Researchers studying women’s mysterious orgasms have concluded that “whispering” is not part of it and should be dropped from the scale frequently used to measure the phenomenon.
The pre-, cyclical, and post-menopausal women were asked to fill out questionnaires about their orgasm experiences in both single and partner settings.
They include questions on both the Orgasm Rating Scale (ORS) and the Body Sensation of Orgasm Scale (BSOS) – both commonly used in scientific research on sensation.
ORS includes things like “trembling,” “shaking,” “building,” and “vibrating” — as well as adjectives related to emotional closeness, like “loving,” “passionate,” ” and “gentle”.
BSOS includes things like “breathing faster,” “lower extremity spasms,” “tingling in the face,” “sweating,” and “increased heart rate.”
Researchers at the University of Ottawa found various bodily sensations at both levels of presence, including “rapid/shallow breathing,” “hypertension,” and “hot flashes.”
But they recommend that “voice intercourse (e.g. whining)” should be dropped from BSOS.
Referring to a previous study from 2011, they said that whining can be – at least in part – “under the conscious control of women”.
“We recommend that the ‘whisper’ item be permanently removed from this measure,” the study said.
Describing women’s orgasms as “a lesser-understood aspect of a woman’s sexual response,” they began the investigation, recruiting 637 women between the ages of 18 and 82.
Research to date, they say, has tended to focus on occurrences, frequencies and dysfunctions, with less being done on “more subjective psychological aspects”.
At the end of their study, the scientists found that “pleasure satisfaction is the most important for assessing orgasm”.
They add that adjectives related to emotional closeness “may be less relevant in a solitary context”.
However, they found that some women “still reported experiencing intimacy during a solitary orgasm”.
They put this down to “access to a deeper experience of one’s own body” – or to feel a sense of “transformed embodiment”.
They say that translates to “the feeling of being completely present in their body”.
The study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.