Key Words: Epilepsy-Sleep-Orgasm. Epilepsy and sexual activity may be related in the following ways:
1) hyperventilation provoking seizures during sexual intercourse; 2) reflex epilepsy provoked by orgasm or other sexual stimuli; 3) tactile genital sensations as part of the epileptic aura; 4) orgasm and sexual hallucinations as part of the epileptic aura; 5) sexual automatisms during or after a seizure; 6) abnormal interictal sexual behaviour; 7) ictal somatosensory sensations in the genitalia.
Normal marital sexual behaviour was reported. At age 38 she developed frequent, brief, nocturnal somatosensory seizures. The episodes usually awakened the patient after falling asleep and consisted of a sudden sensation of electrical discharge in the neck, which spread to the right leg and lasted a few seconds. The right leg jerked at the end of each seizure, with paresthesia in the right lateral abdominal and pubic regions and about her genitalia. A sensation of vaginal dilatation ensued immediately afterward, which inevitably brought about either a pleasant or a painful orgasm. During these episodes there was no confusion or memory loss; she was bewildered; in fact, because of her religious beliefs, such orgasms were hard for her to accept.
Crescendo of sharp waves and spike discharges. The sensory representation of the genitalia lies in the paracentral lobule. The epileptic symptoms of the patient correlate well with epileptiform activity recorded on the central-parietal region in the waking EEG and during
sleep. The spreading of paresthesia from the abdominogenital area to ipsilateral nipple did not occur. Orgasms in our patient ensued immediately after the genital sensations, as if they were a step in the sensory march. Although she did not exhibit apparent consciousness alteration, the
ictal polygraphic recording showed generalization of focal paroxysmal activity accompanied by autonomic changes. These findings suggest that the orgasms might be the result of the spread of focal epileptic activity into the hypothalamus but without disruption of amnesic mechanisms.
The pathogenesis of orgasm. Cases of ictal orgasm:
1) a 55-year-old woman with a right parasagittal meningioma who began to manifest paroxysmal nymphomania at age 43. The initial paroxysms awakened the patient with a feeling "of being hot all over as if she were having coitus." Afterwards she also had left somatomotor seizures and developed left hemiplegia. 2) a patient who described "unusual sensations about her genitalia that were similar to those of a sexual orgasm"; the EEG revealed diffuse abnormalities. 3) a 43-year-old woman with a right parietal glioma, developed paroxysmal, painful, and frightening orgasm on two occasions with left leg jerking. 4) a 36-year-old man with a right parasagittal parietal meningioma, developed painful and anxiety-provoking paroxysmal orgasm, accompanied by left leg jerking. 5) a 55-year-old man with a right parasagittal meningioma who had seizures that began with aching pain in the left leg. This was followed by spasms of the left leg and then ejaculation without erection or other genital sensations.
This long-overdue tribute to J.G. Ballard is brought to you by
I Used To Like Sex, Now I Take Paxil t-shirts.
Pictures from Jon Haddock's project ISPs (Internet Sex Photos) -- Pr0nography, digitally edited to remove the figures.
Text is excerpted, edited and rearranged from the paper Orgasmic Epilepsy Jesús Calleja, Rosario Carpizo, Jose Berciano Epilepsia Volume 29 Issue 5, October 1988
I have previously written original fiction in the style of Ballard from his 'Concrete / High Rise' period (The Atrocity Exhibition, Crash, The Concrete Island, High Rise) to go along with some of Haddock's ISPs. Today I came across the paper on orgasmic epilepsy and thought the late Mr. Ballard would have appreciated said paper. The lists, the descriptions, all of the nervous system pr0n. Three of the four stories omitted from the original version of The Atrocity Exhibition, but included in the expanded, annotated and illustrated edition published by RE/Search, are taken almost verbatim from plastic surgery journals. They are 'Princess Margaret's Facelift,' 'Mae West's Reduction Mammoplasty,' and 'Queen Elizabeth's Rhinoplasty.'
I'm currently reading the RE/Search edition, and have a few other Ballard books I haven't yet read all queued up. Once I heard the news of his death it was all a matter of when I have the cognitive capacity to appreciate them.