Next time you find yourself reaching for your book of Sudoku puzzles, perhaps you should be reaching for a partner or a sex toy instead.
Researchers Barry Komisaruk and Nan Wise at Rutgers have discovered that orgasms increase blood flow to more parts of the brain than mental exercises. Orgasms even bring nutrients and oxygen to the brain to keep it healthy! Those measly little puzzles, on the other hand, only increase brain activity in certain regions.
The study involved female subjects lying down in fMRI machines and bringing themselves to orgasm, which obviously presented some challenges for participants. Kayt Sukel, a volunteer for the study, has written a few pieces about her experience, complete with a picture of the “Orgasm Mask” she had to wear:
Komisaruk’s associate, PhD student and sex therapist Nan Wise, walked me through the procedure. She said to help keep movement to a minimum (and the data clean), I would be fitted with a breathable plastic mesh helmet that would be screwed to the scanner bed. I’d be locked in and need the assistance of others to get out of the contraption.
. . . “I know you can do it. Just practice,” she said. “You know what they say. Practice makes perfect!”
For the next two weeks, I did just that. To help optimise my body movement for fMRI, I attached a small bell – an ornament belonging to my cat – to my forehead with some duct tape.
Wise was right. With practice I diminished any jingling sound to something manageable, no matter how raucous I may have felt on the inside. And once she and Komisaruk had bolted me to the scanner bed, while it wasn’t easy to work up to an orgasm, I found it wasn’t quite as difficult as I had imagined.
We thank you for your public service, Kayt! And are impressed with your ingenuity.
Of course, it probably takes a lot longer to solve a crossword puzzle than an orgasm lasts, but… that’s just a good reason to have more and more of them.