Graduation Date

Summer 2019

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, option Academic Research

Committee Chair Name

Amanda Hahn

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Amber Gaffney

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Ethan Gahtan

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



Orgasms and ejaculation are important for relationships and contribute significantly to life satisfaction. There is, however, a lack of research in the current literature regarding orgasm perception. This study tested the effects of endogenous oxytocin on subjective orgasm intensity, ejaculation latency, and ejaculate volume in men. At two separate test sessions, the participants were either stroked on the forearm (to release endogenous oxytocin) or tapped on the hand (to act as a control) with a cosmetic brush. The forearm contains C-tactile afferents that are believed to release oxytocin centrally and peripherally in response to slow, soft stroking stimulation. Then a clinical male vibrator was utilized to induce ejaculation in the absence of any ‘cerebral stimulation’ and without the need for audiovisual stimuli. Given the role of oxytocin in hedonic and sexual responses, C-tactile induced increase in endogenous oxytocin was expected to significantly increase subjective orgasm intensity, ejaculate weight and erection hardness and decrease ejaculation latency. The results were inconclusive: There was no significant difference of subjective orgasm intensity, ejaculate volume, erection hardness, and ejaculation latency between the brushing and tapping condition, however this may be due to the low sample size (n=7). Overall, the data showed a change in favor of a greater sexual response following C-tactile afferent specific stimulation. This novel experimental paradigm is suitable for other male sexual response studies because it was well tolerated and simple enough for participants to follow. Future research should focus on improving recruitment strategies and eliminating the need for a partner.

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