Left Brain Genitalia

The High Cost of An Orgasm: Is Momentary Pleasure Worth a Lifetime of Regret?

The Big O lasts four to ten seconds—if you’re lucky. Then why are we humans so obsessed with getting off?

The Daily Beast

Shrouded in mystery and rationalized with concepts of love and attraction, we rarely apply left brain thinking to the big O. But what is an orgasm, really? Well, it’s a series of involuntary muscle contractions in the sexual organs controlled by the autonomic nervous system, resulting in a sudden discharge during the sexual response cycle lasting between 4 and 10 seconds followed by the release of endorphins. And it feels good. That, folks, is an orgasm. Remember that the next time you're tempted to do something you might regret later.

In my former career as porn star, I was given ample time to contemplate sex from every angle. Literally. In XXX films, a scene isn’t a scene until everyone climaxes, it's not called a “money shot” for nothing. In real life, like in porn, it’s not over until at least one person gets off. So much sexual tension for a few seconds of reward. Why does the orgasm have such a powerful grip on us? I often found it interesting that a few seconds of pleasure could permanently change the course of your life (and potentially cost a small fortune).

You could even argue that the point of sex isn't to orgasm. Then again, without the orgasm very few would be interested in sex at all. Some of the commentators below might even make a point about the joy of sex. But allow me to ask this: If you knew there would be no orgasm, would you still have sex?

Hugh Grant paid the price of a prostitute plus the $1,180 fine the L.A. county slapped on him when he was caught with a hooker two decades ago. That was nothing compared to the beating his image took in the public eye. Grant will forever be known as the bad boy with the charming mug shot, looking at the camera with his sheepish grin and shrugged shoulders. He was caught red handed. Was it worth it? Maybe. The way Grant spun his publicity faux pas paved the way for many celebrities after him. Just look at Charlie Sheen and Tiger Woods. Hollywood Madame Michelle Braun told The New York Post in 2009 that Tiger Woods paid $60,000 for four escorts he saw six times. You do the math.

When it comes to "getting off" some people are willing to pay the price.

In some cases the cost can linger long after the pleasure has dissipated. Anyone remember the Long Island Lolita? Before she made her debut in porn, the then 17-year-old Amy Fisher committed a crime of passion. She was incarcerated for seven years after shooting her lover's wife in the head. Her lover in turn was sentenced to six months behind bars for diddling a minor. Lust often triumphs logic but it doesn't have to.

How many families have been ripped apart for just a few seconds of pleasure? Plenty of divorces stem from infidelity. Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger have been negotiating their divorce for the last three years. Pre-nups weren't as common 25 years ago—oops. And apparently there is a $400 million fortune at stake. That's a hefty price to pay. But perhaps the bigger toll is the cost children pay when torn apart from parents, or worse, when used as bartering chips. With a little thought, pleasure doesn't have to cause this much pain.

I am certainly a fan of the orgasm—who isn't? Having seen and had plenty of sex in my life I would caution that, just like with anger, one should learn to be rational when faced with lust. Never deny yourself the ability to weigh the costs in the heat of the moment. The powerful need for an orgasm drives us all forward in different ways.

Getting off can be great fun. And when done properly, it doesn't have to cost more than you can afford, whether that's money, status, or social acceptance.