Meet The Doctor Who Studies Female Orgasms For A Living

Plenty of guys fancy themselves a Doctor of Luv, but Dr. Barry Komisaruk of Rutgers University in a bonafide pioneer in studying the female orgasm. Dr. Komisaruk, 68, is a neuroscientist who uses brain imaging to study how our noggins function leading up to and during an orgasm. Female study subjects — who are paid $100 for their “labor” — must enter an fMRI machine and have their heads strapped down so they don’t move during the brain imaging. It takes an hour to map out which parts of a woman’s genitals correlate to which parts of her brain. Luckily, then the study subject is eventually allowed to bring herself to orgasm — using her own toy of choice, of course! The entire time, Dr. Komisaruk and his fellow researcher, grad student Nan Wise, 52, examine her brain responses onscreen in another room. They’ve watched over 200 orgasms this way so far.

First question: can we do this, please? Second question: what does the good doctor know about female orgasms that we should know, too?

  • Orgasms naturally block pain by lessening it up to 50 percent.
  • An orgasm heightens a woman’s sensitivity to touch — which would explain your “Ack! Stop touching me!” response seconds after coming.
  • Your brain becomes super-active as you begin to orgasm: It’s receiving messages from four pairs of nerves (the hypogastric, vagus, pudendal, and pelvic) via your spinal cord.
  • Orgasms drench you in dopamine and oxytocin, the latter which stimulates uterine contractions, which Dr. Komisaruk thinks might be an evolutionary response to get a man’s sperm to your egg.
  • Surprise, surprise: an orgasm causes you to sweat, your heartbeat to accelerate and your pupils to dilate.
  • Some women’s brains are so powerful they can orgasm by thought alone. (Bitches.)
  • Today, little is known about how a woman’s genitals correlate to areas of her brain — but men (the bastards) had a map of their brain/genital correlation done in 1951. It certainly doesn’t help that researchers struggle to find funding for this work. Dr. Komisaruk was once even asked to remove the word “vaginal” from the title of one of his studies before a foundation would give him money. Lame-o.

Want to learn more about orgasms? (Who doesn’t?) Dr. Komisaruk is the co-author of The Science of Orgasm and The Orgasm Answer Guide. Sounds like good weekend reading! []