Over the Edge, You Could See Them Coming

Sometimes, anger is the sane response.

Women a mystery to sex scientists

I could just fucking scream.

Researchers presenting their findings at the society’s sixth annual meeting are still trying to figure out which hormones and neurotransmitters make sexual arousal possible, where in the brain orgasm takes place, and which nerves control the genital organs. Much of their work is being done in rats.

“Now we’re sticking needles into different parts of the brain,” said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, the Boston urologist who founded the multidisciplinary group. “Whatever pharmaceuticals are proven to help … most likely will work in the central nervous system.”

Clinicians, frustrated by the slow pace of sexual science, want effective treatments for patients brave enough to seek help – a small minority.

Oh Jesus Christ, have these people never been to a frat party? And what’s the first solution springing to mind for a problem yet to be defined?

Although social scientists have been studying women’s sexuality for decades, medical science did not become interested until the advent of Viagra in the late 1990s raised the possibility that female sexual problems might be treated by medication. Viagra, which treats erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the genitals, does not appear to work in women. In fact, no drug has been approved in the U.S. for the disorder doctors call female sexual dysfunction. That may be understandable, given that experts aren’t sure what female sexual dysfunction is – or even if it exists.

A pill? A pill! Someday, we will all look back at this and change the subject. And….go!

“Science must measure,” [Dr. Stephen] Levine said, “so we measure how many times the patient said she had sexual thoughts or desired sex in the last four weeks. But we don’t know what we’re measuring.”

To some members of the society, fearing that women’s sexual complaints are being turned into medical illnesses for the convenience of doctors and the economic benefit of Big Pharma, that admission was a breath of fresh air.

“I think it’s progress that we can spend two hours in this performance-driven society admitting that maybe we don’t know what we’re talking about,” said Ellen Laan, a psychophysiologist from the University of Amsterdam.

Oh look, fifteen seconds and I was already wrong – but I have competition.

Since the 1960s, researchers have operated under a variation of the simple model proposed by William Masters and Virginia Johnson that says the human sexual response starts with desire, progresses through excitement or arousal and ends with orgasm. But experts argued that notion might reflect the experience of men more than women, many of whom don’t see orgasm as a goal.

In recent years the field has moved toward a more complicated model based on the observation that many women go into a sexual encounter without being in the mood – perhaps they’re seeking intimacy or hoping to please their partner- and may not really want sex until after they become aroused.

But it wasn’t until very recently that anyone thought to test those theories by asking women.

Look, I don’t have a Ph.D. and a lab staffed by sweaty undergraduates. I’m not a genius with a three-page list of grants. I’m nobody in New Jersey; as a person who’s dated the Eastern Seaboard, I really hate that last line. For the moment, let us gently set aside talk of people injured by violence and abuse, because those are special people who need gentle care, and people experiencing the ebbs and flows of changing hormonal balances. We’re talking here about perfectly ordinary people who think there’s something wrong with their sex lives.

Sex starts in the brain. It also stops in the brain. Should I want what I want? Should nice people want to slick themselves down with Crisco and go two out of three falls? Should good people spend all afternoon on the kitchen floor before having a late lunch? Should decent people put on cowboy boots and play Rustler RoundUp?

Yes. Yes. Yes. To quote Molly Bloom: “…I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”

Maybe a lot of women won’t come out and say, “Listen, porkchop, you smell like a fantastic night under the stars and our bed needs a seismometer but the one thing that sends me over the edge like a roller coaster car sailing off the tracks into screaming space is when I wrap my thighs around your neck and hold on for dear life” but why not? Lust is one of the most fabulous sensations our bodies offer us. Let’s don’t be afraid of desire. Sing out, sister! Are women afraid to ask too much? Are women afraid to ask? It’s true that lots of men won’t solicit the expert opinion. I find it helps if you’re holding the talking stick at the time the committee delivers its findings.

People who are not women: if you want to please a woman, which you must if you are any kind of lover at all, ask her what feels good. Ask her what feels great. Ask her what makes her see stars. If she’s only slept with selfish bastards, she might not know, which offers you the opportunity of a lifetime. Help her find out what makes her sing Sweet Mystery Of Life. You’re a hero! Tell her what you want. Stop thinking and making rules and should should should. Pour your whole self into the ocean that is your lover and the tide will rise.

No more of this “what do women want?” crap. Get busy with getting busy. And do it for SCIENCE!

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