Human female orgasm mystery cracked

Cosmos Magazine

Sep 30, 2019

An oversexed rabbit called Frank, aided by a veritable harem of bunnies on antidepressants, may well have cracked the mystery of the human female orgasm.

And to get why that’s major it helps to know two reasons the orgasm has been such an enduring enigma.

The first is that women don’t need to have an orgasm to conceive, which puts a big question mark over why it evolved in humans at all.

Second, orgasm rates vary wildly among women, ranging from the many to the few and right down to zero – US comedian Remy Kassimir even started her podcast How Cum to work out why she hadn’t had one.

An oversexed rabbit called Frank, aided by a veritable harem of bunnies on antidepressants, may well have cracked the mystery of the human female orgasm.

And to get why that’s major it helps to know two reasons the orgasm has been such an enduring enigma.

The first is that women don’t need to have an orgasm to conceive, which puts a big question mark over why it evolved in humans at all.

Second, orgasm rates vary wildly among women, ranging from the many to the few and right down to zero – US comedian Remy Kassimir even started her podcast How Cum to work out why she hadn’t had one.

Evolution says that’s weird. If a trait has hung around because it helps survival, it should be much more stable across the species.

Enter a team of researchers, led by evolutionary biologist Gunter Wagner from Yale University in the US, and a bunch of rabbits ready to get down and fluffy for the cause.

Wagner’s team had a theory. Rabbits, along with camels, ferrets and cats, all trigger ovulation – release of eggs by the ovary – when they have sex. But human females don’t. Ovulation is instead dictated by the hormonal tides of the menstrual cycle.

Maybe, the researchers conjectured, the orgasm is a remnant of an earlier time when sex did bring forth the eggs.

To find out they turned to the ubiquitous antidepressant fluoxetine, which many will know as Prozac. It’s an SSRI drug that increases serotonin levels. It also causes anorgasmia, the technical name for not being able to orgasm despite putting in the hard yards.