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Is a Woman's Sexual Satisfaction a Mind Game?

Courtesy Kayt Sukel(NEW YORK) -- The secret to releasing the mysterious female orgasm might be all in our heads -- literally. 

Surprising research suggests that the concept of female sexual dysfunction as a disease could be a myth, and that women may be, well, just over-thinking sex and love.

Acclaimed sex scientist Barry Komisaruk and his team of researchers at Rutgers University are studying the female orgasm, hoping to unlock the elusive secrets of a woman's pleasure peak.  And they are analyzing whether female sexual dysfunction is even a real disease.

Kayt Sukel volunteered to masturbate in an MRI machine while Komisaruk's team monitored her brain activity as she reached her climax.  Sukel said she was happily married with a superb sex life, until she gave birth to her son.  When her libido crumbled, so did her marriage.

As a newly single mom, she set off to find out how love and lust impacted our brains.  Her book, Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex and Relationships, explores the notion that the brain is a woman's most powerful sex organ.

"The answer may just be in trying something new, being open, being able to communicate, and, you know, maybe getting a little bit outside your comfort zone," Sukel said.

In looking at a female brain's activity during orgasm, Komisaruk said he saw that 80 out of 80 different regions of the brain all hit their maximum activity.

"Orgasm is one of the most all-encompassing phenomena in the brain.  The only other thing that is known to produce such widespread [brain] activity is epilepsy," he added.

After the Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra in 1998, it became a blockbuster drug with millions of men suddenly diagnosed with erectile dysfunction and obtaining prescriptions for the little blue pill, including Cialis and Levitra, all of which were covered by insurance.  According to the National Institutes of Health, 18 million American men, aged 20 years or older, had been diagnosed with ED by 2007.

More than a decade after Viagra hit pharmacy shelves, women are still feeling left out.

Komisaruk said he hopes to find an answer for women lacking sexual desire, especially those who seem unable to orgasm at all.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio