Home Intellectual aspects of sexuality How orgasm is achieved Orgasm is an instinctive response to erotic stimuli

Orgasm is an instinctive response to erotic stimuli

Orgasm is an instinctive response. That means that even when we have no prior knowledge or experience of orgasm, we are still able to discover it. It has to be that way because otherwise the human race (and other animals) would not exist. We haven’t always had books or even word of mouth to tell us about intercourse and masturbation. There is no such thing as an instinct to buy a vibrator and use it to stimulate yourself. This is a conscious behaviour motivated by the advertising slogans of the sex toy companies.

Imagine a boy and a girl who grow up on a dessert island without any knowledge of the outside world. At adolescence, the boy will have erections and may masturbate. If they have close contact the boy will become aroused (have an erection). Without any instruction, he will be instinctively motivated to engage in thrusting activity. He would discover the woman’s vagina without knowing of its existence. A girl doesn’t have a similar instinct to complement his. She may be motivated to demonstrate her affection if she loves him.

The mind responds to erotic stimuli by causing blood to flow to the genitals in preparation for sexual activity. This causes observable evidence of arousal in the form of tumescence. A man is naturally motivated to explore a woman’s body because he is aroused by it. This means that even in the absence of all knowledge of intercourse he would eventually discover it.

Research indicates that when men are deprived of female company they are aroused much less frequently. Kinsey’s research found this to be true of less educated men, who cannot substitute masturbation for intercourse so easily. He found that when men are imprisoned (without women) most men experience little arousal. Responsiveness is split into two distinct issues. We have a biological capability but also we need an opportunity. If a man lacks a partner or has no access to erotic stimuli, he may not be responsive at all. Men work on ships or oil rigs without sexual arousal so long as no erotic stimuli are available (probably unlikely now in the age of the internet!).

Various nervous system responses have symptoms in common with orgasm. These include anger, fear and epilepsy. We can experience a peak of sensation for various reasons. For example, someone could tickle our feet. We may reach a point where we don’t want further stimulation. Such a sensation is not orgasm. Firstly, the erectile sex organ is not involved but secondly there is no mental focus on eroticism. Orgasm is defined by the pleasure a person enjoys from the erotic stimuli that cause mental arousal. Female orgasm is often assumed to occur simply because stimulation ceases.

Male orgasm is not an issue because it is usually a given. Men’s prime motivation for engaging in sexual activity (alone or with a partner) is their mental arousal. Men’s heads (to varying degrees) are full of sexual thoughts. A man is likely to keep some (less socially acceptable) thoughts to himself out of embarrassment or to avoid offending a lover (particularly a woman). Anyone who has had an orgasm knows that crude sexual thoughts and genital urges are involved. We are embarrassed to admit these urges because they reflect our most private thoughts. This is why we can be sure that women who boast about orgasm have never had one. They are not embarrassed because they don’t understand that sexual arousal (and the resulting orgasm) must arise from thinking about something crude. Women assume that orgasm arises purely from emotional sensations and physical stimulation.

What does the word ‘blue’ mean to a blind person? You can say that it is the colour of the sky. But if they have never seen the sky, then they have no idea what colour means. The same goes for orgasm. It is just a word. Some women assume they orgasm. Others just ignore the concept. It’s something that is important to men. Female orgasm is often defined in emotional terms. Yet if women experienced same the response that men do, we would expect these orgasms to have characteristics in common with the male experience. We would expect female orgasm to involve erotic turn-ons and the phallus.

Most women conclude that orgasm (like masturbation) is over-rated because they assume that orgasm involves purely pelvic muscle spasms. Other women believe they orgasm either alone or with a lover but without using any erotic stimuli. This is evidence that they do not appreciate the nature of orgasm. Any adult needs some form of mental stimulation of an explicitly erotic nature to achieve orgasm. Orgasm is a release of sexual emotions. Stimulation of the sex organ is only effective once we are mentally aroused.

If men want women to have a positive attitude towards eroticism or to be willing to engage in more adventurous sex play, then so-called female orgasms that arise without women engaging on erotic concepts of any kind are not going to help very much. It is the mind’s positive response to sexual scenarios that causes someone to empathise with eroticism. Our ability to respond to eroticism is what motivates us to engage in sexual activity. Our mental arousal causes sexual tension to build up and be released as orgasm.

We do not discover orgasm because we are given information. Once we have had an orgasm, we may understand the information that we had been given. But the motivation to engage in sexual activity that culminates in orgasm arises in our own mind. Erotic stimuli (that cause the brain to increase blood flow to the genitals) motivate a responsive person to massage their sex organ (penis or clitoris). The stimulation technique we use is instinctive. We could experiment with different masturbation techniques but there’s little point. We continue to masturbate as we began because the technique is reliable.

Most males … are definitely aroused upon seeing things that are associated with sex, and most females are not so aroused. (Alfred Kinsey 1948)