Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Come Again?

I couldn’t make this one up.

LONDON — Wanted: women to test new orgasm machine.

No, really. An American surgeon who has patented a device that triggers an orgasm has begun a clinical trial approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States and is looking for female volunteers.

“I thought people would be beating my door down to become part of the trial,” pain specialist Dr. Stuart Meloy told New Scientist magazine last week.

But so far only one woman has completed the first stage of the trial, with apparently breathtaking results, and a second has agreed to take part.

Meloy, of Piedmont Anesthesia and Pain Consultants in Winston-Salem, N.C., is hoping to find eight more volunteers willing to have electrodes inserted in their spine and be connected to a pacemaker-size machine implanted under the skin to heighten their sexual pleasure.

The married woman who tested the machine, dubbed an orgasmatron, had not had an orgasm for four years. But during the nine days she used it, she had several.

“She even told me she had the first multiple orgasm of her life using the device,” Meloy said.

He stumbled on the unexpected side effect while using a spinal cord stimulator a few years ago to treat a patient suffering with severe back pain. The woman had already had back surgery for degenerative disk disease and fusion surgery.

When Meloy placed the electrodes into a specific spot on her spine to find nerve bundles carrying pain signals to the brain, she moaned with delight.

The tiny impulses of electricity applied to the electrodes seemed to have turned on the patient’s orgasm button.

Although some medical experts are skeptical about the procedure and say a vibrator can produce the same results, Meloy believes it could help to improve sexual response in women who cannot have orgasms and might even help men as well.

A full implant of the device would cost about $22,000.

Reminds me of that old joke:

PATIENT: Doctor, every time I sneeze, I have an orgasm.

DOCTOR: Hmm. Taking anything for it?

PATIENT: Pepper, mostly.

[rimshot]