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  • Alright.

  • I'm going to show you a couple of images

  • from a very diverting paper in The Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine.

  • I'm going to go way out on a limb and say that it is the most diverting paper

  • ever published in The Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine.

  • The title is "Observations of In-Utero Masturbation."

  • (Laughter)

  • Okay. Now on the left you can see the hand -- that's the big arrow --

  • and the penis on the right. The hand hovering.

  • And over here we have,

  • in the words of radiologist Israel Meisner,

  • "The hand grasping the penis in a fashion resembling masturbation movements."

  • Bear in mind this was an ultrasound,

  • so it would have been moving images.

  • Orgasm is a reflex of the autonomic nervous system.

  • Now, this is the part of the nervous system

  • that deals with the things that we don't consciously control,

  • like digestion, heart rate and sexual arousal.

  • And the orgasm reflex can be triggered by a surprisingly broad range of input.

  • Genital stimulation. Duh.

  • But also, Kinsey interviewed a woman

  • who could be brought to orgasm by having someone stroke her eyebrow.

  • People with spinal cord injuries,

  • like paraplegias, quadriplegias,

  • will often develop a very, very sensitive area

  • right above the level of their injury,

  • wherever that is.

  • There is such a thing as a knee orgasm in the literature.

  • I think the most curious one that I came across

  • was a case report of a woman

  • who had an orgasm every time she brushed her teeth.

  • (Laughter)

  • Something in the complex sensory-motor action of brushing her teeth

  • was triggering orgasm.

  • And she went to a neurologist, who was fascinated.

  • He checked to see if it was something in the toothpaste,

  • but no -- it happened with any brand.

  • They stimulated her gums with a toothpick, to see if that was doing it.

  • No. It was the whole, you know, motion.

  • And the amazing thing to me

  • is that you would think this woman would have excellent oral hygiene.

  • (Laughter)

  • Sadly -- this is what it said in the journal paper --

  • "She believed that she was possessed by demons

  • and switched to mouthwash for her oral care."

  • It's so sad.

  • (Laughter)

  • When I was working on the book,

  • I interviewed a woman who can think herself to orgasm.

  • She was part of a study at Rutgers University.

  • You've got to love that. Rutgers.

  • So I interviewed her in Oakland, in a sushi restaurant.

  • And I said, "So, could you do it right here?"

  • And she said,

  • "Yeah, but you know I'd rather finish my meal if you don't mind."

  • (Laughter)

  • But afterwards, she was kind enough to demonstrate on a bench outside.

  • It was remarkable. It took about one minute.

  • And I said to her,

  • "Are you just doing this all the time?"

  • (Laughter)

  • She said, "No. Honestly, when I get home, I'm usually too tired."

  • (Laughter)

  • She said that the last time she had done it

  • was on the Disneyland tram.

  • (Laughter)

  • The headquarters for orgasm, along the spinal nerve,

  • is something called the sacral nerve root,

  • which is back here.

  • And if you trigger, if you stimulate with an electrode,

  • the precise spot, you will trigger an orgasm.

  • And it is a fact that you can trigger spinal reflexes in dead people --

  • a certain kind of dead person, a beating-heart cadaver.

  • Now this is somebody who is brain-dead,

  • legally dead, definitely checked out,

  • but is being kept alive on a respirator,

  • so that their organs will be oxygenated for transplantation.

  • Now in one of these brain-dead people,

  • if you trigger the right spot,

  • you will see something every now and then.

  • There is a reflex called the Lazarus reflex.

  • And this is -- I'll demonstrate as best I can, not being dead.

  • It's like this. You trigger the spot.

  • The dead guy, or gal, goes... like that.

  • Very unsettling for people working in pathology labs.

  • (Laughter)

  • Now, if you can trigger the Lazarus reflex in a dead person,

  • why not the orgasm reflex?

  • I asked this question to a brain death expert,

  • Stephanie Mann, who was foolish enough to return my emails.

  • (Laughter)

  • I said, "So, could you conceivably trigger an orgasm in a dead person?"

  • She said, "Yes, if the sacral nerve is being oxygenated,

  • you conceivably could."

  • Obviously it wouldn't be as much fun for the person.

  • But it would be an orgasm --

  • (Laughter)

  • nonetheless.

  • There is a researcher at the University of Alabama

  • who does orgasm research.

  • I said to her, "You should do an experiment.

  • You know? You can get cadavers if you work at a university."

  • I said, "You should actually do this."

  • She said, "You get the human subjects review board approval for this one."

  • (Laughter)

  • According to 1930s marriage manual author,

  • Theodoor van De Velde,

  • a slight seminal odor can be detected on the breath of a woman

  • within about an hour after sexual intercourse.

  • Theodoor van De Velde was something of a semen connoisseur.

  • (Laughter)

  • This is a guy writing a book, "Ideal Marriage," you know.

  • Very heavy hetero guy.

  • But he wrote in this book, "Ideal Marriage" --

  • he said that he could differentiate between the semen of a young man,

  • which he said had a fresh, exhilarating smell,

  • and the semen of mature men, whose semen smelled, quote,

  • "Remarkably like that of the flowers of the Spanish chestnut.

  • Sometimes quite freshly floral,

  • and then again sometimes extremely pungent."

  • (Laughter)

  • Okay. In 1999, in the state of Israel, a man began hiccupping.

  • And this was one of those cases that went on and on.

  • He tried everything his friends suggested.

  • Nothing seemed to help.

  • Days went by.

  • At a certain point, the man, still hiccupping, had sex with his wife.

  • And lo and behold, the hiccups went away.

  • He told his doctor, who published a case report

  • in a Canadian medical journal under the title,

  • "Sexual Intercourse as a Potential Treatment for Intractable Hiccups."

  • I love this article because at a certain point they suggested

  • that unattached hiccuppers could try masturbation.

  • (Laughter)

  • I love that because there is like a whole demographic: unattached hiccuppers.

  • (Laughter)

  • Married, single, unattached hiccupper.

  • In the 1900s, early 1900s,

  • a lot of gynecologists believed that when a woman has an orgasm,

  • the contractions serve to suck the semen up through the cervix

  • and sort of deliver it really quickly to the egg,

  • thereby upping the odds of conception.

  • It was called the "upsuck" theory.

  • (Laughter)

  • If you go all the way back to Hippocrates,

  • physicians believed that orgasm in women

  • was not just helpful for conception, but necessary.

  • Doctors back then were routinely telling men

  • the importance of pleasuring their wives.

  • Marriage-manual author and semen-sniffer Theodoor van De Velde --

  • (Laughter)

  • has a line in his book.

  • I loved this guy.

  • I got a lot of mileage out of Theodoor van De Velde.

  • He had this line in his book

  • that supposedly comes from the Habsburg Monarchy,

  • where there was an empress Maria Theresa,

  • who was having trouble conceiving.

  • And apparently the royal court physician said to her,

  • "I am of the opinion that the vulva of your most sacred majesty

  • be titillated for some time prior to intercourse."

  • (Laughter)

  • It's apparently, I don't know, on the record somewhere.

  • Masters and Johnson:

  • now we're moving forward to the 1950s.

  • Masters and Johnson were upsuck skeptics,

  • which is also really fun to say.

  • They didn't buy it.

  • And they decided, being Masters and Johnson,

  • that they would get to the bottom of it.

  • They brought women into the lab -- I think it was five women --

  • and outfitted them with cervical caps containing artificial semen.

  • And in the artificial semen was a radio-opaque substance,

  • such that it would show up on an X-ray.

  • This is the 1950s.

  • Anyway, these women sat in front of an X-ray device.

  • And they masturbated.

  • And Masters and Johnson looked to see if the semen was being sucked up.

  • Did not find any evidence of upsuck.

  • You may be wondering, "How do you make artificial semen?"

  • (Laughter)

  • I have an answer for you. I have two answers.

  • You can use flour and water, or cornstarch and water.

  • I actually found three separate recipes in the literature.

  • (Laughter)

  • My favorite being the one that says --

  • you know, they have the ingredients listed,

  • and then in a recipe it will say, for example,

  • "Yield: two dozen cupcakes."

  • This one said, "Yield: one ejaculate."

  • (Laughter)

  • There's another way that orgasm might boost fertility.

  • This one involves men.

  • Sperm that sit around in the body for a week or more

  • start to develop abnormalities

  • that make them less effective at head-banging their way into the egg.

  • British sexologist Roy Levin has speculated

  • that this is perhaps why men

  • evolved to be such enthusiastic and frequent masturbators.

  • He said, "If I keep tossing myself off I get fresh sperm being made."

  • Which I thought was an interesting idea, theory.

  • So now you have an evolutionary excuse.

  • (Laughter)

  • Okay.

  • (Laughter)

  • All righty. There is considerable evidence for upsuck in the animal kingdom --

  • pigs, for instance.

  • In Denmark, the Danish National Committee for Pig Production

  • found out that if you sexually stimulate a sow

  • while you artificially inseminate her,

  • you will see a six-percent increase in the farrowing rate,

  • which is the number of piglets produced.

  • So they came up with this five-point stimulation plan for the sows.

  • There is posters they put in the barn, and they have a DVD.

  • And I got a copy of this DVD.

  • (Laughter)

  • This is my unveiling, because I am going to show you a clip.

  • (Laughter)

  • So, okay.

  • Now, here we go, la la la, off to work.

  • It all looks very innocent.

  • He's going to be doing things with his hands

  • that the boar would use his snout, lacking hands. Okay.

  • (Laughter)

  • This is it.

  • The boar has a very odd courtship repertoire.

  • (Laughter)

  • This is to mimic the weight of the boar.

  • (Laughter)

  • You should know, the clitoris of the pig is inside the vagina.

  • So this may be sort of titillating for her.

  • Here we go.

  • (Laughter)

  • And the happy result.

  • (Applause)

  • I love this video.

  • There is a point in this video, towards the beginning,

  • where they zoom in for a close up of his hand with his wedding ring,

  • as if to say, "It's okay, it's just his job.

  • He really does like women."

  • (Laughter)

  • Okay. When I was in Denmark, my host was named Anne Marie.

  • And I said, "So why don't you just stimulate the clitoris of the pig?

  • Why don't you have the farmers do that?

  • That's not one of your five steps."

  • I have to read you what she said, because I love it.

  • She said, "It was a big hurdle

  • just to get farmers to touch underneath the vulva.

  • So we thought, let's not mention the clitoris right now."

  • (Laughter)

  • Shy but ambitious pig farmers, however, can purchase a -- this is true --

  • a sow vibrator,

  • that hangs on the sperm feeder tube to vibrate.

  • Because, as I mentioned, the clitoris is inside the vagina.

  • So possibly, you know, a little more arousing than it looks.

  • And I also said to her,

  • "Now, these sows. I mean, you may have noticed there.