Day 109: 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm

In this hilarious talk, Mary Roach, author of, ‘Bonk’ presents some surprising anecdotes and findings about orgasm from past and present research. Here are ten facts about ‘la petite mort.’
1) It’s an autonomic nervous system reflex. It can be triggered by a wide range of stimuli.
2) Some of these stimuli are quite surprising. Kinsey interviewed a woman who could be brought to orgasm by having her eyebrow stroked.
3) The headquarters for orgasm is the sacral nerve root. Stimulating the precise spot can trigger an orgasm; this could potentially be done in a dead person, but might not be as much fun for them.
4) Orgasm can cause breath. According to the ‘semen connoisseur’, Theodore Van de Velde in his 1926 book, ‘The Ideal Marriage,’ there is also a difference between the semen of a young man ( fresh and exhilarating) versus that of an old man ( which he describes as like the Spanish Chestnut- sometimes floral, sometimes pungent).
5) It may cure the hiccups. In 1999 a man in Israel began to hiccup for days. Eventually he had sex with his wife and they went away. His doctor published a case study on this.
6) Doctors once prescribed orgasm for fertility, thinking that the ‘up-suck’ into the uterus post orgasm assisted with semen transport. This was later disproved in the 1950s.
7) …Pig farmers still do. There is considerable evidence for the up- suck theory in animals. This is accompanied by a video of a sow being stimulated!
8) Female animals are having more fun than you think. They just don’t register pain or pleasure on their faces. For the more shy pig farmer, a vibrator has been developed to assist in pleasuring them!
9) Studying human orgasm in a lab isn’t easy. In the 1950s, Masters and Johnson developed a tool that aimed to do just that. It was essentially a penis camera on a motor which their female subjects had sex with. Sadly for Roach, it’s now been dismantled.
10) Semen travel distances vary greatly. Kinsey wanted to calculate the average distance travelled by semen as there was some research in the 1940s suggesting this might be a factor in fertility. While in 75% of men studied the stuff just dribbled out, the record holder landed just short of the 8 foot mark.


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