Thinking Yourself to Orgasm

Question: How is the brain related to female sexual response?

Barry Komisaruk: Well, it’s interesting that you ask that question because we are really dealing with that right now. Since we know that if you think about the clitoris, or think about the G-spot, or think about the cervix that the corresponding part of the brain map for those parts of the body, those become activated. So, one question is whether women who can think themselves to orgasm, do they think their genital activation that the brain representation of the genitalia into activity and does that spread to the other systems that are involved in orgasm, how do they do it? We want to understand how they do it normally and then the question is what if we ask women to think about the genitals more intensively? Or, will they be able to intensify the response in their genital sensory cortex, and will that spread to other parts of the brain, will that facilitate their orgasm? I think it could be very useful in women who say that they don’t experience orgasms; it could be useful in women with spinal cord injury who can’t feel their external genitals. Can they think their brain into greater activation and will that facilitate their orgasm?

That’s a question that we are currently dealing with our brain research. It’s a very important and interesting question and it could be therapeutically useful. One of the techniques that we’ve developed is to have the women in the scanner looking at their own brain activity in near real time. The question is, if we can see our own brain activity in near real time in specific regions, can we voluntarily increase the activity of that part of the brain just by thinking about it, just as we can think about moving our finger and we can move our finger? We can wiggle our finger. We don’t know what we do, we learned to do it as an infant because we got the feedback between what we see and what we do, maybe we can do something with the brain. If we see our own brain activity, maybe we can make a change and maybe that’s going to change the way we feel, or the way we move. So, this is a new technology of near real time brain imaging with unlimited frontiers. We don’t really know how far we can go with that. But it’s a new approach.

Recorded on October 29, 2009

The relation between the mind and sexual response is still fertile ground for investigation.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Photo: Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less