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December 2, 2011 7:42 PM   Subscribe

First 3D movie of orgasm in the female brain.

It took 7 minutes, but the video is only 57 seconds. Kayt Sukel can have orgasms in an MRI scanner. So can Nan Wise. Pioneers advancing Science.

If you've got 48 minutes, here's the female orgasm explained.
posted by twoleftfeet (55 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Am I the only one who eagerly clicked for wild trepanation porn? I am, huh.
posted by planet at 7:48 PM on December 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


"The sequence of brain activity itself is telling. First, not surprisingly, activation is seen in the sensory regions of the brain that map the genitals. Earlier research by Komisaruk's group showed that nipple stimulation also excites this sensory region, helping explain why it can be erotic.

Next, a region called the insula lights up. "Not only is [the insula] active during orgasm, it's also active in response to pain," says Komisaruk, explaining that brain imaging is difficult to interpret because "activation" can mean different things in different brain cells. If inhibitory neurons are active, this actually reduces the signaling of other neurons — and could mean something is being prevented rather than processed. "We see strong inhibitory interaction between orgasm and pain," he says. "During orgasm, women are much less sensitive to pain."


Yep.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 7:56 PM on December 2, 2011


All due respect to Woody Allen, I can't be the only man who's intensely envious of the female orgasm.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 7:59 PM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yes, yessss, yeeeeeesssssss!!!

*taking copius notes . . .

More, please.

Damn I need to get laid . . .
posted by eggman at 8:09 PM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm going to need some proof that the data wasn't faked.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:15 PM on December 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


"...and for possibly the first time in the history of science, women came first."

Do ho hooo
posted by steamynachos at 8:16 PM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have to say, though I couldn't in a FPP, that I thought this particular quote from the Time article was hilarious:
While this may seem like a silly line of research, in fact, understanding how the brain experiences the most pleasurable sensations may be essential for figuring out what underlies conditions in which desire and motivation go awry, like addiction and depression.
Because, you know, there's no reason to study the most pleasurable sensations unless we can connect them with most unpleasurable.
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:17 PM on December 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


Jeez.. Rule 34 is lagging so far behind technology these days.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:18 PM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


It Happened To Me: I Donated An Orgasm To Science. Kayt's take on it. Naturally she has massive public embarrassment at Googling now, plus lovely Internet responses.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:19 PM on December 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


What? No audio?
posted by steamynachos at 8:22 PM on December 2, 2011


She said to help keep movement to a minimum (and the data clean), I would be fitted with a breathable plastic mesh helmet that would be screwed to the scanner bed. I'd be locked in and need the assistance of others to get out of the contraption.

I can imagine the BSDM crowd loving this experimental design.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:25 PM on December 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


by, um, mefi's own, me.
posted by Maias at 8:27 PM on December 2, 2011 [29 favorites]


Thanks Maia
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:31 PM on December 2, 2011


The Dirty Minds book cover is totally cribbing Watchmen's Hiroshima embrace/Rorschach art. hurm.
posted by Scoo at 8:32 PM on December 2, 2011


Obligatory.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 8:49 PM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is that video really supposed to show the female orgasm? Looked like an extra from the Hollow Man DVD to me. I don't see it.
posted by scrowdid at 8:51 PM on December 2, 2011


There is nothing sexy about this.
posted by purephase at 9:02 PM on December 2, 2011


> If you've got 48 minutes, here's the female orgasm

Including foreplay? Because that's like a long time.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:07 PM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm imagining that set to some slow, tastefully epic violin music.

Less high-brow and in a completely different vein, remember "blipverts" from Max Headroom: subliminal advertising that pumped so much information in so quickly that peoples' heads exploded?

Well, I'm thinking: a sci-fi story wherein someone combines this research with something like magnetic seizure therapy and creates a little doohickey you wear on your head that's designed to amplify orgasms, or maybe let men experience womens' orgasms and vice-versa. Except, it works too well and peoples' heads explode from it!

Someone should make that, at least as an episode of CSI or something.
posted by XMLicious at 9:19 PM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


White light MOVING UP TO MY BRAIN
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:22 PM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess nobody else shares my sexual fantasy. In my fantasy, I am a subject in a scientific experiment. They make me do weird things. Sometimes I enjoyed those things, and sometimes I
didn't. But they never told me whether or not I was in the control group.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:30 PM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


[more inside]

That's what she said?
posted by ShutterBun at 9:46 PM on December 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'll have what she's having??
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:57 PM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


a sci-fi story wherein someone combines this research with something like magnetic seizure therapy and creates a little doohickey you wear on your head that's designed to amplify orgasms, or maybe let men experience womens' orgasms and vice-versa. Except, it works too well and peoples' heads explode from it!
Like Niven's drouds (electrically stimulate the pleasure centers of your brain through a wire) and tasps (similar, but wireless)? Consider the consequences of people being able to short-circuit their own or each others' psychological reward mechanisms without direct physiological drawbacks, and you don't need exploding heads to make it interesting.
posted by roystgnr at 10:02 PM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought drouds and tasps were supposed to replicate a drug euphoria, the way Louis Wu described it... much as Niven's wireheads slouching around and drooling might make good television if it was cleverly crafted, I think you'd need something like a climactic anti-money-shot with fountains of gore to faithfully follow in the footsteps of Max Headroom.

I still have nightmares, the way they did the head asploding FX. It didn't make me watch any less TV, though.
posted by XMLicious at 10:34 PM on December 2, 2011


Book coming out in February, eh? Pepsi Orgasm.
posted by Yowser at 10:39 PM on December 2, 2011


Not only is [the insula] active during orgasm, it's also active in response to pain

And it plays a part in empathy, and in registering sensation from the digestive system, and...
posted by Jpfed at 10:43 PM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Komisaruk notes that facial expressions during orgasm (the "O face") are often indistinguishable from those made in pain


Real classy, TIME.

LOL
posted by victory_laser at 10:44 PM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just stopped by because I heard someone said "trepanation porn" upthread... I was kinda disappointed though, until I found out she was jerkin' herself in an MRI machine? and ... yeah, I'm almost there... now I wanna do it inside an MRI machine SO MUCH... ungh
posted by not_on_display at 11:07 PM on December 2, 2011


If you do it in an MRI you'd best take out your Prince Albert.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:13 PM on December 2, 2011


If you've got 48 minutes, here's the female orgasm

Pfft. Millions of men can manage that in 30 seconds or less. Time to bring your A game, ladies!
posted by Forktine at 11:42 PM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


until I found out she was jerkin' herself in an MRI machine? and ... yeah, I'm almost there... now I wanna do it inside an MRI machine

The case of Mara Altman's brain: Her head was strapped down, because movement (including facial contortions) messes up the imaging. A very nice grad student squirted some lube in her hand before heading back to the control room. After Altman had been aimlessly touching herself for awhile, one of the scientists told her: “You have 10 minutes. Stimulate to orgasm." And she had to raise her hand outside the machine when it happened, so the scientists could look for changes in her brain right at that moment.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:51 PM on December 2, 2011


When I come with the thunder, the lady's brain never goes quiet.
posted by reenum at 11:55 PM on December 2, 2011


She was totally faking it.
posted by essexjan at 12:17 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Her head was strapped down, because movement (including facial contortions) messes up the imaging. A very nice grad student squirted some lube in her hand before heading back to the control room. After Altman had been aimlessly touching herself for awhile, one of the scientists told her: “You have 10 minutes. Stimulate to orgasm.

I wonder how much of that neural activity was caused by her trying to hold her face still and concentrate on so many things while this was going on.
posted by delmoi at 12:54 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This could make a very interesting bondage/exhibitionist situation for some people. They fit you with a mask and screw the mask in place so you can't escape or even move your head, then they start up the MRI and film your brain in 3D while you orgasm. Just get the doctors and nurses involved and you have yourself some Grade A porn.

Also with weird potential: she duct taped a cat's bell to her forehead to practice masturbating without moving her head.
posted by pracowity at 12:59 AM on December 3, 2011


I'm with delmoi - I'm not sure you can definitely that the neural activity of orgasm when concentrating very hard on achieving it in a very constrained situation is the same as orgasm without those constraints.
posted by Coobeastie at 1:00 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still believe that an orgasm-raygun would be the world's most awesome crowd control device. Sure would beat pepperspray...
posted by BungaDunga at 1:20 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have some respect for these people. They are the astronauts of orgasm.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:23 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still believe that an orgasm-raygun would be the world's most awesome crowd control device. Sure would beat pepperspray...

Yes, that would certainly make (e.g.) college students disperse from the quad, and not return for a good protesting each and every night.
posted by jaduncan at 5:08 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Tase me, bro... no really, come back and tase me! I deserve it! I've been bad!"
posted by XMLicious at 5:23 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess nobody else shares my sexual fantasy. In my fantasy, I am a subject in a scientific experiment. They make me do weird things. Sometimes I enjoyed those things, and sometimes I didn't.

This is really really really common in BDSM. Sorry you are not a snowflake.
posted by desjardins at 5:54 AM on December 3, 2011


"We see strong inhibitory interaction between orgasm and pain," he says. "During orgasm, women are much less sensitive to pain."

This is a remarkable FAIL for someone who has noted the similarity of facial expressions in orgasm and pain. It's not that sexual excitement inhibits pain, it's that it's taking over the circuitry and repurposing it. This is pretty obvious if you have ever closely studied the reactions of your masochistic lover.
posted by localroger at 6:16 AM on December 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Obligatory link to The Onion.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:25 AM on December 3, 2011


This is really really really common in BDSM. Sorry you are not a snowflake.

My other fantasy is that I am a snowflake. I shine in the sunlight, my perfect hexagonal crystalline structure reflecting the rays, till I'm beaten down, and I melt, under the hot hot sun.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:31 AM on December 3, 2011 [14 favorites]


I think "passive dildo" is a phrase I will incorporate into my daily language.
posted by Jon_Evil at 6:34 AM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I possibly wouldn't have chosen the loaded word "surrender" to describe a partner induced orgasm, since at the very least it sounds like a sex scene from a Harlequin Super Romance but I otherwise find this article interesting.


This is pretty obvious if you have ever closely studied the reactions of your masochistic lover.

Tell me about it. I sometimes feel that the science of human sexuality is in the patty-cake stage of developmental maturity, compared with the people who are actually having sex.
posted by Phalene at 6:51 AM on December 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I bet that IRB application had to be rewritten a few times.
posted by demiurge at 7:05 AM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tell me about it. I sometimes feel that the science of human sexuality is in the patty-cake stage of developmental maturity, compared with the people who are actually having sex.

Doctors need to spend more time playing Doctor?
posted by localroger at 7:24 AM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


My other fantasy is that I am a snowflake. I shine in the sunlight, my perfect hexagonal crystalline structure reflecting the rays, till I'm beaten down, and I melt, under the hot hot sun.

Well, then, you need to listen to this new song by Kate Bush!
posted by hippybear at 10:07 AM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would be fitted with a breathable plastic mesh helmet that would be screwed to the scanner bed. I'd be locked in and need the assistance of others to get out of the contraption.

*fans self*
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:41 AM on December 3, 2011


"And then, the brain goes quiet."

Uh, they turned the MRI machine off too soon and missed seeing the post-orgasm need-a-snack-naked-in-the-kitchen from the Brilliant Idea center part of the brain light up.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:26 AM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am drawing a blank trying to find more information about the 48 minute google video, like the filmmaker's name. If anybody knows what's up with that it would be handy!
posted by bukvich at 11:46 AM on December 3, 2011


I think "passive dildo" is a phrase I will incorporate into my daily language.

I think the non-passive variety would normally be called a vibrator. Although there have been some recent technological advances in other non-passive dildo technology.
posted by localroger at 4:00 PM on December 3, 2011


A few aspects of my health conditions are neurological misinterpretations of signals and over-reactive nervous system. It is not fun and, challenging to explain, when pleasure sensations suddenly hurt as the nerves cross-fire while overstimulated. It's not pain hurt but pleasure hurt and NOTHING like pleasure from being hurt.
posted by _paegan_ at 6:02 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


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