Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Analgesia Produced in Women by Genital Self-Stimulation

Beverly Whipple and Barry R. Komisaruk
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 24 (1988), pp. 130-140
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812827
Page Count: 11
  • Download ($45.00)
  • Cite this Item
Analgesia Produced in Women by Genital Self-Stimulation
Preview not available

Abstract

This study investigated the relative effectiveness of specific genital regional self-stimulation in elevating pain thresholds. Anecdotal reports in humans suggest that sexual activity and orgasm decrease a wide variety of human responses to pain and touch, but the phenomenon has not been evaluated objectively. Two types of self-stimulation, pressure and pleasurable, were applied by 10 women to the anterior vaginal wall, the posterior vaginal wall, and the clitoris. Significant increases in pain thresholds but not tactile thresholds occurred when pressure stimulation was applied to the anterior wall of the vagina or when "pleasurable" self-stimulation was applied to any of the three areas. Tactile thresholds were not significantly affected by any genital stimulation condition. However, there was a significant increase in tactile threshold but not pain thresholds in the distraction control condition. On the basis of these findings, we conclude that (a) a sensation of pleasure evoked by genital stimulation can elevate pain thresholds, (b) these pleasurable stimuli were not general "distractants" because they elevated pain thresholds but not tactile thresholds differentially, and (c) genital pleasurable stimuli activate an analgesic process that is distinct from a distraction process.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
130
    130
  • Thumbnail: Page 
131
    131
  • Thumbnail: Page 
132
    132
  • Thumbnail: Page 
133
    133
  • Thumbnail: Page 
134
    134
  • Thumbnail: Page 
135
    135
  • Thumbnail: Page 
136
    136
  • Thumbnail: Page 
137
    137
  • Thumbnail: Page 
138
    138
  • Thumbnail: Page 
139
    139
  • Thumbnail: Page 
140
    140