Here are 10 surprising claims about sexual climax, ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious, presented by Mary Roach, the author of “Bonk,” at a 2009 TED Talk. Here’s the must read transcript:
(This talk is aimed at adults. Viewer discretion advised)
YOU DON’T NEED GENITALS
Alright. I’m going to show you a couple of images from a very diverting paper in The Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. I’m going to go way out on a limb and say that it is the most diverting paper ever published in The Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. The title is “Observations of In-Utero Masturbation.” (Laughter) Okay. Now on the left you can see the hand — that’s the big arrow — and the penis on the right. The hand hovering. And over here we have, in the words of radiologist Israel Meisner, “The hand grasping the penis in a fashion resembling masturbation movements.” Bear in mind this was an ultrasound, so it would have been moving images.
Orgasm is a reflex of the autonomic nervous system. Now this is the part of the nervous system that deals with the things that we don’t consciously control, like digestion, heart rate and sexual arousal. And the orgasm reflex can be triggered by a surprisingly broad range of input. Genital stimulation. Duh. But also Kinsey interviewed a woman who could be brought to orgasm by having someone stroke her eyebrow. People with spinal cord injuries, like paraplegias, quadriplegias, will often develop a very, very sensitive area right above the level of their injury, wherever that is. There is such a thing as a knee orgasm in the literature.
I think the most curious one that I came across was a case report of a woman who had an orgasm every time she brushed her teeth. (Laughter) This was something in the complexsensory-motor action of brushing her teeth was triggering orgasm. And she went to a neurologist who was fascinated. He checked to see if it was something in the toothpaste,but no — it happened with any brand. They stimulated her gums with a toothpick, to see if that was doing it. No. It was the whole, you know, motion. And the amazing thing to me is that now you would think this woman would like have excellent oral hygiene. (Laughter)Sadly she — this is what it said in the journal paper — “She believed that she was possessed by demons and switched to mouthwash for her oral care.” It’s so sad.