Big Pharma has made billions pumping up the male population. Now neuroscientists are reverse engineering the female orgasm.
“It’s amusing to tell people that I jack off in an fMRI for science,” says Vicky, quickly adding that the process is more like work than sex. A typical day of research begins with Vicky lying on the fMRI machine’s bed; Komisaruk and his team strap down her head. Then she’s fed into the doughnut and the machine begins taking pictures, a process Vicky describes as “loud and clunky.” She stimulates herself by contracting her vaginal muscles rhythmically and controlling her breathing for 26 minutes.
Vicky and the imaging team worked out a hand signal she can flash when she starts to orgasm. “Basically, my head was strapped to a board in an extremely loud machine, and I had to let them know when I was about to come, so they could mark it on the computer,” she laughs. “Whoo—so sexy!”