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The Science of Orgasm Hardcover – October 31, 2006

15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801884900 ISBN-10: 080188490X Edition: 1st

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The Science of Orgasm + When Sex Hurts: A Woman's Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain + Coping With Premature Ejaculation: How to Overcome PE, Please Your Partner & Have Great Sex
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Behind its tongue-in-cheek "plain brown wrapper" cover, this unique book offers a thorough compilation of what modern science, from biomechanics to neurochemistry, knows about the secrets of orgasm. The three coauthors—neuroscientist Komisaruk, endocrinologist Beyers-Flores and sexuality researcher Whipple (coauthor of The G-Spot and Other Discoveries About Human Sexuality)—begin with a short overview of the role of hormones and the nervous system, as well as how the body changes during orgasm. Later chapters go into greater detail, describing the connection between the brain and genitals, and how various factors, from aging and physical condition to drugs, disorders and diseases, affect sexual response and orgasm. While some of the information is fairly common knowledge (the connection between antidepressants and reduced orgasmic response, for example), other topics, such as "phantom" orgasms in men and women with spinal cord injuries, orgasmic "auras" experienced by some epileptics and sexual response in transgendered individuals, provide fascinating glimpses into the complex and subtle interaction of brain and body in this most intimate and euphoric of states. The authors do a good job of keeping technical discussion at or near the layperson's level, and an extensive bibliography provides a wealth of resources for further investigation of this intriguing topic. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

In considerable but lucid detail, three researchers from different fields address every aspect of the science behind orgasms, from why they feel so good to whether transsexual men with surgically created vaginas can have them.

(New Scientist)

Approach the book with any question you can conjure about the whys and wherefores of orgasm and you'll receive a minutely detailed answer that incorporates findings from the latest sex research.

(Psychology Today)

Behind its tongue-in-cheek 'plain brown wrapper' cover, this unique book offers a thorough compilation of what modern science, from biomechanics to neurochemistry, knows about the secrets of orgasm.

(Publishers Weekly)

Those with real faith in science as an exit route from dysfunction might want to check out The Science of Orgasm.

(Elle)

The authors cast gimlet eyes over such subjects as multiple and phantom orgasm, as well as the biological process and the effects of various drugs on it. A most stimulating read.

(Gay Times)

A neuroscientist, an endocrinologist and a sex researcher team up to create an impressively comprehensive book about orgasms. In intimate detail, authors Barry R. Komisaruk, Carlos Beyer-Flores and Beverly Whipple... discuss the history, mechanics, physiology and neurochemistry of this most mysterious of physical events.

(Los Angeles Times)

Twenty-five years after she made the G-Spot famous, Professor Beverly Whipple is still probing the mysteries of the female orgasm. She has shifted her focus higher up the body―to the brain―exploring the areas that light up when women climax.

(Sydney Morning Herald)

Important information about sexuality... Highly recommended.

(Choice)

There are very few books on this subject area and the book is highly commended. It is certainly one to add to the personal library of clinicians working in human sexuality.

(Journal of Sexual Relationship and Therapy (UK))

This is a very easy book to read... There are very few books on this subject area and the book is highly recommended.

(Kevan R. Wylie Sexual and Relationship Therapy)

A readable comprehensive account on the literature of orgasm. All psychosexual clinics will need to have a copy as well as anyone who advises others about psychosexual problems.

(Nick Dunn British Journal of Psychiatry)

The authors should be congratulated on taking the trouble to produce a readable comprehensive account of the literature on orgasm. All psychosexual clinics will need to have a copy as well as anyone who advises others about psychosexual problems.

(British Journal of Psychiatry)

The book deserves its eye-catching title... An excellent, well-written assembly of the current scientific understanding of not only the phenomenon of orgasm but of sexual pleasure in general.

(JAMA)

Of the many aspects of our sexuality, the unique experience of orgasm remains the most mysterious. This intriguing book sheds light on that mystery and reveals what is known and unknown about the orgasmic process. Anyone with an interest in sexuality should own this book.

(John Bancroft, The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction)

Destined to be a classic in human sexuality. A comprehensive guide to one of life's greatest pleasures. A must read!

(Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., Columbia University, author of What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex)

Orgasms are electrifying and mysterious. Why do orgasms feel so good? What inhibits them? Do men's and women's orgasms differ? How many kinds are there? Does aging affect orgasm? I was delighted to find the answers to these and many more questions in this engaging book. An intriguing read―that just might improve your health and change your life.

(Helen Fisher, Ph.D., author of Why We Love)

As someone who has long cared about sexual health, I found this book to be of immense value. Well-written and enjoyable to read, this book lays out the bases for orgasm disorders, sexual problems, the effects of specific illnesses on orgasm, and how drugs and hormones affect the orgasmic process. With refreshing insights into what makes sexuality a healthy and pleasurable life process, this book belongs in the hands of anyone who wants to know more about this integral part of sexual health.

(David Satcher, 16th Surgeon General of the United States)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1 edition (October 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080188490X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801884900
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Richard G. Petty on April 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
So many people and organizations over-emphasize sex for their own agendas, while for others sex is a source of unhappiness and guilt. But the fact is that for most people a balanced sex life is an essential part of healthy living. Yet despite the deluge of information about sex, it is amazing how much ignorance still exists. Most people working in psychology will have seen people who were convinced that they had an illness because he or she had failed to have an orgasm or had sometimes been less interested in sex.

This is the kind of book that will probably get thumbed through a lot at the local lending library, but it is not in any way a "how to" book. It is instead a scholarly work on what is known about orgasm. It is a book of facts and figures, a few diagrams and a lot of scientific references.

I have some minor gripes: the proofing could have been better: bromocriptine is one of a number of words that is misspelled. There is only a short discussion about why female orgasm exists at all. The male orgasm seems to have a straightforward evolutionary function, making males want to have sex more often, which in turn makes them more likely to have offspring. But how to account for female orgasm, when nearly three-quarters of women don't always reach orgasm during sexual intercourse? If the female orgasm had developed because of the same evolutionary pressures, females should have adapted to be as consistently orgasmic as males. (There is an excellent discussion of this issue in the recent book by Elisabeth Lloyd from Indiana University, which is referenced in this book). At some points in this book there is not enough of a distinction made between orgasm and arousal. For instance some women report that arousal rather than orgasm is what drives them to enjoy sex.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sam C on November 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a well written review of the existing scientific literature concerning the orgasm. It provides a thorough and respectable - yet readable - introduction to the neurobiological and neuropsychological underpinnings of the orgasm. The book also discusses a variety of disorders which inhibit or enhance the orgasmic experience.

While it won't furnish the reader with miracle recipes for solving orgasmic disorders or achieving a tantric multiple orgasm, this book will provide helpful insights into the mystery of sexual pleasure. For those enduring sexual dysfunction as a result of antidepressant therapy, this book will explain how and why depression and its treatment can impair sexual function.

This book will also satisfy the simply curious mind with sections on sexual function and paralysis, gender reassignment, drug abuse, aging, males vs. females, and much more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Julie on March 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
For all of you sex science nerds out there, you will love this book. Warning: it is VERY SCIENCE-Y. It is not for the lay reader. But if you like the science stuff of blood vessels, nerves and neurotransmitters, this book is for you - I work as a sex educator and I learned an awful lot from reading this book. I also knew a lot going into it and found that their writing reflecting the knowledge I already had (in other words, it fit in as accurate, so I trust it). My colleagues respect this book too. Great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By VIc on February 28, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent book on a subject that every mature adult should read in order to keep them completely informed about their own body and how to optimize it. It may be more technical than most people would appreciate - but it is worth the effort to take the time to read and digest its contents.
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18 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
OK... I was wandering through the library aisles (really!), and this book sorta jumped out at me... The Science of Orgasm by Barry R. Komisaruk, Carlos Beyer-Flores, and Beverly Whipple. I thought it might be fun to learn a little more about what happens at that "YES!" moment. But this book really takes all the fun out of it. You pretty much have to have a medical degree to understand a majority of it, and there's little spractical material for the layman (pun not intended... much).

Contents: Definitions of Orgasm; Different Nerves, Different Orgasmic Feelings; Bodily Changes at Orgasm; Are Orgasms Good for Your Health?; When Things Go Wrong; Diseases That Affect Orgasm; How Aging Affects Orgasm; Pleasure and Satisfaction with and without Orgasm; The Nervous System Connection; The Neurochemistry of Orgasm; Effects of Medication; Counteracting Medication Side Effects; Recreational Stimulant Drugs and Orgasm; Depressant Drugs and Orgasm; Herbal Therapies; Hormones and Orgasm; Mechanism of Action of Sex Steroids; Nonreproductive Hormones in Orgasm; Atypical Orgasms; The Genital-Brain Connection; Orgasms after Brain Surgery or Brain Damage; Imaging the Brain during Sexual Arousal and Orgasm; The Cast of Characters - How Brain Components Contribute to Orgasm; Consciousness and Orgasm; Glossary; References; Index

Anyway... this is an extremely clinical look at the physiological and psychological components that make up the, you guessed it, human orgasm. If you ever wanted to know exactly what role 5-alpha-DHT or dehydroepiandrosterone play in your body, this book will tell you... in detail. Probably every study on human sexuality in the past 50 years that's ever been published is referenced in here... multiple times.
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