Orgasms Everywhere!

i-75fa6f7cebb4145668724f37f5a52b36-steve_icon_medium.jpg So what's the story with the big O? Scientific American has the full story. Here's the main points to get you warmed up though:

Principles of Pleasure

* Sexual desire and orgasm are subject to various influences on the brain and nervous system, which controls the sex glands and genitals.
* The ingredients of desire may differ for men and women, but researchers have revealed some surprising similarities. For example, visual stimuli spur sexual stirrings in women, as they do in men.
* Achieving orgasm, brain imaging studies show, involves more than heightened arousal. It requires a release of inhibitions engineered by shutdown of the brain's center of vigilance in both sexes and a widespread neural power failure in females.

Here's the Scientific American article.

More like this

The NY Times ran an interesting article on sexology a short while ago, focusing on the differences in arousal between men and women. Like any guy, I read it hoping to discover the magic switch that turns women on, but as expected, the message is that female arousal is very, very complicated. This…
This morning I got a question in e-mail, asking if I'd heard of a particular paper. Of course I had, it's a very fun bit of research...and then I realized I'd never mentioned it on the weblog before. I guess it's because it's focused entirely on the phylum Chordata, specifically one rather…
Evolution of Female Orgasm is one of the ever-recurring themes on blogs. This post was first written on June 13, 2005. There were several follow-ups as well, e.g.,here, here and here. Under the fold. The discussion about the recent studies on female orgasm, first about its adaptive function and…
I criticized the Zietsch and Santilla paper on the female orgasm. Now one of the authors has responded. One response he makes is that some of the limitations to the study that I pointed out were also explicitly recognized in the paper. This is true; however, my purpose in mentioning them was to…

International Spontaneous Orgasm Day is on 28 May, I heard....

Mary Roach is currently doing the author circuit for Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. Which may or may not teach you anything both new and practical, but is still pretty freakin' hilarious.

I thought orgasm was the web site for the association for preservation of computer assembly language programming. Or was that

I just downloaded this to read offline and I see it's written by Martin Portner. Shall we refer to this article in future as Portner's Complaint?

"... researchers have revealed some surprising similarities. For example, visual stimuli spur sexual stirrings in women, as they do in men."

This is surprising?

By Julie Stahlhut (not verified) on 16 May 2008 #permalink

"...a widespread neural power failure in females"?? Then how come he's the one always falling asleep afterwards?


Since you shut off your brain, you've got so much more energy left-over when you're done.

Thanks for the wisdom, Brian. That explains so many things for me now--like Grey's Anatomy--a whole lotta left-over energy going on there:>)

I wonder if this "brain shutting down" thing has something to do with why some cultures have such taboos against sex and seek to regulate it. If you have to release your inhibitions to orgasm, I can imagine that some particularly neurotic people would be uncomfortable with the sensation, leading them to dub sexuality "evil."