It might be a little embarrassing to talk about prostate stimulation, but don’t worry: Scientists publishing in Clinical Anatomy on Wednesday want to demystify this pleasure cavern that’s long been taboo in public discussions of sex.
Levin, a researcher at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, points out that there’s a lot of research on the prostate’s reproductive function — the prostate is crucial to maintaining erections, and it’s involved in the release of seminal fluid during ejaculation — but that there’s not a ton of information out there on its potential for recreational fun.
“Most of the information about this pleasurable function comes from anecdotal sources,” he writes.
The subject is as sensitive as the organ itself. In the paper, Levin is talking about direct, physical stimulation of the prostate as a part of sexual interaction. This occurs through the anus and can be done with a finger (or multiple fingers), a sex toy, or really any other foreign object, though this latter group is not advisable.
Levin proposes a couple explanations why prodding and massaging the prostate during sex feels good. One is that the heightened body awareness it produces can increase genital awareness, as it has been shown to do in studies examining female orgasm. This can lead to rethinking sexual pleasure, associating new sensations with more familiar routes to pleasure.
“The brain literature refers to this as ‘the plasticity of the brain’ but in lay parlance a common description is ‘rewiring of the brain,’” he writes.
This brain rewiring, in which a new, unexplored avenue of sexual pleasure can come to seem normal, could explain some people’s experiences with prostate orgasm. It’s hard to say the reasons prostate orgasm is so intense, though, since there haven’t been any laboratory studies on it.
For this reason, Levin writes, many people have to get their information from the internet.
“Unlike the sparsity of academic literature on prostate-induced orgasms there appears to be an enormous number of internet sites involving such activity,” he writes.
Specifically, he references the community page on the website of Aneros, a company that specializes in prostate stimulation toys. Some common themes among user discussions of prostate-induced orgasm, he says, are relaxation, time, and practice. And this is just the beginning.
“The scientific study of orgasm has always been challenging,” said Levin in a statement on Wednesday. “Those induced by prostate stimulation have been ignored. We have just started the journey on its discovery road.”
The next steps? Levin wants someone to do brain imaging studies of people having prostate-stimulated orgasms to compare them to people having penile stimulated orgasms. Any volunteers?