Sexy math: The first-ever mathematical model for achieving climax
For the first time, researchers have used decades of information about sex to calculate a mathematical model for achieving sexual climax.
Mathematical models are used to analyze, explain, and predict behavior and physiological events like respiration, blood circulation, hearing, and vision. Now researchers have turned to the precision of math to predict another basic human function: sexual performance.
Sex is not a topic that's often spoken about openly, which has hindered the collection of comprehensive, accurate data on sexual practices and sexual responses. But researchers from the University of Sussex in the UK have tackled the topic head-on. Inspired by math-based models used to analyze and improve sports performance, researchers have calculated the first-ever mathematical model of how to achieve sexual climax.
The success of the mathematical model depends on direct experimental measurements and reasonably accurate data. So, the researchers combined decades of data on physiological and psychological arousal, basing their model on the pioneering work undertaken by Masters and Johnson.
Americans William Masters, a gynecologist, and Virginia Johnson, a sex therapist, researched the human sexual response and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual disorders and dysfunction from 1957 until the ’90s. Between 1957 and 1965, they recorded some of the first laboratory data on the human sexual response by directly observing 382 college women and 312 college men in what they estimated to be around 10,000 sexual acts.
Since Masters and Johnson’s work, considerable progress has been made in measuring the physiological reactions that occur during the sexual response cycle using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which shows what part of the brain is activated during sexual stimulation and orgasm.
What’s clear from the data, both old and new, is that sexual response is a complex process that differs between males and females. In this study, the researchers considered it easier to focus on the male sexual response because it’s less complicated than the female’s.
Tracking the four stages of the male sexual response cycle – excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution – the researchers found that too much psychological stimulation too early in the cycle was less likely to result in orgasm.
From this data, they devised two mathematical equations to represent their findings: one that covers the physiological aspects of achieving orgasm and one that covers the psychological aspects.
“In the past, researchers have tried to write a model to describe the physiological path to climax, but without success,” said Konstantin Blyuss, co-lead author of the study. “Drawing on established data, as well as our previously published work on modeling biological phenomena such as epidemiology and immunity, we have developed the first successful mathematical model of sexual performance.”
For those who enjoy a bit of math, the below image shows the researchers with their mathematical equations.
For those who aren’t mathematically minded, what those letters and symbols boil down to this: don’t overthink it.
The study’s findings can be used to assist males suffering from sexual problems and anyone after some performance enhancement.
“Our findings shed light on a socially taboo subject, which we believe could have useful applications for the clinical treatment of sexual dysfunction, as well as for providing the general public with a tested formula for improving their sex life,” said Yuliya Kyrychko, the study’s co-lead author.
The researchers plan to study the female sexual response next.
“With what we have learned from this study, we intend to mathematically model the female sexual response, which is physiologically – and mathematically – more complex than the male response,” Kyrychko said.
The study was published in Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science.
Source: University of Sussex
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How has humanity coped with reproduction over the last million years or so without mathematical equations to explain how to do it?