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Exercise-induced orgasm and pleasure among women

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Abstract

Orgasm is typically considered to be a sexual experience. However, orgasms occurring during physical exercise have been occasionally documented. The primary objective of the current study was to understand more about women's experience with exercise-induced orgasm (EIO) including the types of exercise that women have noted have led to EIO and associations with self-reported sexual experiences. A secondary purpose was to understand and assess women's experiences of exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP) among a convenience sample of women who had never experienced EIO but who had experienced sexual pleasure during exercise. A total of 530 women completed a cross-sectional, anonymous, Internet-based survey. The average age of first EIO was 18.9 years old. Among the most common exercises reported to induce orgasm were abdominal exercises, climbing and lifting weights. Women reporting EISP, but not orgasm, frequently identified biking/spinning, abdominal exercise and lifting weights as associated with their experiences. Self-consciousness during exercise was commonly reported by women in the EIO group. However, sexual thoughts or fantasy related to EIO were only rarely reported. Findings challenge the idea that women's orgasm is an intrinsically sexual experience. Implications related to the scientific understanding of orgasm processes and clinical recommendations are discussed.

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... Ellis (1905)-invoking his own observations as well as those of other researchers and physicians-described reports of women having orgasms from using sewing machines, swinging, climbing, as well as from cycling-noting that males, too, may experience sexual excitation from climbing and cycling. Indeed, orgasms have been described in connection with toothbrushing, urinating, foot stimulation, riding along bumpy roads, eating particular foods, exercise, and other assorted experiences (Chuang et al., 2004;Herbenick & Fortenberry, 2011;Herbenick et al., 2018;Waldinger et al., 2013). These orgasms occur outside of sexual contexts, and little is known about their physiological and psychological contexts, let alone their prevalence at the population level. ...
... These orgasms occur outside of sexual contexts, and little is known about their physiological and psychological contexts, let alone their prevalence at the population level. The present study focuses on two such kinds of orgasm: those that occur during physical exercisedescribed by Herbenick and Fortenberry (2011) as "exerciseinduced orgasms"-and those that occur during sleep. The contexts of these two types of orgasm experiences raise questions about the intrinsic sexual nature of orgasm and informs a broader understanding of the diversity of orgasm in the U.S. population. ...
... To our knowledge, there has been only one systematic study of exercise-induced orgasm (EIO) (Herbenick & Fortenberry, 2011). That study used an online convenience survey that specifically recruited women who had prior experience with sexual arousal or orgasm from exercise. ...
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Prior research has described women’s experiences with exercise-induced orgasm (EIO). However, little is known about men’s experiences with EIO, the population prevalence of EIO, or the association of EIO with other kinds of orgasm. Using U.S. probability survey data, the objectives of the present research were to: (1) describe the lifetime prevalence of exercise-induced orgasm (EIO) and sleep orgasm; (2) assess respondents’ age at first experience of EIO as well as the type of exercise connected with their first EIO; (3) examine associations between lifetime EIO experience and orgasm at respondents’ most recent partnered sexual event; and (4) examine associations between lifetime EIO experience and sleep orgasms. Data were from the 2014 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (1012 men and 1083 women, ages 14 years and older). About 9% of respondents reported having ever experienced exercise-induced orgasm. More men than women reported having experienced orgasm during sleep at least once in their lifetime (66.3% men, 41.8% women). The mean age for women’s first EIO was significantly older than men (22.8 years women, 16.8 years men). Respondents described a wide range of exercises as associated with their first EIO (i.e., climbing ropes, abdominal exercise, yoga). Lifetime EIO experience was associated with lifetime sleep orgasms but not with event-level orgasm during partnered sex. Implications related to understanding orgasm and recommendations for clinicians and sex educators are discussed.
... 9 Any or all of the senses (vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) and fantasy can be involved in creating the arousal. 10,11 However, touch is of great importance, because most intrapersonal sexual scenarios involve this sense. Many sites on the female body can evoke arousal when caressed-for example, the lips, nape and back of neck, ears, underarms, breasts and nipples, 12,13 pubic hairline, inside of thighs, buttocks, anus, and perineum-but the most sensitive structures lie in and around the genitalia. ...
... In fact, this is what happens in men 131,154 ; however, in women, this more vivid type of VSS activates largely the same brain network as photo VSS does. 97,140e143 One might think that this is due to ineffective VSS; yet, the use of validated, female-friendly pornographic movie excerpts is quite common, 11,27,140,155 and enhanced perceived sexual arousal is usually reported. 139,140,142,143 Indeed, activity in most of the VSS brain network has been shown to correlate with subjective sexual arousal. ...
Chapter
The human female orgasm bestows the greatest pleasure without recourse to drugs. Despite numerous studies there are many aspects of the activity that are poorly understood. These include its neurophysiology and pharmacology, while even its typology, induction, and function(s) are contentious issues. It can be induced by a variety of agencies that include genital and non-genital sites and even by exercise. While there are similarities with the male orgasm, there are a few differences, the major one being that women can have repeated multiple orgasms while males cannot. Despite recurrent speculative claims in the literature, it does not mediate or facilitate sperm transport through its uterine contractions. Brain imaging that measures cerebral regional blood flow has revealed that there is no single orgasm center, but rather specific areas are either activated, inhibited, or unaffected during orgasm. However, no consensus has yet been achieved due to experimental procedural differences and data handling by researchers.
... Henton (1976), using a sample of 774 black female undergraduates, found that 22% reported an experience of nocturnal orgasm, while Wells (1986), using a sample of 245 college women, found a prevalence of 37%. Herbenick and Fortenberry (2011) conducted a study of exercise-induced orgasm. They used an online convenience sample of 530 women and found a prevalence of 23%. ...
... For overall prevalence, a third of participants (32.9%) have experienced orgasm WNGS at least once, with no significant sex/gender differences. This prevalence seems on par with prior research about specific activities such as the 23% prevalence for exercise-induced orgasm (Herbenick & Fortenberry, 2011) and 16.9% prevalence for orgasm from fantasy (J. J. Lehmiller, personal communication, March 27, 2019). ...
Thesis
Women experience orgasm less frequently than men, a phenomenon known as the gender orgasm gap. Social explanations for this gap connect it to cultural norms that privilege men’s pleasure and preferences. In this thesis, I employ practices from Critical Sexuality Studies to consider how narrow definitions of sex contribute to orgasm disparities. I destabilize heteronormative ideals by centering experiences of orgasm with no genital stimulation (orgasm WNGS). I conducted a quantitative study of orgasm frequencies using an anonymous online survey with a convenience and snowball sample. Participants (N = 388) were between the ages of 18 and 71 (M = 32.2, SD = 12.3) and predominantly white (81.5%). One third of participants with orgasm experiences have experienced orgasm WNGS at least once. Cis-men experienced orgasm more frequently than cis women, but cis-women experienced orgasm WNGS more frequently than cis-men. Experiences of orgasm WNGS and higher orgasm frequencies were associated with greater sexual satisfaction for cis-women, but not for cis-men. These findings suggest that social norms confining orgasm to genital stimulation disproportionately disadvantage women. This study demonstrates the importance of accounting for experiences of orgasm WNGS as part of a comprehensive understanding of human sexual behavior. Researchers should work toward using broader definitions of sex that include all activities intended to create sexual arousal and erotic pleasure. Keywords: Orgasm, sex, gender, genital imperative, sexual behavior
... 9 Any or all of the senses (vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) and fantasy can be involved in creating the arousal. 10,11 However, touch is of great importance, because most intrapersonal sexual scenarios involve this sense. Many sites on the female body can evoke arousal when caressed-for example, the lips, nape and back of neck, ears, underarms, breasts and nipples, 12,13 pubic hairline, inside of thighs, buttocks, anus, and perineum-but the most sensitive structures lie in and around the genitalia. ...
... In fact, this is what happens in men 131,154 ; however, in women, this more vivid type of VSS activates largely the same brain network as photo VSS does. 97,140e143 One might think that this is due to ineffective VSS; yet, the use of validated, female-friendly pornographic movie excerpts is quite common, 11,27,140,155 and enhanced perceived sexual arousal is usually reported. 139,140,142,143 Indeed, activity in most of the VSS brain network has been shown to correlate with subjective sexual arousal. ...
Article
Full-text available
The article consists of 6 sections written by separate authors that review female genital anatomy, the physiology of female sexual function and the pathophysiology of female sexual dysfunction but excluding hormonal aspects. Aim. To review female sexual function - physiology and pathophysiology- especially since 2010 and to make specific recommendations with levels of evidence ( Oxford Centre) where relevant. Conclusion. Despite numerous lab assesssments of female sexual function, genital assessments alone appear insufficient to characterise fully the complete sexual response.
... 9 Any or all of the senses (vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) and fantasy can be involved in creating the arousal. 10,11 However, touch is of great importance, because most intrapersonal sexual scenarios involve this sense. Many sites on the female body can evoke arousal when caressed-for example, the lips, nape and back of neck, ears, underarms, breasts and nipples, 12,13 pubic hairline, inside of thighs, buttocks, anus, and perineum-but the most sensitive structures lie in and around the genitalia. ...
... In fact, this is what happens in men 131,154 ; however, in women, this more vivid type of VSS activates largely the same brain network as photo VSS does. 97,140e143 One might think that this is due to ineffective VSS; yet, the use of validated, female-friendly pornographic movie excerpts is quite common, 11,27,140,155 and enhanced perceived sexual arousal is usually reported. 139,140,142,143 Indeed, activity in most of the VSS brain network has been shown to correlate with subjective sexual arousal. ...
Article
Full-text available
The article consist of six sections written by separate authors that review female genital anatomy, the physiology of female sexual function, the pathophysiology of female sexual dysfunction but excluding hormonal aspects. Aim: To review the physiology of female sexual function and the pathophysiology of female sexual dysfunction especially since 2010 and to make specific recommendations accordng to the Oxford Centre for evidence based medicine (2009) "levels of evidence" wherever relevant. Conclusion: Recommendations were made for particular studies to be undertaken especially in controversial aspects in all six sections of the reviewed topics. Despite numerous laboratory assessments of female sexual function, genital assessments alone appear insufficient to characterise fully the complete sexual response.
... King et al. (2011) found four types of female orgasm, which varied systematically in terms of pleasure and sensations. Studies by Masters and Johnson (1966) found that the clitoris responds with equal facility to both somatogenic and psychogenic forms of stimulation and Herbenick and Fortenberry (2011) stated that ''Orgasm is typically considered to be a sexual experience. However, orgasms occurring during physical exercise have been occasionally documented.'' ...
Article
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This review, with 21 figures and 1 video, aims to clarify some important aspects of the anatomy and physiology of the female erectile organs (triggers of orgasm), which are important for the prevention of female sexual dysfunction. The clitoris is the homologue of the male's glans and corpora cavernosa, and erection is reached in three phases: latent, turgid, and rigid. The vestibular bulbs cause "vaginal" orgasmic contractions, through the rhythmic contraction of the bulbocavernosus muscles. Because of the engorgement with blood during sexual arousal, the labia minora become turgid, doubling or tripling in thickness. The corpus spongiosum of the female urethra becomes congested during sexual arousal; therefore, male erection equals erection of the female erectile organs. The correct anatomical term to describe the erectile tissues responsible for female orgasm is the female penis. Vaginal orgasm and the G-spot do not exist. These claims are found in numerous articles that have been written by Addiego F, Whipple B, Jannini E, Buisson O, O'Connell H, Brody S, Ostrzenski A, and others, have no scientific basis. Orgasm is an intense sensation of pleasure achieved by stimulation of erogenous zones. Women do not have a refractory period after each orgasm and can, therefore, experience multiple orgasms. Clitoral sexual response and the female orgasm are not affected by aging. Sexologists should define having sex/love making when orgasm occurs for both partners with or without vaginal intercourse. Clin. Anat., 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
... Plusieurs revues de littérature récentes et très documentées font le point en particulier sur les possibilités extragénitales de déclenchement de l'orgasme (bouche, anus, épaule. . .) [14], voire même par l'intermédiaire d'un membre fantôme chez des femmes amputées [15], ainsi que sa possibilité de survenue lors de situations insolites, comme pendant l'accouchement [16] ou l'exercice physique [17]. ...
Article
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To evaluate the clinical presentation of women's orgasmic disorders (OD) and therapeutic options, suggested in the literature. Review of articles published on this subject in the Medline (Pubmed) database, selected according to their scientific relevance, of consensus conferences and published guidelines. At present it is thought that the orgasm is a potentiality which a woman can learn to develop with experience, and practice over time. Primary anorgasmia in young females (<35years) is very often due to lack of experience or lack of skill in the partner or partners. Secondary anorgasmia is often linked to difficulties of live, more rarely to problems with the partner. In both cases, informed advice to the patient and her partner can provide simple ways of modifying and diversifying sexual practice, slight changes can be sufficient. For the woman, learning to "let go" is essential. Speaking to the partner can help to eliminate and diversify sexual behaviour which can be responsible for this problem. However, OD, particularly the secondary type, is less attributable to the male performance than to the emotional and affective aspect. Primary anorgasmia, if total, persisting in the mature woman, evokes more structural problems (body image, sexual abuse, guilt…) and requires specialized management. Currently, female sexual desire is often evoked, however, one woman in four suffers from OD to a greater or lesser extent. Orgasmic dysfunction in women is frequent and is the second most common reason for consulting a sexologist. Evaluating the context is essential to differentiate primary from secondary OD, in order to give an appropriate treatment.
... Moreover, the articles by Prause and by Laan & Rellini include new findings that do not confirm or support significant aspects of the PVI-orgasm studies. In fact, there are now numerous accounts of human orgasms that occur completely independent of the genitals or coitus viz by exercise (Herbenick and Fortenberry, 2011), imagery, mouth and anus, skin stimulation, breasts and nipples (Levin, 2006b), during epileptic attacks and by drugs (see Komisaruk and Whipple, 2011 for full review). The concept that orgasm is only linked with the genitalia, reproduction and gene replication has to be abandoned as it is now shown to have a much wider remit like the many motives for human sexual behaviour other than for reproduction (Levin, 1994;Meston and Buss, 2007;Hatfield et al., 2012). ...
Article
The female orgasm has been examined over the years by numerous scientific disciplines yet it still has many secrets to be disclosed. Because its physiology, especially its neurophysiology, is sparingly understood its pharmacology is necessarily limited based mainly on the side effects of drugs. Few published studies have used a placebo group as controls. The paucity of focussed studies is well illustrated by the fact that there still is no approved medication to treat female orgasmic dysfunction. The present brief overview examines the mostimportant aspects of its biology and especially its physiology highlighting the many questions that need answering if we are to have a comprehensive pharmacology of the female orgasm.
... However, in recent years, a number of better-characterized studies have revealed that the female orgasm is not linked solely to stimulation of the genitalia or just to reproduction, despite the claim, unsupported by evidence, that it is the only sexual response linked by penile vaginal intercourse (PVI) to reproduction (Brody, 2010) since it is always possible for heterosexually partnered sexual arousal per se to lead to PVI. Orgasm can also arise from nipple/breast stimulation (Levin, 2006b;Levin and Meston, 2006), anal stimulation (McBride and Fortenberry, 2010;Komisaruk and Whipple, 2011), the mouth (Komisaruk and Whipple, 2011), exercise (Herbenick and Fortenberry, 2011), hypnotism (Levin, 1992;Levin and Van Berlo, 2004), tantric arousal (Lousad and Angel, 2011), drug side effects (Levin, 2014a), and even childbirth (Pranzarone, 1991;Postel 2013). Some women claim to be able to induce orgasm simply by thinking without any physical stimulation. ...
Article
This review deals critically with many aspects of the functional genital anatomy of the human female in relation to inducing sexual arousal and its relevance to procreation and recreation. Various controversial problems are discussed including: the roles of clitorally versus coitally induced arousal and orgasm in relation to the health of women, the various sites of induction of orgasm and the difficulty women find in specifically identifying them because of “'ambiguity problems” and “genital site pareidolia,” the cervix and sexual arousal, why there are so many sites for arousal, why multiple orgasms occur, genital reflexes and coitus, the sites of arousal and their representation in the brain, and identifying aspects and functions of the genitalia with appropriate new nomenclature. Clin. Anat., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
... Frauen können aber auch durch Sport Orgasmen erreichen [13]. Was wie ein medialer Scherz klingt, zeigt nur auf, wie vielfältig die Möglichkeiten für Frauen sind, Orgasmen zu erreichen. ...
Article
Kaum ein anderer Abschnitt der weiblichen Sexualfunktion ist so von Mythen umrankt wie der Orgasmus. Für Frauen und Männer können sich diese Mythen zu einem so großen Belastungsfaktor entwickeln, dass sie häufig die Ursache weiblicher, aber auch männlicher Sexualstörungen sind. Alleine durch Wissensvermittlung können wir in unserer täglichen Praxis positiv intervenieren.
... Based on evidence that women and men can orgasm while being sexual assaulted, we know that the answer is no (Levin & van Berlo, 2004). Importantly, such evidence (along with evidence that orgasm is not always even a sexual experience; Herbenick, Barnhart, Beavers, & Fortenberry, 2018;Herbenick & Fortenberry, 2011) has highlighted that physical stimulation alone is sometimes enough to elicit a physiological orgasm response, even in situations when negative affect is high and psychological and physical arousal and desire are absent (Levin & van Berlo, 2004). However, while many scholars have been sympathetic to the possibility that orgasm experiences can be negative in assault cases, the central message heralded by survivors and the psychologists who treat themthat orgasm does not necessarily equate enjoyment-has been surprisingly absent from the discourse on sexuality more generally. ...
Article
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Orgasms during consensual sex are often assumed to be wholly positive experiences. This assumption overshadows the possibility that orgasm experiences during consensual sex could be “bad” (i.e., negative and/or non-positive). In the present study, we employed an online survey to explore the possibility that orgasm experiences could be “bad” during consensual sex by asking participants of diverse gender and sexual identities (N = 726, M age = 28.42 years, SD = 7.85) about a subset of potential bad orgasm experiences. Specifically, we asked participants whether they have ever had an orgasm during coerced sex, compliant sex, and/or when they felt pressured to have an orgasm (i.e., orgasm pressure). We also asked participants who had such an experience to describe it, resulting in qualitative descriptions from 289 participants. Using mixed quantitative and qualitative analyses, we found compelling evidence that orgasm experiences can be “bad” during consensual sex. Specifically, many participants described their experiences in negative and/or non-positive ways despite orgasm occurrence, reported that their orgasms were less pleasurable compared to other experiences, and suggested that their orgasm experiences had negative impacts on their relationships, sexuality, and/or psychological health. Participants also suggested that social location shaped their bad orgasm experiences, citing gender and sexual identity, gender identity conflict, race/ethnicity, and religion as important to their perceptions of and responses to their experiences. Results directly challenge the assumption that orgasms during consensual sex are always and/or unilaterally positive experiences.
... Across historical time and place, researchers and clinicians have addressed varied (and often controversial) ideas about female orgasm, including suggestions that vaginal orgasms are more "mature" than clitoral orgasms or that clitoral stimulation may be required for female orgasm, as well as describing types of stimulation likely to facilitate orgasm (e.g., see reviews by Meston et al., 2004, andPfaus, Quintana, Cionnaith, &Parada, 2016). In recent decades, research has moved beyond categorization to document greater diversity in women's experiences of orgasm, including orgasm occurring from both genital and nongenital stimulation (e.g., Herbenick & Fortenberry, 2011;Jannini et al., 2012;Komisaruk, Beyer-Flores, & Whipple, 2006;Komisaruk & Whipple, 2011). Additionally, there has been greater emphasis on understanding women's subjective experiences of sexual pleasure and orgasm (e.g., Dubray, Gerard, Beaulieu-Prevost, & Courtois, 2017;Opperman, Braun, Clarke, & Rogers, 2014;Pfaus et al., 2016). ...
Article
The study purpose was to assess, in a U.S. probability sample of women, experiences related to orgasm, sexual pleasure, and genital touching. In June 2015, 1,055 women ages 18 to 94 from the nationally representative GfK KnowledgePanel® completed a confidential, Internet-based survey. More than one-third of American women (37%) reported they needed clitoral stimulation in order to experience orgasm during intercourse and 18% said that vaginal penetration was sufficient for orgasm. Women reported diverse preferences for genital touch location, pressure, shape, and pattern. Clinical, therapeutic, and educational implications are discussed.
... Regular exercise also increases blood flow in the genital area and prepares people for sexual activity. 33 The results showed a significant difference in sexual function scores and subscales. Physical activity before intercourse significantly improves sexual desire. ...
Article
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Introduction: Sexual dysfunction is a little-addressed condition in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Aerobic exercises, including walking, can help alleviate this dysfunction. This study aimed to determine the effect of an 8-week aerobic walking program on sexual function ine patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Methodology: This clinical trial was conducted on 51 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. At first, patients were selected through nonprobability sampling. They were then allocated into intervention and control groups using block randomization. The walking intervention was performed based on the frequency-intensity-time-type principle forg 8 consecutive weeks. Rosen's Female Sexual Function Index was used for data collection before, immediately after, and 4 weeks after the intervention. Data collected were analyzed with SPSS 22 using descriptive and inferential statistics and 95% CI. Findings: Mean sexual function scores before, after, and 4 weeks after intervention were 17.66±4, 22.88±4.7, and 24.39±5.1 in the intervention group and 17.60±4.24, 17.27±4.66, and 17.39±4.39 in the control group, respectively. Test results showed a significant intergroup difference in mean sexual function score (p<0.05). Conclusion: Based on our results, an 8-week aerobic walking program is recommended as an effective way to improve sexual function in women with rheumatoid arthritis.
... Первое в своем роде исследование было проведено в США в университете штата Индиана (Bloomington, Ind., USA) D.M. Herbenick и J.D. Fortenberry [31]. Результаты ба зировались на онлайн опросе 124 женщин, способных испы тать оргазм от физических упражнений (exercise induced orgasms; EIO), и 246 женщин, у которых при занятиях спор том возникает чувство сексуального наслаждения, не приво дящее к оргазму (exercise induced sexual pleasure; EISP). ...
Book
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For sexologists, physicians, psychologists, gynecologists etc., it is a duty to update their knowledge. Female and male orgasm-sexuality, free pdf with 36 Pubmed-full text Dr Vincenzo Puppo-New Sexology Project: Eur J Obstet Gynecol, Eur Urol, Clin Anat, BJOG, J Urol, Int Urogynecol J, J Sex Med, BJU Int, J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol, ISRN Obstet Gynecol, Gynecol Obstet Fertil, Maturitas, Int J Urol, etc. Sexual pleasure/orgasm, (clitoris, labia minora and vestibular bulbs, exist in all women) is a source of physical and psychological wellbeing that contributes to human happiness. Female sexual anatomy is not has been a neglected area of study and the existing terminology is accurate from centuries... The key to female orgasm are the female erectile organs of the vulva (external organs)... Female orgasm is possible in all women, always, with effective stimulation of the female erectile organs... female sexual dysfunctions are popular because they are based on something that does not exist, i.e. the vaginal orgasm... Female sexual satisfaction is based on orgasm: sexologists must define having sex/love making when orgasm occurs for both partners, always, with or without vaginal intercourse (definition for all human beings)... the duration of penile-vaginal intercourse is not important for a woman’s orgasm: premature ejaculation is not a male sexual dysfunction... Website http://www.vincenzopuppo.altervista.org/articoli.html Free video: clitoris/labia minora erection in woman https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273966598_Flaccid_Erect_Clitoris_Labia_minora_in_woman_Clin_Anat_2013 Free video: orgasms in all women https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343851657_Video_Female_orgasms_in_all_women_always_with_stimulation_clitoris-labia_minora_with_fingers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm_Qg2b4kKI
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Background: Acute exercise is associated with transient changes in metabolic rate, muscle activation, and blood flow, whereas chronic exercise facilitates long-lasting adaptations that ultimately improve physical performance. Exercise in general is known to improve both physical and psychological health, but the differential effects of brief bouts of exercise vs long-term exercise regimens on sexual function are less clear. Aim: The purpose of this review was to assess the direct and indirect effects of both acute and chronic exercise on multiple domains of sexual function in women. Methods: A literature review of published studies on exercise and sexual function was conducted. Terms including "acute exercise," "chronic exercise," "sexual function," "sexual arousal," "sexual desire," "lubrication," "sexual pain," and "sexual satisfaction" were used. Outcomes: This review identifies key relationships between form of exercise (ie, chronic or acute) and domain of sexual function. Results: Improvements in physiological sexual arousal following acute exercise appear to be driven by increases in sympathetic nervous system activity and endocrine factors. Chronic exercise likely enhances sexual satisfaction indirectly by preserving autonomic flexibility, which benefits cardiovascular health and mood. Positive body image due to chronic exercise also increases sexual well-being. Though few studies have examined the efficacy of month-long exercise programs for the treatment of sexual dysfunction, exercise interventions have alleviated sexual concerns in 2 specific clinical populations: women with anti-depressant-induced sexual dysfunction and women who have undergone hysterectomies. Conclusions: This review highlights the positive effects of acute and chronic exercise on sexual function in women. Directions for future research are discussed, and clinicians are encouraged to tailor specific exercise prescriptions to meet their patients' individual needs. Stanton AM, Handy AB, Meston CM, et al. The Effects of Exercise on Sexual Function in Women. Sex Med Rev 2018;XX:XXX-XXX.
Article
Introduction The article consists of six sections written by separate authors that review female genital anatomy, the physiology of female sexual function, and the pathophysiology of female sexual dysfunction but excluding hormonal aspects. Aim To review the physiology of female sexual function and the pathophysiology of female sexual dysfunction especially since 2010 and to make specific recommendations according to the Oxford Centre for evidence based medicine (2009) “levels of evidence” wherever relevant. Conclusion Recommendations were made for particular studies to be undertaken especially in controversial aspects in all six sections of the reviewed topics. Despite numerous laboratory assessments of female sexual function, genital assessments alone appear insufficient to characterise fully the complete sexual response.
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Manche Frauen erleben sportliche Höhepunkte besonders intensiv: Sie haben dann einen Orgasmus. Etwa 5% der 1953 von Alfred Kinsey befragten Frauen gaben entsprechende Erlebnisse an. Wissenschaftler der Indiana University in Bloomington haben jetzt untersucht, bei welchen Sportarten das Phänomen auftritt.
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Orgasm frequently occurs from sexual and/or genital stimulation but has been documented outside these contexts and may be better conceptualized as a set of neuropsychological processes. Objective: To document a range of orgasm experiences. Methods: A content analysis of 687 anonymously posted online comments related to nonsexual orgasms. Results: Orgasm types include those related to exercise, sleep, drug use, riding in vehicles, breastfeeding, eating, auditory stimulation, and childbirth, among others. Conclusions: Orgasm is experienced in association with varied forms of sensory stimulation. This study provides information about the diversity of human orgasm, informing sex education, therapy, and practice.
This chapter is organized around the question "How do adolescents learn to have healthy sex?" The chapter assumes that sexual learning derives from a broad range of both informal and formal sources that contribute to learning within the context of neurocognitive brain systems that modulate sexual motivations and self-regulation. The overall objective is to consider how adolescents become sexually functional and healthy and to provide a conceptual basis for expansion of sexual learning to better support healthy sexual functioning. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Brody, Costa and Hess (2012) have produced a critique containing errors both of commission and omission of my editorial (Levin 2012a) and review (Levin 2012b). This reply identifies a number of these and makes the appropriate rebuttals and vindications to correct both.
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The beneficial and well-being effects of human sexual arousal induced by coitus or masturbation are reviewed. Greater sexual satisfaction and some health rewards are given by coitally obtained orgasms even though those from masturbation may be more physiologically intense. The functionality of the circulatory, neural and muscular systems of the male and female genitalia are maintained by arousal and orgasm (maintenance functions) both in the conscious state and when asleep. Prophylactic actions (preventative functions) occur in relation to prostate cancer, implantation and dysmenorrhoea. In the male, ejaculations keep sperm morphology and semen volume within normal ranges while leukocyte numbers are increased. In the female, with coital vaginal deposition of semen mood enhancement occurs, menstrual cycles are more often of the ovulatory (fertile) type and postmenopausal vaginal atrophy is counteracted.
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There is increasing evidence that women's physiological sexual arousal is facilitated by moderate sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation. Literature also suggests that the level of SNS activation may play a role in the degree to which SNS activity affects sexual arousal. We provide the first empirical examination of a possible curvilinear relationship between SNS activity and women's genital arousal using a direct measure of SNS activation in 52 sexually functional women. The relationship between heart rate variability (HRV), a specific and sensitive marker of SNS activation, and vaginal pulse amplitude (VPA), a measure of genital arousal, was analyzed. Moderate increases in SNS activity were associated with higher genital arousal, while very low or very high SNS activation was associated with lower genital arousal. These findings imply that there is an optimal level of SNS activation for women's physiological sexual arousal.
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The current studies were conducted in order to investigate the phenomenon of copulatory vocalizations and their relationship to orgasm in women. Data were collected from 71 sexually active heterosexual women (M age = 21.68 years ± .52) recruited from the local community through opportunity sampling. The studies revealed that orgasm was most frequently reported by women following self-manipulation of the clitoris, manipulation by the partner, oral sex delivered to the woman by a man, and least frequently during vaginal penetration. More detailed examination of responses during intercourse revealed that, while female orgasms were most commonly experienced during foreplay, copulatory vocalizations were reported to be made most often before and simultaneously with male ejaculation. These data together clearly demonstrate a dissociation of the timing of women experiencing orgasm and making copulatory vocalizations and indicate that there is at least an element of these responses that are under conscious control, providing women with an opportunity to manipulate male behavior to their advantage.
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Yoga is a popular form of complementary and alternative therapy. It is practiced both in developing and developed countries. Female sexual dysfunctions are common and do not always get adequate clinical attention. Pharmacotherapies for treating female sexual dysfunctions are available but suffer from drawbacks such as poor compliance, low efficacy, and side effects. Many patients and yoga protagonists claim that it is useful in improving sexual functions and treating sexual disorders. To establish the effect yoga can have on female sexual functions. We recruited 40 females (age range 22-55 years, average age 34.7 +/- 8.49 years) who were enrolled in a yoga camp and were given a standardized questionnaire named Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) before and after the 12 weeks session of yoga. FSFI scores. It was found that after the completion of yoga sessions; the sexual functions scores were significantly improved (P < 0.0001). The improvement occurred in all six domains of FSFI (i.e., desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain). The improvement was more in older women (age > 45 years) compared with younger women (age < 45 years). Yoga appears to be an effective method of improving all domains of sexual functions in women as studied by FSFI.
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Although vibrators are commonly recommended by clinicians as adjunct to treatment for female sexual dysfunction, and for sexual enhancement, little is known about their prevalence or correlates of use. The aim of this study was to determine the lifetime and recent prevalence of women's vibrator use during masturbation and partnered sex, and the correlates of use related to sociodemographic variables, health behaviors, and sexual function. A nationally representative sample of 3,800 women aged 18-60 years were invited to participate in a cross-sectional Internet-based survey; 2,056 (54.1%) participated. The prevalence of vibrator use, the relationship between vibrator use and physical and psychological well-being (as assessed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] Healthy Days measure) and health-promoting behaviors, the relationship between vibrator use and women's scores on the Female Sexual Function Index, and an assessment of the frequency and severity of side effects potentially associated with vibrator use. The prevalence of women's vibrator use was found to be 52.5% (95% CI 50.3-54.7%). Vibrator users were significantly more likely to have had a gynecologic exam during the past year (P < 0.001) and to have performed genital self-examination during the previous month (P < 0.001). Vibrator use was significantly related to several aspects of sexual function (i.e., desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, pain, overall function) with recent vibrator users scoring higher on most sexual function domains, indicating more positive sexual function. Most women (71.5%) reported having never experienced genital symptoms associated with vibrator use. There were no significant associations between vibrator use and participants' scores on the CDC Healthy Days Measures. Vibrator use among women is common, associated with health-promoting behaviors and positive sexual function, and rarely associated with side effects. Clinicians may find these data useful in responding to patients' sexual issues and recommending vibrator use to improve sexual function. Further research on the relationships between vibrator use and sexual health is warranted.
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Prevalence data suggest that more than 40% of women experience sexual problems and that 12% of these women are distressed by the problem. In the 1960s, Masters and Johnson introduced what is now considered the classic linear model of female sexual response based on a physiologic foundation. Recently, Rosemary Basson introduced a nonlinear interconnected model which emphasizes the importance of emotional intimacy and satisfaction as integral components of the female sexual response cycle. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV TR), there are six female sexual disorders: hypoactive sexual desire disorder, aversion disorder, sexual arousal disorder, female orgasmic disorder, vaginismus, and dyspareunia. Despite the high prevalence, few healthcare professionals take the time or feel adequately trained to assess and treat these sexual problems. Sexuality questionnaires play an integral role in the diagnosis and treatment of male and female sexual dysfunctions. They are used to (1) identify/diagnose individuals with a particular dysfunction, (2) assess the severity of the dysfunction, (3) measure improvement or satisfaction with treatment, (4) examine the impact of the dysfunction on the individual's quality of life (relationship satisfaction, mood, sexual confidence), and (5) study the impact of the dysfunction on the partner and his or her quality of life. Patient-reported outcomes (PRO) are increasingly important in both clinical practice and research settings. The instruments reviewed have played a significant role in furthering our understanding of the impact of female sexual function on the patient and partner and its treatment. It is important for the clinician and researcher to familiarize themselves with the best available measures for identifying specific dysfunctions, measuring distress due to the sexual dysfunction, assessing treatment efficacy, and objectively evaluating the quality of life issues of women with these dysfunctions. However, even the best PRO cannot replace the clinician-patient interview and the careful gathering of the patient's sexual history. PROs should always be interpreted and integrated with the woman's history.
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The results of a series of human and animal studies that were conducted in an effort to better understand autonomic nervous system influences on female sexual arousal are presented. The effects of sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation on self-report and vaginal photoplethysmographic measures of sexual arousal were examined in 4 studies using intense acute exercise, and in 1 study using ephedrine, to activate the SNS. The effects of SNS inhibition on sexual responses in the female rat were examined in 3 studies using clonidine, an alpha(2)-adrenergic agonist; guanethidine, a postganglionic noradrenergic blocker; and naphazoline, an alpha(2)-adrenoreceptor agonist, to inhibit sympathetic outflow. In humans, the effects of SNS inhibition on subjective and physiologic sexual arousal were also examined using clonidine to suppress SNS activity. Together, the findings from these studies suggest that SNS activation may facilitate, and SNS inhibition inhibit, the early stages of sexual arousal in sexually functional women and in women with low sexual desire.
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Women diagnosed with complete spinal cord injury (SCI) at T10 or above report vaginal-cervical perceptual awareness. To test whether the Vagus nerves, which bypass the spinal cord, provide the afferent pathway for this response, we hypothesized that the Nucleus Tractus Solitarii (NTS) region of the medulla oblongata, to which the Vagus nerves project, is activated by vaginal-cervical self-stimulation (CSS) in such women, as visualized by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Regional blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal intensity was imaged during CSS and other motor and sensory procedures, using statistical parametric mapping (SPM) analysis with head motion artifact correction. Physiatric examination and MRI established the location and extent of spinal cord injury. In order to demarcate the NTS, a gustatory stimulus and hand movement were used to activate the superior region of the NTS and the Nucleus Cuneatus adjacent to the inferior region of the NTS, respectively. Each of four women with interruption, or "complete" injury, of the spinal cord (ASIA criteria), and one woman with significant, but "incomplete" SCI, all at or above T10, showed activation of the inferior region of the NTS during CSS. Each woman showed analgesia, measured at the fingers, during CSS, confirming previous findings. Three women experienced orgasm during the CSS. The brain regions that showed activation during the orgasms included hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, medial amygdala, anterior cingulate, frontal, parietal, and insular cortices, and cerebellum. We conclude that the Vagus nerves provide a spinal cord-bypass pathway for vaginal-cervical sensibility in women with complete spinal cord injury above the level of entry into spinal cord of the known genitospinal nerves.
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Humans appear relatively unique among animals in that both males and females can experience orgasm as a result of sexual intercourse. However, orgasm during intercourse occurs much less reliably and consistly for females than for males (Lloyd 2005). The significance of this marked sex difference in sexual function is unexplained and of importance to understanding the evolution of female orgasm. The recent revival of the byproduct account of female orgasm (Lloyd 2005), in which the trait is nonadaptive but collateral to selection on the male orgasm, has evoked much debate (Barash 2005; Judson 2005; Zuk 2006). The byproduct account contends that female orgasm arose as the result of shared embryological processes shaped by selection on the male capacity for orgasm thus implying no direct selection on the female form of the trait. The argument is analogous to the presence of male nipples which result from males and females sharing a common embryology and selection for functional nipples in females. The primary evidence that female orgasm is unlikely an adaptation is its high variability in contrast to the almost certainty of male orgasm, suggesting that the female form has been under little selective pressure compared with strong selection for the male form. If this is the case, then one would expect that the genital structures primarily responsible for triggering orgasm in women, the clitoris (Narjani 1924; Masters and Johnson 1966), and in men, the penis, would demonstrate a similar difference in variability to that seen in the occurrence of orgasm. We thus present a comparison in variability of aspects of male and female genital structures that supports differential selection on genitalia and thus likely differential selection on male and female orgasm.
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Several studies have demonstrated that moderate exercise increases genital response to erotic stimuli in women. The increase in genital arousal could be the result of various changes that can occur in response to exercise including changes in hormone levels, neurotransmitter levels, mood, and autonomic nervous system activity. The present study was an attempt to shed light on two such mechanisms through which exercise enhances sexual arousal. Sixteen participants came into the lab on two separate occasions: during one visit, they filled out questionnaires for 20 minutes, and during the other visit, they exercised on a treadmill for 20 minutes. The questionnaires and exercise were both followed by the presentation of a neutral then erotic film during which the women's physiological sexual arousal was measured. Saliva samples were taken at baseline, prefilm, and postfilm. Main Outcome Measures. Subjective arousal was measured using a self-report questionnaire, and genital arousal was measured by a vaginal photoplethysmograph. Testosterone and alpha-amylase (a marker of sympathetic nervous system [SNS] activity) were measured via saliva assays. Findings replicated previous studies showing a significant increase in physiological sexual arousal with exercise. There was a significant increase in alpha-amylase across the study in the exercise condition, but not in the no-exercise condition. There were no differences in testosterone levels between the exercise and no-exercise conditions. SNS activity is one mechanism through which exercise increases genital sexual arousal. Testosterone does not mediate the relationship between exercise and genital sexual arousal.
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16 20-41 yr old female volunteers participated in a study comparing the effects of Kegel exercises to an attention placebo and a waiting-list control condition. All Ss had a low (<30%) frequency of coital orgasm but were not severely sexually anxious or low in sexual arousal (as measured by the Sexual Arousability Inventory [SAI]). In addition to the SAI, Ss also completed the Women's Sexuality Questionnaire. The Kegel program led to an average increase in pubococcygeal strength of 10 mm; there was a trend for this change to be greater than that in the control groups. Nevertheless, the Kegel exercise group clearly did not show differential improvement on coital orgasmic frequency at posttest when compared to the other 2 groups. Furthermore, notable compliance problems were encountered with the instructions for 20 min of daily exercise. On the basis of these findings and prior research, it is concluded that Kegel exercises are unlikely to contribute to positive outcome in the treatment of orgasmic dysfunction in women. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
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The sexual response is a form of exercise which has strong biological and evolutionary components. Few studies have focused upon sexual behaviour as exercise and the reasons for this are considered. Current information and leads for future study come from animal research. Some historical precursors to modern sex researchers did more to mislead than to advance knowledge but Kinsey and Masters & Johnson set the stage for modern knowledge and applications. There are parallels between the orgasmic response and exercise. Physiological bases of the sexual response help to explain individual differences in sexual behaviour and the well-being that often accompanies states of passionate love, addiction and exercise. Studies suggest that sexual activity is associated with well-being and longevity, yet many health and exercise professionals fail to take account of sexual activity in advancing exercise programmes and executing studies; that is, the so-called Ostrich Effect persists. Investigators need to separate the passionate love stage of relationships which are biologically based and last 3 to 4 years from the later stages of long term committed partnerships in which sexual activity continues as a form of exercise, competence expression and fun.
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This study was an exploratory investigation of the relationship between physical exercise and sexual behavior. It was hypothesized that self‐report of increased time spent in physical exercise would be associated with a higher self‐reported frequency of sexual behavior and frequency of desired sexual activity. An anonymous questionnaire was given to a sample of undergraduates (N = 78) and a sample of persons (N = 144) walking through a fieldhouse/classroom complex at Indiana University. Pearson correlational analysis of each sample supported the hypotheses (p < .001). Further investigation via a more comprehensive questionnaire or a factorial design study was discussed.
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This article examines how the different investigators (physiologists, endocrinologists, brain imagers, psychologists) who examine, study and characterise the criteria for accepting that an orgasms has occurred in women and men during a specific sexual scenario.
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Examined the influence of guilt associated with the absence of orgasm during sexual intercourse on participation in risk-taking sexual practices and physiological/psychological sexual satisfaction. 556 never-married female undergraduates (aged 18–23 yrs) completed a questionnaire about their sexual history; their sexually transmitted disease history; and their sexual attitudes, guilt, and satisfaction. Ss with frequent guilt feelings (FGFs) felt better about themselves if someone else made their decisions and were more likely to have given only implied consent to their 1st sexual intercourse. Ss with FGFs reported lower sexual adjustment and less comfort with their sexuality than other Ss and were more likely to have had intercourse with an occasional dating partner. The strong correlation between guilt, high-risk sexual behavior, and low self-esteem supports the contention that guilt strongly inhibits sexual development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Introduction. The criteria for “female orgasmic disorder” (FOD) assume that low rates of orgasm are dysfunctional, implying that high rates are functional. Evolutionary theories about the function of female orgasm predict correlations of orgasm rates with sexual attitudes and behavior and other fitness-related traits. Aim. To test hypothesized evolutionary functions of the female orgasm. Methods. We examined such correlations in a community sample of 2,914 adult female Australian twins who reported their orgasm rates during masturbation, intercourse, and other sexual activities, and who completed demographic, personality, and sexuality questionnaires. Main Outcome Measures. Orgasm rates during intercourse, other sex, and masturbation. Results. Although orgasm rates showed high variance across women and substantial heritability, they were largely phenotypically and genetically independent of other important traits. We found zero to weak phenotypic correlations between all three orgasm rates and all other 19 traits examined, including occupational status, social class, educational attainment, extraversion, neuroticism, psychoticism, impulsiveness, childhood illness, maternal pregnancy stress, marital status, political liberalism, restrictive attitudes toward sex, libido, lifetime number of sex partners, risky sexual behavior, masculinity, orientation toward uncommitted sex, age of first intercourse, and sexual fantasy. Furthermore, none of the correlations had significant genetic components. Conclusion. These findings cast doubt on most current evolutionary theories about female orgasm's adaptive functions, and on the validity of FOD as a psychiatric construct. Zietsch BP, Miller GF, Bailey JM, and Martin NG. Female orgasm rates are largely independent of other traits: Implications for “female orgasmic disorder” and evolutionary theories of orgasm. J Sex Med 2011;8:2305–2316.
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Physical exercise including pelvic floor muscle (PFM) training seems to improve the sexual function of women with urinary incontinence. This effect in postmenopausal women who are continent has not yet been determined. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a 3-month physical exercise protocol (PEP) on the sexual function and mood of postmenopausal women. Thirty-two sedentary, continent, sexually active women who had undergone menopause no more than 5 years earlier and who had follicle stimulating hormone levels of at least 40 mIU/mL were enrolled into this longitudinal study. All women had the ability to contract their PFMs, as assessed by vaginal bimanual palpation. Muscle strength was graded according to the Oxford Modified Grading Scale (OMGS). A PEP was performed under the guidance of a physiotherapist (M.M.F.) twice weekly for 3 months and at home three times per week. All women completed the Sexual Quotient-Female Version (SQ-F) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) before and after the PEP. SQ-F to assess sexual function, HASDS to assess mood, and OMGS to grade pelvic floor muscle strength. Thirty-two women (24 married women, eight women in consensual unions) completed the PEP. Following the PEP, there was a significant increase in OMGS score (2.59 ± 1.24 vs. 3.40 ± 1.32, P < 0.0001) and a significant decrease in the number of women suffering from anxiety (P < 0.01), but there was no effect on sexual function. Implementation of our PEP seemed to reduce anxiety and improve pelvic floor muscular strength in sedentary and continent postmenopausal women. However, our PEP did not improve sexual function. Uncontrolled variables, such as participation in a long-term relationship and menopause status, may have affected our results. We suggest that a randomized controlled trial be performed to confirm our results.
Article
To determine if there is a link between physical activity and sexual functioning in perimenopausal women, by comparing groups of women with low, moderate and high physical activity levels with regard to selected domains of their sexual functioning. The research involved 400 healthy Polish women, aged 45-55 years. The final analysis encompassed 336 women who fulfilled all the inclusion criteria. The research tool was a two-part questionnaire. The first part covered the socio-economic status, patient history, and gynaecological-obstetric history. Part two consisted of an extended version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire long form, evaluating the level of physical activity over the last seven days, and the Female Sexual Function Index. The mean age of the respondents was 50.56 ± 2.33 years. The analysis showed statistically significant differences between all the domains of physical activity and the FSFI of the studied women. In the group of women without sexual disorders, respondents with a low physical activity level in all questionnaire domains were the least numerous. In perimenopausal women an association is seen between high levels of general physical activity and better sexual functioning.
Article
Although studies of specific groups of individuals (e.g., adolescents, "high risk" samples) have examined sexual repertoire, little is known, at the population level, about the sexual behaviors that comprise a given sexual encounter. To assess the sexual behaviors that men and women report during their most recent sexual event; the age, partner and situational characteristics related to that event; and their association with participants' evaluation of the sexual event. During March-May 2009, data from a United States probability sample related to the most recent partnered sexual event reported by 3990 adults (ages 18-59) were analyzed. Measures included sexual behaviors during the most recent partnered sexual event, event characteristics (i.e., event location, alcohol use, marijuana use, and for men, erection medication use), and evaluations of the sexual experience (pleasure, arousal, erection/lubrication difficulty, orgasm). Great diversity exists in the behaviors that occur during a single sexual event by adults, with a total of 41 combinations of sexual behaviors represented across this sample. Orgasm was positively related to the number of behaviors that occurred and age was related to greater difficulty with erections and lubrication. Men whose most recent event was with a relationship partner indicated greater arousal, greater pleasure, fewer problems with erectile function, orgasm, and less pain during the event compared with men whose last event was with a nonrelationship partner. Findings demonstrate that adults ages 18 to 59 engage in a diverse range of behaviors during a sexual event and that greater behavior diversity is related to ease of orgasm for both women and men. Although both men and women experience sexual difficulties related to erectile function and lubrication with age, men's orgasm is facilitated by sex with a relationship partner whereas the likelihood of women's orgasm is related to varied sexual behaviors.
Article
Sexual health is vital to overall well-being. Orgasm is a normal psycho-physiological function of human beings and every woman has the right to feel sexual pleasure. The anatomy of the vulva and of the female erectile organs (trigger of orgasm) is described in human anatomy textbooks. Female sexual physiology was first described in Dickinson's textbook in 1949 and subsequently by Masters and Johnson in 1966. During women's sexual response, changes occur in the congestive structures that are essential to the understanding of women's sexual response and specifically of their orgasm. Female and male external genital organs arise from the same embryologic structures, i.e. phallus, urogenital folds, urogenital sinus and labioscrotal swellings. The vulva is formed by the labia majora and vestibule, with its erectile apparatus: clitoris (glans, body, crura), labia minora, vestibular bulbs and corpus spongiosum. Grafenberg, in 1950, discovered no "G-spot" and did not report an orgasm of the intraurethral glands. The hypothetical area named "G-spot" should not be defined with Grafenberg's name. The female orgasm should be a normal phase of the sexual response cycle, which is possible to achieve by all healthy women with effective sexual stimulation. Knowledge of the embryology, anatomy and physiology of the female erectile organs are important in the field of women's sexual health.
Article
The lack of an adequate empirical base for models of female sexual response is a critical issue within the female sexual dysfunction (FSD) literature. AIM. The current research compared the extent to which a linear model of sexual response and Basson's circular model of female sexual response represent the sexual function of women with and without FSD. Women's levels of sexual function/dysfunction were assessed with the Female Sexual Function Index and additional items measured women's endorsement of models of female sexual function as representing their own sexual experience. An anonymous online survey assessing female sexual response and associated aetiological factors was completed by a random sample of 404 women. Although the linear model of sexual response was a good fit for women with and without sexual dysfunction, the relationship between sexual arousal and orgasm was mediated by sexual desire for women with FSD. The fit of the initial circular model of women's sexual response was poor for both groups. Following pathway modification, the modified circular model adequately represented the responses of both groups and revealed that a number of the relationships between sexual response variables were stronger for women with FSD. The linear model was a more accurate representation of sexual response for women with normal sexual function than women with FSD and sexual arousal and orgasm was mediated by sexual desire for women with FSD. The modified circular model was a more accurate representation of the sexual response of women with FSD than women with normal sexual function.
Article
The existence of the G-spot remains controversial partly because no appropriate structure and innervation have been clearly demonstrated in this pleasurable vaginal area. Using sonography, we wanted to visualize the movements of the clitoris and its anatomical relationship with the anterior wall of the vagina during voluntary perineal contraction and vaginal penetration without sexual stimulation. The aim of this presentation is to provide a dynamic sonographic study of the clitoris and to describe the movements of the quiescent clitoral complex during a voluntary perineal contraction. We aim to visualize the mechanical consequences of the pressure of the anterior vaginal wall with women who claim to have a special sensitivity of the G-spot area and vaginal orgasm. Histology and immunohistochemistry of the G-spot and other female genital tissues are beyond the scope of this study and have not been discussed. The ultrasounds were performed in five healthy volunteers with the Voluson General Electric Sonography system (GE Healthcare, Zipf, Austria), with a 12-MHz flat probe, and with a vaginal probe. We used functional sonography of the quiescent clitoris with voluntary perineal contractions and with finger penetration without sexual stimulation. We focused on the size of the clitoris (raphe, glans, and clitoral bodies) and of the length of the movements of the clitoris during voluntary perineal contractions. The coronal planes during perineal contraction and finger penetration demonstrated a close relationship between the root of the clitoris and the anterior vaginal wall. We suggest that the special sensitivity of the lower anterior vaginal wall could be explained by pressure and movement of clitoris' root during a vaginal penetration and subsequent perineal contraction. The G-spot could be explained by the richly innervated clitoris.
Article
Neuroleptic treatment in schizophrenic patients has been associated with sexual dysfunction, including impotence and decreased libido. Spontaneous ejaculation without sexual arousal during typical antipsychotic treatment is a rare condition that has been described with zuclopentixol, trifluoperazine, and thiothixene. Here, we are reporting a case of spontaneous orgasm with ziprasidone in a bipolar patient. This patient began to repeatedly experience spontaneous sexual arousal and orgasm, which she had never experienced in the past. Ziprasidone might be causing an increase in sexual orgasm by 5-HT2 receptor antagonism, which preclinical evidence suggests that it facilitates dopamine release in the cortex.
Article
To compare the sexual function of women with female genital mutilation (FGM) to women without FGM. A prospective case-control study. A tertiary referral university hospital. One hundred and thirty sexually active women with FGM and 130 sexually active women without FGM in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Women with and without FGM were asked to answer the Arabic-translated version of the female sexual function index (FSFI) questionnaire. The individual domain scores for pain, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, pain, and overall score of the FSFI were calculated. The two groups were comparable in demographic characteristics. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups in mean desire score (+/- standard deviation) or pain score. However, there were statistically significant differences between the two groups in their scores for arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and satisfaction as well as the overall score. Sexual function in women with FGM is adversely altered. This adds to the well-known health consequences of FGM. Efforts to document and explain these complications should be encouraged so that FGM can be abandoned.
Article
An examination is made of the role of the pubococcygeus muscle in relation to female orgasm in 281 women. A statistically significant difference is reported between orgasmic and anorgasmic women and the physiological state of the pubococcygeus muscle as measured using a pressure sensitive device inserted in the vagina. These data suggest the pubococcygeus muscle plays an important part in the pathophysiology of female orgasm.
Article
Describes a 6-step treatment program for women who are inorgasmic during intercourse. The program teaches women to associate orgasms brought on by manual clitoral stimulation with arousing thoughts about intercourse and vaginal containment of a dildo. This learning is then generalized to vaginal containment of the partner's penis and thrusting movements. Two cases are presented to illustrate the treatment method and provide initial support for the program. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Some of the recent most challenging contributions to our knowledge of female sexuality were provided by direct observations as early as during the second year of life concerning genital self-stimulation and masturbation in girls. Other investigators have advanced the proposition that girls are capable of vaginal masturbation and possibly of experiencing vaginal sensation and stimulation very early in life. Our own clinical study on sleep orgasm, based mainly on data obtained from the analysis of one woman, leads to formulating the hypothesis that in some instances the nursing situation may provide sensations in the genitals (vagina), not only for the mother, but also for the baby. We assume that such sensations in the genitals of the infant female are not the result of mechanical stimulation of the genital organs--as described during the second year and later--but are the result of a "resonance" phenomenon whereby the infant's genitals, including the vagina, are stimulated from within. The observations of orgasm made by others and by the author should be considered the first tentative steps toward an understanding of the complex nature of female orgasm. Eventually, further studies might lead to distinguishing more clearly a sexual orgasm in a narrower sense from a sucking orgasm, from an anger orgasm, and from a stress orgasm--i.e. an unspecific genital discharge. Sleep orgasm can represent gratification of unacceptable disguised sexual wishes and can therefore occur after intercourse and orgasm experienced when awake. The study of sleep orgasm might be of value in relation to the general problems of female orgasm. I would like to close with a reminder that some of the formulations presented in this paper are quite obviously largely speculative.
Article
The sexual response is a form of exercise which has strong biological and evolutionary components. Few studies have focused upon sexual behaviour as exercise and the reasons for this are considered. Current information and leads for future study come from animal research. Some historical precursors to modern sex researchers did more to mislead than to advance knowledge but Kinsey and Masters & Johnson set the stage for modern knowledge and applications. There are parallels between the orgasmic response and exercise. Physiological bases of the sexual response help to explain individual differences in sexual behaviour and the well-being that often accompanies states of passionate love, addiction and exercise. Studies suggest that sexual activity is associated with well-being and longevity, yet many health and exercise professionals fail to take account of sexual activity in advancing exercise programmes and executing studies; that is, the so-called Ostrich Effect persists. Investigators need to separate the passionate love stage of relationships which are biologically based and last 3 to 4 years from the later stages of long term committed partnerships in which sexual activity continues as a form of exercise, competence expression and fun.
Article
In the light of very recent studies, this paper reviews two controversial issues in the area of female sexuality: vaginal eroticism and female orgasm. From the available evidence, it is concluded that most (and probably all) women possess vaginal zones, mainly located on the anterior wall, whose tactile stimulation can lead to orgasm. The apparent contradiction between this finding and the ample evidence indicating that coitus is an inefficient method of eliciting female orgasm might be explained, at least in part, by topographical and mechanical reasons, as well as by differences between male and female orgasm latencies. As to the confusion regarding the types of female orgasm, it may be clarified by applying this concept not to the real phenomenon of orgasm, but only to its manner of elicitation.
Article
In a study of the effects of vaginal musculature contractions (Kegel's exercises) on both subjective and physiological measures of sexual arousal, 30 normal females were randomly assigned to one of three groups. The first group was informed about these exercises and was asked to practice them both during lab sessions and during the week intervening between sessions. The second group was informed concerning the effects of Kegel's exercises but did not practice contractions. A control group received no information regarding these exercises. Measures of vaginal vasocongestion and subjective ratings of sexual arousal were obtained during two 31-minute lab sessions. Vaginal contractions enhanced both subjective ratings and physiological measures of arousal. When combined with self-generated fantasy, tensing further augmented arousal. These effects were not further enhanced after 1 week of practice. The present study provides empirical support for the prescription of Kegel's exercises to normal women as an enhancer of sexual arousal. Further study of the effects of Kegel's exercises on a sample of dysfunctional women is necessary to determine the applicability of these results to a clinical population.
Article
The relationship of pubococcygeal condition to orgasmic responsiveness in 102 women from a university community was examined in a controlled, prospective investigation. Pubococcygeal strength was measured with a perineometer while responsiveness was assessed by a standardized interview yielding reliable measures of self-reported orgasmic response. Subjects whose responsiveness might have been impaired by such factors as alcohol consumption, inadequate stimulation, and high sexual anxiety were excluded from analyses. Excellent within-session but poor across-session test-retest reliability of the perineometer measures was noted. Initial Strength Contracting proved to be the most reliable measure. Though the majority of the parous women had performed Kegel exercises after delivery, parity was negatively related to pubococcygeal strength on most measures. Contrary to experimental hypotheses, pubococcygeal strength was not found to be positively related to frequency or self-reported intensity of orgasm. Furthermore, women with higher pubococcygeal strength did not report that vaginal stimulation contributed more to attainment of orgasm, nor did they rate vaginal sensations during coitus as more pleasurable. Only in the case of pleasurability of orgasm through clitoral stimulation was a significant, though low, relationship obtained. Possible factors contributing to the discrepancy between these findings and previous uncontrolled investigations are discussed, as are the implications of these findings for the use of Kegel exercises in the treatment of orgasmic dysfunction.
Article
Women with orgasmic difficulties are commonly taught pubococcygeal (PC) muscle exercises which, practiced regularly, are said to have both specific and nonspecific beneficial effects on sexual enjoyment. The hypothesis tested was that women practicing these exercises over a 12-week period, would be more likely to become orgasmic than women practicing relaxation exercises, or than women in an attention-control group. Forty-six women were allocated to one of three groups, PC exercise, relaxation or control. PC muscle tone was measured and questionnaires about sexual response were completed over a 12-week period with a 6-month follow-up assessment. Results indicated that there was no difference in orgasmic outcome for the three groups during the experimental period. This was taken to imply that PC exercises are not of specific value for women with normal muscle tone. It remains possible that women with poor muscle tone are helped by the exercises and further research is considered necessary in this area.
Article
Although popular media have addressed the issue of women pretending orgasm during sexual intercourse, the research literature on the phenomenon is sparse. In the current study, 161 young adult women provided data regarding lifetime sexual experience, objective and subjective physical attractiveness, sexual attitudes (erotophobia-erotophilia), sexual esteem, and general tendencies toward self-monitoring of expressive behavior in social situations. Overall, more than one-half of the women reported having pretended orgasm during sexual intercourse. In univariate analyses, the "pretenders" and "non-pretenders" did not differ in experimenter-rated facial attractiveness, self-rated body attractiveness, or general self-monitoring. However, pretenders were significantly older; viewed themselves as facially more attractive, reported having had first intercourse at a younger age; reported greater numbers of lifetime intercourse, fellatio, and cunnilingus partners; and scored higher on measures of sexual esteem and erotophilia. In multivariate analyses, only sexual esteem was uniquely related to having pretended orgasm. The findings are discussed with regard to possible explanations and implications, as well as directions for future research.
Article
Clarification of women's sexual response during long-term relationships is needed. I have presented a model that more accurately depicts the responsive component of women's desire and the underlying motivational forces that trigger it. The variety of arousal/orgasm responses is also acknowledged. The purpose is both to prevent diagnosing dysfunction when the response is simply different from the traditional human sex-response cycle and to more clearly define subgroups of dysfunction. The latter would appear to be necessary before progress in newer treatment modalities, including pharmacological, can be made.
Article
The current study was aimed at comparing genital and subjective sexual arousal in pre- and postmenopausal women and exploring the effects of heightened sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity on these parameters. Seventy-one women (25 young and premenopausal, 25 postmenopausal, and 21 age-matched premenopausal women) participated in two counterbalanced sessions consisting of genital arousal assessment with vaginal photoplethysmography and subjective arousal assessment with self-report questionnaires. SNS activity was enhanced using laboratory-induced hyperventilation. Results demonstrated no significant differences between pre- and postmenopausal women on genital and subjective measures of arousal in response to neutral and erotic films. SNS manipulation increased genital excitement only in young, premenopausal women. These data suggest that prior SNS enhancement can differentiate pre- from postmenopausal genital arousal. Data also revealed significant correlations between genital and subjective sexual arousal in older pre- and postmenopausal women, but not in young premenopausal women. These data are the first to directly compare genital-subjective correlations between pre- and postmenopausal women.
Article
Since each individual female sexual dysfunction is complex, it is necessary to subtype them in addition to dividing them into life-long or acquired disorder. The complexity of women's sexual arousal necessitates appreciation of a number of different types of arousal disorders that vary not only in etiology but also in management. The coexistence of sexual arousal and sexual desire, which develops during a sexual experience, explains the frequent comorbidity of arousal and desire disorders. Subtyping of hypoactive sexual desire disorder allows analysis of lack of receptivity and of any marked loss of the traditional markers of sexual desire over and beyond a normative lessening with relationship duration. Dyspareunia and vaginismus require further analysis prior to any definitive therapy. The definition of orgasmic disorder needs to include loss of orgasmic intensity and the possibility of coincident arousal disorder.
Article
We report a 41-year-old woman with complex reflex epilepsy in which seizures were induced exclusively by the act of tooth brushing. All the attacks occurred with a specific sensation of sexual arousal and orgasm-like euphoria that were followed by a period of impairment of consciousness. Ictal EEG demonstrated two events of epileptic seizure that were provoked after tooth brushing for 38 and 14 seconds, respectively. The interictal EEG showed epileptiform discharges over the right anterior temporal region and interictal single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan showed relative hypoperfusion in the uncus of right temporal lobe. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed right hippocampal atrophy. We suggest that tooth-brushing epilepsy, especially with sexual ictal manifestations, may provide insight into the cerebral pathophysiology at the right temporolimbic structure.
Article
Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) violates human rights. FGM/C women's sexuality is not well known and often it is neglected by gynecologists, urologists, and sexologists. In mutilated/cut women, some fundamental structures for orgasm have not been excised. The aim of this report is to describe and analyze the results of four investigations on sexual functioning in different groups of cut women. Instruments: semistructured interviews and the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). Sample: 137 adult women affected by different types of FGM/C; 58 young FGM/C ladies living in the West; 57 infibulated women; 15 infibulated women after the operation of defibulation. The group of 137 women, affected by different types of FGM/C, reported orgasm in almost 86%, always 69.23%; 58 mutilated young women reported orgasm in 91.43%, always 8.57%; after defibulation 14 out of 15 infibulated women reported orgasm; the group of 57 infibulated women investigated with the FSFI questionnaire showed significant differences between group of study and an equivalent group of control in desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction with mean scores higher in the group of mutilated women. No significant differences were observed between the two groups in lubrication and pain. Embryology, anatomy, and physiology of female erectile organs are neglected in specialist textbooks. In infibulated women, some erectile structures fundamental for orgasm have not been excised. Cultural influence can change the perception of pleasure, as well as social acceptance. Every woman has the right to have sexual health and to feel sexual pleasure for full psychophysical well-being of the person. In accordance with other research, the present study reports that FGM/C women can also have the possibility of reaching an orgasm. Therefore, FGM/C women with sexual dysfunctions can and must be cured; they have the right to have an appropriate sexual therapy.
Article
Introduction: Despite their widespread prevalence, there are no existing evidence-based psychological treatments for women with sexual desire and arousal disorder. Mindfulness, the practice of relaxed wakefulness, is an ancient eastern practice with roots in Buddhist meditation which has been found to be an effective component of psychological treatments for numerous psychiatric and medical illnesses. In recent years, mindfulness has been incorporated into sex therapy and has been found effective for genital arousal disorder among women with acquired sexual complaints secondary to gynecologic cancer. Aim: The aim of this study was to adapt an existing mindfulness-based psychoeducation (PED) to a group format for women with sexual desire/interest disorder and/or sexual arousal disorders unrelated to cancer. Methods: Twenty-six women participated in three 90-minute sessions, spaced 2 weeks apart, with four to six other women. Group PED was administered by one mental health trained provider and one gynecologist with post graduate training and experience in sexual medicine. Main outcome measures: Prior to and following the group, women viewed audiovisual erotic stimuli and had both physiological (vaginal pulse amplitude) and subjective sexual arousal assessed. Additionally, they completed self-report questionnaires of sexual response, sexual distress, mood, and relationship satisfaction. Results: There was a significant beneficial effect of the group PED on sexual desire and sexual distress. Also, we found a positive effect on self-assessed genital wetness despite little or no change in actual physiological arousal, and a marginally significant improvement in subjective and self-reported physical arousal during an erotic stimulus. A follow-up comparison of women with and without a sexual abuse history revealed that women with a sexual abuse history improved significantly more than those without such history on mental sexual excitement, genital tingling/throbbing, arousal, overall sexual function, sexual distress, and on negative affect while viewing the erotic film. Moreover, there was a trend for greater improvement on depression scores among those with a sexual abuse history. Conclusions: These data provide preliminary support for a brief, three-session group psychoeducational intervention for women with sexual desire and arousal complaints. Specifically, women with a history of sexual abuse improved more than women without such a history. Participant feedback indicated that mindfulness was the most effective component of the treatment, in line with prior findings. However, future compartmentalization trials are necessary in order to conclude this more definitively.
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