Sorry Ladies, There Probably Isn’t Going To Be A Female Orgasm Device Any Time Soon

Stand down, everyone.

1. So, you might have seen some exciting headlines recently. On MailOnline

2. And on the Independent.

(who probably need to use a different stock photo service).

3. And the story goes like this. To quote the MailOnline version:

A machine that claims to deliver an orgasm at the push of a button has been patented in the U.S., but in order to tap into such convenient pleasure, there is some pain.

The machine is designed to be a medical implant and includes an implant a little smaller than a packet of cigarettes, requiring an operation. It uses electrodes to trigger an orgasm.

4. Here’s an illustration of how it works.

5. A delightful prospect, we can all agree. Now, here’s a quote from both stories:

North Caroline surgeon Stuart Meloy told New Scientist how he conjured up the idea while performing a procedure on a female patient.

I was placing the electrodes and suddenly the woman started exclaiming emphatically,” he said. “I asked her what was up and she said, ‘You’re going to have to teach my husband to do that’.

6. Here’s the thing. Stuart Meloy did indeed tell New Scientist about how he came up with the idea. In 2001.

7. Both articles claim “clinical trials are set to begin later this year”.

But as the New Scientist’s update makes clear, the year in question is, um, 2001.

So what’s happened in the intervening 13 years?

Well, the research both stories are based on was actually published in 2006. It concluded: “Pleasurable genital stimulation of the spinal cord is a consistently reproducible phenomenon. In a subset of the population studied, improvement in orgasmic function was noted. This was noted in the group with secondary orgasmic dysfunction.”

Meloy patented the device and appeared on television to talk about it.

8. However, Virtual Worldlets expands on the findings of his study:

The results strongly hinted that [some] individuals’ problem lay in their brain wiring rather than in their peripheral nerves or organs. Since the organs would have been sending the same signals the device did, albeit at a lower intensity, they were ruled out. Thus the device clearly could not help everybody, but it could help those whose sex organs had been damaged or rendered dysfunctional, as well as those whose bodies precluded normal sex for a host of other reasons, such as a steadily worsening physical disability.

9. The MailOnline story claims:

A Minneapolis-based company called Medtronic is set to conduct the medical trials but Mr Meloy said that the treatment is intended to be used in the most serious cases of orgasmic dysfunction because it is as invasive as a pacemaker.

10. But in fact, Medtronic have issued a statement to Massdevice:

Medtronic is not involved in any research regarding sexual dysfunction, and we have no device intended for this indication.

11. These days, Stuart Meloy is a medical director of Advanced Interventional Pain Management.

It’s a private health company that deals with chronic pain.

Given he’s been chasing the dream for over a decade, it looks unlikely we’ll be seeing the “Orgasmatron” any time soon.

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Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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