Category: Slideshow

Evolutionary mystery of female orgasm deepens

Personally I consider the female orgasm a gift from the Gods, for subjecting us to labor pains during childbirth. What are your thoughts?

September 2011 by Aria Pearson

“Whence the female orgasm? After 40 years of debate evolutionary biologists are no closer to deciding whether it evolved to give women a reproductive boost, or whether it is simply a by-product of male orgasm evolution. The latest attempt to settle the dispute involves quizzing some 10,000 twins and pairs of siblings on their sexual habits.

Some evolutionary biologists reckon the female orgasm is adaptive and possibly influences mate choice, strengthens pair bonds or indirectly helps to suck sperm into the uterus. Others argue that women have orgasms for the same reason that men have nipples – being highly adaptive in one sex, the traits tag along for the ride in the other.

Brendan Zietsch at the University of Queensland, Australia, and Pekka Santtila at Abo Akademi University in Turku, Finland, think they can help to settle the question. If female orgasm is a simple by-product of male orgasm, the duo argue, then similar genes would underlie orgasmic function in both men and women. As a consequence, opposite-sex twins and siblings will share more similarities in their susceptibility to orgasm – “orgasmability” as Zietsch calls it – than pairs of unrelated people.

Timing’s everything

To measure this orgasmability, the researchers used survey data from just under 5000 sets of identical and non-identical twins and pairs of regular siblings. The questionnaire asked about the time to orgasm in men and the frequency and ease of orgasm in women.

In keeping with previous findings, Zietsch and Santtila found that same-sex identical twins had more orgasmic similarity than same-sex non-identical twins and siblings, showing that genes do play a role in orgasmic function and apparently providing some evidence that the by-product scenario might be correct.

However, contrary to the expectations of the by-product scenario, the two researchers found that opposite-sex twins and siblings had virtually no correlation in orgasmability.

Premature extrapolation

“This indicates that the genes that influence orgasmic function in men are not the same as those in women,” says Zietsch. In other words, male and female orgasm evolved through different genetic routes, and the by-product hypothesis is incorrect.

Those who favour the by-product hypothesis think such a firm conclusion is premature. Kim Wallen at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, points out that the study measured different things in men and women – timing to orgasm versus likelihood of orgasm – and so a correlation would be unlikely. Zietsch counters that different measures were necessary because of the different nature of male and female orgasm.

“Of course, it’s possible that different questions would reveal different results,” says David Puts, a behavioural anthropologist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, who places himself in the adaptive camp. “But this study certainly isn’t helping the by-product theory.””

Journal reference: Animal Behaviour, DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.08.002

Internet Addiction ? – Porn, Chat rooms, Forums…

Internet addiction feeds into our brain’s wiring system. Our eyes become almost fixated on an image or we insist on linking, perhaps to be surprised by the next screen. Whether it is porn, clothing catalog, chatting, forums, fb, the latest book, we are riveted to our seats in hopes of finding friends, partake in gossip, locate the latest fashion, etc. It is a marvelous tool that demands a lot of self-control. In a society where people often indulge to the extreme, witness the obesity epidemic, ‘porn addiction’, we are talking about a control issue, not addiction. Self-control needs to be resurrected.

Researching Porn on the Internet

Ancient Porn

Searching all the porn on the Internet might not seem like the most scientifically productive activity, but computational neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam did it anyway.
For their new book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World’s Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire, Ogas and Gaddam analyzed the results of 400 million online searches for porn and uncovered some startling insights into what men and women may really want from each other — at least sexually. (Maia Szalavitz, author of this article, spoke recently with Ogas. Below is the last question posed, it is what most people want to know about porn.)
Did you find evidence that porn is addictive?
We looked at individual search histories for half a million people using an AOL data set [which does not identify the users]. It seems to be less than 2% of people, among the people who search for porn, who have a significantly elevated number of searches.
And there’s a [shared] characteristic among these searchers: they search for a really wide variety of porn, which is atypical. Usually, people search for the same things over and over. But these people who search for notably more porn tend to search for [many different things].
Two things tend to show up in these searches, oddly: bestiality and granny porn. There’s clearly something different about that group. Having said that, there isn’t overwhelming evidence that porn addiction exists. Probably the best way to define whether it’s a problem is if you want to stop and you can’t.
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Orgasm – A Religious/Spiritual Experience?

Muse suggestion for writing sensexuala: Gina Ogden has done extensive research on the spirituality of sexual experiences. If you have ever felt a religious/spiritual experience while in the throws of orgasm, please share either as comment to this post, or read it at the next Erotic Literary Salon