Episode 23: Pleasurable Orgasmic Pathways in the Body, Mind, and Beyond with Barry Komisaruk, Distinguished Author and Research Professor

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In this awesome show, hear Dr. Patti converse with an expert in the science of orgasm, Dr. Barry Komisaruk, who has studied men’s and women’s orgasms in scientific settings, to learn what turns them on and how to intensify orgasmic sensations. Find out how many orgasmic pathways there really are, as Dr. Komisaruk resolves the hotly contested debate between G-spot and clitoral orgasms with a surprising set of findings! Find out about the four different pathways that can create orgasm and where they are located, and all the places you might touch a woman to create orgasmic sensations. Find out where men can be stimulated, too, in addition to their penis, to expand sensation.

Transcript

Pleasurable Orgasmic Pathways in the Body, Mind, and Beyond: Dr. Patti Talks to Barry Komisaruk, Distinguished Author and Research Professor

Announcer:  This program is intended for mature audiences only.

[intro music]

In this amazing show, discover just how many ways you can bring your lover to orgasm, why orgasms of the mind reveal and what effects hormones and drugs have on helping and hindering your next climax.

Barry Komisurak:  We studied women during vaginal self-stimulation and looked at their pain threshold and we measured that with by putting pressure, using a device that puts pressure on the fingers and increases the pressure until it’s painful.  The fact that these women showed orgasms during the self-stimulation and that it blocked pain led me to a number of studies on the relationship between sexual stimulation and pain blockage.

Even cervical self-stimulation that doesn’t involve the clitoris at all, of some women experience orgasms from that stimulation and other women experience orgasms from purely vaginal stimulation, that also does not involve the clitoris.

We have been able to show that women can experience orgasm from clitoral stimulation only or vaginal stimulation only or cervical self-stimulation only, but when they combine them, they described the orgasm as more complex and more intense.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  People respond to new and different was so hopefully one thing you’re getting from listening to Barry is try new things, you know, try rocking your [??] and think if you can induce in orgasm state in him or her.

I was lying in bed one day and I was just thinking of orgasmic thoughts, I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking about but I was getting all turned on and I get to a point where I thought oh my god, I am going to ejaculate.

Welcome to the Expanded Lovemaking show.  I am your host Dr. Patti Taylor of Expandedlovemaking.com and I teach people how to give and receive way more pleasure than they ever came to pass through.

Today on the show we are talking about pleasurable orgasmic pathways in the body, mind and beyond.  We are going to deal in this in science to a way more about orgasms will investigate how we can use this knowledge to have a more fulfilling orgasmic life.  Our guest is Dr. Barry Komisurak.  Welcome.

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Thank you, thank you Patti.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Yes, may I call you Barry?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Sure, please.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Great, well Dr. Barry Komisurak is the co-author of the best-selling book ‘The science of Orgasm’ with Carlos Bareforest in Beverly rip off.  He is the associate Dean at the graduate school at Rectors where he is also a distinguished professor in the department of psychology and he is also an act on professor at the department of radiology at the New Jersey Medical School.

He is a pre-eminent academic researcher in the field of orgasm today and the author of over a 145 scientific research papers on orgasmic function for both men and women.  Gosh, who knew that people were researching orgasms and isn’t that wonderful?  So I feel great you’re here with us today and I think our listeners will really enjoy learning more about the cutting edge science of orgasm.

Your research addresses issues that are at different tier of our knowledge and often controversial.  So stay, we’re going to find out how this science help us understand more about what goes on at the physical level and beyond.  Let’s get started.

Barry, how did you get involved in studying the science or orgasm?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  I was studying reflexes that occur between the nervous system and the hormone system and one of the classical stimulae is vaginal stimulation that produces the hormones of pregnancy and this is in laboratory animals and when I … and one of the ways that this is performed is by using a glass rod doing vaginal stimulation in laboratory rats.  When I did that, I observed that the rats became immobilized and this was very puzzling to me.  They didn’t walk or away from the probe and they, when I pinched the foot, they normally show a leg withdrawal reflect but during the vaginal stimulation they showed no response whatsoever.

In other words, the vaginal stimulation completely blocks their response for painful stimulation.  So I then said, is this blocking the ability to response to painful stimulation or is it blocking the pain, the perception of the pain and the more scientific way I could think of addressing that question was to ask women.

So with Beverly, Beverly Whipple, we, and she did this as her doctoral dissertation under my supervision.  We studied women during vaginal self-stimulation and looked at their pain threshold and we measured that with, by putting pressure, using a device that puts pressure on the fingers and increases the pressure until it’s painful and we asked them we could measure the force of the pressure and when the women did the vaginal self-stimulation it took 50% more pressure on the fingers until they said it hurt and if they did it, if they did the vaginal stimulation where they felt pleasurable, then it took 75% more pressure until they said it hurt and if they had orgasms during the vaginal self-stimulation then the thresholds went up over 100%.

In other words, it took more than twice as much force on the fingers until they said it hurts, but their sensitivity to touch, gentle touch, didn’t change at all.  So what that means is that the vaginal self-stimulation had a selective suppression of pain but not touch and that means that it produces energies here.

The fact that these women showed orgasms during the self-stimulation and that it blocked pain led me to a number of studies on the relationship between sexual stimulation and pain blockage and looking at the pathways, the neural pathways to see what are the nerve pathways that convey the vaginal sensory input to the brain that blocks the pain and looked at women who have different levels of injury to the spinal chord that would block different nerve pathways and the surprising thing was that the type of injury to the spinal chord that we looked at that should have theoretically blocked all the pathways to the brain, from the vagina and cervics, those and also the clitoris, those women still had the pain blockage when we measured at their fingertips and that meant that there was some other pathway that went outside the spinal chord and I had prophesized that vegus nerve, which is a cranial nerve and to test that, I did, I looked at the part of the brain using brain imaging, looked at the part of the brain that the vegus nerve projects through and found that in these women whose spinal chord was completely cut, they did respond to the vaginal and cervical self-stimulation in the parts of the brain that the vegus nerve projects through and they also had orgasm and that’s how I got to orgasms in brain activity.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Ok, and what year it was?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  This was, the brain imaging studies were about five or six years ago.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Five or six years ago, so this is already getting into some very interesting territory because there’s quite a debate that has been going on for many many years and to put it simply, it’s a lot of people feel like the only way you can have an orgasm is through with clitoris and that nerve goes up through the spinal chord, I don’t know what the name of the nerve is…

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Cudental nerve…

Dr. Patti Taylor:  The cudental nerve, right question I hope so.  Thank you.  Anyway, the vegus nerve is a big nerve that goes up through the intestines and what else?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Right, well it goes through the entire abdomen and…

Dr. Patti Taylor:  And the heart right into the….

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  through the diaphragm and through the chest cavity and up the neck entirely outside the spinal chord, it goes directly into the brain.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  So it’s another very big nerve in the system.  So you identified an entire new way that women could be orgasmic that was not clitoral.  Now is this where the G-spot is located or through the vegus nerve, ok, I am translating for an onsite physique…?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  We don’t know that, that’s a very good question.  We don’t know whether the G-spot is innovated, that is whether the nerves carrying sensory input from the G-spot to the brain go by the vegus nerve, it’s probably by other nerves that carry sensory input from the vagina and the equivalent.  Well the G-spot is probably the equivalent of the prostate and that innovation is probably via the pelvic and/or the hypogastric nerves.  We have identified four different pairs of nerves that carry sensory activity from the sexual system, from the clitoris to vagina, the cervics, the G-spot and the uterus.  There are four different pairs of nerves and you’re right that what we’re finding in the research is that it’s possible for women to experience orgasms from stimulations other than the clitoris that actually with the device I designed a device to selectively stimulate the vagina or the cervics and with that device, even cervical self-stimulation that doesn’t involve the clitoris at all, some women experience orgasms from that stimulation and other women experience orgasms from purely vaginal stimulation that also does not involve the clitoris.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  So I think there’s a lot of listeners out there right now, men and women who are going ‘I knew that’, you know, who may be aren’t clitorally very responsive but who have great orgasms by other methods, you know so this is sort of very mind opening, I mean I am a big person for clitoral orgasms but I also feel that there are a lot of ways to have orgasms and what are so let’s just talk about what are these other ways, you say the cervics is one way and what was the other way again?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Vaginal.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Vaginal?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  And the G-spot.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  G-spot?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Yeah, and there are different nerves and actually by combining the stimulation women have described that the quality and intensity of the orgasms increases the more, in other words, experimentally we have been able to show that women can experience orgasms from clitoral stimulation only or vaginal stimulation only or cervical self-stimulation only but when they combine them, they describe the orgasms as more complex and more intense.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Aha, that does it help to start with like the clitoral one, I mean is it, have you studied the sequence at all?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Probably, it probably does.  It’s probably like trying to stimulate orgasm from cervical self-stimulation or vaginal self-stimulation alone, for some women maybe like trying to start a car in fourth gear where you could do it but it just, you have to rev up the engine a lot and it takes more time and it’s probably easier to start with the clitoral stimulation which is more like starting in first gear.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  So, right, but I think maybe then but the point is for two things, number one, it’s kind of not to ignore all of these rich nerve endings that would be in the vaginal area, in the cervical area and actually there is a lot of literature on cervical orgasms, on G-spot orgasms and stuff so to really be a lot more bold and exploring all of those territories.

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Another, well there are many other territories that…

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Which we’ll get to…

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  …has been described in the literature to that orgasms can be stimulated from and one of the interesting ones is the rectal stimulation, rhenal stimulation because the pelvic nerve that carries a sensory activity to the brain from the vagina and the cervics also carries sensory input to the brain from the rectum.  So combining those stimulae you can also change the quality and intensity of the orgasm but there are also a number of reports in Masons and Johnson and Kinzie and Height that nipple stimulation, breast stimulation, lip stimulation can also induce orgasms.

So there’s, it’s not, apparently orgasm, there’s an orgasmic process in the body that can be extended beyond the purely genital system.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Aha, now how about men?  I want to follow that train of thought but I want to bring the men’s anatomy up to what we’ve talked about for women.

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Well, the men have described orgasms from prostate stimulation, probably by the hypogastric nerve that in women, carries sensory input from the cervics and uterus.  So prostrate stimulation through the rectum can, has been described as also producing orgasm.  So rectal stimulation in men and probably the sensory activities carried by the pelvic nerve.

So probably in men, the pelvic and hypogastric nerves carry sensory activity from the rectum and prostate and they too can elicit orgasm.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  How about their vegus nerve, would that work for them or…?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  You know we don’t know about that.  We haven’t’ studied that yet.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  You haven’t studied that?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Everybody ask about that way, haven’t got into that.  There are some suggestion from laboratory animals that it may function in males but we haven’t tested that in men yet.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Yeah, and that might be kind of test.  I was just thinking of the men part of the research, there might be kind of exciting because you know for those men that have challenges being fully orgasmic through their penis which would probably be, what would you call the tedental nerve again, right?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  The penis, tedental nerve carry sensory activity from the penis and from the clitoris, that’s right.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Right, so that be normal place which would be up to spinal chord column as men are having some erectile challenges, either they’re having the way to ejaculation problem issues or maybe they come too quickly, whatever, they too have way more opportunity to use their nipples or their lips or their prostate to kind of be orgasmic and they can explore.

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  That’s right.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  And not to just think about an orgasm is something that’s just centered on your genitals, I think that’s one of the great messages of your book.

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Well yes, that’s true.  I think I was led to this conclusion and actually some studies on that on the basis of men and women who had spinal chord injury and they, it was many men and women who have suffered spinal chord injury say that they have told me that they have an area around the injury, the skin around the level of the injury that is hypersensitive to touch and it could be very very hypersensitive or very irritating or very annoying or unpleasant if clothing brushes it against it accidentally or somebody brushes against it accidentally, however if it’s touched by the right person in the right way, then stimulation of that skin area near the level of the injury, it can produce orgasm and men and women have described this very commonly with the people with spinal chord injury and we actually tested this and in one woman, with a spinal chord injury, very high up at the level of the shoulders and we have shown that during orgasm, normally blood pressure and heart rate approximately doubled, like they go up, blood pressure can go up from say 120 to 250 and the mm mercury and the heart rate can go from 80 to 160 easily and the pupils dilate.

This woman with a complete spinal chord injury at the level of shoulders, she said that she could have orgasms from using a vibrator on her neck and so we measured her heart rate and her blood pressure and sure enough, when she did the, she used the vibrator on her neck and she said that after a few minutes, she was getting tense and then she said she had orgasms and her blood pressure and heart rate doubled.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Yeah, well that actually correlates her much with some of the work that we do with suite rocking where we actually just rock the people in a certain way and put them into orgasmic state without touching anything close to their genitals.  So it’s we, we actually induce orgasmic states.  That kind of brings us to thinking off, you’ve actually shown that people can have orgasms simply in their brains.

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  That’s right, let me just, I’ll get to that in a moment, I just wanted to make a comment about rocking of induced orgasms, one of the things that we have seen very characteristically and there’s another group in Holland Hosteg and George Addus who have also studied orgasms in humans, that one of the parts of the brain that becomes activated very characteristically and very clearly and very dramatically during orgasm is the cerebellum and cerebellum has been known for many many decades to be involved in motor coordination, movement and balance and so the rocking, rocking behavior would certainly activate the cerebellum very strongly and so this could be a way, this could be a basis of the fact that the rocking behavior activates the cerebellum is probably a very consistent with the fact that genital stimulation, when it produces orgasms produces strong cerebellar activation, it’s just another way of inducing cerebellar activation.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Yeah, I was just going to say, so for all of our listeners, I want to encourage you no matter what you’re doing, I think people respond to new and different ways, so hopefully one thing you’re getting from listening to Barry is try new things, you know, try rocking your trying to ejaculate.  I think if you can induce an orgasmic state in him or her, try touching him or her gently on the neck and you know or the nipples and experimenting with orgasmic sensation there.

Anyway, we’re going to take a quick break to support our sponsors.  This is Dr. Patti Taylor and I am with Dr. Barry Komisurak.  We will be right back.  His book is science of orgasm so you stay with us.

[music and ad]

Dr. Patti Taylor:  We’re back and I am Dr. Patti Taylor and we are talking to Dr. Barry Komisurak about pleasurable orgasmic pathways in the body, mind and before the break we were talking about the different ways you can generate an orgasm.  So let’s just keep going.

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Well, you asked about the thinking off and this is something that I was very skeptical about at first, I heard reports that, particularly Gina Ogden who said that she knows a woman who claim that they could experience orgasms just by thought alone and so with Gina and with Beverly Whipple, we studied ten women who claimed that they could have orgasms just be thought alone.

So they lay in on a bed and in our laboratory and we measured their heart rate, their blood pressure, their pain thresholds and their pupil diameter and when they said they had orgasms, indeed their blood pressured doubled, their heart rate doubled, their pupil diameter doubled and their pain thresholds doubled, just like and those, the magnitude of the increases in those responses were comparable to when the same women induced orgasm by genital self-stimulation.

They had different kinds, we asked them how they did it and different women had different accounts of what they did.  Some women said that they had erotic fantasies but not everybody.  Some women said that they had pastoral images of walking along the beach on a sunny, beautiful day, other women said that they heard sweet voices whispering to them, other women said that they had much more abstract that they had chakra energy going up and down the body and building up and then building up to a crescendo of an orgasm.  So very different strategies.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  I am really that you know, science is recognizing this because it’s served and talked about and taunted for a very long time that all you need to do is think about an orgasm or remember one that you’ve had and you can actually have one.  I’ll tell you a little story of mine, I was lying in bed one day and I was just thinking of you know, orgasmic thoughts, I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking about, but I was getting all turned on and I get to a point where I thought, oh my god, I am going to ejaculate and then I thought well Gee, I wonder if I got to put a towel down and then I thought, well no, I am just thinking about it.  I am sure I’ll just think about the ejaculation too.

So I don’t think I need to worry, I’ll just have an imaginary one so I will go ahead and do it, so of course I did it and of course I got the bed entirely wet and then I was really shocked.  I went oh my god, something happened there.  This is real you know, apparently I was having a real orgasm even though it was in my bed, because I got everything wet.  So live and learn, next time put down the towel, right?

But anyway, I was, it’s so great.  There are so many account just you know, of people, women that are having an orgasm before their partner even touches them.  It’s just, but it’s so validating to hear this mentioned.

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Well, in addition to that, more recently we’ve been looking at women who can have orgasms by thought alone and we have, we’re studying them in the functional brain imaging scanner and what we see is very interesting that it’s basically the same parts of the brain become active during their orgasms as when they experience orgasms from genital self-stimulation, with one important distinction and the important distinction is that the purely sensory parts of the brain, that is the parts of the brain that respond to purely genital sensory stimulation even without orgasm.  In other words, just pressing on the clitoris or pressing on the vulva, those parts of the brain in the sensory cortex, in the sensory terms are not activated in these women.

In other words, indeed the limbic parts of the brain are activated but the purely sensory regions are not which confirms the observation that they’re having orgasms without any physical stimulation.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Well, I just want to, just trying in here, you are doing research on that and so at the end of the show what I’d like to do, I know you made a request to me that you’re looking for women and, is it women or men and women?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Right now, we’re focused on women.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Ok, so you’re looking for women who have had the experience of the thinking of as you call it, so at the end of the show, I am going to give Dr. Komisurak’s email address, so if you are one of those women who was interested in being part of the research study at Rectors, I will give you his email address and you can actually write Dr. Komisurak and find out more about that research study if you want to be a part of this interesting science and for that.

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  We can support your travel and lodging and with an honorarium for participating.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Right, and I just, I think it’s so great to validate that and just especially the whole idea that there’s more kinds of orgasm that we can have.  So anyway, your book covers so much that you’ve done and you talk about the types of arousal that a man, that I find fascinating, that man and women they have, when your measure their brain they actually have the same kind of an orgasm, it looks the same but that when you take it out into the real world, a man and woman have very different strategies for getting to an orgasm.

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Well, the differences, there are, one famous report of Evans and Wagner was a very interesting study in which they asked men and women to describe the qualities of their orgasms and what they did was remove any reference to specific body parts in the description and so the men and women, these were college students, they described the nature, the quality what the orgasms felt like, the excitation, the intense desire and tension and build up and resolution and they used many different descriptors.  They removed, and the investigators removed all the references to body parts and then they gave the descriptions to sex educators and physicians and people working in sexology, experts and asked them to see if they could tell who was, which of the descriptions were for men and which were the descriptions for women and they were not able to do it.  It was completely random.

So what it means is that the quality of orgasm is actually quite similar between men and women, indistinguishable so it suggests that orgasms are experience of the brain that is very similar between men and women and I have done a lot of thinking about what the nature or orgasms is and one of the very interesting things is that people who have epilepsy, who have epileptic seizures, there are a lot of physiological similarities between the epileptic seizures and orgasms and people who have epileptic attacks often describe them as orgasmic.  The property is that many neurons, many nerve cells in the body start firing more and more in the synchrony and leading up to a crescendo and a climax that decent men can trigger systems like the ejaculation systems and the women also that this is a mechanism for ejaculation is very difficult to activate.  It has a high threshold in other words, so it requires very strong arousal, very strong activation to get over the hump of high threshold for ejaculation and so the repetitive stimulation builds up the excitation, it builds it up in epilepsy and people with epilepsy say that the seizures frequently feel orgasmic.

In fact there was a report of a woman who refused to take her epileptic medication because she said she enjoyed the epileptic seizure, they were very strongly orgasmic.  So I think this process of build up to a crescendo and then a climax and then a resolution is a characteristic of not only the genital system but other systems in the body such as sneezing, which I think is a respiratory orgasm or yawning which is also a kind of respiratory orgasm.

There are many systems in the body that build up to a peak and then resolution, even stretching, yawning and stretching where you build up the peak of it of excitation and then there’s a sudden resolution, it feels good, a kind of tension feels good.  So I think this is a basic characteristic of how the nervous system and the body function and that which could account for why, for certainly strong arousal is necessary in men and women to experience orgasm and there are many different systems in the body that can produce orgasmic sensation.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Ok great, but I want to come back and talk to you a little bit about testosterone because I have this to be my favorite things myself.  But we’re going to take another quick break.  I am Dr. Patti Taylor and we’re talking to Dr. Barry Komisurak and we’ll be right back.  His book is ‘The science of Orgasm’.

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Dr. Patti Taylor:  We’re back and I am Dr. Patti Taylor.  We are talking about pleasurable orgasmic pathway in the body, mind and beyond.  I love testosterone Barry.  I found, you know I am getting into my midlife and it makes a huge difference for me.  I have seen it make a huge difference for men.  I know you talk a lot about hormones in your book.  What do you have to say about testosterone, I know we can’t talk about all of them today, I have few more questions for you here before we come to an end but why is that so great?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Well testosterone certainly is secreted in men but more recent evidence shows that it’s also secreted by the ovaries in women and in fact while estrogen certainly has an influence on sexual response in women, it seems that testosterone plays an even greater role in sexual response in women that testosterone patch, testosterone administration to the patch is more effective in stimulating libido and sexual response in women than estrogen.

So testosterone seems to have a very major role in sexual desire and expression in women as well as in men.  It’s normally secreted in women by the ovaries and other adrenal endocrine glands.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Yeah, but we tend to lose it, don’t we, by a certain age?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Well, after menopause, the levels of testosterone go down but the administration of testosterone can apparently have a good effect on restoring the sexual response.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Aha, and for men too.

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  In men and women.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Yes, well ok so what else do you recommend that can help our listeners, the things that they can take any things that you think can help them to regain their libido?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Well there are some interesting studies with antidepressants.  There are certain antidepressants that have an effect on inhibiting sexual response, particularly the selective seretoner reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs and however there are some antidepressants that, such as the so called Sari that don’t interfere with sexual response and in fact may actually stimulate the sexual response such as trazodone and the fazadone, those are equal, [xx].

There’s also a drug related to that that stimulates so called seretonar 1A receptors, the busprone and that has been described as having some stimulatory effects on sexual response.  Some of the catacolum energy drugs such as Buproprione called, one of the trade names is Velbeutrin and reboxatine, trade name is Adrenax, those increase [xx] or dopamine release, and/or dopamine release and they can, they have also been described as increasing sexual response.

There are basically the way that the drug effects on sexual response or that sertonin, most seretonin drugs act as a break and most built energy stimulating drugs act as an accelerator for sexual response.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  So be careful what you take, how about any…

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Well be very careful about it, I mean these are prescription drugs.  There are some herbal preparations such as Origin max that have ginseng and gincogloba that have been described as increasing sexual response in men and women.  That’s probably, those are, that’s not prescription, it’s a herbal concoction.  There is some published evidence that that has a stimulatory effect.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Ok, well I’d like to find, kind of go into our final contemplation here.  You write about desire orgasm so thank you for that.  You write about desire orgasm research to learn, you write about desire in the society, in enabling us to learn more about pleasure and pain.  Do you think we’ll ever be able to measure the way an orgasm feels?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Well, I don’t, that’s a philosophical question, I mean we don’t know how, we only our own, ourselves.  We don’t know what, how other people perceive things such as pleasure and pain or even color or any perception.  So we all have to depend on communication and assume that we more or less all have similar responses to similar stimuli. 

At this point, measuring, we can get brain coral it’s a pleasure and brain coral it’s obtained and then we depend on people’s verbal descriptions of how it feels and poets or anybody just describing how the experiences feel and that seems to be reasonably good data for understanding the effects of pathology or drugs or I think that’s pretty good.  It raises the question of how neurons produce consciousness, which is really one of the, I mean that’s what got me into this field of behavioral neuro science to begin with.  I wanted a study of a big problem in my life, in my career and I figured that a big problem would be how the neurons produce consciousness or awareness and in doing a lot of reading on that, I have come to the conclusion that nobody has the cognitive notion.

We have absolutely no idea of how neurons produce awareness of pain, pleasure, color, red, green, cold, hot… we know that different parts of the brain are active during these perceptions but we have no idea of how a neuron produces consciousness, what the smallest bit of consciousness is, I mean why do we assume that neurons in the brain produce awareness but neurons in the spinal chord don’t and we don’t know why.

Our neurons, so why there are some neurons producing them and some don’t, it’s a great mystery and where is the consciousness, you know, you can say we have a sense of ourselves but you can say where is ‘I’, where is our consciousness?  It’s not in our head, it seems like it’s out there but we don’t know, we don’t know where it is, we have no concept of how consciousness is produced.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Well thank you for that.  We’re almost out of time but I would like to ask you one final question, what is the most fulfilling aspect about orgasm research for you and possibly what’s next?

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Well that’s a tough question.  One of the most gratifying things about my orgasm research is that when I discovered that women who have complete interruption of the spinal chord, complete cut of the spinal chord could experience orgasm from vaginal and cervical self-stimulation and I think I was more surprised than, or maybe they were more surprised than I was because after their spinal chord injury, their doctors told them that their sexual life is over, there’s no way they could have any sensory experience from genital stimulation and they never even tried.  They came into laboratory and they tried a vaginal or cervical self-stimulation and they said they can have, they feel it and the doctors told them that it’s impossible and they were afraid that if they had sensations that it was they were imagining things or going crazy but when they actually experienced the genital sensations of pleasure and even orgasms, some of the women started crying, I mean it was a very emotional experience and a very beautiful, wonderful experience, either you are, they could have orgasms and they thought for years that it was impossible.

So that was extremely gratifying and doing that kind of work I think the fact that I was able to, through my research, improve the quality of life of people with this terrible affliction which is the spinal chord injury, that was one of the most gratifying experiences I had with the orgasm research.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Well thank you, that’s very moving and clearly the book that you’ve written and even to coming on the show, I think everyone can hear this and be inspired that there are so many more ways that we can all be more orgasmic and if these people can, all of us can.  So I really thank you so much for coming on the show and inspiring all of us with your wisdom and your insight.

Dr. Barry Komisurak:  Oh it’s my pleasure.  Thank you for inviting me.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  You’re so welcome.  During the next week on the Expanded Love Making show when we talk to Amethia and David Tubricius about how to see secret connections.  That brings us to the end of this show so thank you for listening.  If you haven’t already, please be sure to subscribe to the show so that you’ll get automatic update as soon as they become available. 

Please send me email at [email protected].  Those of you who are interested in Dr. Komisurak’s research study, can find out more by dropping him an email at this address [email protected].  Ok, and so for text and transcripts of this show and other shows on the Personal Life Media network, please visit our website at personallifemedia.com.

This is your host Dr. Patti Taylor.  That’s all for now.  I remain the origin ever expanding love making and I’ll see you next week.

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