But how do women know for sure if they are climaxing? What if the sensation they have associated with climax is actually one of the the early foothills of arousal? And how does a woman know if she has had an orgasm? Neuroscientist Dr Nicole Prause set out to answer these questions by studying orgasms in her private laboratory. Through better understanding of what happens in the body and the brain during arousal and orgasm, she hopes to develop devices that can increase sex drive without the need for drugs. Understanding orgasm begins with a butt plug.
Prause uses the pressure-sensitive anal gauge to detect the contractions typically associated with orgasm in both men and women. When Prause began studying women in this way she noticed something surprising. There are lots of pleasure peaks that happen during intercourse. Prause, an ultramarathon runner and keen motorcyclist in her free time, started her career at the Kinsey Institute in Indiana, where she was awarded a doctorate in Studying the sexual effects of a menopause drug, she first became aware of the prejudice against the scientific study of sexuality in the US.
Soon anonymous emails of complaint were turning up at the office of the president of UCLA, where she worked from to , demanding that Prause be fired. Prause pushed on with her research, but repeatedly came up against challenges when seeking approval for studies involving orgasms.
The ethics board told her that to proceed, she would need to remove the orgasm component — rendering the study pointless. Undeterred, Prause left to set up her sexual biotech company Liberos, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, in It flows all over the place with no set direction. It may include climax, or it may not. In Orgasm 2. Prause wants to determine whether arousal has any wider benefits for mental health. Prause is examining orgasmic meditators in the laboratory, measuring finger movements of the partner, as well as brainwave activity, galvanic skin response and vaginal contractions of the recipient.
Before and after measuring bodily changes, researchers run through questions to determine physical and mental states. Prause wants to determine whether achieving a level of arousal requires effort or a release in control. She then wants to observe how Orgasmic Meditation affects performance in cognitive tasks, how it changes reactivity to emotional images and how it compares with regular meditation. The field of brain stimulation is in its infancy, though preliminary studies have shown that transcranial direct current stimulation tDCS , which uses direct electrical currents to stimulate specific parts of the brain , can help with depression, anxiety and chronic pain but can also cause burns on the skin.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, which uses a magnet to activate the brain, has been used to treat depression , psychosis and anxiety , but can also cause seizures, mania and hearing loss. Prause is studying whether these technologies can treat sexual desire problems. In one study, men and women receive two types of magnetic stimulation to the reward center of their brains. After each session, participants are asked to complete tasks to see how their responsiveness to monetary and sexual rewards porn has changed.
This provides sexual stimulation in a way that eliminates the subjectivity of preferences people have for pornography. There is plenty of skepticism around the science of brain stimulation, a technology which has already spawned several devices including the headset Thync , which promises users an energy boost, and Foc. Prause, also a licensed psychologist, is keen to avoid overselling brain stimulation. For some, it will be, but for others it will be a way to test whether brain stimulation can work — which Prause sees as a more balanced approach than using medication.
Sexual problems can be triggered by societal pressures that no device can fix. Brain stimulation is just one of many physical interventions companies are trying to develop to make money, she says. There is just too much variability both culturally and in terms of age, personality and individual differences. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Sex. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All.
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