Re: Computer Orgasms WAS Re: Interesting Idea

Robert J. Bradbury (
Sun, 22 Aug 1999 07:39:04 -0700 (PDT)

On Sun, 22 Aug 1999, phil osborn wrote:

> I wasn't argueing against computers having orgasms. I just haven't heard
> any indication that anyone in the discussion knows what an orgasm is.

> + another paragraph

What is described in this message is the process of "arrousal" or "excitement" (see below), *not* the process of "orgasm".

The New Lexicon Webster's Dictionary:

orgasm: the climax of excitement in sexual intercourse

|| an instance of this

>From "Understanding Human Sexuality", Hyde, 4th ed.

"In the male, orgasm consists of a series of rhythmic contractions of the pelvic organs at 0.8-second intervals. ... in the first stage ("ejaculatory inevitiability"), there is a sensation that ejaculation is just about to happen and cannot be stopped ... in the second stage, the urethral bulb and the penis itself contract rhythmically, forcing out the semen. ...

In both males & females, there are sharp increases in pulse rate, blood pressure and breathing rate, ... muscles contract throughout the body.

... orgasm in females is basically similar to that in males... series of rhythmic muscular contractions of the orgasmic platform. The contractions generally occur at about 0.8 second intervals; there may be three or four in a mild orgasm or as many as a dozen in a very intense, prolonged orgasm. The uterus also contracts rhythmically, with the contractions moving in waves from the top of the uterus down toward the cervix. Other muscles, such as those around the anus, may also contract rhythmically.

... In one study, college men & women gave written descriptions of what an orgasm felt like to them (Vance & Wagner, 1976). Interestingly a panel of experts (medical students, obstetriciangynecologists, and clinical psychologists) could not reliably figure out which of the descriptions were written by women and which by men. This suggests that the sensations are quite similar for males and females."

There is a lot more covering the four stages of sexual response: "excitement, plateau, orgasm, resolution". From the perspective of what an orgasm "is", it would appear it is a collection of "sensations" driven at a very low level in your brain by signals out (to contract muscles, alter BP, etc.) and signals back (from the nerves and other body systems) that provide information regarding the external, and to some extent, internal environment.

Perhaps the point of Phil's message was that a conscious mind plays a critical part in managing the excitement/plateau phases. This is probably true since our conscious mind can have a significant amount of control over most of our subconcious or built-in drives (hunger, thirst, breathing, etc.). If you are a follower of Minsky's "Society of Mind" school, then you may have "subconscious" subroutines that take over certain aspects of becoming arroused that you are not consciously aware of (or even able to control).

At any rate, getting the thread back on track, in an upload all of these things should be able to be experienced (if the upload is provided with the proper inputs). The upload doesn't need the outputs (so sex should be much less messy).