Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Implantable Orgasm Device

By Anne Marie in Technology
Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 07:28:22 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

This coming week's issue of the New Scientist reports on the efforts of Stuart Meloy, a doctor who has designed an implantable orgasm-generating device for women. According to CNN coverage, surgeons would implant electrodes into the spine and insert a (small) signal generator in the skin under the buttocks -- electrical signals would be operated by a handheld remote control. This patent-pending device, to be priced at US$15,000 (not including surgery), is intended to treat patients with orgasmic dysfunction and who have not responded to other treatments. Clinical trials could begin as soon as later this year.


This device is innovative, not only as a new development in the field of medical implants, but more importantly as one of only a small handful of solutions to an endemic problem. Whereas heaps of money have been poured into development and marketing for male-sexual-dysfunction treatments such as Viagra, far less has been spent in pursuit of treatments of female sexual dysfunction. And even heralded breakthroughs such as Viagra have been of little value to women: Viagra does not allay female sexual dysfunction, even though it seems to increase genital bloodflow in women as in men.

The idea of using non-genital stimulation to induce orgasms is nothing new. For years, victims of spinal-cord injury have reported anecdotes of spontaneous "phantom" orgasms, due solely to neurological damage and not to any genital stimulation. Other women have experienced orgasms from natural childbirth and other activities seemingly removed from traditional sexuality, such as from epileptic seizures.

These developments are not without concerns, however. The danger is that as medical science continues to probe deeper into sexuality, it will continue to locate sexuality within an epistemological normative scheme: this is correct sexuality, whereas that sort is deviate sexuality. Once started, there is no turning back; according to feminist theorist Carol Smart:

[I]t does not matter that experiments do not work or that medicine cannot find a cure for all ills. The point is that we accord so much status to scientific work that its truth outweighs other truths, indeed it denies the possibility of others. [Feminism and the Power of Law, 1989]

But there is also a greater danger. While such a device as this may be a godsend for patients who truly suffer from a mechanical or chemical disability, what of patients whose dysfunction lies not in their own bodies but in their relationships with their lovers? Might this quick medical fix not conceal a greater social issue of men not being able to satisfy women sexually? And indeed, as the remote control may just as easily be held by men as by women, might not this device literally and figuratively take women's sexuality out of their hands?

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
If suffering from from sexual dysfunction, I would prefer:
o Implantable devices such as this 25%
o Chemical therapy such as Viagra 26%
o Traditional mechanical therapy 19%
o No therapy 29%

Votes: 88
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o New Scientist
o CNN coverage
o patent-pen ding device
o heaps of money
o Viagra does not allay female sexual dysfunction
o spinal-cor d injury
o orgasms from natural childbirth
o from epileptic seizures
o probe deeper
o Also by Anne Marie


Display: Sort:
Implantable Orgasm Device | 94 comments (79 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
Did he credit Larry Niven? (4.15 / 13) (#2)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 06:26:17 PM EST

This sounds an awful lot like a tasp to me.

Darn!!! (4.00 / 2) (#18)
by AzTex on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:24:14 PM EST

Darn!  You beat me to it.

I wanted to be the one to bring up the "make someone's day" reference.

Although really I think that Anne Marie's little device is more like a droud since it is directly connected.  I wonder if she will become the first wirehead.



solipsism: I'm always here. But you sometimes go away.
** AzTex **

[ Parent ]
Or how about Woody Allen? (3.66 / 3) (#26)
by driph on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:53:29 PM EST

When did Larry Niven write about it? Perhaps prior art should go to Woody Allen for the orgasmatron in Sleeper.

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Or Arthur C. Clarke (4.40 / 5) (#34)
by goonie on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:19:51 PM EST

In one of his sci-fi stories, the solar system is about to be destroyed as a massive dead star travels through it and radically disrupts the orbit of the planets. However, there is a way to save humanity - attract the attention of the supercivilizations many light-years away, through the strange medium of ESP. It turns out that human ESP is triggered by strong emotional states, and the strength and range of the signal is determined by the strength of the emotion. It turns out that fear is not powerful enough an emotion - even if every living human is struck by a simultaneous moment of terror, it won't reach.

However, there is one emotion even stronger than fear, that if induced in enough individuals simultaneously, will generate a signal heard across the entire galaxy . . . . ;)

[ Parent ]

WE MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER OR DIE! (none / 0) (#88)
by Captain_Tenille on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 03:38:59 PM EST

(nt)
----
/* You are not expected to understand this. */

Man Vs. Nature: The Road to Victory!
[ Parent ]

When (3.66 / 3) (#39)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 09:42:48 PM EST

When did Larry Niven write about it?

Ringworld Engineers. Probably before that, too, but that's the reference that comes most easily to mind.

[ Parent ]

Sex != Sexuality (4.23 / 13) (#3)
by supine on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 06:31:55 PM EST

Sexuality is something defined by our personality, environment etc. etc. that establishes what we react to and how we respond in a sexual context. Removing the need for a partner in a sexual context has been done, self stimulation has a long history. Did people get all worked up about masturbation taking away people's sexuality or the invention of the vibrator taking away people's sexuality?

I think this new technology allows for people previously incapable of stimulation (both by others and themself) to address their needs in regards to sexual experience. That it may be abused by people too lazy to masturbate is, I think, a minor issue.

my 2 cents
marty

--
"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
Abused? (4.16 / 6) (#5)
by Nick Ives on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 06:48:56 PM EST

I dont see using an implant such as this instead of going to all the hassle of masturbation as an abuse. I mean, the implant is very expensive and im sure the cost of the surgery hikes the price up a fair bit, so if someone wants to buy one just for fun and not for any real medical reason then I dont see why its a problem at all

Here in the UK I should imagine that if this implant becomes available on the NHS it will only be for people with a genuine medical need for it whereas those of us who just want a one push orgasm will have to pay. I think thats the fairest situation of all.

--
nick
theres nothing as relieving as taking a turd after a week of constipation. Well, maybe there is, but right now I cant think of it.

[ Parent ]

I mixed two comments into one. (4.00 / 4) (#15)
by supine on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:14:21 PM EST

I had two points to make in my post, I may have got them a little confused.

1) Sexuality is not negated by the ability to self stimulate.

2) This technology is not really open to abuse (as you point out a lot more clearly) due to the fact that for people with no impairment will find self stimulation infinitely more accesible and a hell of a lot cheaper.

Thanks for helping me understand what I was trying to say. ; )

marty

--
"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
[ Parent ]
my two cents.. (2.82 / 17) (#4)
by rebelcool on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 06:43:42 PM EST

Though i've got no medical license to clarify this, I think the orgasm is more a mental thing than physical. Sure, if your nervous system is highly damaged then yes..that is a physical problem. Undoubtedly orgasms would be the least of your worries in that case.

Seems silly to me to try an off-beat implant when the answer could simply be Feel better about yourself

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Keep your pocket change to yourself. (3.92 / 14) (#7)
by Estanislao Martínez on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 06:52:55 PM EST

Though i've got no medical license to clarify this, [...]

Then why do you try?

[...] I think the orgasm is more a mental thing than physical.

Yeah right. All those secretions, contractions, blushing, etc., is merely psychosomatic. Yeah. Aha.

Sure, if your nervous system is highly damaged then yes..that is a physical problem. Undoubtedly orgasms would be the least of your worries in that case.

Paraphrase: "If you have damage in your nervous system, you don't deserve that society invent something to allow you to have an orgasm-- you came to this world to suffer, so stick to that."

Seems silly to me to try an off-beat implant when the answer could simply be Feel better about yourself

Are you male or female? I really suspect the former.

Anyway, who you are to be making categorical judgments to what are the solutions to others sexual dysfunctions? (and even at that, possibly members of a different sex?)

--em
[ Parent ]

hah. (4.20 / 5) (#47)
by rebelcool on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 12:12:30 AM EST

Then why do you try?

Because I'm allowed to have an opinion? Because this is a DISCUSSION website?

Paraphrase: "If you have damage in your nervous system, you don't deserve that society invent something to allow you to have an orgasm-- you came to this world to suffer, so stick to that."

This has to be the most amazing and inaccurate twist of my words i've ever seen.

Anyway, who you are to be making categorical judgments to what are the solutions to others sexual dysfunctions? (and even at that, possibly members of a different sex?)

Oh, oh oh..you missed a little part of my comment..that one that said the answer simply COULD be..not that it WAS..but COULD as in MIGHT MAYBE JUST POSSIBLY BE IN SOME CASES... feeling better about yourself!

Oh my what a shitstorm!

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Harder then that (3.77 / 9) (#8)
by sl4ck0ff on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 06:56:41 PM EST

The "high" from the orgasm is a chemical being released in the brain, but being physically aroused is necessary. And as for feeling better about themselves? Fuck you. I've lived with depression most of my life, if it were that easy, they wouldn't be impotent. Know everyone hates you, now try getting hard. Like I said, not easy.
/me has returned to slacking
[ Parent ]
wow... (3.00 / 3) (#46)
by rebelcool on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 12:08:30 AM EST

uhm that would be a MENTAL issue would it not? A spinal implant doesnt exactly do much for curing problems of the brain.

Maybe the reason "everyone hates you" is because you *think* everyone hates you and you treat them as such. I'm not judging you, or pretending thats even your problem. I dont know..nor really care for that matter.

In any case, the entire comment i posted was about how in my opinion, a spinal implant for orgasms is an absolutely silly waste of 15 grand.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

This is important (3.42 / 14) (#6)
by sl4ck0ff on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 06:52:38 PM EST

Look at this more then "Instant Orgasm 2001". Realize how far Humanity has come, especially in treating those with sexual dysfunction.
/me has returned to slacking
yikes... (3.50 / 10) (#12)
by marisa on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:10:12 PM EST

Let me get this straight... If he needs help with sexual disfunction, he drops the 10 dollar co-pay for a Viagra prescription. If she needs help with sexual disfunction, she spends 15,000 dollars plus the cost of spinal surgery? Ouch. Medical advancements are fun to read/theorize about, but this seems a little impractical, not to mention prohibitively expensive for much of society.

Marisa
--
"Physics is not a religion. If it were,
we'd have a much easier time raising money."

True, but... (4.00 / 7) (#17)
by spaceghoti on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:22:55 PM EST

Considering the implications, the technology may not be practical, but it sure is significant. Because the subject matter is more risque than the general public is used to is no reason not to think about what they've done here. They managed to learn enough about the human nervous system that they can (presumably) safely stimulate a single biological function, much like a pacemaker regulates heart functions.

I'm also inclined to believe that an alternative method of treating female sexual dysfunction is a good thing, particularly since the topic is so touchy for so many people. This breakthrough is new enough that I believe sufficient research will both reduce cost and inconvenience. We can hope anyway. I personally wouldn't mind having my finger on a "orgasm button" of sorts, but I'm also not the kind of fellow that would use that power to inflict punishment or the like.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
You're right... (5.00 / 3) (#38)
by marisa on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:44:38 PM EST

You are absolutely correct that this is significant technology. The part that makes me cringe is not the subject matter (sexual arousal or lack thereof) but rather the spinal surgery. I'm sure it's just my own neurosis, but the thought of someone digging around near my puppet string gives me the willies. So, while I personally think the idea of an orgasm button sounds fun, I think I'll stick to the remote control vibrating undies. While I'm already on a fairly tasteless note, just imagine the tricks you could play with a device like that! :) Sorry. No more kidding. Bad me.

Marisa
--
"Physics is not a religion. If it were,
we'd have a much easier time raising money."
[ Parent ]

sure, but (3.50 / 2) (#23)
by ODiV on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:49:56 PM EST

AFAIK, physical sexual disfunction is a lot more common in males (in the form of impotence) than in females.


--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Not true (4.33 / 3) (#25)
by spaceghoti on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:52:48 PM EST

There's just a lot less research (and therefore statistics) on female physical sexual dysfunction. Seems that women have gotten this silly idea that if they don't achieve orgasm, it's their own fault. I can't imagine who might have told them that.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
news to me (3.50 / 2) (#29)
by ODiV on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:07:53 PM EST

I admit that I was posting completely without research. Male impotence is a pretty well known affliction, though. I had no idea that many women suffered from something like it. I assumed that most physical sexual dysfunctions in women would be because of accidents and the like. I suppose that part of the reason for impotence being so well known is that it's pretty obvious.

So what are some female physical sexual dysfunctions? How widespread are they?


--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
waitaminute (3.50 / 2) (#33)
by ODiV on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:19:19 PM EST

from the article:
"Women with paralysis, muscular sclerosis or who use prescription drugs that inhibit sexual arousal could benefit, as well as those with psychosexual problems, he said."

You'd think they would have mentionned any common physical sexual problems (naturally occuring (is that even the right way to put it?)) there, eh?



--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
I have a question (3.92 / 26) (#16)
by osm on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:21:28 PM EST

ok. stay with me here.

now. remember pavlov and his dog, spot? if not, here is a very quick overview:

a. pavlov puts spot in a special electric cage.

b. pavlov shoots some juice through spot.

c. pavlov feeds spot a treat.

d. repeat.

later -----------------

5. pavlov shoots some juice through spot.

6. spot salivates in anticipation of being fed a treat!

simple enough. let me modify pavlov's experiment:

first, i replace spot. he's been juiced enough. for MY experiment, i will use a cute girl. i'll call her "natalie."

i implant the orgasmatron 2001 in "natalie," while she is asleep. i will have to use magic for this step.

now, i move to albany new york. and make it a habit to be in close proximity to "natalie" once every hour. i will make it a point to be walking toward her and then, as she makes eye contact, i will activate the orgasmatron 2001!

now, as everyone knows, the chemicals involved in an orgasm are startlingly identical to those present in opium! "natalie" will quickly become addicted to my presence! soon, SHE will seek ME out! salivating!

uhhhh. i have to go to the bathroom.

--------
4thelulz.org

Pavlov and his dog (4.00 / 6) (#20)
by supine on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:30:04 PM EST

It was a bell, not juice (bad choice of word BTW given the topic).

But, your post was pretty funny regardless. ; )

marty

--
"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
[ Parent ]
Someone has their wires crossed (4.00 / 1) (#57)
by jabber on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 11:05:17 AM EST

OSM once took Psych 101, and remembers the name Pavlov, and an electrical cage. During the lecture about the bell and Skinner, OSM was studying for his Bar exam.

Feeding trolls is a form of positive reinforcement, a reward. Withdrawal of love is a much more effective means of dealing with intelligent beings who suffer from attachment disorders.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Amusing thought experiment, but . . . (3.75 / 4) (#28)
by goonie on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:57:27 PM EST

Don't you think that your experimental subject might consider it a bit odd that she experienced orgasm every time she saw your face? That sort of thing doesn't even happen in porn films ;) If this started happening to me, my first thought would be "I need to see a psychiatrist *now*". Of course, my second thought be "what the hey, let's roll with it anyway . . ." ;)

While we're kicking around all sorts of interesting possibilities, what happens if I hold the magic button down continuously? Has anyone tried this important experiment? If needs be, I'm sure I could line up a few volunteers :)

[ Parent ]

re: holding the magic button down...badbad! (3.50 / 2) (#52)
by Tumbleweed on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 04:31:32 AM EST

Rent the movie 'Brainstorm'....

[ Parent ]
this is good, but inevitable (4.18 / 11) (#19)
by klamath on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:25:59 PM EST

[I]t does not matter that experiments do not work or that medicine cannot find a cure for all ills. The point is that we accord so much status to scientific work that its truth outweighs other truths, indeed it denies the possibility of others.
I don't understand this comment. First off, how can there be multiple 'true' answers to a given question? If no one answer can be proven to be true, there are no true answers, not multiple ones. Can someone give me an example of where this feminist's comment actually applies?

Second, science is concerned with the rational, methodical process of discovering truth by observing the phenomena of the universe, and using inductive reasoning to produce rules to govern the behavior of groups of related phenomena (gross simplification, I know...). How can this possibly be viewed as a threat? Science simply uncovers the nature of reality: ignorance is no excuse.

The idea that since we know have a better scientific understanding of female sexuality, scientists will begin to decide what is correct or incorrect sexuality seems bizarre to me. That is not the purpose of science, and anyone silly enough to listen to such false prophets of morality get what they deserve.

...what of patients whose dysfunction lies not in their own bodies but in their relationships with their lovers? Might this quick medical fix not conceal a greater social issue of men not being able to satisfy women sexually?
How is this a social issue? One could view this apparent inability as a dysfunction of a sort, or at least a biological inconvenience. What is wrong with healthy women using this device to enhance their sexual experiences? There is no point being conservative about this: the influence of pleasure-hating Puritanism is rapidly being dominated by a much more liberal, progressive attitude towards sex. One can view (casual) sex as a recreational activity, like a sport for example (of course, it is much more complicated, particularly from a emotional/social point of view -- but I think the basic comparison has some truth). What is wrong with using better 'equipment' to get a better experience? How is this device really any different than sexual devices like vibrators or dildos?

trivial confusion of epistemology with ontology (3.90 / 10) (#21)
by Estanislao Martínez on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:35:43 PM EST

If no one answer can be proven to be true, there are no true answers, not multiple ones.

Bzzt, wrong, try again.

If you can't prove any satisfactory answer from a set to be "the true one", it just means that-- that you can't *know* which answer is true, not that none of the possible answers is true.

--em
[ Parent ]

my bad (none / 0) (#89)
by klamath on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 06:29:10 PM EST

Yes, I should have remembered that...

But can anyone give me an example of where this applies in 'real life'? i.e. where the 'one truth' of science blots out all other truths, like that feminist was referring to in the article?

[ Parent ]

Hrm (3.00 / 1) (#82)
by QuoteMstr on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 06:53:39 AM EST

I guess the equation 2x^2 + 2x + 1 = 0 has no true solution, then? :P

[ Parent ]
viagra (4.47 / 19) (#24)
by enterfornone on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 07:52:01 PM EST

This device is innovative, not only as a new development in the field of medical implants, but more importantly as one of only a small handful of solutions to an endemic problem. Whereas heaps of money have been poured into development and marketing for male-sexual-dysfunction treatments such as Viagra, far less has been spent in pursuit of treatments of female sexual dysfunction.
I think if you walked in to a sex shop and did a survey you would find a lot more items designed to produce female orgasms than those designed to produce male orgasms. The orgasm device you describe has no male equivelent at all.

I don't think you can really compare this to viagra. Viagra helps men get an erection. The female equivelent has been fixable with KY for years previous. Neither will help to get someone "in the mood" if they are having trouble with that. And neither on their own will cause someone to be sexually satisfied.



--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.

Hehe (2.55 / 9) (#30)
by skim123 on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:11:30 PM EST

This device is innovative, not only as a new development in the field of medical implants, but...

Also could be fun to use on unsuspecting folks. Imagine if you could get a remote control to trigger one of these... follow some lady as she does her grocery shopping, shooting orgasms to her at socially awkward times... ;-)

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Male orgasms? (3.00 / 9) (#31)
by Signal 11 on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:12:07 PM EST

Originally this was part of a list of troll links, but since this could be a legitimate response to this article, why not... electronic masturbation for men. Go zap yourself with some electrodes. Yay. Note: I'm not responsible for you frying your #$@! because of this.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
That sounds (3.00 / 4) (#45)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 11:55:20 PM EST

painful. *wince*

[ Parent ]
Yes, it does. (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by Signal 11 on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 11:54:47 AM EST

Yes, it definately sounds painful. Considering most "shock" devices are tasers and electrical outlets, it's somewhat unfathomable to think it might actually be fun getting zapped, but there's a whole culture of people who enjoy pain - ie. BSDM.




--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Not necessarily... (3.00 / 1) (#78)
by hypatia on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 12:52:03 AM EST

... BDSM. Electronic stimulation is used to collect sperm from mammals for scientific research. They've done studies showing that human subjects aren't overly fond of it.

[ Parent ]
neither new nor innovative (3.87 / 8) (#35)
by Delirium on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:28:46 PM EST

Using artificial electric currents to stimulate nerve impulses of various sorts, and even to control muscle movements through such impulses, is not a new field. Such medical technology has been a topic of research for quite a few years now, and there have been many astounding advances in the field. This is simply another application of the same technology, and not even a particularly important or interesting one (compared to allowing amputees to regain walking ability, I think allowing someone to regain the ability to orgasm is rather unimportant). I'd hardly call "take technology that has been around for a while and apply it to sex" an innovative concept - nearly all technologies are eventually applied to sex in obvious straightforward ways (as this one has apparently been).

But of course "take uninteresting story but mention sex a lot" is a good recipe for interesting an adolescent audience, so perhaps that is the reason this is considered "interesting" around here.

The Female Orgasm? It does not exist! (3.61 / 18) (#36)
by AzTex on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:33:38 PM EST

This device is ridiculous!  It cannot possibly stimulate females to orgasm because females cannot have orgasms to begin with?

How can I say that females cannot have orgasms?  Experience.

Listen, I've been with more than a few women and not a single one of them has ever had anything like an orgasm.  Now what does that tell you???

</humor>

solipsism: I'm always here. But you sometimes go away.
** AzTex **

Tasp, anyone? (4.50 / 14) (#37)
by curious on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:42:44 PM EST

And there was I, foolishly, thinking electric / mechanical stimulation to solve psychological problems had gone out of fashion.

This story is nothing new. The concept is reasonably old, but the reason we're not walking around with Orgasmatrons on our keyrings [1] is because I think few people would que up to have one fitted, because it is an invasive, spinal surgery procedure for a condition that is not life threatening. Spinal surgery is not a lot of fun. Fewer people are going to line up to be the necessary test patients, because experimental spinal surgery is not a lot of fun either.

Besides these purely surgical concerns, there is also a psychological barrier of entry to such technologies - core sexuality, especially for women that already have problems in this area, is such a sensitive and intricate topic, a purely mechanistic solution is unlikely to work. Often the biggest problem to the person in question is not the lack of actual orgasmic response in itself, but feelings of abnormality bought on by not feeling it. Having an implant at the base of your spine is, I consider, an unlikely comforter in such situations.

[1] Please do not confuse with garage door opener.

Diodes are doing it for themselves!

P.S. A more innovative use for direct neuralogical intervention would be some form of damping mechanism for the electrical activity that accompanies grand mal epileptic fits. Or pain control. Or bridging shattered nerve areas. But nooo, NS want's us to read about remote control for Women's mojo's. What's up next month? Cloning Elvis? :-P

--
"Got History?" -- The Prelinger Archive of Ephemeral Movies.

Terminal Man. (3.33 / 3) (#42)
by Wiglaf on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 11:04:22 PM EST

I know this is kinda off-topic but didn't the book Terminal man use a similar thing in it. BUt I guess there is the diff of one affecting genitals and the other affecting your brain. That and it gave the terminal man pain not pleasure.

Back to the point, I always thought that they had made some inroads along this path. Oh well if anyone has any relevant links on this aspect reply with em please.

Paul: I DOMINATE you to throw rock on our next physical challenge.
Trevor: You can't do that! Do you really think Vampires go around playing rock paper sissors to decide who gets to overpower one another?
[ Parent ]
Security? (4.12 / 8) (#43)
by ritlane on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 11:11:16 PM EST

Here's something to consider:
This thing is done by remote control right?
How difficult would it be to make a universal remote?

On one hand, you could make a receiver, to record the signals coming out of the remote and play it back later. (Think, sitting in the next room... recording)

Also, would it be possible to make one that actively sends out signals "trolling" for receivers.

Please note, my experience with technology such as this is very limited, and comes mainly from word of mouth and the garage scene in "Gone in 60 seconds"

But hey, I do software, not hardware.



---Lane
I like fighting robots

Use car alarm techniques (4.75 / 4) (#48)
by goonie on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 12:50:22 AM EST

While deliberate hacking attempts on this are unlikely (at $15,000 plus invasive spinal surgery, these puppies aren't likely to become common, and as they'd be internal there's no simple way to detect that an individual has one), the risk of inadvertant triggering might be serious enough (and the consequences embarrassing and potentially dangerous enough) to warrant some simple countermeasures.

The kind of techniques required could probably be borrowed from car alarm remote controls, for instance.

[ Parent ]

From the creators of southpark (3.66 / 3) (#51)
by Holloway on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 03:01:53 AM EST

I don't suppose you've seen Orgasmo, have you?

"Why was this movie given an NC-17 -- was it because of the gaping manhood?"


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

Road Apples (1.20 / 10) (#44)
by da_unicorn on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 11:33:44 PM EST

Or, as you may know it Horse Shit!

A.M. is so full of it her eyes must be brown.

I'm about 50 and although I am no pro ball player in regards to number of sexual partners, I have yet to meet a woman with this problem. I have known a few yodelers, however.

The device could be interesting from a hacker standpoint. Brings a whole new meaning to the term "bush buzzer". It would kill vibrator sales I think. Give it an IP and a web interface and you got a happy woman.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Da

re: IP & web interface, and whaddaya get? (3.00 / 3) (#53)
by Tumbleweed on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 04:34:52 AM EST

The Slashdot Effect would likely KILL someone! Interesting way to go...

[ Parent ]
YHBT (3.00 / 1) (#54)
by mith on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 05:03:18 AM EST

> A.M. is so full of it her eyes must be brown.

That's the idea:

1. She's a troll.
2. She's a he.
3. YHBT. YHL. HAND.


[ Parent ]
I don't know whether to laugh or groan. (4.80 / 20) (#55)
by iGrrrl on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 09:07:33 AM EST

I think I'll laugh while I groan. Once again, the red herrings have been dragged across the paths of the unsuspecting. But we all should be suspicious by now! Here we've been given the usual smelly fish, such as inappropriate links and a conclusion that comes (no pun intended) out of left field.

  1. The "heaps of money" link goes to a Viagra information page, not to any page that talks about Pfizer's profit margins on the drug, or income to date.
  2. The link to the article on sexuality and spinal cord injury makes no mention of "phantom orgasms" or any orgasm not produced by mechanical stimulation.
  3. The link connecting orgasms and natural childbirth was really about oxytocin levels before, during, and after both childbirth and sex, and only one anecdotal quote that childbirth was "like an orgasm". Most women report quite the opposite.
  4. This quote:
    These developments are not without concerns, however. The danger is that as medical science continues to probe deeper into sexuality, it will continue to locate sexuality within an epistemological normative scheme: this is correct sexuality, whereas that sort is deviate sexuality.
    makes me laugh. The "probe deeper" link is to an article that looked at the anatomy of coitus and at changes in internal female anatomy during orgasm using MRI. It had nothing to do with determining "correct" sexuality, nor could it be used as such. I can't imagine it becoming routine to check a couple's sexual behavior by having them perform intercourse in an MRI machine. Besides, it's the kind of argument that belongs with "If they outlaw cockfighting, the next thing they'll do is take our fishing poles!" Ad absurdam.
  5. And this:
    Might this quick medical fix not conceal a greater social issue of men not being able to satisfy women sexually? And indeed, as the remote control may just as easily be held by men as by women, might not this device literally and figuratively take women's sexuality out of their hands?
    seems like another specious argument to me. At $15K US per device, and with the necessity of a medical team deciding that all other avenues have been exhausted , this is unlikely to become yet another means to subjugate women. Again, ad abusurdam
I suppose in some ways this experiment of AM's succeeded, because it just sucked a chunk of time out of my morning. However, this article reads to me like AM's typical, almost disguised, horseshit.

--
You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.

obligatory real life reference about oxytocin... (5.00 / 4) (#56)
by yankeehack on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 10:54:03 AM EST

Sorry to gross those of you with a weak stomach.... but here goes

I thought that AMs link about oxytocin employed a tad bit of misinformation. During childbirth, oxytocin is usually produced in the body to induce contractions. Let me tell you, contractions hurt bad (like you want to roll up into a ball and die). (Duh, this is why heavy painkilling drugs are offered during childbirth.) The cr@ckheads who tell you (or your significant other) that contractions are like bad menstrual cramps either haven't given birth yet or are heavily abusing some sort of hallucinogenic substance. And to think that someone would say it was like an orgasm probably just referred to the physical muscle spasms rather than the pleasure (or, the woman really was on drugs).

Just to let you know, there are no references to orgasm during the birth process, except to exclaim "I can't believe you got me into this you bastard!" :-P

And the reference about breastfeeding producing oxytocin in the body (and little mini orgasms) is somewhat true to life, except that it doesn't happen to everyone who breastfeeds and any sensation that is produced is, uh, not that exceptional and sometimes creates very painful contractions. (I think the chippy la leche women who like to promulgate this overstate this fact to entice women to breastfeed.)

No one who was bad in bed has ever been good in life (i.e. liberals, I've never had sex with a liberal woman who knew how to use her body.) Keeteel :-P I'm *right*!
[ Parent ]

Commentary from a midwife (5.00 / 4) (#74)
by Aowyn on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 12:02:49 AM EST

As a midwife, I thought I'd throw my $.02 in.

Orgasm during birth: it is documented, mainly in women who are completely prepared and unafraid of their birth, and believe in the power of their bodies. These women actually enjoy their experience and are unable to cognitively supercede their pain because their thoughts are focused on the beautiful, natural experience rather than their fear of what is going to happen, the possibility of something going wrong, or just how bad it hurts. I'm not saying it doesn't hurt for these women; but they have fully come to terms with the fact that the pain is necessary, and it's actually good in the sense that it tells you everything IS okay. The pain of childbirth is the only pain that is not pathologic. This phenomena is not exclusive to "Bradley Births." Bradley is just a variation on a theme of peaceful, gentle birth.

On oxytocin:
1. Administration of Pitocin (artifical oxytocin) produces contractions which are much stronger (and more dangerous) than "natural" contractions. Pitocin frequently produces catatonic contractions, in which the uterus tenses up in one large contraction for an extended period of time, rather than the relatively gentler natural contractions. Sometimes this can cut off the oxygen flow to the baby, necessitating emergency intervention. I know very few women (actually, none at all) who have been able to carry through with their plans for epidural-free birth after being administered Pitocin (which, in turn, likely leads to complications again requiring intervention). If you can't tell, I don't like the use of Pitocin during labor. I think there is very rarely a need for it. Babies should come in their own time, not according to a hospital schedule or some standard time line. (In Pitocin-free births, it is usually the dilation of the cervix that causes the excruciating, "non-really-bad-menstrual cramp-like pain", rather than the contraction of the uterus itself.)

2. Pitocin is usually administered to stop postpartum hemorrhage because it causes hard contractions. The surface area of the uterus decreases, hence the surface area of the wound decreases. Nipple stimulation produces a rush of oxytocin, which also controls hemorrage, which is just one reason why it is important for mothers to nurse their babies as soon as possible (nipple stimulation can also be used to induce labor naturally). I can't speak directly to the relation between breastfeeding and orgasm, but it is very true that it causes contractions of the uterus.

Those are my beliefs and opinions based on my perspective as a midwife, and not intended to be taken as mandated truth.

[ Parent ]
Standar Issue American Birth is not fun (4.40 / 5) (#58)
by botono9 on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 11:12:40 AM EST

...and only one anecdotal quote that childbirth was "like an orgasm". Most women report quite the opposite.
Most women (US) also give birth lying flat on their back with their legs in stirrups, in a drugged stupor. Sounds positively tantalizing! Only recently have systems like the Bradley Method, which treats childbirth as a beautiful, natural event and not a disease or disorder that must be taken care of in a hospital, become popular. Using the Bradley Method, many women experience the "birth orgasm", and many women have pain-free labors.

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

A tad bit of misinformation.... (4.66 / 9) (#59)
by yankeehack on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 11:32:28 AM EST

And I heard that women get their hands and feet tied to the bed too..... (I'm being sarcastic).

Actually today in the US, all types of childbirth is treated with a new and enlightened appoach. Women no longer give birth lying down, but are encouraged to situp or squat during birth (Yes, even in a hospital! How dare they!) because it is more comfortable. Plus, many hospitals now have birthing suites where you have labor and delivery in the same room/suite not in an antiseptic hospital room. Rooms are homey, with televisions, couches and a place for Dad (and family and friends) and the medical equipment. Also, the increased use of midwives, instead of doctors for most normal pregnancies, is heralding these changes.

And about the drugs, women are asked if they want them and they are not forced upon anyone because drugs do prolong labor.

As for the Bradley method, yes women are using it, but not all women are able to, especially if they are having a high risk pregnancy.


No one who was bad in bed has ever been good in life (i.e. liberals, I've never had sex with a liberal woman who knew how to use her body.) Keeteel :-P I'm *right*!
[ Parent ]

Who else must avoid the Bradley Method? (4.40 / 5) (#61)
by botono9 on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 11:41:29 AM EST

As for the Bradley method, yes women are using it, but not all women are able to, especially if they are having a high risk pregnancy.
I would think that a high risk pregnancy would be the only reason a woman could not use the Bradley method (she will probably end up having a C-Section). Otherwise healthy women have no reason to have to avoid the Bradley Method. It focuses on relaxation, full involvement in the process (not distraction like Lamaze), natural breathing and preparation. The preparation is the most important part. A Bradley mom spends her entire pregnancy (at least from the time she starts the classes) preparing for the birth physically and mentally. She is taught about proper nutrition (which not many doctors counsel on). A major part of the training is learning to relax your body and all the uterus to do all the work during contractions. Any tension or attempts to "help" the contraction along will only lead to more pain and longer labor.

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

Be less dogmatic about birthing philosophy (4.75 / 4) (#63)
by yankeehack on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 12:08:49 PM EST

Well the bottleneck in wide scale adoption of a practice like this is the medical provider. Alot of the decisions that a woman makes is heavily influenced by her provider ob-gyn or midwife or nurse practioner. (Actually there have been studies done that prove this, for example some providers will induce birth more often than others, etc.). Also, well intentioned birth plans can and do go awry at the last minute, because of unforseen complications.

I guess my point is that someone can't be dogmatic about birthing methods because not every birthing method is right for everyone. While a practice like the Bradley method is all fine and good, in my case, I needed the extra modern medical care.

Natural and drug free is a laudable goal, but please remember that a long time ago, the infant/mother mortality rate was high. I wish people would remember that.

No one who was bad in bed has ever been good in life (i.e. liberals, I've never had sex with a liberal woman who knew how to use her body.) Keeteel :-P I'm *right*!
[ Parent ]

Don't tell me what to do! :) (4.25 / 4) (#65)
by botono9 on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 01:40:53 PM EST

...but please remember that a long time ago, the infant/mother mortality rate was high. I wish people would remember that.
Yes, but a "long time ago" the average life span was a lot lower. More people were dying in general. You don't see a higher rate of infant/mother mortality in "natural" (if it exists, it's natural) childbirths compared to medical births. In fact, you would probably see a higher rate among medical births just because all the complications end up there. But my point is general health and knowledge have been steadily increasing, bringing the mortality rates down across the board. Just because you aren't in a hospital doesn't necessarily mean a) something will go wrong or b) if something does go wrong that the attendant (mifwife, etc) won't be able to handle it.

And the reason I advocate "natural" childbirthing so much is that it is designed to make the mother very concious of her pregnancy and impending birth, and to take steps to prepare herself. Someone using the Bradley Method is not going to be eating "pickles and ice cream" and sitting on her ass just because she's pregnant. She's going to be working out, stretching her legs and perineum, practicing relaxation techniques and abdominal breathing, and so on (at least, they hope so.. :) ).

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

A long time ago... (4.00 / 1) (#80)
by Aowyn on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 01:16:19 AM EST

I know I'm pretty damn annoying to jump in here and reply to every little detail of this discussion, but this is my life. I will repeat that these are my perceptions and opinions (based on my experience and training as a midwife), and I'm certainly not trying to tell anyone that I am right and they are wrong (even though I might think so).

Natural and drug free is a laudable goal, but please remember that a long time ago, the infant/mother mortality rate was high. I wish people would remember that.

Actually, the infant/mother mortality rate sky-rocketed when they started having their babies in the hospitals with male doctors. The legendary "childbed fever" was an infection passed on in hospitals at the advent of obstetrics. We have better birth outcomes now because we have better nutrition and health and we know more about the birth process.

Also, the US has the highest percentage of obstetricians and c-sections of any nation in the world, yet we rank 23rd in infant mortality.

[ Parent ]

Feminism and medicine don't belong together.... (4.00 / 2) (#87)
by yankeehack on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 12:56:53 PM EST

First, childbed fever occurred because the doctors weren't initially washing their hands when delivering babies. Germ theory at that time had not been proven, and I don't think that male doctors were conciously trying to "kill off" women on purpose.

Secondly, the reason why midwifery has increased in the US during the past several decades is because of the feminist movement and the goal to "reclaim our bodies from those awful male doctors who put scary looking instruments into our vaginas". I'm not willing to say that male obstetricians are diferent because they are male (like you are willing to insinuate). It is dangerous to link political philosophy with medicine and it is dangerous to infer that women are somehow "more feminine" by having home births and/or following natural childbirth procedures.

Third, US infant mortality is high for several causal factors including access to medical care, race, geographic location and age of the mother. You might want to check out Google's search results I found on the subject. It is awful logic to say that we have the highest rates of obstetricians and c-sections and we rank 23rd in the world in infant mortality without mentioning these important causal factors.

Finally, is anybody else seeing the irony about discussing midwifery on a site like k5?!?!?

No one who was bad in bed has ever been good in life (i.e. liberals, I've never had sex with a liberal woman who knew how to use her body.) Keeteel :-P I'm *right*!
[ Parent ]

no? (none / 0) (#92)
by Mr.Mustard on Sun Feb 11, 2001 at 02:00:05 AM EST

Finally, is anybody else seeing the irony about discussing midwifery on a site like k5?!?!?

No.

Please explain it to me.

k5 is about "Technology and Culture, From the Trenches." And I think that midwifery fits in that picture. Midwifery is partly about deciding exactly how much technology can or should intersect with our lives, and it is definally about culture as well. Please don't tell me that you think all technology is good and should be blindly accepted.

Mr.Mustard [ fnord ]
[ Parent ]

I hope you are not a doctor (4.50 / 4) (#66)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 04:05:59 PM EST

I would think that a high risk pregnancy would be the only reason a woman could not use the Bradley method

I am not a doctor, nor have I ever studied medicine. I have heard many anecdotes from a good number of mothers that have had to have Caesarian sections for one reason or another other than being high risk. A good example would be a woman whose pelvic cavity is too small for normal sized infant to fit through. There are also many things that can happen during a vaginal birth that would make one method or another inappropriate.

Your problem, botono9, is fallaciously assuming that just because a given method is best in many situations (or even most situations) that is best in all situations. I don't know diddly-squat about the Bradley method, but your uncritical advocacy of your favored method is likely keeping more people away from researching it than drawing people to research it.



[ Parent ]
Me? Have a problem? (4.50 / 2) (#67)
by botono9 on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 04:33:49 PM EST

A good example would be a woman whose pelvic cavity is too small for normal sized infant to fit through.
So having to have your child surgically removed because you cannot pass them through your birth canal is not a high-risk pregnancy?
There are also many things that can happen during a vaginal birth that would make one method or another inappropriate.
But these types of problems cannot be predicted. How could something that happens during the actual birth which was not known beforehand affect which method a mother chooses? We are in total agreement when it comes to complications; when something goes wrong, different steps need to be taken. I haven't said anything contradictory to that point in this discussion.
Your problem, botono9, is fallaciously assuming that just because a given method is best in many situations (or even most situations) that is best in all situations.
Thank you for pointing out my problem. Where would I be without you? I have not once stated that one method is good for all situations. Basically what I have been trying to point out is that, aside from high-risk pregnancies, there aren't many reasons to have to avoide a method like the Bradley Method. Bradley happens to be what I'm familiar with. Shit, you can even use a natural birth method in the hospital!

But enough of this. You make a good point, I have been too narrow in my discussion. I just wanted to let people know that if you get into shape, eat right and prepare you will have a much better labor and birth than if you just wait for the birth and take the drugs.

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

As far as I'm concerned... (4.50 / 4) (#68)
by iGrrrl on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 05:22:33 PM EST

I just wanted to let people know that if you get into shape, eat right and prepare you will have a much better labor and birth than if you just wait for the birth and take the drugs.
This statement seems far too global for me. Some women exercise and eat right all through pregnancy and have nightmarish 30 hour labors. Some women eat junk and sit around and squirt out a baby in two hours. Near as I can tell from my recent reading on the subject, there's no guarantees either way. People can tell a woman 25 labor and delivery stories, all different, and her experience will be different still.

Pardon me for sounding feminist, but a man who is not an obstetrician is, IMnvHO, entitled to his opinions on pregnancy and birth. He has no business stating those opinions as facts. You may have some experience with this, but an N of 1 does not comprise a global fact.

--
You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

attitude problem large enough to squash NYC (4.50 / 2) (#72)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 09:14:26 PM EST

So having to have your child surgically removed because you cannot pass them through your birth canal is not a high-risk pregnancy?

Actually, no. This is not considered to be a hight risk pregnancy. Like I said, I hope you are not a doctor. Just because a certain type of pregnancy needs surgery, doesn't mean that it is categorized as being high risk.

But these types of problems cannot be predicted. How could something that happens during the actual birth which was not known beforehand affect which method a mother chooses?

Problems can not always be predicted. One could very well prepare for a natural birth and not be able to go through with it.

Basically what I have been trying to point out is that, aside from high-risk pregnancies, there aren't many reasons to have to avoide a method like the Bradley Method.

There is a qualitative difference between your original statement and your restatement. There is a tremendous difference between high risk being the only reason (your original statement) and there not being many reasons (your current statement).

Basically what I have been trying to point out is that, aside from high-risk pregnancies, there aren't many reasons to have to avoide a method like the Bradley Method.

This is a laudable goal. More people will be willing to listen to your points if you don't overgeneralize and don't come off like an asshole.

Bradley happens to be what I'm familiar with.

Like the saying goes, if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.



[ Parent ]
I'm not a doctor, either (4.00 / 1) (#79)
by Aowyn on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 12:59:24 AM EST

A good example would be a woman whose pelvic cavity is too small for normal sized infant to fit through. There are also many things that can happen during a vaginal birth that would make one method or another inappropriate.

1. It is rare that a baby's head is too big to actually fit through the pelvis. If it were true, the world population would be a lot less than 6 billion. C-section is common for this reason only because most women try to push their babies out while lying on their backs. Squatting (as it was frequently done before obstetrics was invented) not only makes birth easier because gravity is working with you, but it also opens the pelvis, making the passage wider.

2. Many other reasons c-sections are indicated are results of medical intervention. When womens' labors are induced or augmented with pitocin, it puts the baby at risk for distress, so she requires continuous fetal monitoring. With a monitor strapped to her belly, she is limited in her choice of labor positions and unable to move freely, which woud not only speed labor but bring pain relief. On top of the inaccessibility of natural pain relief, the pitocin causes more painful contractions, which leads to epidural. Epidural leads to prolonged labor because she can't feel her own pushing. On top of all this add ever-changing, unfamiliar hospital staff constantly examining and poking her private areas plus the pervading attitude that this birth is a medical procedure rather than a natural process that she is has the power to accomplish. Not only have you set yourself physically for a c-section, but mentally she no longer has the confidence it takes to push the baby out.

I know I sound like a radical anti-establishment extremist. These are my opinions, and I don't hide the fact that I believe home is the best place to give birth. But I know that not all hospital births are bad, and women do have good hospital experiences. But many also have negative experiences, ranging from small irritation to devastating physical and emotional damage, which were the result of hospital/doctor policies and procedures.

[ Parent ]

No argument from me (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 08:27:16 AM EST

I was not arguing that Caesarian sections were superior. Nor was I arguing against the assertion that methods such as the Bradley method are typically best. I was arguing against the assertion that something like the Bradley method is always best except in the case of high risk pregnancies. Exceptional circumstances can and do arise and given a large enough population (like that in the US) exceptional circumstances will arise frequently.



[ Parent ]
The Bradley Method(tm) (5.00 / 2) (#91)
by Pseudonym on Sat Feb 10, 2001 at 04:46:04 AM EST

Your problem, botono9, is fallaciously assuming that just because a given method is best in many situations (or even most situations) that is best in all situations. I don't know diddly-squat about the Bradley method, but your uncritical advocacy of your favored method is likely keeping more people away from researching it than drawing people to research it.

I didn't get that from botono9's post, but I was probably reading between the lines.

I'd like to suggest a different approach to this issue. Let me say first that I am aware that scaring people is not the way to get people to think differently, so I'll try not to use scare tactics, but it's going to read like that no matter what I try. Sorry about that.

The one situation that a soon-to-be mother does not want to be in is to be unprepared for a low-intervention drug-free birth and find themselves in a situation where that's what has to happen. This can happen, for example, if the birth timing is unexpected. You might, for example, find yourself going into labour five weeks before expected due date in a country town where the only hospital doesn't have an anaesthesiologist in-house at night. Childbirth, unless there are complications, is not enough to call the specialist in.

Now consider the converse situation. You've planned for a drug-free birth but there are complications. This is the situation my wife and I found ourself in when our daughter was born. We turned up to the hospital to find out that she was breech. Naturally, we attempted a vaginal delivery (successfully), but the doctors insisted on having an epidural in place just in case an emergency c-section was required. (Another factor was that my wife was exhausted by the end of it, as she'd been awake for something like 40 hours by the end of the birth.) The worst that could happen in this situation (assuming the mother and baby was healthy etc) is you'd feel disappointed that you didn't get to use any of the non-intervention stuff you'd been researching. Actually, that's not quite the worst. My wife got a lot of crap from Bradleyites and the like who thought that having the epidural was some kind of a cop-out, and that if she'd just "prepared more" she'd have been able to do it. Believe me, she couldn't have "prepared more". I know, I had to put up with the insane amounts of preparation. I sometimes think we need a new bookcase just for the Sheila Kitzinger books. :-)

So I see methods like "the Bradley method" as a kind of Pascal's wager. The situation you don't want to be in is being faced with a low-intervention, drug-free birth unprepared. So it pays to prepare anyway.

BTW, "the Bradley method" is just a name for some specific techniques for drug-free, low-intervention birth. I personally think that's a red herring: literally billions of women around the globe give birth successfully without doctors and without medically-named "methods". "The Bradley method" is only one out of many possibilities for low-intervention birth. In the end, women's bodies are designed for giving birth and if they are taught to get past the fear and listen to their bodies (which Bradley is but one method out of many for achieving) most instinctively know what to do.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Preparation during high-risk pregnancy (4.50 / 2) (#76)
by Aowyn on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 12:35:52 AM EST

I would think that a high risk pregnancy would be the only reason a woman could not use the Bradley method (she will probably end up having a C-Section).

As I mentioned elsewhere, high risk pregnancy should be prepared for just as low-risk pregnancy, since most "high risk" women go into the hospital expecting an attempt at vaginal delivery. Even scheduled c-sections involve labor induction. Pregnancy and birth are different things; women prepare for birth during their pregnancy. Women don't prepare to have pregnancies that result in c-section.

[ Parent ]

US birth practices (4.75 / 4) (#75)
by Aowyn on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 12:27:09 AM EST

Are you sure you live in the US? No offense, but I find that birth in the US is rather the opposite of your assertion.

Your examples represent a small percentage of the experience of hospital birth. We have moved away from the more gruesome practices like restraints and chloroform, but hospital procedures still cater more to the convenience of the doctor and hospital staff than to the birthing woman, baby, and familiy. Most women do indeed give birth lying down (in hospitals; very few women give birth on their backs during homebirth). Many hospitals now have reclining beds so that the woman can semi-sit, but this position actually places the pressure of the head on mom's perineum, increasing the probability of tearing (or actually having an episiotomy). Some hospitals do have birthing stools and chairs, and even tubs for waterbirth. However, most of them offer these alternative only for laboring, and require the mom to get back in bed for the delivery. Overall, relatively very few births in this country are attended by midwives.

I think we need to examine the difference between "suggesting" and "forcing" drugs. It is important that if a woman plans to have a drug-free birth, she inform the (constantly-changing) staff of her intentions and that they be instructed NOT to offer it. Women are much more likely to have an epidural if it is offered to them than would actually ask for one if it was not suggested. I don't know any woman who would turn down an epidural if offered to her during transition.

Not only do epidurals prolong labor, but they greatly increase the probability of unnecessary intervention. It is very difficult for a mom to push her baby out when she's paralyzed from her waist down, hence an episiotomy to "widen" the vagina, forceps to pull the baby out, or surgery to cut it out. With an epidural, women have no choice but to labor on their backs, when other positions such as squatting have been proved to be more effective.

I don't understand the correlation between Bradley and high-risk pregnancy. All women should have some kind of birth preparation/pain management method. And high-risk pregnancy does not mean the same thing as complicated birth. High risk pregnancies are generally managed in order to reduce the probability of birth complication; emergency complications are just that: complications that arise during the course of labor.


[ Parent ]
"Implantable devices" (3.33 / 6) (#60)
by marlowe on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 11:37:43 AM EST

Wow, somebody's crossed a dildo with a droud. And of course Anne Marie's all over it.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
Question (2.14 / 7) (#69)
by jann on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 06:03:25 PM EST

Q. What is the best way to make a female orgasm?

A. Who Cares?

Why do women fake orgams ? (2.60 / 5) (#71)
by camadas on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 08:27:37 PM EST

Because they think man care.

[ Parent ]
Cyber-orgasm... (4.87 / 8) (#70)
by ponos on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 06:38:40 PM EST

I am studying medicine (5th year) and I have rarely
encountered (=heard of) such cases. My understanding
is that the inability to have an orgasm can be
attributed to many factors, most of them of a psycho-
logical.

True pathological cases (in the physical and not
psychical sense) are rare and could be the
result of damage to the spinal cord, nerve damage,
extensive surgery etc. These cases do deserve treatment
and every effort should be made, even though they are
not common. (please note that the same people might
be having much more dehabilitating problems such
as the inability to walk or control their urine
flow (I don't know how to describe this in English!))

I believe that the poster tries to inflate a purely
medical issue, that does not concern the
vast majority of women.

Indeed, if we wanted to make a medically sound discussion,
it would be much more appropriate to review the effect
of many common drugs in libido. A lot of drugs,
including anti-depressants, anti-hypertensives etc, DO
affect libido and the ability to reach orgasm to a
significant extent.
(that would not make an interesting discussion :-))

From the viewpoint of the poster such medical research is
not desirable because it might limit sexual freedom
by providing absolute "scientific" truths on sexuality.
I believe this to be total crap. Science (esp. medicine)
will not force any particular truth upon your throats,
unless it has a >social< perspective. (meaning that your
behaviour damages society in general). There are
dozens of things that are medically "proven" to be
harmfull (e.g. smoking, being fat, lack of exercise) and
yet you are free to do them because you harm noone except
yourself.

Saying that research on sexual function will enforce
a certain kind of behaviour is like saying that research
on obesity has forced you to change your eating habits.
If you changed your eating habits, it was your decision.

As for the "endemic" character of this "condition" I
personally believe that it is the result of a highly
unnatural and stressful way of life. I really don't
believe that 80% of women suffer from severe neurological
disorder.

(btw, nobody mentioned that besides the physiological
response to the orgasm one should also be able to enjoy
the deeper satisfaction of being close to somebody... so,
this gadget cannot replace men, even if one were
so crazy as to want it installed just for fun...)

Petros

P.S. As for calling >15000$ + spinal surgery a "quick
fix"... I'm impressed. It seems that the poster
will go to extraordinary lengths to keep a
relationship running smoothly.

P.S.2. This is not politically correct, but from a medical
standpoint, the effect of an orgasm can
be "emulated" by drugs. Many narcotics (cocaine?)
act on the limbic system of the brain and produce
an effect that (theoretically) can be equally
pleasing. I do not have adequate knowledge of
these issues and, frankly, I do not want to
encourage anyone to try drugs, but this is what
my pharmacology textbook says...


-- Sum of Intelligence constant. Population increasing.
Slave class... and vitims of mutilation... (3.66 / 3) (#73)
by pqbon on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 09:15:17 PM EST

It occurd to me this morning that this device could be used to create slaves. I'm not talking about sex slaves but women held in bondage and only given the big O when they please the controller. Many people have wound up slaves do to opiates and cocain why not electric orgasms. You would have to combine it with traditional slave negative reenforcements but positive reenforcement works much better then negative (according to modern psycological thought...)

On the other hand this could bring sexual pleasure to victums of femail "circumcisions". (read women who have had there clitoris ripped off by a male rulling class to prevent them from enjoying sex. In the process they normally destroy much of the general region causeing to become two holes: one for urine the other for a man to use at his pleasure. If you do a search on genital mutilation you should get at least of few links.) This is apparently still common in the middle east. Last I heard they could reconstruct the labia/clitoral hood but not restore full functionality to the region just a cometic clean up.

"...That probably would have sounded more commanding if I wasn't wearing my yummy sushi pajamas..."

-Buffy Summers

Rats (4.00 / 2) (#77)
by spaceon on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 12:47:39 AM EST

Hmmm, I can't remember where I read this, or whether it was just an urban myth.

But I seem to remember an experiment years ago when they hooked up lab rats to stimulate a part (pleasure centre) of their brain with electricity. There were two switches in their cage, when one was pressed food was dispensed, the other gave them a shock...

The rats became orgasm addicts and starved.


Sigs are highly overrated.
Orgasm addict... (2.00 / 1) (#81)
by Mr Tom on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 06:36:50 AM EST

> The rats became orgasm addicts and starved.

Maybe the Buzzcocks were right all along... ;-)



-- Mr_Tom<at>gmx.co.uk

I am a consultant. My job is to make your job redundant.
[ Parent ]

Not a myth... (4.50 / 2) (#85)
by iGrrrl on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 08:52:23 AM EST

IIRC, the original experiments had the electrodes in the locus coeruleus, which for some reason is thought to be a pleasure center. It sits in the brainstem, but sends projections all through the brain, and uses norepinephrine (adrenaline) as the neurotransmitter.

The thing is, it turned out that if you put the electrodes pretty much anywhere in the brain, the rats prefer self-stimulation to food. It isn't so much the orgasm as the buzz?

BTW, one of the links in the AM article described a woman who had what she described as orgasm-like feelings associated with seizure (the link, however, is subtitled "Fortean Slips", so the veracity may be questionable.). The afflicted woman did not describe the situation as pleasant, and was happy to get on drugs to make it stop.

Some conclusions cannot be easily transferred from rat to human. Something about that more complex forebrain we possess.

--
You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

Sokal, anyone? (4.00 / 4) (#83)
by dabadab on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 07:45:02 AM EST

These developments are not without concerns, however. The danger is that as medical science continues to probe deeper into sexuality, it will continue to locate sexuality within an epistemological normative scheme[...]

I can't help thinking Sokal's essay on "Transgressing the Boundaries" :)

BTW, I still can't decide if this part of the story is deliberate trolling or AM really means what she (isn't there a PC unisex pronoun?) writes.


--
Real life is overrated.
Sokal was clever; you aren't (2.83 / 6) (#86)
by streetlawyer on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 11:47:11 AM EST

The danger is that as medical science continues to probe deeper into sexuality, it will continue to locate sexuality within an epistemological normative scheme

Epistemological - to do with knowledge. Normative - of or pertaining to social norms. Normative scheme - set of social norms dealing with an activity. Thus, to locate sexuality within an epistemological normative scheme is to apply scientific standards of right and wrong inappropriately; that certain kinds of sexual behaviour will be defined as deviant. As it quite clearly says in the article.

Some of the tech articles on kuro5hin contain terms which make no sense to me, but I don't start mocking them until I've made a decent effort to find out.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

clever != having a dictionary (none / 0) (#93)
by dabadab on Sun Feb 11, 2001 at 03:35:01 PM EST

In case I wanted to look up "epistemological" I could have used:

  • the WordNet dictionary
  • Webster's dictionary
  • my English-Hungarian dictionary
  • my "Dictionary of Foreign Words and Expressions" (in Hungarian, which probably contains the word "episztemologia")
  • Google
I have all of them within reach, the first two even electronically, so it would have been a matter of some clicks.

However, my problem is not that I have read a word I do not understand. My problem is the excessive and unneeded use of Latin and Greek originated words that are used to hide the fact that the content is utter bullshit. I mean, come on, what does building an electronic dildo have to do with scientifically defining the boundaries of "socially acceptable" sexuality?


--
Real life is overrated.
[ Parent ]
STNG: similar episode... (4.50 / 2) (#90)
by psyclone on Fri Feb 09, 2001 at 11:17:33 PM EST


hey.. you guys remeber the Star Trek episode where the Cardassian had that anti-torture device placed near his brain? He had it so that when he was totured or in intense pain, the device would activate and he'd feel pleasure. After leaving his dangerous job, he hacked a bit and found a way to turn it on -- was like euphoria for him. Anyway, soon he got addicted and finally began leaving it on all the time and just grew used to it -- if he turned it off, the pain would kill him. (The rest was about him trying to find a battery for it or something silly).
I wonder if women would eventually normalize with constant orgasms and couldn't turn them off?


Implantable Orgasm Device | 94 comments (79 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!