There is this popular notion that men and women experience very different things when they orgasm. It is as though they are two completely different things all together. And this notion is not based on nothing. It does often seem that the two sexes’ orgasms are qualitatively different. But what does science have to say about the matter?
Well, in the early years of this century, Dutch scientists studied the PET scans of men and women during orgasm. PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans display images of blood flow to the different parts of the brain. These studies showed that blood was flowing to different parts of the brain for men and women during sexual arousal but not during orgasm. As far as brain blood flow was concerned, men and women’s orgasms looked pretty much the same.
In 2012, however, a new study was done using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners, which are pretty much a better, faster and higher tech PET scan. At first this study showed similar results to the older ones but upon closer investigation it was noticed that there were some significant diferences between the sexes and between individuals. The neuroscientists involved in the fMRI studies have stated that they need a larger group of participants to make any solid conclusions about the differences between the sexes.
So are women’s orgasms different than mens? No? Yes? Maybe?
Science will tell us eventually, but unfortunately we still can’t be sure right now. Neuroscience is a burgeoning field for research and as they say, the brain is the biggest sexual organ. There is a lot of good work being done and to be done in neuroscience in regards to sexuality and gender. I’m looking forward to the coming years and decades to see what more we can learn about ourselves and each other.