So I was GOING to do a post on Fournier’s gangrene, but considering the way it completely grossed out everyone I showed it to, perhaps it’s not such a good idea. I’d hate for you all to run screaming. So we’re not doing it. If you’re REALLY curious, you can look it up, but I am not responsible for any emotional scarring you may suffer having seen the pictures.
And anyway, I found something better to appeal to all of your dirty minds. Courtesy of Coturnix, who I think got it from Pharyngula who blogged it back in the day. And I’m sure you’ve all always wanted to know what sex looks like in an MRI.
Schultz et al. “Magnetic resonance imaging of male and female genitals during coitus and female sexual arousal” British Medical Journal, 1999.
Personally, I’m actually a little more interested in the BRAIN in an MRI during sex (that would be tough though, I guess you’d have to use fellatio or cunnilingus?). Anybody know where I can get a paper on that?
Ah, Sex. Copulation. Fornication. To quote Da Vinci “I expose to man the origin of their first, and perhaps second, reason for existing.” I appreciate this man’s sense of humor. And it was in reference to this:
(hint, the man is the one with the great hair).
Some of the things you may notice if you look closely at the drawing:
1) The semen is supposed to come down from the brain, and
2) The ducts in the womans breasts end in her genetalia
A little odd. But Da Vinci had never dissected a human, human dissection was something that was very anathema in his time.
Of course everyone knows (well, everyone who’s seen or experienced it knows) what male sexual arousal looks like. It’s a little obvious. But women have hidden sexual arousal. And so for many years, no one knew what female sexual arousal looking like. Not only that, people didn’t know what SEX looked like! Does the penis go in straight? Does it bend?
Several researchers worked on this issue. In the 1930’s, one guy put a glass, penis shaped tube in the vagina’s of women who had been sexually aroused (don’t move too much…ow…), and in the 1960’s, other researchers constructed an artificial penis that could imitate coitus (yay penile simulators!). They found that, during female arousal, the anterior (front) vaginal wall moved up and back, and the uterus almost doubles in volume! And these changes disappeared after orgasm. But still, these measurements were taken with a speculum (OW), and so the methods were invasive. So this study used the newest in non-invasive techniques, the MRI.
They used a bunch of couples and three single women (the single women were analyzed for how the vagina and uterus looked without penetration). They checked for partial or complete penetration and whether or not the female orgasmed (whether or not the man orgasmed was, for once, entirely unimportant). Basically, they fit them both in the scanner (missionary), tried to get penetration long enough for the acquisition time (which takes a while in an MRI, esp the old school ones), and diagramed the results.
And here’s what it looked like:
To help orient yourself (I know I was completely confused when I first looked at it), the female spine is on the left, the male spine on the right, and they bracket the picture. In the middle you can see this banana shape thing curving up, and it is banana-shaped because it is, in fact, the banana. The pear shaped thing to the upper left is the uternus.
(Side note: apparently the “g-spot” actually stands for something! It’s the Grafenberg spohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-spott, named after the gynocologist who hypothesized its existence. Now that is a legacy. Pity he only “hypothesized” it. Heh. heh. heh.)
One of the things that jumped out at me here is just how much the penis curves when penetration is achieved. Also, the hips don’t come together, the woman’s is usually above the man’s. When the women were sexually aroused but not penetrated, the urterus didn’t change position, it was only during penetration that it moved (probably to make some space). But unlike other studies, the uterus didn’t change size, so it’s possible the previous studies were measuring the change in position. However, during female sexual arousal, the anterior wall of the vagina does move, and moves much more than the posterior wall.
Reading the discussion, I already have a favorite quote: “scanning of the position of the human genitals during coitus gives a convincing impression of the enormous size of the average penis in erection (…22cm)…” Yeah, yeah, we know you’re just trying to make up for something… oh, oh, wait, there’s another one: “we have shown that magnetic resonance images of the female sexual response and the male and female genitals during coitus are feasible and beautiful”. I’m sure they’re referring to the clarity of the MRI, but REALLY, they could have picked another adjective.
Anyway, this was the first instance of sex in an MRI, and provided the first real pictures of what actually happens during sex. Doesn’t it just heighten the romance? Right. Probably not. And honestly, boys, you probably don’t want to think of just how much your penis is bending when you’re doing the deed. Might make you uncomfortable.
Last thing that occurs to me: talk about a challenge for weird places to have sex! Forget on the beach, in a closet, or in your fridge. Have sex in an MRI. No one will be able to beat you at sex-related drinking games.
Schultz WW, van Andel P, Sabelis I, Mooyaart E. (1999). Magnetic resonance imaging of male and female genitals during coitus and female sexual arousal British Medical Journal
Filed under: Friday Weird Science