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.

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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."