There's new news about what gets women turned on -- and what gets them off, which always piques our interest.
There's no better person to explain these orgasmic breakthroughs than our special guest blogger Ian Kerner, author of "She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman
," out in paperback for the first time this week.
In fact, check back early and often -- during our countdown to Valentine's Day, that holiest of holy get-it-on holidays, the sex doctor will be in
In fact, Kerner will be guest-blogging and offering his free advice -- including answers to your most pressing sex questions
-- all week. For now, he shares four things that put the "Oh!" in orgasm.
1. Your brain needs to turn off for your orgasm to turn on.
Researchers in the Netherlands found that the key to getting a woman to the heights of orgasmic bliss is a deep sense of relaxation -- and a lack of anxiety. All in the name of science, researchers at the University of Groningen scanned the brains of women and men while they were manually stimulated to orgasm by their partners. The scans showed that, for women, the parts of the brain responsible for processing fear, anxiety and emotion slowed down the more aroused they became, producing a trance-like state when they climaxed. Says Dr. Gert Holstege of women's sexual wiring: "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." Men's gray matter, on the other hand, showed far less change.
So, how you do turn off in order to turn on? More on that after the jump.2. Try fantasizing about somebody other than the person you're sleeping with.
Sigmund Freud gave fantasy a bad name back in 1908 when he said, "A happy person never fantasizes, only a dissatisfied one." In a word, bunk. Research shows that people with active fantasy lives are more sexually satisfied, more sexually responsive and more adventurous about sex in general. And fantasy helps with the process of mental deactivation described above.
As neuroscientist Mark Solms, a leading expert in the field of sleep-research, explains, "Dreaming does for the brain what Saturday-morning cartoons do for the kids: It keeps them sufficiently entertained so that the serious players in the household can get needed recovery time." In my experience working with couples, I've found that women tend to fantasize during sex more than men and often worry because they're fantasizing about someone other the person they're sleeping with. But taboos are a natural part of fantasy, and sometimes the more off-limits a fantasy, the more within-limits an orgasm becomes.
3. They relieve pain. In fact, an orgasm may be more effective than Midol.
In the book "The Science of Orgasm," Beverly Whipple and her co-authors discuss the naturally occurring analgesic effects of orgasm and cite a study in which many American women claimed to masturbate as a way of avoiding menstrual cramps. And while orgasms may not be as effective as drugs when it comes to migraines, the effects of orgasm are more rapid. So next time you have a headache, you may want to hop on your vibrator instead of popping an aspirin.
But watch out:
4. You don't want to develop an "idiosyncratic masturbatory style."
Basically, this is a fairly new issue occurring due to the rise in porn-abuse by men: When guys take matters into their own hands, they get used to a type of manual friction and pressure that doesn't occur during real sex, then they experience all types of arousal and orgasm issues -- namely delayed ejaculation -- when they get with a girl. This is a new area of study, but it's possible that the whole idea of what we sex docs call "idiosyncratic masturbatory style" could also apply to women. For example, if you masturbate frequently with a vibrator and are now having a hard time experiencing orgasms during sex -- when it wasn't a previously a problem -- it may be time to give your Rabbit a rest.
Or it could just be:
Your guy is ill-cliterate.
Many men know more about what's under the hood of a car than the hood of a clitoris. You probably already knew this, but if your orgasm is increasingly elusive during sex, it could be time for him to get tutored in the ways of sexual cliteracy. For this, I recommend my book, "She Comes First," which is very guy-friendly and makes the case that sometimes the tongue is mightier than the sword. As Rhett Butler said to Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind," "You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how."