The first question, invariably, is, “Excuse me? You had a what where?” It’s not a surprise, really. People may not be shocked if you tell them you managed a wank on, say, the train or even in a public restroom. But when you announce that you took part in an orgasm study and managed to reach climax in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner as it recorded the blood flow in your brain? Well, that’s not something one hears every day.
It’s not the most romantic spot one might engage in self-loving. In fact, if you’ve ever spent time in an MRI scanner, it may seem nearly impossible. It’s claustrophobic, dark and very, very loud in that cramped chamber. But, both as research for my book Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex and Relationships, and for my own morbid curiosity, I volunteered to help out Rutgers University’s legendary orgasm researcher, Barry Komisaruk, and come for the science.