6

votes

How would you hack the evolutionary origins of the female orgasm based upon this article?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 06, 2011 at 10:27 PM

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/09/female-orgasm/

What are your thoughts on the possible evolutionary origins of the female orgasm?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on September 09, 2011
at 01:11 AM

edit: advancing "sperm" on their journey. lol

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on September 09, 2011
at 01:10 AM

That kind of matches a Biology of Human Sexuality course I took as well as an embryology course my senior year in high school. The male orgasm gets credited with having a reproductive purpose but for many years, a woman's orgasm was looked at as merely a response to pleasure/recreation. But during a real female orgasm, the uterus contracts and dips down into the vaginal canal, suctioning up (not sure that's the appropriate term) semen and advancing them on their journey. Perhaps the intensity of the muscle spasms is based on her perception of her partner's health.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 08, 2011
at 06:43 PM

Sage, thank you for getting us back on topic here, the evolutionary function of orgasm, I think we got distracted by the penis issue, and when and where they are/aren't supposed to be. Orgasm is a multi-functional thing, and spontaneous birth orgasm from the strong pressure on the g-spot would be more akin to a runner's high to bring about optimal hormone secretion and help with bonding and erase pain memory. It just happens (or doesn't) although privacy does seem to allow it to happen more often. 80% or more women have an epidural, so most women won't even know if this has happened.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 08, 2011
at 04:40 PM

Patrick wrote; it is also tangential to incest taboos present in almost all cultures...for good reason. In this line of reasoning, one has to first accept that female orgasm is solely a function of sexuality. my reality is quite different. i use orgasm to treat headaches, pms and plain old crappy moods. much like a woman's breasts, just because another person is sexually aroused by their existance doesn't mean that sex is their only purpose. i am old enough to remember when women had to hide themselves away to breastfeed their infants because it was thought to be an obscene practice.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 08, 2011
at 04:53 AM

I think we are having a bit of a miscommunication here. No one is going to want anything penetrative if the membranes are ruptured, or past very early labor, which can last days, but is not considered "active" labor. Nobody is getting poked in the head unless the cervix significantly dilated and flattened, so no worries there. Prostaglandins derived from porcine semen are used to induce labor. There may be reason why a woman would crave species appropriate prostaglandins from her mate to get her out of early/non-productive labor and into the real deal so she can birth her baby quickly.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on September 08, 2011
at 03:34 AM

@Patrik - my comment means that if the woman wants to have sex while in the process of birthing (which would obviously exclude the point after transition), there must be a biological reason, hence evolutionary drives. It is pretty clear your experience with your wife, which may have been your only experience observing (hospitalized) birth (?), has colored your expectation of "normal". No disrespect to your experience, but having been a member of a birthing forum for +8 years (with doulas, MDs, and midwives), I've read a lot of post-birth comments regarding sexual desire during birthing.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 08, 2011
at 03:10 AM

@Marie --- I have no idea what "what mama wants, mama gets" even means. It is clear that you don't value the evolutionary context for this subject, and it is therefore futile debating with you. Having sex during childbirth is a highly risky endeavor to say the very least, it is also tangential to incest taboos present in almost all cultures...for good reason.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on September 08, 2011
at 12:16 AM

@Patrik - Nope, not kidding :) I'm from a household where Mom was the ONLY breast feeder in the ENTIRE hospital, so I'm more inclined to believe "what mama wants, mama gets." Like I said, knowing how hormones aid pain management and the cycle between pain and fear, I'd prefer a little "help". And w/r/t VDs, I'd expect that the woman in question would be having sex with an already existing partner, not some random dude, so exposure wouldn't be an issue. There is risk in everything, but having loving sex with a trusted partner, especially when the benefits are easily documented seems a nobrainer

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 11:41 PM

@Marie -- you're kidding, right? You cannot fathom any reason for why sex & childbirth are probably mutually exclusive? Sex, in an evolutionary context, is not a risk-less exercise. Sex opens up the possibility, however small, to venereal disease amongst other risks. When the childbirth process is underway, physical & biochemical changes are activated to FACILITATE another risky process - that of actually BIRTHING THE CHILD. Risky to both mother & child. Just gonna throw this out there -- birthing the child safely probably takes precedence to a bit of nooky to ostensibly relax mom

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 11:36 PM

@HappyNow -- you wrote: "However, birth as a whole starts in the last month of pregnancy," -- sorry, I don't buy that definition - it makes the word "birth" totally meaningless. Ergo, that is BS definition. Sure, sex during the last month - totally okay with it. Sex during active labor is insane & wacky.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 11:34 PM

@Cave Tomboy -- you are wrong, I happen to know a bit about it. While I am not a woman, I a son & father. The thought of me getting my mother off while being born disgusts me -- (it also disgusts my wife, both the thought of our son getting her off and me getting her off during childbirth.)

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 11:32 PM

I will be totally honest with you guys. This sex & childbirth stuff is wacky BS. Makes no sense whatsoever from evolutionary POV. Yes, I concede, it *may* actually relax some hippy chick who wants to get off before labor but in no way is it healthy. For the record, I asked my wife about it, who birthed our son, and she thinks it is nuts.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 07, 2011
at 08:19 PM

Patrik, I'm wondering if your idea of birth is framed by the active/pushing part? Once full dilation is reached or even late dilation, no woman is going to want to get it on with her guy, so you are correct in that. Yeah, that just wouldn't make any sense. However, birth as a whole starts in the last month of pregnancy, and in the weeks, days, or hours leading up to active labor the cervix is slowly thinning and dilating. During that time semen is a good ripening agent, and oxytocin will help mom relax, so if requested by the mama, sex can help augment later labor in a positive way.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 07, 2011
at 03:50 PM

I think that sounds reasonable...I would also say that the sport of women's ability to attract/keep a mate for protecting the family is probably tied up in there too. Not quite sure how. We didn't develop all these manipulation qualities by happenstance I'm sure!

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 07, 2011
at 03:40 PM

@Patrik; i thought the question was meant to explore alternate reason for female orgasm since there is some question as to whether it evolved for a woman's pleasure? consider this; when you walk in the sunshine your body produces vitamin D, but how wonderful is it that it also feels good? sexual pleasure in this case might be just a wonderful secondary effect.

F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

(745)

on September 07, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Oxytocin is a hormone released at orgasm, that among other things, causes women bond with their mate. Perhaps the female orgasm evolved in tandem with the oxytocin release to help ensure that a female became impregnanted by a male who already demonstrated commitment to help her feed and raise the young.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on September 07, 2011
at 02:39 PM

@Patrik, what is that reason?

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 07, 2011
at 02:37 PM

I would go as far as to say Patrik is talking about something he neither knows, nor could possibly know, anything about.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 02:17 PM

I would go as far as to say, sex/orgasm & childbirth are mutually exclusive, for good reason.

78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

(2290)

on September 07, 2011
at 10:51 AM

In a class I took during college, my professor showed us footage from a tiny camera being inserted near the cervix during sex. Upon female orgasm, the cervix literally sucks up the semen closer to it/up into the uterus. Pretty wild.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 07, 2011
at 07:33 AM

Anything that reduces fear and tension in laboring women seems like it would be evolutionarily beneficial to me. I doubt that is why us women have clitoral orgasms, but it is a useful tool in the ol' childbirth tool chest. The immediate post birth time is all about bonding, and from personal experience g-spot orgasms tend to cause the most oxytocin to be released. Nothing pushes on that spot more intensely than a baby head on the way out of a woman's body, so spontaneous birth orgasm also seems sound to me from an evolutionary standpoint.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 07, 2011
at 07:32 AM

Anything that reduces fear and tension in laboring women seems like it would be evolutionarily beneficial to me. I doubt that is why us women have clitoral orgasms, but it is a useful tool in the ol' childbirth tool chest. The immediate post birth time is all about bonding, and from personal experience g-spot orgasms tend to cause the most oxytocin to be released. Nothing pushes on that than spot more intensely than a baby head on the way out of a woman's body, so spontaneous birth orgasm also seems sound to me from an evolutionary standpoint.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 07, 2011
at 04:18 AM

ahhhhhahahahaha

Medium avatar

(4878)

on September 07, 2011
at 04:10 AM

Hmmm...I know how much my pain tolerance goes up when I'm turned on, so I guess maybe this is just *one female's perspective that, if given the option, I'd rather have a little natural help during the birthing process, rather than being left alone. {I also mentioned my opinion to one of my male MD friends and he turned bright red at the thought of a woman being sexually stimulated during childbirth. Maybe I'm just a bit ahead of the curve ;) } Have you seen this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfXT_dOiG30

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 03:44 AM

@Marie -- uhm, no. I do not consider "making out" to be sex. And I also don't think it makes sense to "make out" during childbirth. This is some sort of weird hippy-birthing thing that is completely bonkers. (Sorry!)

Medium avatar

(4878)

on September 07, 2011
at 03:00 AM

So Patrik, do you consider "making out" to be sex?

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 02:57 AM

Sorry, I know that in some circles, "childbirth + sex" are considered open-minded/enlightened/natural -- but in no way am I buying it. Makes no sense from an evolutionary perspective WHATSOEVER.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 02:54 AM

Called the "Up suck" theory, if I recall correctly.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on September 07, 2011
at 01:43 AM

@vdh1979...Sperm makes a great cervical ripening agent and if given the choice of natural or unnatural, I'd be inclined to go natural. If the hospital staff are uncomfortable with sex, they probably shouldn't be "delivering" babies. Plus, sex raises your pain threshold and releases lots of Oxy. Believe me sex should be ENCOURAGED during childbirth! http://paleohacks.com/questions/46414/giving-birth-experiences-and-advice/46463#46463

F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

(745)

on September 07, 2011
at 01:35 AM

Very enlightening...and apparently not read by the authors of the article.

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on September 07, 2011
at 01:31 AM

and have the Dr. looking at ya a little odd

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on September 07, 2011
at 01:27 AM

Yeah, I was surprised not see a mention of this in the wired article. I actually thought it was common knowledge. Is it possible that it has beren debunked?

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 07, 2011
at 01:00 AM

I can't imagine being inspired to do that during labour. And if I did, I think I would be somehow warped by it.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 06, 2011
at 11:56 PM

Honey_badger, Please re-frame this as a real question -- not just as "discuss". Otherwise, it might get deleted....

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 06, 2011
at 11:07 PM

Plus one Honey B......

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on September 06, 2011
at 10:49 PM

Honey badger don't give a shit.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on September 06, 2011
at 10:33 PM

i like this question :-)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 06, 2011
at 10:32 PM

Not really a paleo hack. Maybe you can word it in a way that our FAQ describes?

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7 Answers

11
6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 06, 2011
at 11:53 PM

I think the female orgasm may help with fertility. The muscle spasms also affect the cervix and allows semen to be drawn into the uterus.

Not to mention it definitely makes the female more receptive to sex.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 02:54 AM

Called the "Up suck" theory, if I recall correctly.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on September 07, 2011
at 01:27 AM

Yeah, I was surprised not see a mention of this in the wired article. I actually thought it was common knowledge. Is it possible that it has beren debunked?

78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

(2290)

on September 07, 2011
at 10:51 AM

In a class I took during college, my professor showed us footage from a tiny camera being inserted near the cervix during sex. Upon female orgasm, the cervix literally sucks up the semen closer to it/up into the uterus. Pretty wild.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 07, 2011
at 04:18 AM

ahhhhhahahahaha

8
5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on September 07, 2011
at 12:06 AM

Sperm retention. Supposedly this could allow the woman to have some "choice" in which man impregnated her in the event of multiple sex partners.

Baker & Bellis (1993)

I have not read the above study, but it was the source referenced in the book "The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature" which stated the following:

"They found that in faithful women about 55 percent of the orgasms were of the high-retention (that is, the most fertile) type. In unfaithful women, only 40 percent of the copulations with the partner were of this kind, but 70 percent of the copulations with the lover were of this fertile type. Moreover, whether deliberately or not, the unfaithful women were having sex with their lovers at times of the month when they were most fertile. These two effects combined meant that an unfaithful woman in their sample could have sex twice as often with her husband as with her lover but was still slightly more likely to conceive a child by the lover than the husband."

F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

(745)

on September 07, 2011
at 01:35 AM

Very enlightening...and apparently not read by the authors of the article.

2
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on September 07, 2011
at 03:58 PM

I think it has to do with mate selection. From an evolutionary perspective, it is advantageous for the woman to have the father of her children stick around to help raise / protect them as opposed to abandoning them when she is pregnant or shortly after she has given birth. A woman is particularly vulnerable at these times.

There are studies that show that women orgasm less in the early stages of a relationship (including one night stands) and more once they have formed an emotional bond with their mate. This makes her more interested in having sex with, and reproducing with, a longer-term partner with whom she has an emotional bond.

I often find it curious that emotions and the motivations that they impart are rarely part of discussions about evolution. Most discussions focus only on the physical. Surely humans did things for emotional reasons 10,000's of years ago just as they do today, so their emotional framework is just as important from an evolutionary perspective as the physical.

1
8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

on September 07, 2011
at 02:46 PM

I thought this statement in the article very odd: "It might also have been evolutionarily important to humanity???s ancestors, but irrelevant now."

I would argue quite the opposite -- that it is far more important now. Because women now have a say in who they have sex with (more and more, this is not, of course, universally true), I would guess that those who have the choice, would choose someone with whom they orgasm, thus making it far more evolutionarily important now than to our ancestors.

1
78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

on September 07, 2011
at 10:55 AM

In a class I took in college, my professor showed us footage from a tiny camera being inserted near the cervix during sex. Upon female orgasm, the cervix literally sucks up the semen closer to it/up into the uterus.

Since female orgasms are usually more 'mind-over-matter" than men, women's ability to orgasm can help select the man that is strongest and would create the most healthy offspring. If she's not feeling it (or him), he's probably not fit to be the father of her children (at least from an evolutionary standpoint) and therefore.. no orgasm and no chance of more semen being drawn up into the uterus.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on September 09, 2011
at 01:10 AM

That kind of matches a Biology of Human Sexuality course I took as well as an embryology course my senior year in high school. The male orgasm gets credited with having a reproductive purpose but for many years, a woman's orgasm was looked at as merely a response to pleasure/recreation. But during a real female orgasm, the uterus contracts and dips down into the vaginal canal, suctioning up (not sure that's the appropriate term) semen and advancing them on their journey. Perhaps the intensity of the muscle spasms is based on her perception of her partner's health.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on September 09, 2011
at 01:11 AM

edit: advancing "sperm" on their journey. lol

1
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 07, 2011
at 04:57 AM

I think most speculation I've read on this online is bogus and not well supported--the only part that is persuasive is the oxytocin load...perhaps it served as some kind of birth control, protection from urinary tract infections etc. But now I am speculating.

I also don't buy it's purpose is pleasure...I think the female anatomy probably only served to ensure the conception by lubrication (to encourage the male's you know...emission) or then protect the woman's hormone shifts with the oxytocin load. Maybe we evolved for pleasure over time but I would cite that animals go through instinctual mating...all males obviously orgasm but females (besides dolphins) do not.

I choose to have the orgasm remain mysterious.

I also would not want to have one during childbirth. If they had offered it as an option I probably would have opted for some ice cream instead...or maybe a cheeseburger.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 07, 2011
at 03:50 PM

I think that sounds reasonable...I would also say that the sport of women's ability to attract/keep a mate for protecting the family is probably tied up in there too. Not quite sure how. We didn't develop all these manipulation qualities by happenstance I'm sure!

F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

(745)

on September 07, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Oxytocin is a hormone released at orgasm, that among other things, causes women bond with their mate. Perhaps the female orgasm evolved in tandem with the oxytocin release to help ensure that a female became impregnanted by a male who already demonstrated commitment to help her feed and raise the young.

1
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 07, 2011
at 12:51 AM

i have no idea where i read this, but here goes anyway. during labour women would masturbate and orgasm to help relax the muscles in the vagina. clitoral stimulation makes for easy access. i would think that g-spot ejaculation caused by the baby's head pressing onit would help make the passing of the shoulders more tolerable :))))

Medium avatar

(4878)

on September 07, 2011
at 02:39 PM

@Patrik, what is that reason?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 07, 2011
at 07:33 AM

Anything that reduces fear and tension in laboring women seems like it would be evolutionarily beneficial to me. I doubt that is why us women have clitoral orgasms, but it is a useful tool in the ol' childbirth tool chest. The immediate post birth time is all about bonding, and from personal experience g-spot orgasms tend to cause the most oxytocin to be released. Nothing pushes on that spot more intensely than a baby head on the way out of a woman's body, so spontaneous birth orgasm also seems sound to me from an evolutionary standpoint.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 07, 2011
at 01:00 AM

I can't imagine being inspired to do that during labour. And if I did, I think I would be somehow warped by it.

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on September 07, 2011
at 01:31 AM

and have the Dr. looking at ya a little odd

Medium avatar

(4878)

on September 07, 2011
at 04:10 AM

Hmmm...I know how much my pain tolerance goes up when I'm turned on, so I guess maybe this is just *one female's perspective that, if given the option, I'd rather have a little natural help during the birthing process, rather than being left alone. {I also mentioned my opinion to one of my male MD friends and he turned bright red at the thought of a woman being sexually stimulated during childbirth. Maybe I'm just a bit ahead of the curve ;) } Have you seen this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfXT_dOiG30

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 02:57 AM

Sorry, I know that in some circles, "childbirth + sex" are considered open-minded/enlightened/natural -- but in no way am I buying it. Makes no sense from an evolutionary perspective WHATSOEVER.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on September 08, 2011
at 12:16 AM

@Patrik - Nope, not kidding :) I'm from a household where Mom was the ONLY breast feeder in the ENTIRE hospital, so I'm more inclined to believe "what mama wants, mama gets." Like I said, knowing how hormones aid pain management and the cycle between pain and fear, I'd prefer a little "help". And w/r/t VDs, I'd expect that the woman in question would be having sex with an already existing partner, not some random dude, so exposure wouldn't be an issue. There is risk in everything, but having loving sex with a trusted partner, especially when the benefits are easily documented seems a nobrainer

Medium avatar

(4878)

on September 07, 2011
at 03:00 AM

So Patrik, do you consider "making out" to be sex?

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 07, 2011
at 02:37 PM

I would go as far as to say Patrik is talking about something he neither knows, nor could possibly know, anything about.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 11:34 PM

@Cave Tomboy -- you are wrong, I happen to know a bit about it. While I am not a woman, I a son & father. The thought of me getting my mother off while being born disgusts me -- (it also disgusts my wife, both the thought of our son getting her off and me getting her off during childbirth.)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 07, 2011
at 08:19 PM

Patrik, I'm wondering if your idea of birth is framed by the active/pushing part? Once full dilation is reached or even late dilation, no woman is going to want to get it on with her guy, so you are correct in that. Yeah, that just wouldn't make any sense. However, birth as a whole starts in the last month of pregnancy, and in the weeks, days, or hours leading up to active labor the cervix is slowly thinning and dilating. During that time semen is a good ripening agent, and oxytocin will help mom relax, so if requested by the mama, sex can help augment later labor in a positive way.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 03:44 AM

@Marie -- uhm, no. I do not consider "making out" to be sex. And I also don't think it makes sense to "make out" during childbirth. This is some sort of weird hippy-birthing thing that is completely bonkers. (Sorry!)

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 02:17 PM

I would go as far as to say, sex/orgasm & childbirth are mutually exclusive, for good reason.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 11:36 PM

@HappyNow -- you wrote: "However, birth as a whole starts in the last month of pregnancy," -- sorry, I don't buy that definition - it makes the word "birth" totally meaningless. Ergo, that is BS definition. Sure, sex during the last month - totally okay with it. Sex during active labor is insane & wacky.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 07, 2011
at 03:40 PM

@Patrik; i thought the question was meant to explore alternate reason for female orgasm since there is some question as to whether it evolved for a woman's pleasure? consider this; when you walk in the sunshine your body produces vitamin D, but how wonderful is it that it also feels good? sexual pleasure in this case might be just a wonderful secondary effect.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on September 08, 2011
at 03:34 AM

@Patrik - my comment means that if the woman wants to have sex while in the process of birthing (which would obviously exclude the point after transition), there must be a biological reason, hence evolutionary drives. It is pretty clear your experience with your wife, which may have been your only experience observing (hospitalized) birth (?), has colored your expectation of "normal". No disrespect to your experience, but having been a member of a birthing forum for +8 years (with doulas, MDs, and midwives), I've read a lot of post-birth comments regarding sexual desire during birthing.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on September 07, 2011
at 01:43 AM

@vdh1979...Sperm makes a great cervical ripening agent and if given the choice of natural or unnatural, I'd be inclined to go natural. If the hospital staff are uncomfortable with sex, they probably shouldn't be "delivering" babies. Plus, sex raises your pain threshold and releases lots of Oxy. Believe me sex should be ENCOURAGED during childbirth! http://paleohacks.com/questions/46414/giving-birth-experiences-and-advice/46463#46463

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 07, 2011
at 07:32 AM

Anything that reduces fear and tension in laboring women seems like it would be evolutionarily beneficial to me. I doubt that is why us women have clitoral orgasms, but it is a useful tool in the ol' childbirth tool chest. The immediate post birth time is all about bonding, and from personal experience g-spot orgasms tend to cause the most oxytocin to be released. Nothing pushes on that than spot more intensely than a baby head on the way out of a woman's body, so spontaneous birth orgasm also seems sound to me from an evolutionary standpoint.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 11:32 PM

I will be totally honest with you guys. This sex & childbirth stuff is wacky BS. Makes no sense whatsoever from evolutionary POV. Yes, I concede, it *may* actually relax some hippy chick who wants to get off before labor but in no way is it healthy. For the record, I asked my wife about it, who birthed our son, and she thinks it is nuts.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 07, 2011
at 11:41 PM

@Marie -- you're kidding, right? You cannot fathom any reason for why sex & childbirth are probably mutually exclusive? Sex, in an evolutionary context, is not a risk-less exercise. Sex opens up the possibility, however small, to venereal disease amongst other risks. When the childbirth process is underway, physical & biochemical changes are activated to FACILITATE another risky process - that of actually BIRTHING THE CHILD. Risky to both mother & child. Just gonna throw this out there -- birthing the child safely probably takes precedence to a bit of nooky to ostensibly relax mom

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 08, 2011
at 03:10 AM

@Marie --- I have no idea what "what mama wants, mama gets" even means. It is clear that you don't value the evolutionary context for this subject, and it is therefore futile debating with you. Having sex during childbirth is a highly risky endeavor to say the very least, it is also tangential to incest taboos present in almost all cultures...for good reason.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 08, 2011
at 04:53 AM

I think we are having a bit of a miscommunication here. No one is going to want anything penetrative if the membranes are ruptured, or past very early labor, which can last days, but is not considered "active" labor. Nobody is getting poked in the head unless the cervix significantly dilated and flattened, so no worries there. Prostaglandins derived from porcine semen are used to induce labor. There may be reason why a woman would crave species appropriate prostaglandins from her mate to get her out of early/non-productive labor and into the real deal so she can birth her baby quickly.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 08, 2011
at 04:40 PM

Patrick wrote; it is also tangential to incest taboos present in almost all cultures...for good reason. In this line of reasoning, one has to first accept that female orgasm is solely a function of sexuality. my reality is quite different. i use orgasm to treat headaches, pms and plain old crappy moods. much like a woman's breasts, just because another person is sexually aroused by their existance doesn't mean that sex is their only purpose. i am old enough to remember when women had to hide themselves away to breastfeed their infants because it was thought to be an obscene practice.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 08, 2011
at 06:43 PM

Sage, thank you for getting us back on topic here, the evolutionary function of orgasm, I think we got distracted by the penis issue, and when and where they are/aren't supposed to be. Orgasm is a multi-functional thing, and spontaneous birth orgasm from the strong pressure on the g-spot would be more akin to a runner's high to bring about optimal hormone secretion and help with bonding and erase pain memory. It just happens (or doesn't) although privacy does seem to allow it to happen more often. 80% or more women have an epidural, so most women won't even know if this has happened.

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