Sunday, August 5, 2012

Autonomy of genital reflexes

One very important but often unknown thing to know about genital reflexes like erections, vaginal engorgement/lubrication and orgasmic muscle contractions in both genders is that they are controlled by autonomous nervous system and don't necessarily need input from brain to happen although right input from brain can make them happen more easily. Usually stimulation of genitalia is enough to start those genital reactions but it doesn't mean it is liked.
Control of these reflexes is done by neurons in lumbar and sacral part of spinal cord. Name of one region in humans that is responsible for orgasmic muscle contractions is Onuf's nucleus in sacral part of spine. Other neurons in spine above it but also from neurons can both stimulate and inhibit this nucleus. Lumbar area seems to regulate the rhythm of muscle contractions during orgasm. Main inhibitor of genital reaction seems to be nucleus paragigantocellularis in medulla which uses serotonin for inhibition. Damaging or destroying this nucleus in medulla stimulates sexual behavior in males with increased mountings, more erections, faster ejaculation and more ejaculations before satiation. Regulation of this nucleus by serotonin may be reason why SSRI type drugs cause inability to have orgasms.

While genital reflexes are activated just by neurons near tailbone many still think that if vaginal lubrication is sign of liking it. Rape victims may also get lubrication and orgasms. Prison rape victims may get erections without any good feelings. Yet huge amount of porn reinforces the idea that "wetness" means the woman wants to have sex but combined with ignorance of police it may become a reason for rapists to stay free. Such idiotic modern day legends about sexual behavior could obviously cause much suffering and distort the understanding about what is good. Japan has one of the highest rates of female suicides and almost all the Japanese porn i've seen involves some rape scenario where male says that the woman likes it because she "got wet".

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