Orgasm discoveries are just in their infancyPosted on: November 15, 2022, by : amiss
Certain modalities of enjoyment seem to be changing.
Subject to debates and controversies in the history of sexuality, the orgasm stirs up and tirelessly cultivates its enigmas. Following the advent of research in the human sciences in the 19th century , neuroscience plunged the 20th and 21st centuries into a quest for a psychocorporal understanding of human enjoyment. Since the last century, sexuality has been studied, measured and evaluated. On the historical side, Freud, first of all, put sexuality on the front of the stage as a science of the living. There were then great successors such as Reich, Marcuse, Foucault and Lacan, before the arrival of the first researchers in sexology such as Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, John Monney or even Shere Hite.
The contribution of sexology was to put the body back at the center of the sexual question. The concept of “sexual health” was recently recognized by the WHO and it is now established that orgasm corresponds to a complex neuro-physio-psychological process marking the paroxysm of the sexual response. Linked to a pleasure with similarities between the two sexes, it is characterized by rhythmic contractions of the pelviperineal muscles, accompanied by activation of the nervous system and generalized muscle tension. Orgasm is also a paradoxical phenomenon since it requires both relaxation and tension.
Despite all these advances, misunderstandings persist regarding the knowledge of the female orgasm, the male orgasm and the orgasm in the life of couples in general. As proof, the recent updates of the anatomy of the clitoris in 3D have changed the game of representations of female pleasure. Similarly, new practices encourage a complete rethinking of male pleasure. Despite the scientific advances relating to the definition and overall understanding of the sexual response, the question of orgasm still raises many imaginations and questions.
To put it simply: the mystery of orgasm remains. A mystery that literature regularly tries to probe beyond scientific expertise, according to cultural scenes and museums which, in this area, still have many things to (de)show. It must be said that the theme of orgasm lends itself wonderfully to study. On the one hand because it is universal, on the other hand because it is lived in intimacy. Universal and particular, two major themes in the sciences and humanities where systemic approaches rub shoulders with questions of identity. Moreover, orgasm is to the human what ecstasy is to the divine. The latter results in a transport. This is the great capsizing. The orgasm figures and disfigures beings. He moves them.
But at the start of the 21st century , are we still sure that we want to adhere to certain beliefs about the orgasm, when in recent years, as we know, the “functions of the orgasm” have changed? Are we sure we want to stay the course, even the “gap” (orgasmic gap relayed by many media) when today, orgasm has become for many synonymous with injunctions, frustrations, simulations and sometimes addictions? “I enjoy therefore I am” , proclaims society at all costs. Even if it means creating guilt, complexes or performance anxiety until the progressive asphyxiation of pleasure. However, certain modalities of enjoyment seem to be changing.
Neither vaginal nor clitoral, the female orgasm is global
Indeed, since the discoveries by medical ultrasound in 2009 by Dr Odile Buisson and Pierre Foldès, it has been established that the dual distinction between “clitoral orgasm” and “vaginal orgasm” is no longer relevant. The representation of these two split zones now gives way to a globality integrating different erogenous zones of a whole dedicated to pleasure in general (internal or external). On the women’s side, the discoveries on the clitoris made it possible to get out of the Freudian cleavage of so-called “mature” vaginal sexuality versus clitoral sexuality, considered “immature”.
New physiological and sexological knowledge has made it possible to advance in the understanding of the free zones of female pleasure. From its anatomical description, with in particular its pillars and bulbs which act on the internal part corresponding to the G-spot, the lower part of the clitoris is therefore the happy initiator and holder of the vaginal orgasm. Revolution in orgasm. Vaginal and clitoral orgasms are no longer divided, cleaved, opposed to each other, but they come from the same organ and the same functioning (friction, pressure, stimulation, etc.).
Disorder in orgasm: men are also polyorgasmic
The hierarchy of orgasms is no longer relevant. Henceforth, the recognition of the clitoris as an organ of female pleasure goes well beyond its mere anatomical definition. It becomes the incarnation of a strong symbolism in terms of women’s rights and equitable research on sexuality. The revolution of the female orgasm means that enjoyment is no longer “dual” – either clitoral or vaginal – but “global”.
This totally upsets the paradigms on which the (often “vaginalistic” and androcentric) definition of female pleasure has been built. Taking into account the “global” and no longer “dual” orgasmic potential of women, that is to say the potential to enjoy all erogenized zones, makes it possible to get out of the divisive, devaluing, infantilizing and guilt-inducing considerations that have marked female sexuality for centuries.
The limits of the “monofocal” male orgasm
If society has made the enjoyment of women invisible for centuries by erasing their clitoris, it is surprising to study the reciprocal on the side of men. What if a male pleasure revolution was also underway? What if men’s sexuality was no longer only and exclusively “monofocal”, that is to say penile, but also “global”? What I call the male “monofocal orgasm” is the orgasm centered, focused, even conditioned only on the penis. The quest for the “monofocal” orgasm has reduced men for millennia to experiencing pleasure only with their erect penis and not their erogenized body. The theme may still appear sensitive.
However, faced with the monofocal, penile orgasm, there is also another type of orgasm in men: the global orgasm. This orgasm which engages the whole body has its source in the erogenization of certain areas, such as the mouth, the neck, the nipples or the prostate point (point P). Men, focused for generations on their penis as an object of pleasure, are gradually learning that they can enjoy several parts of their bodies. Disorder in orgasm: men are also polyorgasmic.
The issue of the transition from monofocal (penile) orgasm to global orgasm (the whole body is erogenous) represents a challenge for men.
Evoking the polyorgasmic potential of man presupposes having deconstructed certain representations of gender. Condemned in majority to have for only representation of the orgasm only a penile orgasm (phallic), good number of men thus pass by other pleasures however well known, but so little experienced. Prostate orgasm is one of them, as are other types of “degenitalized” orgasms. Saying that these orgasmic faculties exist can remove guilt and desacralize penile enjoyment (which very often experiences breakdowns and dysfunctions) and open men to new sensations.
But beyond prostatic enjoyment, it is the question of stereotypes and gendered pleasure, but also of the norm and of masculine history, which are challenged. It is quite possible that a culture, a modesty, an education can make this sexual practice hazardous. Freud’s topic (by placing the anal stage in the different stages of sexuality, well before the genital stage) can be a first explanation. Like the clitoral orgasm considered until then by the literature and the doxa as “immature” compared to the vaginal orgasm in women, the anal stage in men remains associated with the first infantile stage.
The issue of the transition from monofocal (penile) orgasm to global orgasm (the whole body is erogenous) represents a challenge for men that says much more than just their anatomy. This constitutes a revolution in representations of masculinity and virility in our society. An anatomical, political and egalitarian revolution between the sexes in access to enjoyment. Culturally, resistance still exists. The prostatic point remains an unexplored area of a large part of the heterosexual population.
However, a question arises: are men really happy with their condition of self-centered enjoyment on a penis that is sometimes capricious, tired, wobbly…? Don’t they want to extract themselves from this diktat of “power” in the name of other pleasures and other forms of enjoyment? In a society of stress and the race for performance, would it not also be welcome to be able to let go and indulge in other pleasures to access not only new sensations, but also other “types”? representations?
The pleasures of the future: degenitalized orgasms and cybersexuality?
The global orgasm encourages a pansexual reerotization (in the Freudian sense) of bodies. Through degenitalized orgasms, new sexual scripts come to question or even unravel the discourses and practices inculcated for centuries. From a biological and neurobiological point of view, it is obvious. From a symbolic point of view, it is latent. The degenital orgasm corresponds to a new cartography of pleasures, since it relies not on the genitals, but on many other erogenous zones capable of causing the same physiological and psychic results as a genital orgasm.
The latter are listed – and increasingly studied – in different forms: tantrism, mystical ecstasy, musical or culinary orgasm, “coregasm” (orgasm during sports) or more surprisingly, Stendhal syndrome (swoon in front of certain chefs works). All these examples make it possible to broaden our sexualized visions and conceptions of orgasm in favor of multiple sublimations. Also, penile and vaginal orgasms find themselves in competition with new ecstatic practices that come to redefine access to pleasure and amplify the different modes of enjoyment.
The West remains quite hesitant about these new eras of pleasure. However, generations X, Y, Z, prepared for the support of orgasm with the arrival of the internet and screens, seem more and more receptive to these new modes of enjoyment. The appearance of an outsourcing of human psychic functions in digital objects has emerged. This had the consequence of gradually transforming our relationship to the world and to oneself, until creating a technological envelope that researchers today call the “cyborg”.
Orgasms of the future also represent an innovative field of study.
If this is not yet the case for the older generations, it is undeniable that it already is for the youngest who know and master cybersex via screens. Cybersex encompasses any form of sexuality that uses the digital and technological medium to practice. It is urgent to consider these new practices sexologically. The robotization and the 40% increase in 2020 in sales of hyperrealistic sex dolls in the world (the Sex Doll and Cherry Doll) is an argument not to take lightly a very offbeat theme, certainly, but which is anything but anecdotal. . Regularly masturbatory, cybersexuality engages a relationship with oneself and one’s partner other than that of traditional couple exchanges. The modalities of enjoyment change. Remember that since the pandemic,
From a sexo-analytical point of view, the consequences of digital technology on orgasm have made it possible to support the register of practices for single people or remote couples (cybersexuality, sextape, erotic chats, etc.), but this also produced a remodeling of sexual relations via physical distancing. Cybersexuality embodies a major mutation in the psychic, libidinal, social and political economy of our time. Unquestionably, visio-sexuality appears as a new mirror of society. For better and for worse? No one can say.
But one thing is certain: human boundaries have changed. The new sexualities are inscribing their marks in the West through a process of extimacy. Since the dawn of time, sex and technique have always had special acquaintances. That the skeptics are reassured: it is likely that like the digital book which did not dethrone the paper book, or the streaming which did not kill the cinema, the virtual sex will not dethrone the so-called real sexuality . Just like working and teleworking, face-to-face and sexual distancing cannot be abolished between them.
Let’s consider their apparent rivalry more as an articulation that would come to revitalize the triad of the symbolic, the real and the imaginary. Complementary to each other, they can invest different acts in the name of one and the same quest: the life drive. This is why the orgasms of the future also represent an innovative field of study that questions the limits of contemporary clinical, scientific and cultural conceptualization. Certainly, the discoveries on the orgasm are only in their preliminary.