dimanche 2 mars 2014

SURVEY

In association with Jean-Claude Piquard
we are leading the following international survey: 

Is the orgasm an identifiable physiological process?

Nowadays, the definition of orgasm is “to reach the climax of pleasure”, a definition that only refers to subjective perception.

It would seem that not all sexual pleasures lead to an orgasm, as for example the long vaginal pleasure. This survey will help understand the different processes of sexual pleasures.  Some pleasures are controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system (autonomic nervous system) as in men, before ejaculation. But what about women?
A greater knowledge of the process of orgasm would be an interesting contribution to science. It could enable us to identify forms of sexual pleasure other than orgasm that could be just as important. A different perspective could be of great help in sexual therapies.

Turning to literature doesn’t really help. Hippocrates compared orgasms to epileptic seizures. After 1550 when Colombo had described the anatomy of the clitoris and had identified it as the feminine pleasure organ, the most frequently used phrase is became “venereal spasm” for both men and women. These expressions all refer to a short occurrence accompanied by spasms. The word orgasm first appeared in the modern lexicon at the beginning of the 19th century and was popularized by Freud when he invented the notion of the vaginal orgasm (1905).

Masters and Johnson started studying human sexual reactions in 1950. They observed 694 couples and  close to10,000 orgasms. They were the first to describe the process of orgasm in both men and women, identifying pelvic spasms radiating throughout the body. These spasms are the result of a sympatholytic storm (accelerating autonomic nervous system) with accompanying physiological signs :
- Respiratory rate increases, going from 14 respirations per minute at rest to a maximum of 40.
- Blood pressure, usually around 130 mmHg at rest, brutally reaches just over 200.
- Heart rate, around 65 beats per minute at rest, brutally reaches 130, and can in some cases soar    to 180.
- Skin can present reddening in the torso and face …
- Pupils dilate.
(crédit photos http://www.beautifulagony.com/public/main.php)

Recently, cerebral imaging has allowed us to identify areas in the brain involved in sexual pleasure. Lacking a clear definition of what an orgasm is, however, makes it difficult to know if these studies scan for the brief orgasm or some other pleasures, such as the long vaginal pleasure.

Our hypothesis is that the most constant and the easiest clinical sign to observe is the heart rate’s brutal increase (almost doubling).

We were able to gather a first collection of informal results, helping us corroborate the fact that the heart rate suddenly increases, often doubling over a short period of time, both when men orgasm-ejaculate and when women experience clitoral orgasms. We were also able to measure this brief heart rate acceleration with a cardiac holter monitor. Oddly, the cardiologist identified this occurrence as a glitch in the monitoring, and went as far as being showed skepticism concerning the patient’s claims. This only underscores how Masters and Johnson’s studies remain largely unknown. 

In order to confirm these results, we would like to extend these measures to all erogenous zones contributing to the orgasm: the vagina, the g-spot, the cervix, the anus, nipples, etc.

How can you take part?
Considering the intimacy (solitary or shared) that goes with the occurrence of orgasms, we suggest use of a device which can record results autonomously:
- A heart rate monitor designed for athletes (thoracic belt + bracelet receptor), from 20€ with instant reading 
- Smartphone version (thoracic belt + smartphone reception) with recording of results, from30€.

Many sportsmen already own heart rate monitors, and can therefor easily take part in the survey. For those who do not own one, the price being quite low, you can partner to buy one and reduce costs.

We are also considering a partnership with a manufacturer. 



Do you want to participate in the survey? 

The survey will be online in APRIL 2014. You can pre-register, you will be informed at the outset of the survey.

Your comments are warmly welcomed.


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