Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Human Orgasm, a brief description

Experienced by males and females, orgasms are controlled by the involuntary or autonomic nervous system. They are often associated with other involuntary actions, including muscular spasms in multiple areas of the body, a general euphoric sensation and, frequently, body movements and vocalizations are expressed. The period after orgasm (known as a refractory period) is often a relaxing experience, attributed to the release of the neurohormones oxytocin and prolactin.

Human orgasms usually result from the stimulation of the penis in males, typically accompanying ejaculation, and the clitoris in females. Stimulation can be by self-practice (masturbation) or by a partner (penetrative sexual intercourse, non-penetrative sex, and other erotic sexual activities). In addition, partners simultaneously stimulating each other's sex organs by mutual masturbation, penetrative intercourse, or other rhythmic inter-genital contact may experience simultaneous orgasms.

In men, the most common way of achieving orgasm is by stimulation of the penis. This is usually accompanied by ejaculation, but it is possible for a man to have an orgasm without ejaculation (known as a "dry orgasm") or to ejaculate without reaching orgasm (which may be a case of delayed ejaculation, a nocturnal emission or a case of anorgasmic ejaculation). Men may also achieve orgasm by stimulation of the prostate
Many men who began masturbation or other sexual activity prior to puberty report having been able to achieve multiple non-ejaculatory orgasms. Some evidence indicates that orgasms of men before puberty are qualitatively similar to the "normal" female experience of orgasm, suggesting that hormonal changes during puberty have a strong influence on the character of male orgasm.
An increased infusion of the hormone oxytocin during ejaculation is believed to be chiefly responsible for the refractory period, and the amount by which oxytocin is increased may affect the length of each refractory period. Another chemical which is considered to be responsible for the male refractory period is prolactin. This represses dopamine, which is responsible for sexual arousal. Because of this, there is currently an experimental interest in drugs which inhibit prolactin, such as cabergoline (also known as Cabeser, or Dostinex). Anecdotal reports on cabergoline suggest it may be able to eliminate the refractory period altogether, allowing men to experience multiple ejaculatory orgasms in rapid succession. At least one scientific study supports these claims, although cabergoline is a hormone-altering drug and has many potential side effects. It has not been approved for treating sexual dysfunction. Another possible reason for the lack or absence of a refractory period in men may be an increased infusion of the hormone oxytocin. It is believed that the amount by which oxytocin is increased may affect the length of each refractory period.
Female orgasms are complex, women typically being divided into two categories: clitoral orgasm and vaginal (or G-Spot) orgasm. Sigmund Freud, who postulated the concept of "vaginal orgasm" as separate from clitoral orgasm. In 1905, Freud stated that clitoral orgasms are purely an adolescent phenomenon and that upon reaching puberty, the proper response of mature women is a change-over to vaginal orgasms, meaning orgasms without any clitoral stimulation. While Freud provided no evidence for this basic assumption, the consequences of this theory were considerable. Many women felt inadequate when they could not achieve orgasm via vaginal intercourse alone, involving little or no clitoral stimulation, as Freud's theory made penile-vaginal intercourse the central component to women's sexual satisfaction.
A woman's orgasm may last slightly longer or much longer than a man's. Women's orgasms have been estimated to last, on average, approximately 20 seconds, and to consist of a series of muscular contractions in the pelvic area that includes the vagina, the uterus and the anus. A series of studies conducted by Gert Holstege and his colleagues at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have established physiological characteristics which are unique to orgasm, including brain activity, as well as variation in the responses between men and women.
One study examined 12 healthy women using a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner while they were being stimulated by their partners. Brain changes were observed and compared between states of rest, sexual stimulation, faked orgasm, and actual orgasm. "Differences were reported on the brain changes associated with men and women during stimulation. However, the same changes in brain activity were observed in both sexes in which the brain regions associated with behavioral control, fear and anxiety shut down. Regarding these changes, Holstege said in an interview with The Times, "What this means is that deactivation, letting go of all fear and anxiety, might be the most important thing, even necessary, to have an orgasm."
During stroking of the clitoris, the parts of the female brain responsible for processing fear, anxiety and behavioral control start to relax and reduce in activity. This reaches a peak at orgasm when the female brain’s emotion centers are effectively closed down to produce an almost trance-like state. Holstege is quoted as saying, at the 2005 meeting of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Development: "At the moment of orgasm, women do not have any emotional feelings."
Human brain wave patterns have shown distinct changes during orgasm, which indicate the importance of the limbic system in the orgasmic response. Male and female brains demonstrate similar changes during orgasm, with brain activity scans showing a temporary decrease in the metabolic activity of large parts of the cerebral cortex with normal or increased metabolic activity in the limbic areas of the brain.
Orgasm, and sex as a whole, are physical activities that can require exertion of many major bodily systems.
 A 1997 study in the British Medical Journal based upon 918 men age 45–59 found that after a ten year follow-up, men who had fewer orgasms were twice as likely to die of any cause as those having two or more orgasms a week. A follow-up in 2001 which focused more specifically on cardiovascular health found that having sex three or more times a week was associated with a 50% reduction in the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Serious research on sexuality began in the U.S. in the 1950’s with Alfred Kinsey and his famous Kinsey reports. Kinsey reported that sex reduces stress, and that people who have fulfilling, satisfying sex lives are less anxious, less violent, and even less hostile.
One of the first longitudinal studies of aging began at Duke University in the ‘50s and reported in the December 1982 journal Gerontologist established a link between the frequency of sexual intercourse (for men) and the enjoyment of sex (for women) as a predictor for longevity.
The Duke study of 270 men and women over a span of 25 years seemed to suggest that an active sex life has a positive correlation with longer life span. Researchers could not conclude whether people lived longer because of the benefits of physical exercise, an emotional connection, or both. A possible bias in the Duke study is the fact that healthier men tend to be more sexually active.
Several studies have found that sexual dissatisfaction was a predictor of the onset of cardiovascular disease. A study published in the November-December 1976 journal Psychosomatic Medicine compared 100 women with heart disease with a control group. Researchers found sexual frigidity and dissatisfaction among 65% of the coronary patients but only 24% of the controls.
The indirect evidence that good sex is directly linked to improved health, and therefore, longevity, increases every year. As scientists learn more about links between good sex, our brains, emotions and body functions, they will directly confirm the linkage between good sex and longevity. We know today that good sex is associated with wellness in many ways. The benefits of  sex seems to promote the continuation of man, and recent studies tells us it now promotes the longevity as well. The orgasm serves in many different ways to solidify pair bonding and increases repetition for procreating. From a scientific stand point, it links our animalistic nature and resets our mood. The benefits of sex as a natural way of life out weighs the arguments against it. But despite the research and scientific data it can be one of the most misinterpreted and abused topics for which we take for granted...

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