Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Nasty People: Tension Release

This is a second guest post by Sophia Weaver (University of Rhode Island '16, Anthropology + Gender and Women's Studies), the author and illustrator of 
Nasty People: an Illustrated Guide to Understanding Sex. (Her first post is here.) 

*Disclaimer: The majority of my posts will be accompanied with original art, but for this post I couldn’t figure out a way to illustrate orgasms…it just seemed impossible. So, for this particular post I’ve added some pictures of flowers. When I am not writing and illustrating I am a flower farmer and my love for flowers runs deep. Somehow I feel like their unique beauty is a perfect illustration for the indescribable experience that is the orgasm. I promise my next post will be accompanied by my own illustrations.

What is an orgasm?

“The sudden, involuntary release of sexual tension.”

“The explosive discharge of neuromuscular tension and the peak of sexual response.”

These definitions are vague because the experience is rather indescribable and it varies between everyone. No two men orgasm the same way just as no two women experience orgasms in the same way. Previous experiences with people and unrealistic performances in porn often give the impression that an orgasm looks a certain way, but in reality everyone orgasms differently. The experience can be defined scientifically and explored in a lab, but only you can know your orgasm.  An orgasm can often be achieved in a myriad of ways and through all kinds of physical and emotional contact. However, and I can’t stress this enough, the majority of women CANNOT reach climax through penetration alone, so be creative folks and never underestimate the power of clitoral stimulation!

For men, orgasms serve an important function. Orgasms are required for conception as they are the vehicle that flings the sperm forth on its journey toward the egg. However, when it comes to women, orgasms seem to have no evolutionary relevance. They are certainly not required for baby making (although it was once believed that mutual orgasm was essential for child creation). The female orgasm appears to function purely for pleasure and this is pretty gosh-darn fascinating and pretty freaking awesome (at least to me). There are two major evolutionary theories on the female orgasm: it functions as a mate selection “tool” (aka a lady’s orgasm serves to further attract a male) or it’s some sort of by-product of the male orgasm (the female orgasm= the male nipple, evolutionarily and functionally irrelevant, but still there). It is pretty amazing to me that something that is so powerful and rather awe-inspiring, is so filled with mystery. The mysteriousness of the orgasm just makes it that much cooler.

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