Thursday, March 23, 2006


What if orgasms were not pleasurable? The physiology would work exactly as it does now, so there would be no biological barrier to reproduction. But it just wouldn't be pleasurable. Would that make any difference?

It shouldn't, if you take a biological view of human nature. Pleasure (and pain) are mental, psychological experiences. As such, they are not necessary to human life or human evolution. The body and its genes do whatever they need to do, regardless of what the animal thinks about anything.

Taking a psychological point of view though, if orgasms gave no pleasure, that might have unexpected effects on human life. Sex would be about just getting those eggs fertilized, just another bodily chore, like brushing your teeth. I wonder if the population growth of our species would have followed the same trend. There would be no contraception-- no need for it. Would there be marriage?

Masturbation would never occur, of course, since there would be no reason for it. Would there be pornography? The mystery of bodies would still be interesting, so it might. It might affect men and women differently. But without the pleasure of orgasm, I don't think the society would put any social taboo on bodies, so nudity would be ordinary, routine, not forbidden. There is something about pleasure that makes people worry, not nudity itself. I don't think sex is what they want to regulate, but pleasure.

Would romantic love actually be more interesting if orgasms gave no pleasure? Without the motivation of orgasm, people might find each other more interesting, in more subtle ways.

Somebody should do a sci-fi story on this idea.

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