Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Faking it?

There have been two recent publications from the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, one looking at muscle contractions and the other blood flow in the brain during female orgasm. One of the findings was that either faking an orgasm, or failing to achieve orgasm produces different effects, and according to the first paper, it is the first time a physical measurement has been shown to have a strong correspondence to subjective reporting. I presume that would be helpful in treating disorders.

I vaguely wonder how typical a sample of the population they had there. It has to be a certain type to volunteer for a study like that.

A more readable report (and very interesting too) from 2005, published by the Wellcome Foundation, gives an account of twin studies (plus some others) which show that there is a strong genetic factor in ability to achieve orgasm. It also adds that the Dutch researchers had difficulty studying male orgasms because the imaging techniques they used required a response lasting two minutes.


  1. A.,
    I guess this puts me in the sisterhood of geeks, but I love reading this type of research (it feeds my love of acquiring information - any kind of information). I particularly like discovering the biological bases for what we do as humans. I think, though, that no matter how complete the description of the physiology of the orgasm, it will never explain why at least some women some of the time find it a transcendent experience.

    I also enjoyed the comments that wrapped up the Wellcome article, concerning the issue of 'female sexual dysfunction'. Prompted by Figleaf's intense and numerous discussions, I have to ask what/who defines dysfunction.

  2. Oh yes, welcome to the sisterhood janeway! It's my fascination too.

    The comments do make you think. I'd really like to read the Elizabeth Lloyd book so I must try to get hold of a copy.

    The other part that struck me was "both men and women found it easier to have an orgasm when they kept their socks on". My husband has always been of that school of thought - and I thought he was going quietly mad. I haven't tried it myself!

  3. My feet are my thermostats in bed. I sleep with them outside the covers at least fifty percent of the time, and the thought of socks...yikes.

    Chaq'un a son gout (sorry, can't do the accents)


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