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In June, DC Comics will be switching the sexual orientation of a well established character, so says DC co-publisher Dan DiDio (Bleedingcool.com). Here’s a little head start on trying to figure out who, though your opinion is also requested in a comment and poll.

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Mary Roach

Mary Roach

If a respected community and site like TED.com could talk about orgasms, then, hey, so can I!

I applaud TED.com for doing this, to not only invite Bonk author Mary Roach to talk about orgasms, but then to post it. Mary’s talk was entitled Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Orgasms. I’m no longer surprised at what TED.com put up, the open-minded group they are, but I definitely applaud them for sharing this as they must have known it’s a bit of a taboo subject still and would get flack for it from some circles within their ranks.

In this talk, Mary Roach shares obscure scientific research, some of it centuries old, to make ten surprising claims about sexual climax, ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious. Folks, if you thought you knew about orgasms from all the things you read in stupid magazines like Cosmopolitan, think again! This is far more out there than anything Cosmo or those magazines would have. That’s why it’s on TED.com, which, if you didn’t know, is far more open-minded thinking than all of Cosmo’s staff put together. And just as a point, Cosmo always shares the best sex secrets every month. If you’re got any intelligence to you, and need those secrets, you’re better off to wait till December each year and just get that issue once a year to get the best of the best. :-)

The ten things about orgasms Mary goes over are listed below the video in bold, in case your hands were not free to take notes. Commentary and supplemental information are mine unless otherwise attributed. Hey, both my hands were on the keyboard listening and blogging! ;-)

Of course, you may or may not know the things Mary speak of, but I think most will be surprising to you. If you did know most of them without having first seen this talk or reading Mary’s book/articles, I’d probably step away from you since this isn’t exactly common knowledge and I’d wonder what you spend your spare time doing. This video, though, has definitely peaked the interest of TED video YouTube viewers, with 10X the viewership of other recently released TED videos.

Finally, viewer discretion is advised for the younger readers. For the rest of you, enjoy, but try to keep you keyboard and screen clean, eh?

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The ten things about orgasms Mary talks are:

  1. Male masturbation starts in utero.That’s quite the early start! Guys, it seems, were born masturbators! Mary provides ultrasound picture from moving ultrasounds that show the motion so it’s not like it was a random placement of the hands.
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  2. Lack of genitals needed for orgasm (from everyday actions, orgasms experienced by paralyzed people, etc.). Make no doubt about it, folks. The brain is the biggest sex organ we’ve got, by far! Its adaptability to everything in life never ceases to amaze me. Paralyzed people have orgasms in the area just above from where they are paralyzed. That’s adaptability!
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  3. You can have orgasms when you’re dead, and have them induced. There’s a thought to include in your last wishes!
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  4. Orgasm can cause bad breath in women. Mary talks about women’s breath here, and I don’t think she’s talking about it from ingestion of seminal fluid. The bad breath seems to be just a bodily reaction stemming from orgasm in women. Mary didn’t exactly make this clear in her talk. She cited Dutch physician and gynecologist Theodoor Hendrik van de Velde, who was a self-professed “semen connoisseur” from being a “semen sniffer”, but talks about bad breath from intercourse, not oral sex. Van de Velde and his research, by the way, stemmed from the 1920s, not anything recent. However, take heart, ladies, the bad breath seems only for an hour after sexual intercourse. So just stick around and talk to your lover for a while. Hey, maybe evolution knew a thing or two about this stuff since it seems to be a common habit. They should be able to tolerate you, although that said, maybe that’s why men don’t like talking after sex. So if you can’t make conversation for an hour or so after sex, avoid people for an hour… though I don’t think Mary is suggesting the bad breath is that bad.
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  5. Orgasms can cure the hiccups. Research carefully recommends that only “unattached hiccuppers” try this. That’s quite funny, the demographics suggested, as Mary says, so the research can be “proper”. Those not “unattached” should find another solution, but was not told of what by Mary. Of course, in this day and age, though, anybody and everybody should just go for it. Forget breathing into a paper bag or holding your breath. Just get yourself to orgasm somehow. And if it’s during class or something like that, just tell them you’ve got the hiccups and were trying to cure it, citing this research!
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  6. Doctors once prescribed orgasms in women for fertility. The idea that orgasm contraction movements caused an “upsuck” effect to help semen get to the egg and fertilize it. The doctors could not “prescribe” an orgasm, of course, so they did the closest thing, which was to recommend men devote more effort to pleasing their women. Turns out, this upsuck theory is a myth. It was destroyed in the 1950s, by the Masters & Johnson research team of William Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, through an experiment with “artificial semen”. Yeah, think about that human dynamic in the 1950s, a guy and gal researching human sexuality! Anyway, there are at least three “recipes” for artificial semen in the literature, Mary points out, with yields measured by number of ejaculates. On this formerly given doctor prescription of an orgasm, I think most women would agree with me it is a myth that hardly needed to be destroyed given all the jokes about sex taking 2 minutes due to the male’s inability to prolong not only intercourse, but the entire sexual experience cycle. On the male side of fertility improvement, sperm in men which sit around for 1 week or more are less effective at getting to the egg to fertilize it. The conclusion drawn from this research was that might be why men have evolved to masturbate so often. It’s an evolutionary thing, guys! So as Mary says, “now you have an evolutionary excuse”! To the contrary, though, if you’re against using contraceptives, just have a little patience, practice a little abstinence for at least one week between intercourse, and you’ll improve your odds. You can screw the Catholic Church and its total abstinence advice! As usual, they exaggerate everything, including how few pedophiles are in their priesthood!
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  7. The “upsuck” theory works for increasing fertility in pigs and is practiced by Danish farmers. The Danish National Committee for Pig Production actually has a DVD on five points of how farmers should sexually stimulate sows (female pigs) while s/he artificially inseminate her, to get about a 6% fertility rate increase. Man, I love the Danes on all their open-mindedness, something I have experience with as a regulatory analyst in reviewing their many regulatory methods and systems, which has nothing to do with this. Mary has a copy of said DVD, shows it at 11:23 into the video, and, well, let’s just say if you thought your job was bad, you should see this! The guy in it was shown to have a wedding ring before hand to demonstrate it was OK, and that this was just part of his job, not some freakish fetish. For farmers who may not be able to do this, they have sow vibrators you can buy to help with the process. I guess that 6% increase in artificial insemination fertility rate must be worth a lot! For more information, go to Danish Pig Production Report no 614, by Mads Thor Madsen. Probably just about everything else you want to know about pig reproduction and sexuality can be found in their research catalogue page, including their Guidelines for Pig Artificial Insemination. Hey, forget swine flu! This stuff should stop you from eating pork far faster! And whoever can get that DVD onto YouTube is guaranteed a viral success! Their site doesn’t seem to have it available to the public.
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  8. Female animals are having more fun than you think. Pigs, like dogs, express pains and ecstacy in the upper half of their faces, especially with the ears. This is unlike most primates that use their mouths instead. Just a little something for you dog lovers. However, some animals, like female macac monkeys, show the same expression of ecstacy when another female is mounting them. You draw your conclusions.
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  9. Studying human orgasm in a lab is not easy. A little verbal description of some of the obstacles and machinery used to study human sexuality, especially for measuring response. The examples used were from the 1950s research done by Masters & Johnson. It’d make some gasp today, never mind in the 1950s. Someone was having a very taboo lab, to say the least.
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  10. But it (#9) sure is entertaining. Story of how one Dr Alfred Kinsey gathered 300 men in the 1940s, gave them measuring tapes to measure the average distance traveled by an ejaculate of semen, with records on film as data. Sorry ladies, a guy beat you to it long ago, though some kids could still do it for a high school science fair experiment with his buddies! Go ahead, I dare you! Anyway, there was an easily understandable myth that this force increased the rate of fertility. This would be similar to how if you can jump farther off your podium in a swimming race, you can cut down the distance you’d need to swim in the water. This would, presumably, cut down the time it’d take you to get to your destination, as well as increase the total distance you would swim before you’d die out, even if not by much. For purposes of distances in the fertilization swim, it’d might be like a 15m race whereby the leap off the podium could have a significant factor. For the record, the longest distance from the trials had an ejaculate distance of almost 8 feet (unnamed subject for confidentiality reasons)! Most subjects only had their ejaculate squirt out, though, so if you’re a guy who can’t, or your guy can’t, do the porn “money shot” thing, then that’s just normal, not dysfunctional. Of course, given all the male fertility drugs out there, you’d think getting the damn thing out of the cannon in the first place is exceptional, never mind how far it might go!
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Yeah, and I believe Mary that sex research is fun, too! What Mary didn’t tell you was she and her husband were the first couple to have been filmed having intercourse in 4D. That’s 4D, not a typo of 3D. It’s in the video below, though not necessary to take caution. You can’t really see much of anything that would be termed pornographic. But it’s still Mary’s husband’s member going at it inside her, in a lab, while she’s taking notes and a Chinese (name sounds Chinese) professor in London films them. I’ll leave Mary to tell you the story.

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Hey Mary, you ain’t the only one able to do research here! ;-)

But bravo to you and hubby for volunteering to do the research and making scientific history at the same time!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.7

Oi! That’s lower than the age discretionary level of this post’s content! I believe that’s a first for me on this blog. But congrats to Mary Roach on a great and funny talk. Well done!

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