Re: Evolutionary purpose of female orgasm.

Gerold Firl (
10 Oct 1995 13:10:06 -0700

In article <44vtef$> (Licunzhong) writes:
>Christine Porter ( wrote:

>: Let's not forget that simple "pleasure" may be important in motivating
>: the female to mate.

>Firstly, has anyone ever demonstrated that animals have orgasm? I
>seriously doubt that this can be satisfactorily established.

Among octopii, who are pretty sensual molluscs, seminal fluid contains
sufficient serotonin to trigger contractions in the female which help the
male haploid cells to reach their female counterparts. (sagan and margolis,
_mystery dance_) In such a case, the physiological analogy to human orgasm
seems clear, although I would speculate that the sensation of pleasure may
or may not be present.

>has there been any studies in less modern populations where female
>orgasms have been demonstrable as constant feature of copulation? It
>seems to me more likely that female orgasms are a fairly modern
>phenomenon (Imay bewrong on this and would like to hear what other people
>say) and that its pretty likely that until fairly recently, our ancestors
>were quite happy to have a quicky followed by babies.

Depends what you mean by "our" ancestors. There are "primitive" societies
where men who don't give their partners an orgasm or six don't get invited
back; it was one of the melanesian island cultures, probably the

Of course you're quite right that there have also been examples of cultures
where female pleasure is devalued, at least overtly, into
inconsequentiality (what happens in private is less clear). It also happens
that the societies which are more cavelier about female satisfaction happen
to be the cultures which have been most successful at propagating
themselves: the west, china, and islam. But again, there are further
complications involved, contradictions between public pronouncement and
private activity, which disallow any simplistic categorization which would
suggest that people, until recently, didn't have much fun with sex. I would
be very sceptical about such a claim.

> I think foreplay
>and female satisfaction didn't rate very high in their list of priorities.

Think of the chinese pillow-manuals, which give explicit instructions on
how to please a woman. Daoist doctrine on the retention of yang-essense and
tantric beliefs both show an abstract philosophical/ethical underpinning,
integrated into the high-level artifacts of culture, for an art of sex-play
oriented towards maximisation of pleasure for man and woman.

This isn't anything new.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf