the ‘discussion’ part isn’t necessarily best suited to evolutionary biology so much as it is psychology, sociology, or public relations/communication, because the failures and biases inherent in communication of gender role expectations is the real reason we quibble.

    In fact, I would reverse your paradigm up there: they(sci) are actually jumping FROM social relationships TO reproduction in a sense, based on who agrees with who about what as a basis of ‘forming’ a ‘society’. Dog tail, or tail dog? Egg chicken, or…?

    How ’bout neither, and start over: we all have weinorises, or clitorcocks. But neither side actually wants that common awareness–sex drives economy, and you can’t make a profit from a declining birth rate, or an evaporating book market.

    “For example, men can go to brothels, have sex day and night, and not develop any personal bond for any of the sex workers”

    I can’t agree with that paradigm at all, but I understand your construct. Perhaps that is true in some countries.

    However, I know men who have favorite prostitutes, but they call them home-girls (Jenny from the Block Lopez), dancers, or in the vernacular of the hypocrites ‘mistresses,’ and ‘lovers.’ I mean I agree that sex without further obligation is a desirable possibility, but likely not in America any time soon.( and FTR, I think women’s roles in the oppression of other women’s sexual choices is the primary reason men cum and go at brothels rather than develop relationships—they are afraid of the knock at the door, and women’s prudery enacted into legislation)

    I also know women who throw money at ‘gay-boys,’ who function as their escorts-cum-naughty-dance partners and so forth–women indulge in sex, and prostitution, sexual scenarios differently, and more often than not call them ‘friends.’

    In the whole of things, I generally agree there is a social component to all consensual sexual interaction, but NOT a monogamous intent in any sense of the word, nor necessarily one focused as this discussion is, on orgasms as transactional symbols of inherent or genetic ‘pair bonding’ tendencies. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in what we call ‘liberal society’ has seen the falsehood of that.

    But are better orgasms incentive? Meh. Maybe for 18 year olds, and the 30 something biological clock ticking set. It is one selling point, albeit a weak one.

    And if better and more is the standard of pair bonding, I would imagine that the woman who shares her own and those of her friends with her mate is the real winner–but did you ever notice that she is the one who doesn’t give a shit if she gets that baby or not?

    In fact, statistically,the old ’40% or less’ of American marriages stick it out–is evidence for proof of long term pair bonding? Nope. Evidence of some trickery around the issue of pair bonding? Probably.

    Overall, though, the discussion is good, if only to teach women that it’s o.k. to jerk off, and how. That way, maybe in another thousand years, the stereotypes and tropes will all be reversed…”what a jerk! She came all over me and then split, and left me hanging with no unwanted children, no lawyer bills, and no regrets! Then had the gall to toss some money in my face!”

    *Hrumphhh.

    That’ll never happen, as long as we can keep ‘em guessin’ about their junk…;-)

  46. #46 pornalysis
    September 13, 2011

    RB: You said “This sort of publication will be of interest to educated persons in positions of responsibility, male and female (biologists, psychologists, sociologists, economists, etc.

    I paraphrased what you said as‘of interest to academics only

    So, who are these responsible people you mention? And then, who are all those other ‘ists’ if not academics? Can’t wait to hear that. Unless you mean the Onanists….

    But I love the science; contradictions, hypocrasies, rice paper thin poitical biases and all. Never said anything a’tal about their opinions shouldbe stifled–they are as free as I am to sound like an ass, or equally free to make sense sometimes.

    But don’t confuse the two outcomes.

    “Why can’t we have both”

    Because those ‘responsible people’ you mentioned up there? They always seem to find ways keep us culled and divided, far away from good fucking, with paradigms of power, and differential, preferential legislation and so forth that seeks, generation after generation, century upon century to enslave us to institutional paradigms and social constructs of sliding scale inequity.

    A sort of sliding scale of oppressive interpretations of prevailing science co-mingled with politically advantageous climates of human ignorance, pitted one knot-head against the other.

    The Greeks buggered boys, the modern feminists could care less. The Puritans burned witches, while the good husbands of good wives buggered cabin boys–the patriarchy could care less.

    Roman men and women fucked everything that moved; Blacks could once be owned–just don’t mention African slavery in any terms but glowing!; today only dark amd ‘other’ skinned people actually have slaves, but we talk about how white women are theoretically raped and enslaved if men question feminist ethos in arguments about lipstick choices.

    Oh, that, and–AND THEY USED TO WHIP US, IMPRISON US, OR OTHERWISE HARM US FOR JERKING OFF TOO MUCH. The history of America is the history of manipulating the sexuality and OTHER PERSONAL FREEDOM impulses and freedom-questing spasms of the tyrannical mass of fuckers known as the toiling masses.

    But one thing both sides agree on today? Men deserve to get raped in prisons. But what color deserves it the most? Oh–and just shut the hell up about Libya! Illegal warz of expansion iz realitiez.(Which was also ironically the case in 1820-40 as well, just before the ‘great west was won’)

    Howard Zinn can tell you all about it. Servants, without the masters permission, could not even marry–much less imagine jerking off to romance novels with Fabio on the cover after putting the vacuum cleaner back in the closet.

    And should they be caught doing so, they would be “proceeded against as for Adultery or …fornication.”(Peoples History of the United States)

    The rest of your questions are for Brachiator.

    Those damned fornicators, always fucking around….

  47. #47 hoary puccoon
    September 14, 2011

    I’m afraid the only thing I’ve been able to conclude from this thread is that it provides yet more evidence of how right I was to divorce the scientist and marry the cowboy.

  48. #48 Raging Bee
    September 14, 2011

    I paraphrased what you said as’of interest to academics only

    That’s not a paraphrase, it’s a misrepresentation. Which is not at all surprising, coming as it does from the wanker who falsely accused me of advocating the rape of boys.

    Because those ‘responsible people’ you mentioned up there? They always seem to find ways keep us culled and divided, far away from good fucking, with paradigms of power, and differential, preferential legislation and so forth that seeks, generation after generation, century upon century to enslave us to institutional paradigms and social constructs of sliding scale inequity.

    People doing research about orgasms are trying to keep us from getting god sex? Just throw in something about hedgehogs, crop-circles, and the price of tea in Baghdad, and you’ll have an Olympic-gold non-sequitur here.

    The Greeks buggered boys, the modern feminists could care less.

    Um…that’s probably because modern feminists tend to be more focused on present-day issues.

    Oh, that, and–AND THEY USED TO WHIP US, IMPRISON US, OR OTHERWISE HARM US FOR JERKING OFF TOO MUCH.

    “They” who? And this is related to scientists doing research…how?

  49. #49 pornalysis
    September 14, 2011

    hoarY puccoon: “how right I was to divorce the scientist and marry the cowboy.” You have to go to more than one rodeo to get the right sense of the bull…;-)

    RB: O.K.–it looks like I stepped on another loaded RB-IED.

    I am not here to nurse maid your hurts over dialectic verbal violence or assaults that you initiated in the past.

    Is there anything of the substance of what is written above that you wish to discuss? If not, I am not up for another ad-himinem, ad-hominem loaded conversation with you. You waste my time with your mis-directed internet violence.

    I need some answers from you before I proceed any further in dialogue: are you relapsed or a psychiatric patient of some kind? If not, why are you only loaded with what you might think is ‘righteous indignation’ but it always comes off sounding like plain old mis-placed, near pathological, and non-sensicle anger?

    Your petulant, vulnerable, often vapid internet balls certainly seem to indicate that you probably don’t have enough orgasms yourself. Your knee-jerk defense of what you call feminists is sadly under-informed, or malformed in the monolithic paradigm.

    And, once again, keep your queries to substance, or forget it. I have nothing to say to someone whose deep issues do not have safe dialectic boundaries–and when I am being verbally abused by people like that, my own boundaries in a dialogue can, and do take on similar forms.
    ————————————– line drawn

    Now, first a note about samples of some of the twins: some of the research that seeks to eliminate definitions of women’s ‘inorgasmia’ or Female Orgasmic Disorder from the vernacular of psychiatry have sampled from Australian twins, and :

    “These findings cast doubt on most current evolutionary theories about female orgasm’s adaptive functions, and on the validity of FOD as a psychiatric construct.”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02300.x/abstract

    I bring this up for one very specific reason: You noted the buggery issue above, and asked about ‘they’. My advice for YOU is to read some history for context.

    Have you heard about how Australia was colonized, and by who? Which brings me to the point of buggery….and the descendants of the buggered. The twins studied are descended, arguably, from those who were labeled criminals by earlier societies, and those who have been victimized by capitalist paradigms. And many of them could well have been buggers and the buggered.

    So context is important when we examine cultural factors that could contravene simplistic scientific explanations.

  50. #50 pornalysis
    September 14, 2011

    hoarY puccoon: “how right I was to divorce the scientist and marry the cowboy.” You have to go to more than one rodeo to get the right sense of the bull…;-)

    RB: O.K.–it looks like I stepped on another loaded RB-IED.

    I am not here to nurse maid your hurts over dialectic verbal violence or assaults that you initiated in the past. S to your charge of rape, yes, I consider you amongst the ranks of the rape denialists when it comes to victimization of young boys, and, in that denial, I consider you a supporter of the rape of men and boys.

    Is there anything of the substance of what is written above that you wish to discuss? If not, I am not up for another ad-himinem, ad-hominem loaded conversation with you. You waste my time with your mis-directed internet violence.

    I need some answers from you before I proceed any further in dialogue: are you relapsed or a psychiatric patient of some kind? If not, why are you only loaded with what you might think is ‘righteous indignation’ but it always comes off sounding like plain old mis-placed, near pathological, and non-sensicle anger?

    Your petulant, vulnerable, often vapid internet balls certainly seem to indicate that you probably don’t have enough orgasms yourself. Your knee-jerk defense of what you call feminists is sadly under-informed, or malformed in the monolithic paradigm.

    And, once again, keep your queries to substance, or forget it. I have nothing to say to someone whose deep issues do not have safe dialectic boundaries–and when I am being verbally abused by people like that, my own boundaries in a dialogue can, and do take on similar forms.
    ————————————– line drawn

    Now, first a note about samples of some of the twins: some of the research that seeks to eliminate definitions of women’s ‘inorgasmia’ or Female Orgasmic Disorder from the vernacular of psychiatry have sampled from Australian twins, and :

    “These findings cast doubt on most current evolutionary theories about female orgasm’s adaptive functions, and on the validity of FOD as a psychiatric construct.”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02300.x/abstract

    I bring this up for one very specific reason: You noted the buggery issue above, and asked about ‘they’. My advice for YOU is to read some history for context.

    Have you heard about how Australia was colonized, and by who? Which brings me to the point of buggery….and the descendants of the buggered. The twins studied are descended, arguably, from those who were labeled criminals by earlier societies, and those who have been victimized by capitalist paradigms. And many of them could well have been buggers and the buggered.

    So context is important when we examine cultural factors that could contravene simplistic scientific explanations.

  51. #51 pornalysis
    September 14, 2011

    RB: PART Deux.
    RB: Deux

    Now on substance: you can say that it is misrepresentation if you want,and try that victim stance–lord knows it works for what YOU call feminists, or you can also defend your defense of all the other “-ists” that you lumped together up there. If not, then you sound hollow, uninformed and under-read.

    I am defending the Onanists, both male and female, down to the last drop…[*splash] Hedgehogs and fetishists are not my specialty.

    “People doing research about orgasms are trying to keep us from getting god sex”

    Yes, and no. People doing the research are often just trying to earn a paycheck, and in the area of orgasm research, agendas exist which are tied clearly to other agendas–as in the case of utopian or matriarchal paradigm feminist agendas, or patriarchal religious ones, as the post aptly notes.

    But then, the opposite bias applies–a feminist, or matriarchal bias. As a skeptical person–but not a skeptic!–I must question the motives of any research claim.

    So as a lump sum generalization, one cannot say anything about the ‘people’ that do the research, but we can recall that early research in the area had “patriarchy” based Freudian’s positing that women were hysterical, and crazy because of sexual responses and behaviors; and in the current paradigm that has its fist up the vagina, the opposite is true.

    It all boils down to the relatively simple idea that was touched on above–equality. Sounds good doesn’t it? But all things are not ‘equal,’ as relates to orgasms, liberation, or social constructs of power. And the current crop of narcissists have chosen to become the anti-Freudian describers of pre and post- Oedipal object-relations junkies.

    In this most recent incarnation of potentially unhealthy scientific voyeurism, they are intensely focused on the pre-oedipal mother-daughter relationship, and the potential to de-legitimate and contravene ‘paternal’ influences, via infant orgasmic achievement= liberation, maturation, possibly employing the modern tool of sex-positive feminism. I only have known one of the actual researchers involved, and that researcher calls themselves a feminist.

    “Um…that’s probably because modern feminists tend to be more focused on present-day issues.”

    Really? What is in the present that wasn’t in the past? Please do tell oh, wise griot, please do tell!??

    Then please do tell me all about ‘the feminists’–who are they? After all, there are so many varieties to choose from these days! And through what ‘agency’ do you claim to speak for them?

    But in simpler terms, this discussion is yet another example of the adoption of the modernist fantasies of Minoan-Mycenaean constructs of feminine over mainland Athenian-Grecian dialogues.

    Those dialogues contain the caveat: there is a clear connection with some branches of ‘feminism’–lets posit that they are perhaps the ladies of Lesbos, or Amazons– having a clearly sex negative, Spartan agenda.

    If you study the outcomes of this exact line of research (like the Swedish Sex Purchase Act and other subsidiary laws), and theoretically sex positive dialogues, there is a clear connection with sexual suppression, repression, and eventual oppression of some women to others, and othered women.

    Same shit-different day, but with more war tools.(a whole generation of children obliterated in Iraq!)

    And you ask how this is related to modern science studying orgasm? It relates because the history of human kind has been focused on controlling the sex and breeding of ‘othered’ people.

    Are you an idiot, under-informed, or just being disingenuous?

    Now, about your last question: who are ‘they.’ Hmmm. That’s way too big of a question for this dialogue, but suffice it to say that the demands of global capitalists have met the demands of the local agents of ‘change’ and they are in agreement over the most recent form of sexual social constructs of control.

    And again–you are either uninformed, naive, willfully stupid, or just disingenuous to ask about who funds scientific research, much less what populations are studied.

    An entire generation of children has been murdered in the middle east while we debate liberation via multiple orgasms–monolithic feminism, running the flying liberty play, in a ‘flying Vee formation’ for, not against war-capitalists.

  52. #52 Raging Bee
    September 14, 2011

    The guy who falsely accused me of advocating the rape of boys, never offered a scrap of proof, and isn’t man enough to admit he was wrong, is lecturing us about staying manners?

    And the guy who came to a scientific discussion with a truckload of threadjacking paranoia, is now demanding we stay on-topic?

    Delusional troll is delusional. Not to mention every bit as unmanly as all the other “men’s rights” dirtballs I’ve ever encountered.

  53. #53 pornalysis
    September 14, 2011

    Raging Bee/wizeman/scienceman, I figured it out:

    You don’t have anything to say that hasn’t already been said. You truly are an idiot–an ass of a man; a sockpuppet of yourself. Anything to say on substance? Anything to add, refute, discuss or otherwise?

    Yeah–you are a stupid piece of shit. Not intellectually equipped with anything other than dogma. Nothing you have said adds to the topic or even argues coherently for or against the premises therein.

    You are a true troll–a concern troll. Nothing you have said here or elsewhere is a) constructive b) on topic, or c) anything but pure dogmatic bullshit.

    Consider this as my last response to one of your insults–and from now on, gloves off–and have fun. I am turning you into a sockpuppet.

    *poof

  54. #54 pornalysis
    September 14, 2011

    RB: No, delusional is indicated by statements like this, from out of that ass-hole you have below your nose:

    “isn’t man enough to admit he was wrong, is lecturing us about staying manners”

    US? You need to get back on your meds, and talk to your sponsor. YOU are not an US.

    You nasty mouthed old pedophile you.

  55. #55 Raging Bee
    September 14, 2011

    How many last responses ever have you given me? You’re sounding even sillier than all those “‘Final’ Destination” sequels that are never really final.

    And no, I’ve never used any of those other names. Just one more stupid accusation from a sad, unhinged troll.

  56. #56 Raging Bee
    September 14, 2011

    Got any proof I’m a pedophile? Of course not. Go fuck yourself.

  57. #57 pornalysis
    September 14, 2011

    ,i>Now there is some thread hijacking.

    Speak for yourself–our language is so creative, and after all, it’s just blog-talk and all.

    You are actually something far worse than a supporter of the rape of boys and men, or even a pedophile–,you are a third generation government worker,–a parasite on my tax dollars.

    A little Eichmann, mindlessly laboring away somewhere on 13th avenue, collecting a check in the name of Amerikun freedumb.

    Anything to say on substance? Anything to address in regards to the post above, its content, assertions/refutations and so forth?

    Anything to say about female orgasms?

    Cuz lord knows how you government drones sit on your blistered asses all day, your heads full of sadness over the fact that your internet social media sites haz ben cutoff by Unka Sam.

    With good reason too–if your comments and general stupidity are what constitute a society.

  58. #58 pornalysis
    September 15, 2011

    Last one, just to help you vent all your ass-sitting pent up angst and release your uber-repressed desire to actually live a life.

    I don’t know what you are really. You parrot everything that Greg says as if it’s the word o the lord, wwithout EVER any substantive feedback, contribution,or rebuttal.

    So, what I do know is that you are a third generation government worker and A little Eichmann, mindlessly laboring away somewhere on 13th avenue, collecting a check in the name of Amerikun freedumb.

    And you have no on-topic rebuttal of any statement of fact up above about orgasms and the interactions of society in the formulation of orgasmic response.

  59. #59 Raging Bee
    September 15, 2011

    I don’t know what you are really.

    That’s the only hohest thing you’ve said here. And it’s all we need to know about you.

  60. #60 Raging Bee
    September 15, 2011

    Oh, and now it turns out pornybarker is just one more unhinged loser calling government workers parasites without contributing jack shit to anyone himself. Why am I not surprised?

  61. #61 pornalysis
    September 15, 2011

    Wow–anyone with half a brain could look up thread and see that you have contributed NOTHING new here, whereas I at least may express contrary opinion, or input other data in reference to orgasms, but …

    Raging Bee? It has contributed nothing on topic!

    It says “it’s all we need “ Again i ask anyone looking in– Who are “we”?

    Almost by definition, individuals who signify their individuality by changing “I” to “we” are classically delusional–beyond disagreeable, but actually and factually delusional.

    Look out–I think we have yet another desk sitter about to Go POSTAL!

    Warning to any and all at the Hoover building!Your third generation mindless drone the HP consultant is about to go Qaddafi! Or worse–Ross Perot!

    Those crazy pent-up rape supporters, trying so hard to fit the ‘norm’ and then exploding! [ kerplooey! kerblang! Sound of Raging Bee exploding in yet another successfully thread that he has hijacked !]…

    One more win for the logical, one more turderist exposed, and neutralized–but um–anything to say on substance up there re: female orgasms, BEE?

    Of course not you flaming limp dicked old concern troll.

  62. #62 pornalysis
    September 15, 2011

    But for anyone reading, who actually wants to discuss the evolution of the dialogue of female orgasm research, I am currently flipping through “The Reproduction of Mothering” by Nancy Chodorow, circa 1978, for historical context.

    Back then Chodorow was attacking the Freudian argument that there is “only one kind of female orgasm,” alongside discussion about “female oedipal configuration.”

    Seems to me that science was in conflict then as much as it is now in regards to what the “facts” are, much less how we arrive at them; much less who collects and interprets the data.

  63. #63 Luna_the_cat
    September 15, 2011

    @pornalysis –
    Sadly, any substantive point you might conceivably have made (and I have to admit, I didn’t see one) has been drowned out by your pitching of flaming turds. Seriously. Dude. Get a grip, because you have clearly lost yours.

  64. #64 pornalysis
    September 15, 2011

    luna: “has been drowned out by your pitching of flaming turds”

    Thanks for the nod–but as usual, you either fail, or bone-headedly choose to ignore the old addage about who ‘pitched shit first’–did you come over here from the turd pit, Pharwrongula?

    So, what would you suggest is the best way for me to deal with that thread derailing, shit-slinger Raging Bee?

    Here is his primary contribution–his opening salvo is @17. And there is a clear pattern to his assaults.

    In chimp world, I would just feed him his own ass, literally. He seems to crave it. But it’s kind of hard here if others who are watching allow him to troll as he does without admonishment of some kind.

    Which leaves me stuck in a room with an over-sized two year old that I can’t beat, I can’t send back, and I can’t kill it. If it were my own, sure, pacify it–but look at it!? It’s a 50+ government check collector with nothing substantive to contribute but bile.

    I am stuck either a) pampering a deranged grown up and his rage, or b) being verbally assaulted until I respond in kind. Oh, and option c) always ‘know your place,’ and ‘keep silent.’ I should stay out of the fray, I am too delicate…

    EEEW. That sounds like a non-solution–didn’t work for soooo many…

    luna: What do you suggest I do to avoid RB’s constant verbal abuse, derailing, and non-substantive ad-homs and ad-hims?

  65. #65 Raging Bee
    September 15, 2011

    Actually, pornasshat, I did make a few on-topic comments, specifically in comments #25, 36, 38 and 44. I was using grownup words, and talking to grownups, so that could be why you didn’t catch them. (Of course, you also could have missed them because you’re an unhinged lying sack of pond-scum.)

    So either way, you’ve just made one more asinine accusation that’s easily disproven by easily-available facts. Your credibility is zero, and so is your integrity.

  66. #66 pornalysis
    September 16, 2011

    The jury is in: Raging Bee has relapsed again. You old crackhead junkie punk you. Get out your sobriety calculator–Time to say that prayer of your new religion: “God give us the grace to accept the things…” blahblahblah.

    You little Nancy boy.

    Any and all of your responses are exactly what a ‘moderate’ liberal parrot might parrot. SquAAaaAAwwwk! Pollyanna wanna white cracker! [*phlattphlatt...ploppphh* sound of Polly shitting on the fence]

    And your query and refutation at 44? Either you are, as I stated, too stupid or too caught up in dry-drunkery, but your response and query–which you addressed to me–was over Brachiators comments.

    You ass of a man. Get that hedgehog out of your ass–it might poke you in the forehead.

    Can’t tell the difference between one idea and the next? That’s why YOU are a government computer drone–they like ‘em mindless, stupid, and average. Nice ‘view o’ the Federal Triangle’ says the drone.

    You ignorant, ignorant fucktard. Now go back to scrubbing at your hemorrhoids with your forehead.

  67. #67 pornalysis
    September 16, 2011

    Yup–I conced, to Raging Ballsack: it’s true: women ARE having More orgasms than ever! And science predicts that by the year 2050, women will all being wearing diapers! WTF…???

    http://pornalysis.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/women-are-having-more-orgasms-than-ever-it-depends/

  68. #68 Paul murray
    September 18, 2011

    If orgasms are all about bonding, what are we to make of the human male’s preference for variety?

  69. #69 Stephanie Z
    September 18, 2011

    Well, we should probably start by wondering who all those men are having sex with, if not women with a preference for variety.

  70. #70 Greg Laden
    September 18, 2011

    Paul, please tell me more about what you are asking. The situation is complex, your question is not giving me much to go on.

  71. #71 JK
    September 19, 2011

    Quick observation: Before making any comments about sex in homo sap, spend some time reading through the studies on bonobos (Pan paniscus), who are probably more closely related to us than chimps (Pan troglodytes). Bonobos have made essentially the same adaptation mankind has of merging nonreproductive sex into the grooming-behavior repertoire, and they’re quite enthusiastic and varied about it. A field observation report on a bonobo troupe reads like a good casual orgy.

    Beyond that… y’know, the “what is it for” mode of discussion of evolution is somewhat obsolete at this point. Variation and selection; the variation occurs, and then unsuccessful variations are selected against. Something can be neutral or even slightly negative yet be retained in the gene pool until it eventually finds a use. Animals are imperfect; that’s one of the strongest pieces of evidence for evolution by selection. What something is used for now may have no relationship at all to why it arose originally; consider the jawbones we now use as ears, for example.

    Remember too that homo sap hasn’t been around long enough on the evolutionary time scale to even have proved that it’s a successful adaptation. We’ve proven that we’re great at exploiting resources — we’re taking full advantage of every opportunity to run entropy at maximum speed — but we have yet to prove that we aren’t a global epidemic which will exhaust those resources and die off (or at least die back drastically) in another few thousand years.

    So: What it was for, what it has been for, and what it’s for now may be multiple separate questions. Ditto what it has co-evolved with and whether the two are linked functionally or just by sharing the same genetic line. My take is that for now, as in the bonobos, it’s promoting grooming behavior and thus social bonding and structuring… in other words, it’s currently for exactly what you would think it would be for, and if it’s imperfect it’s still better than many other aspects of the human body.

    … A set of drunken engineers, after a long night debating which field might best claim mankind’s creator as a member — electrical for the nervous system, mechanical for the muscles and skeleton, and so on — finally conceded the battle when the civil engineer provided irrefutable proof: “Who but a civil engineer would build a recreational center right on top of a waste disposal site?”

  72. #72 Greg Laden
    September 19, 2011

    JK, I’m sorry, but I do address bonobos and several of the other issues you bring up in your comment, in the original post.

  73. #73 pornalysis
    September 20, 2011

    JK: “(Pan paniscus), who are probably more closely related to us than chimps (Pan troglodytes). Bonobos have made essentially the same adaptation mankind has of merging nonreproductive sex into the grooming-behavior repertoire”

    I think you meant to address Radical Feminist bonobos? http://pornalysis.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/hot-sweaty-monkey-butt-sex/

  74. #74 Greg Laden
    September 20, 2011

    I should mention, that Pan paniscus is not more closely related to us than bonobos. That is a common misconception in the public mind as is a very pure misconception … it was never ever a possibility within the science. Just something somebody made up.

  75. #75 Raging Bee
    September 20, 2011

    If orgasms are all about bonding, what are we to make of the human male’s preference for variety?

    How does one contradict or disprove the other? Both the bonding and the preference for variety are beneficial to the species, in different ways and at different stages of the reproductive cycle.

    (Also, I suspect that “the human male’s preference for variety” is a bit overrated (and the human female’s preference for variety is underrated). Yes, men like lots of partners (or at least the idea thereof), but we also like the idea of a steady partner who stays with us.)

    My own opinion is that orgasm reinforces the desire for bonding, in both men and women. It also encourages both sexes to seek — and stick with, and have lots of sex with — the most physically fit partners, since in general, the fittest partners give us both the best orgasms and the fittest offspring.

  76. #76 pornalysis
    September 28, 2011

    Raping Bee: You are confusing physical fitness with evolutionary fitness.

    Your idea that ancient relics like yourself can actually attract women with your shiny new Prius’s(the liberal Hummer) and doing yoga (see above where you are bending over and blowing smoke up your own ass)is what woman want, as opposed to shiny new boy toys is flawed.

    Fitness only means ‘whatever dumbass can get it up and dump a load in a singlemom’ anyways.

    Then: “My own opinion is that orgasm reinforces the desire for bonding, in both men and women.”

    Again–what would you know about that anyways? The only bond in your life is your hand, super-glued to your own member, and your other hand on the keyboard, furiously trolling internet chat sites for the word ‘orgasm’.

  77. #77 Zfree
    September 30, 2011

    Just finished reading “Have You Ever Had an Orgasm? A Woman’s Guide to Everyday Bliss” and was enlightened as to the power of the pulsing punani, it’s release of hormones which heal and ease mind and body are well documented. A great read, with pictures and how to’s I put to use right away.

  78. #78 clumsygirl
    October 3, 2011

    Crossing-over partial occurrence between X chromosome and Y chromosome is the key of intersex.

    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/10/crossing-over-partial-occurrence.html

  79. #79 Henry A
    October 16, 2011

    What…females can not have vaginal orgasms? Lol didn’t know that

  80. #80 Jon Tomas
    November 2, 2011

    I would suggest that science struggles with the concept of the female orgasm at least partly on the basis of the heterogeneous nature of that beast. Male orgasm involves one route, one basic overarching theme; insert tab A in slot B, remove, lather, rinse repeat….ooooooohhhh!!!!!…snore.

    I would assert that females of the human persuasion are capable of orgasm through stimulation of at least five distinct erogenous zones; that, though the underlying mechanism may be similar or even involve peripheral or distal stimulation of the same tissues, the presence of intervening distinct neural pathways colors the character of these distinct flavors of orgasm to the point they are readily discernible from one another. Couple this multitudinous approach vector with the narrow refractory nature of female orgasm (relative, especially, to male human orgasm), and the waters are muddied considerably. Human females are capable (generally speaking) of obtaining orgasm via multiple sites of stimulation, and multiply serially as well.

    Now, to be sure, and owing to the vagaries of individual physiology, to say nothing of the social inhibitions implanted during childhood on up through early adolescence, not all women may be capable of allowing themselves to experience the multifarious nature of their sexuality. But, with a few glasses of good wine and a patient, comprehensive back rub and/or foot rub recently disposed of, more women are capable of such heights of ecstasy than many would, themselves, deem possible or even advisable. I mean, imagine if men were capable of not only multiple orgasm (generally speaking, again), but multiple varieties, as well! Nothing, ever, would get done!

    I will dispense with the presumption of listing the varieties of female orgasm in bulletted format. Suffice to say, vaginal orgasm is, indeed, readily attainable following insertion of foreign body into said orifice.

  81. #81 Monique
    January 28, 2012

    One of the reasons science does not understand the female orgasm very well is because science, by and large, is dominated by the men and the thinking processes and logic of men.

    In my brief lifetime on this earth, roughly 55 years, I’ve had many opportunities to study how men respond to women. I’ve come to one very simple conclusion:

    Men, by nature are very egocentric and have a tendency to think that what “they” experience, must also be the experience of the rest of humanity.

    So, as they try to filter the female experience through their own experience and life parameters, they continue to come up short, befuddled, and confused.

    Hardly does it ever occur to them that a bird is not a cat, a cat is not a dog and a woman is not just a scaled down version of themselves.

    Get outside of your heads (both large and small, gentlemen) and you will find that the female orgasm is not so mysterious at all.

    Just different.

    Monique

  82. #82 Katie
    April 20, 2012

    Fascinating topic, I can see how in my own life I have made the female orgasm extremely mysterious, while also fearing it a bit – because what we see in pornography is often so fake – so women never really know what to expect.

    However, letting go of those expectations allows us to stop acting within sex and just explore our physical bodies. I think a lot of women have to walk through this “letting go” before they can experience a true physical orgasm – and it’s helpful if men are understanding and patient.

    http://journeyoflifekatie.blogspot.com/2012/04/day-5-fear-of-female-orgasm.html