Mary Roach Talks Masturbation

Question: Can masturbation keep you sexually healthy?

Mary Roach: People have, actually, looked at... The whole issue of "use it or lose it" in the way... meaning that if you don't have a partner and you're not having sex, there's research to suggest that you... that it becomes harder and harder... This is in women, I don't know about... I don't know if it's ever hard for men to have an orgasm.

But for women, there's some data to suggest that the more frequently you have arousal and orgasm, the easier it is to achieve.  And if you don't for years and years... First of all, you get some atrophy going on, particularly in your later years.

Masturbation is actually a... It's kind of a... I don't know the word I want for it. But anyway, masturbation is a useful strategy for somebody who seems to be having trouble getting aroused and having orgasm. So, you know... Yeah. You know, who's going to get... who's going to fund that study, you know? I ask somebody because I ask... There's these people who were... There's a product called the EROS Clitoral Therapy Device. And it's essentially a suction vibrator that cost 400 dollars. And I said, well, why don't we just use your finger? I mean, why? I mean, if the idea is to bring more blood to the genitals, why do you need this 400 dollar device, what masturbation will bring blood to the genitals. That's what happens when you're aroused. And I said, well, you know, has anybody ever done a study? Like, looking at the... how beneficial it is for women with sexual arousal disorder to regularly masturbate.

And this woman said, "are you nuts? Look what happen to Joycelyn Elders. We can't...We couldn't possibly try to get funded." She had this great line, she said, "masturbation is a very touchy subject."

Recorded on: April 6, 2009

 

The author says there is an idea of "use it or lose it" that is very relevant.

Under what conditions are we most creative?

While we might not love the idea of deadlines, they can be cause for some of our greatest creative work.

Videos
  • Creative individuals produce better work when there's a deadline involved, says media mogul Tina Brown.
  • To extract great work, you shouldn't have the option to escape it. Deadlines add a level of pressure that makes for better results.
  • In Brown's opinion, some of the best journalistic work was done in the period after 9/11. The combination of subject matter, content, and passion rallied creatives to put forth incredible coverage.
Keep reading Show less

Hints of the 4th dimension have been detected by physicists

What would it be like to experience the 4th dimension?

Two different experiments show hints of a 4th spatial dimension. Credit: Zilberberg Group / ETH Zürich
Technology & Innovation

Physicists have understood at least theoretically, that there may be higher dimensions, besides our normal three. The first clue came in 1905 when Einstein developed his theory of special relativity. Of course, by dimensions we’re talking about length, width, and height. Generally speaking, when we talk about a fourth dimension, it’s considered space-time. But here, physicists mean a spatial dimension beyond the normal three, not a parallel universe, as such dimensions are mistaken for in popular sci-fi shows.

Keep reading Show less

Energy-harvesting design aims to turn Wi-Fi signals into usable power

Device for harnessing terahertz radiation might enable self-powering implants, cellphones, other portable electronics.

YAMIL LAGE/AFP via Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
Any device that sends out a Wi-Fi signal also emits terahertz waves — electromagnetic waves with a frequency somewhere between microwaves and infrared light.
Keep reading Show less