Whay Was The Human Orgasm Designed The Way It Is?

An evolutionary biologist might say that the pleasure of the orgasm is designed to stimulate people to reproduce as much as is possible. But for humans, why is the orgasm configured as it is? There is the period of foreplay, leading to penetration, then a lot of sweating and working, with a lot of anxiety-then the orgasm/release…after which things go downhill rapidly.
Would eveolution have come up with a better scenario, if “intelligent design” had intervened?

Say Whay?

The way the orgasm is set up was sufficient to keep our species from dying out. That’s enough for nature’s purposes.

An evolutionary biologist might say that the pleasure of the orgasm results in people pursuing sex with enough frequency to allow people to successfully reproduce.

An evolutionary biologist wouldn’t be talking about ‘design’ the way you do.

It wasn’t designed at all.

It came that way. :smiley:

I’m picturing a research lab full of men in white lab coats, working to design the orgasm.

I think QtM is correct, that an evolutionary biologist wouldn’t frame it in terms of design the way you do.

If some people got a lot less pleasure from orgasm than others, those people would tend to have less sex, and their pleasureless-orgasm genes would die out.

I don’t remember what it says specifically about orgasm, but one good (and very funny and entertaining) book about human sexuality explained in terms of evolutionary biology is Sperm are from Men, Eggs are from Women (which has apparently been reissued in paperback with a different title).

You have a lot of anxiety while doing it? I think you’re doing it wrong.

It seems to me the OP is looking for a factual answer. I’m putting this thread in GQ (from IMHO); if the mods there feel differently, feel free to throw it back.

Ellen Cherry
IMHO Moderator

Or with the wrong people.

One wonders though, would we really be reproducing significantly less if it was only, say, half as pleasurable as it is? Wouldn’t we still be doing it at approximately the same rates? And if the answer is no, then why didn’t it go on to become even more pleasureable than it did?

If it were more pleasureable that it is, I’d never get anything else done!

Or, in the words of Sheriff Bart: “Baby, please! I am not from Havana!”

I can’t answer to the process of arousal leading up to orgasm (that is, why it takes so long, moves in “waves” and then peaks) but the orgasm/ejaculation itself is wonderfully…uh…arranged.

The male orgasm is nice and visible, so we know what happens there - the genetic stuff spurts out several inches, generally, giving the sperm a propelled start in a direction away from the penis and towards the cervix.

The female orgasm results in the opening to the cervix opening a bit and the whole shebang moving into the posterior side of the upper vaginal area…exactly the little “cup” where the semen ends up. While this is happening, the “waves” of muscular contraction (and pleasure) the woman is experiencing causes the cervix to “suck” the sperm through the opening! This means not so much of it spills out when the woman stands after intercourse, leaving an apparent reproductive advantage for women who can orgasm at the same time as their mate.

So it’s possible that, for both genders, we were selected for the ability to orgasm together. Could that be why the big build up? Would a person whose orgasm doesn’t “sync up” with their partner have a reproductive disadvantage? I think it’s not an unreasonable hypothesis. And perhaps the prolonged arousal time somehow facilitates that.

ETA: tyop

“Intelligent design” has no role here if you are seeking a factual answer. Look in the aisle under “Myths” for that kind of response.

I also recall a study that indicated the male penis has a ridge around the head in order to “suck” the sperm from previous males out of a womans vagina in the thrusting motion.

In males, at least, the peak of pleasure occurs at just about the same moment as ejaculation, because otherwise, there’d be a tendency to pull out early, significantly reducing fertility. The pleasure before that point is so that we don’t give up before it gets to that point.

The pleasure experienced from sex not only encourages the sex act but plays a role in pair bonding, which helps out making sure the offspring are well cared for.

The study I read said the ridge around the head is to keep your hand from slipping off. :wink:

As I am currently enjoying, the female orgasm can be nice and visible.

If you can see the cervix while your companion (or you!) are orgasming…my hat’s off to you. :wink:

Well, he’s got his one-eyed organ right there in the middle of the action.

Well, it depends how “intelligent” the design was.

But there was, in fact no design in play here. Our orgasms work well enough to allow people to procreate, and that’s as well as they have to work.