orgasm

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orgasm

the most intense point during sexual excitement, characterized by extremely pleasurable sensations and in the male accompanied by ejaculation of semen

Orgasm

 

the climax of sexual excitement, experienced toward the end of coitus or of surrogate forms of sexual activity, for example, masturbation and nocturnal emission. The biological role of orgasm, which is an unconditioned reflex, is to reinforce the entire sex act. Orgasm is not required in females for fertilization, and it is not experienced by females of most animal species, with some mammals being the exception. The mechanism of orgasm is complex, involving the physiologically coordinated participation of cortical, subcortical, and cerebrospinal nervous structures.

In healthy men coitus always culminates in orgasm. The majority of healthy, normal women, on the other hand, usually do not experience complete sexual arousal and orgasm until several months to several years after the initiation of a regular sex life. Subsequently, orgasm does not occur in women with every sex act; by convention, it is considered “normal” when sexual intercourse is accompanied by orgasm at least half the time. A large proportion of women—according to some data, up to 41 percent—never experience orgasm; many of them suffer from acquired anorgasmia, which can be corrected, while others may be conditionally characterized as “constitutionally frigid,” although they know all the joys of motherhood and consider their marriages happy.

Attempting to “cure” every case of anorgasmia is as unpromising as attempting to change the temperament of a human being as long as such a “cure” ignores the biological aspects of female sexuality and the differences between individuals.

REFERENCES

Vasil’chenko, G. S. “Orgazm.” In Patogeneticheskie mekhanizmy impotentsii. Moscow, 1956. Pages 47–51.
Imielinski, K. Psikhogigiena polovoi zhizni. Moscow, 1972. (Translated from Polish.)
Sviadoshch, A. M. Zhenskaia seksopatologiia. Moscow, 1974.
Malewska, H. Kulturowe i psychospoleczne determinanty zycia seksualnego. Warsaw, 1967.
Gebhard, P., J. Raboch, and H. Giese. The Sexuality of Women. London, 1970.

G. S. VASIL’CHENKO

orgasm

[′ȯr‚gaz·əm]
(physiology)
The intense, diffuse, and subjectively pleasurable sensation experienced during sexual intercourse or genital manipulation, culminating in the male with seminal ejaculation and in the female with uterine contractions, warm suffusion, and pelvic throbbing sensations.
References in periodicals archive ?
For what connects fiction -- and music -- with sex is the fundamental orgastic rhythm of tumescence and detumescence, of tension and resolution, of intensification to the point of climax and consummation.
When Wilhelm Reich made orgastic sexuality the key to normality, he was defending a genuine aspect of Freudian thinking.
What Reich actually discovered is that the genital character is capable of orgastic potency during the sexual embrace: he or she is able to allow energy and sensation to flow freely into the genital without inhibition and to be completely discharged at the acme of the orgasm.
has moved well beyond its traditional dualistic moorings" (197), achieving in the process a kind of radical orgastic freedom: "The literary double is inexhaustible, capable of being renewed an infinite number of times" (194).