"Lie back and think of England" was once the customary advice given by mothers to their daughters on their wedding night, and there may well be some hidden wisdom in that old adage, as it turns out that some people really can bring themselves to orgasm using just the power of thought. And while England might not be the optimal mental material for doing so, there’s a whole load of science you need to be aware of if you want to achieve a hands-free climax.
Think Yourself Off
Back in the early 1990s, researchers from Rutgers University recruited 10 women who claimed to be able to experience orgasms just by thinking, and asked them to pleasure themselves with their minds while having their heart rate, blood pressure, pupil diameter, and pain threshold measured.
When the same women then brought themselves to orgasm the old-fashioned way – by physically stimulating their genitals – the researchers noted that the increases in these physiological measures were virtually the same as when they had experienced thought-induced orgasms. Amongst other things, this proved that they weren’t faking it, and really could generate genuine orgasms using only the power of their minds – but it brought the researchers no closer to discovering how they did it.
Study co-author Barry Komisaruk told IFLScience that when he asked the participants to describe the mental imagery they used to bring themselves to climax, the responses were surprisingly varied. “Some women said they had erotic thoughts, while others said they were thinking of their lovers whispering sweet nothings in their ear,” he explained. Others, meanwhile, focused their minds on less sexual images: “One woman said that she had an image of walking along the shore of the ocean on a warm summer afternoon; and one of the women, who did yoga, said she imagined the chakras moving up and down her spine.”