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In which Lindsey talks about orgasms and resolution and how to go about reaching those two stages if you haven't yet and want to.


Helen Singer Kaplan
Whipple and Brash-McGreer
Basson and David Reed
Wilhelm Reich.

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Host: Dr. Lindsey Doe

Directing/Filming/Editing: Nicholas Jenkins

Titles: Michael Aranda

Executive Producer: Hank Green

Music Used In This Episode: Mining By Moonlight by Kevin MacLeod
In the previous video, we talked about Masters and Johnson's cycle of sexual arousal, and I described for you the first two stages, excitement and plateau. There are two more: orgasm and resolution.

[Intro - A hem hem]

When somebody asks me about orgasms, I immediately think of The Fifth Element . In the future, Earth has hover-taxis and insta-chicken (chicken!).

It is a really crazy, kind of beautiful place. And it is going to be hit by an evil orb of hate. Unless, future Earth government can gather up these four stones, the basic elements earth, wind, fire, water, and the fifth, the supreme being, to save the planet.

Leeloo. Orange hair.

Here's a spoiler alert.

So at the very end of Fifth Element, there are four bricks - earth, wind, fire, water - and she's lying there, wondering why we're going to preserve the planet when it's such a wretched place: war, starvation, poverty.

And Bruce Willis, holds her in his arms, hoping that Leeloo will activate these stones and send out this energy that is going to save the planet from the evil orb of hate! And love, love saves the planet. Love and Bruce Willis.

Alright, so THIS is how I would explain orgasms. Not all orgasms are like this. Not all of my orgasms are like this. This is a very un-scientific description, but the sentiment about orgasms usually is "You'd know it if you had one."

It's terse, but true.

If you're not having an orgasm, that's not so uncommon. Lots of people are pre-orgasmic, meaning they haven't had an orgasm, or anorgasmic, meaning they've had one but aren't having them now.

The top #1 solution for those of you not coming is to masturbate. If you have hang-ups about touching your body, then dealing with those is a prerequisite step. You absolutely have the right and responsibility to navigate your own body.

How does that happen?

Boys are getting erections as early as in the womb. Then, these little erections popping up spontaneously bump up against something like the chair, or their couch, or their hand, and it feels good, so it reinforces them to do it again and again.

They may not be ejaculating until, let's say 12, 13, but by then they've figured out the whole jacking, pumping, stroking, grinding... thing.

Sometimes, girls figure it out early too and they get on the same track as the boys, but more often I see women who have tried it out by penetrating because they haven't been told that the clitoris is actually the organ of pleasure, and they put their fingers in, it feels slimy, sort of like picking their nose, going to the dentist, and this does not reinforce them to seek more masturbation.

Yeah! Why would I do that again?

Then in high school or college, someone gives this young woman permission to try again, stimulating other parts of her anatomy.

She tries for a while and then they hit a wall. This is extremely frustrating. How couldn't it be? They know that orgasm is on the other side!


Masturbation is a step in the direction. You can't expect that you're going to have an orgasm after a few months of trying, just as the youth was masturbating, masturbating, masturbating even before orgasm ever happened, give yourself some time to get there. 

My hope is that by sharing with you Masters and Johnson's model, you'll be able to cue into the physiological changes in your body, and see how far away you are from getting over that wall.

When anyone does orgasm, here's the Masters and Johnson's breakdown of what happens. For biosex males, they reach this point of no return.

(Ahhh they can't stop!)

Internal reproductive organs contract. Their seminal vesicles, their vas deferens, their ejaculatory duct, and prostate. The internal sphincter of the bladder also contracts. This prevents the semen from going backward and blocks urine.

And then, big ba-de-boom! There are two to three sensations of "I'm, I'm, I'm" and then the sphincter relaxes so that semen can pass through, and then in contractions of 0.8 seconds. (plah! plah! plah!)

So. On the biosex female side, there are noticeable spasms of the orgasmic platform and a rippling from inside out. 3-15 contractions in the same intervals as biosex males. Then a release of tension, followed by slower, weaker, contractions.

For all orgasmic bodies, we're talking about twice as many heartbeats per minute, and many, many more breaths.

Typically, biosex males don't have serial orgasms. They go into what's called a refractory period, where their body is unable to go into the arousal cycle again for seconds to days. 

Biosex females are known to have serial orgasms. One, after the other, after the other, after the other. Not one, not two, not three, but four!

[Graph of sexual arousal over time, time on x-axis and arousal on the y-axis. There are two different lines on the graph, one in blue and the other in magenta. ]

So, if the stages look like excitement, plateau, orgasm, resolution, or a longer excitement with a shorter plateau, orgasm, and resolution, a serial orgasm would be something like this.

Beep beep beep beep beep!
[Lindsey draws on the board with a darker blue marker. The excitement and plateau stages are of moderate length, but the orgasm stage is waxy for longer before joining the other lines toward zero arousal.]

In any case, the body does not stay in this elevated state; heart rate, breathing, fluids ejaculating. It goes through resolution, which is the final stage of Masters and Johnson's model. This is when the body returns to homeostasis. The erection goes down, sex flush fades, heart rate, breathing... the body is like it was before sex, except maybe healthier and happier.

If you're interested in learning more about how sexologists describe sexual arousal, check out the six I've listen below. Or design your own model, and post in online.