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Entries in Orgasm (7)

Monday
Jul162012

Have You Ever Faked It?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new survey by AdamEve.com found 47 percent of women admitted they faked an orgasm on occasion.  According to the same survey, 77 percent of men denied ever faking it.

There were several reasons cited by women for faking it, including:

•    35 percent: "It just wasn’t going to happen."
•    23 percent: "I didn’t want to hurt my partner’s feelings."
•    13 percent:  "I wanted it to be over."
•    7 percent: "I was tired."
•    4 percent: "I was bored."
•    3 percent: "I was uncomfortable."

The survey involved 1,000 U.S. adults.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul102012

Can Sex Without Orgasm Bolster Marriages?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Matt Cook hasn't had an orgasm in seven months, and he hopes never to intentionally have one again. The 51-year-old publisher from Virginia isn't celibate. Happily married for 25 years, Cook said his sex life is more exciting than ever and giving up the goal-oriented climax has improved every aspect of his life.

Cook, the father of two adult sons, is a newcomer to karezza, a form of intercourse that emphasizes affection while staying far from the edge of orgasm. Climax is not the goal and ideally does not occur while making love.

"It creates a deep feeling in a relationship that is very difficult to describe -- much deeper than conventional sex," he said.

Cook is one of a growing number of men who have embraced karezza and have found it has helped heal their marriages, inject more spark into their sex lives and even shed porn addiction.

A recovering porn addict, Cook suffered from performance anxiety with girlfriends. Sex got better with his wife, but he didn't know how much until he discovered karezza.

Now, he has sex almost every day.

"It kind of never ends," said Cook. "Why would I want to give that up for a 15-second orgasm?"

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Deb Feintech, a counselor from Portland, Maine, uses karezza to help couples repair their broken relationships.

"The people most interested are men," she said. "It's very radical for them, but they are finding the emotional intimacy far outweighs any of the thrill of the chase and the mating mind."

And Feintech said the practice is not just helpful for middle-aged couples struggling with the ennui of a long marriage, but for young couples headed to the altar.

"I offer this to them as something to try for a month or so," she said. "They wake up every single morning and they are not even thinking about genital stimulation. They are snuggling, holding and breathing with eye contact and flow. It's very conscious -- from the genitals to the heart."

It puts the emphasis on attachment, not climax.

The word karezza was coined by Dr. Alice Bunker Stockham, a Chicago obstetrician and early feminist who promoted birth control, a ban on corsets and sexual fulfillment for both genders. In 1896, she wrote a book by that name -- from the Italian word carezza, which means caress.

For strengthening marriages, she encouraged what was then called "male continence," although in the interest of equality, she asked that women abstain from orgasm, as well.

Marnia L. Robinson has carried the contemporary torch in her 2009 book, Cupid's Poisoned Arrow, and on her website, Reuniting: Healing With Sexual Relationships.

"Even for those with the highest libidos, performance can become a grind and drive a craving for novelty," said Robinson. "Such feelings, although perfectly natural, can create projections and resentment that cause disharmony, especially after our temporary honeymoon neurochemistry wears off."

Technique is "virtually immaterial," she says. "It's a practice about not doing, about getting your goal-driven mammalian mating system out of the way long enough to fall into a state of relaxed union."

A former corporate lawyer and now a devotee, Robinson argues that karezza's power is rooted in neuroscience.

"Orgasm really isn't in our genitals, but actually between our ears," she said.

In the "passion cycle of orgasm," the hormone dopamine rises in anticipation of sex, and then crashes after orgasm, creating a biochemical "hangover," according to Robinson.

In men, that happens almost immediately after ejaculation; for women, it can be two weeks before the brain returns to homeostasis, according to Robinson.

"Karezza turned out to be an enjoyable way to tiptoe around biology's agenda," she said.

Overstimulation of the pleasure receptors can also desensitize the brain to pleasure or create a craving for more. When men are addicted to pornography or have frequent orgasms, "no amount of pleasure can satisfy," she said. "We are always looking for something novel."

But in karezza, lovemaking never finishes, so sexual energy continues to flow, helping to prevent boredom with a partner, say advocates. Karezza also elicits the relaxation response and encourages the brain to release the "love" hormone ocytocin, which helps in bonding behavior.

Robinson, unable to sustain intimacy, had been married twice before meeting her husband Gary Wilson, a former science teacher who helped her in her research. He had experienced depression and alcohol addiction, but after the couple explored karezza together, he was able to give up Prozac and drinking.

She found she was able to sustain a lasting and harmonious marriage.

"We sit tight, next to each other 24/7 and are never apart," said Wilson. "I don't feel the need to have my space, which is unusual."

Though many other men look at Wilson "like I am crazy," he said karezza can surprisingly help "rekindle things" in a long-term relationship.

For each couple, the experience is different.

"The natural 'karezzanauts' would be committed couples who want to sweeten the harmony of their relationships," said Robinson.

But young people, too, can try their hand at karezza, she said. In the very least, the practice is an effective form of birth control.

"I doubt any of us forget how to have conventional sex if pregnancy is desired," she said. "You can still ride a bike, even if you drive a car."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr252012

Researcher Claims G-Spot Discovery

Creatas/Thinkstock(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) -- Has the mystery behind the G-spot been finally solved? 

In a new study to be published Wednesday in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, a researcher claims to have conclusively located the elusive erogenous zone.

But the new report is unlikely to put an end to any controversy.  Already, several experts warn this so-called discovery may not be the road map to female orgasm that many women -- and their partners -- have long hoped to find.

The G-spot got its name in the 1980s when the concept -- an erogenous zone that, when stimulated, can lead to powerful orgasm -- gained in popularity.  It was initially named after Ernst Gräfenberg, a German physician, who wrote about its existence in the 1950s.

Since then, most sex experts have scrutinized an area on the front wall of the vagina that, anecdotally, appears particularly sensitive.  Some experts say stimulating this area can lead to female arousal, orgasm and even ejaculation.  Yet, despite widespread popular belief in its existence, no one has ever decisively identified a particular body part corresponding to the G-spot.

But now Dr. Adam Ostrzenski, a gynecologic surgeon and director of The Institute of Gynecology, Inc., in St. Petersburg, Fla., says he has accomplished this feat by discovering a structure he believes represents the G-spot.

Ostrzenski says he was motivated to study the G-spot after hearing anecdotes of swelling in the lower section of the vagina during stimulation.

The unsexy twist to Ostrzenski's otherwise sexy research is the method he employed in his search; he dissected the cadaver of an 83-year-old woman and discovered a blue, grape-like structure buried deep in the front wall of the vagina.

According to the doctor, this structure resembled erectile tissue, similar to what can be found in the male penis.

Ostrzenski, a long-time believer in the existence of the G-spot, may have an additional incentive to validate its existence. He specializes in a procedure known as G-spot augmentation, in which a patient's own fat is injected into the vaginal wall right underneath the area where the G-spot is supposed to reside in order to enhance stimulation.

He says the location of this special spot has long been known by many women, and that it can be taught to others.

Still, other experts in sexual health are not convinced that Ostrzenski has the G-spot all figured out.

Debby Herbenick, research scientist at Indiana University and author of the book Sex Made Easy says it is not possible to know if what Ostrzenski found is in fact the G-spot, since there is no information about the patient's sexual experiences when she was alive. 

Specifically, she says that the G-spot, by definition, is a spot that brings pleasure when stimulated -- and that Ostrzenski was unable to prove that the structure he identified gave his patient any pleasure because she was already deceased.

Another major problem with the study was that it examined only one patient's body, says Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, associate clinical professor of urology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.  Whether this type of tissue is found in any other women -- let alone all women -- is simply not known.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar202012

Orgasm With Exercise Is Real, Study Says

FogStock/Thinkstock(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) -- Some women don't need a lover or sexual fantasy to experience sexual pleasure or even orgasm.  As a new study suggests, exercise can do the trick.

For years, fitness and women's magazines have touted the apocryphal "coregasm," but now researchers at Indiana University say that hundreds of women are getting the unintended benefits of those tummy crunches.

An estimated 45 percent of the women who responded to the researchers' online request for women who had either exercise-induced orgasm (EIO) or exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP) said their first experience was during abdominal exercises, followed by weight lifting (26.5 percent), yoga (20 percent), bicycling (15.8 percent), running (13.2 percent) and walking/hiking (9.6 percent).

"For me as a scientist, that's a stripped down version of orgasm, without sex or a partner," said co-author Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University.

Any exercise that involves the core muscles seems to trigger that sense of pleasure -- chin-ups, climbing ropes and especially the "captain's chair," a rack with padded arm rests that allows the legs to hang free before lifting the knees to the chest.

A handful of women said they even had sexual feelings while mopping or walking.

From a physiological standpoint, "coregasm" makes sense, according to fitness experts.  In both exercise and sex, the heart rate and breathing are faster and there is increased blood flow.

Herbenick said this "exploratory" study is a first step to learning more about the "physical processes" of sexual pleasure.

"Orgasm is something we really know nothing about -- not scientifically," she said.  "[Sexologist Alfred] Kinsey mentioned it in his [Sexual Behavior in the Human Female] book in 1953, and it sort of got left there."

The study was published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Sexual and Relationship Therapy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar202012

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

Friday
Nov182011

Brain Imaging Captures Female Orgasm in Action

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- Rutgers researchers have peeked inside the brain during one of the body’s most private sensations -- orgasm.

Psychology professor Barry Komisaruk and colleagues captured the crescendo of brain activity in a series of functional magnetic resonance imaging snapshots taken over seven minutes.  They then transformed the images into a colorful animation -- the brighter the color, the more activated the brain is.

“We’re looking at the sequence of brain regions that get recruited at increasing intensity leading up to orgasm,” said Komisaruk.  “It’s such a compelling behavioral and sensory phenomenon with so many implications and so little understanding.”

The brain belongs to Nan Wise, a 54-year-old sex therapist turned Rutgers PhD student.

“When I first started grad school in the ’80s, we didn’t have these methods,” said Wise, who went back to school four years ago.  “Now we can study how the brain is recruiting these regions to create the big bang of orgasm.”

When Wise reaches orgasm, almost every area of her brain is activated.

“Secondary to an epileptic seizure, there’s no bigger brain networking event,” said Wise.  “It’s a fantastic opportunity to examine the connectivity of the brain.”

By understanding the events in the brain that lead to orgasm, Wise and Komisaruk hope to find clues about what might be going wrong in the 25 percent of women who rarely or never have one.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep082011

Vibrators as Medical Devices?

Jim Arbogast/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Long before settling in sex shops, vibrators were sold at Sears.  "Aids that every woman appreciates," read a 1918 catalog blurb for a vibrator and its various attachments.  It may sound scandalous, but back then, vibrators had little to do with sex.

Back then, sex had little to do with women -- in terms of pleasure, anyway.  The act, considered one of procreation rather than recreation, consisted of penetration and male orgasm.  If the woman happened to enjoy it, well that was a bonus.  As a result, women suffering from hysteria -- a now abandoned medical diagnosis related to sexual dissatisfaction -- would seek the help of doctors and devices.

"It turns out to be physically healthy and mentally healthy for people to have an orgasm," said Susan Heilter, a psychologist and couples therapist in Denver.  "People do become more emotionally brittle without that sexual release."

Emotional brittleness, anxiety, and depression were all symptoms of female hysteria.  The treatment: pelvic massage until "hysterical paroxysm" or, in other words, a doctor-delivered orgasm.

The movie Hysteria, which has the Toronto International Film Festival all abuzz, chronicles the lives of two Victorian era doctors charged with treating a town of hysterical women.  Physically exhausted by the task, they invent a motorized device -- the prototypical vibrator in spinning feather duster form -- to quicken the climax.

The romantic comedy, which stars Hugh Dancy as a medical protege and Maggie Gyllenhaal as his mentor's daughter, details the evolution of the female orgasm from a chore once resisted to the challenge now widely accepted.  But with its function (aside from pleasure) unclear and one in 10 women unable to attain it, the female orgasm, in many ways, remains elusive.

A study of 10,000 twins and siblings published in the September issue of Animal Behavior suggests the ability to achieve orgasm is inherited from woman to woman.  But a May 2011 study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that female orgasm rates were unrelated to 19 other evolutionary relevant inherited traits.  All this to say the purpose of female orgasm, unlike the sperm-spreading purpose of male orgasm, is a mystery.  It is known, however, that sexual dissatisfaction is bad news for couples.

"Sexual satisfaction is similar to money," explained Heitler.  "If you don't have enough, it's a real source of stress and divisiveness.  But as long as people have enough for their basic needs, more is entertaining and pleasurable, but not essential."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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