We all know that the line between pain and pleasure can occasionally blur (Fifty Shades, anyone?). But we rarely expect them to collide during labour? An article in the Huffington Post questions whether it is indeed possible to have an orgasm while giving birth.
If you asked mom and author of "Memoirs of a Singing Birth," Elena Skoko, the answer would be an unequivocal 'yes.'
"I had this wavy sensation of blissful waves going through me," said Skoko of giving birth to her daughter three years ago.
Apparently Skoko isn't alone in experiencing this phenomena known as 'orgasmic' or 'ecstatic' birth. In the journal Sexologies, a new study revealed that around 0.3 percent of births culminated with an orgasm.
A professor of psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Barry Komisaruk, says, anatomically at at least, orgasm during birth shouldn't come as a surprise—what with all the vaginal and cervical stimulation, not to mention those intense uterine contractions.
In natural birthing circles, such orgasms are a well-kept secret. (After all, who wants to associate sexual arousal with delivering a baby. It's too kinky and incestuous for comfort, right? But there it is.) With midwives observing countless births—and many moms themselves—reporting that they did indeed come while giving birth.
Advocates claim the medicalization of childbirth has largely put a damper on birth ecstasy, given the machinery and overall lack of mobility.
"There are so many factors that could make the difference between a pleasurable response and a terribly stressful, aversive experience that you can't generalize it," Komisaruk said. "There's no reason to try to generalize. Different people have different pain thresholds. Different people have different attitudes. If a woman has a fear of sexuality, if she starts having a pleasurable sensation she may feel this is completely inappropriate psychologically, and that itself could be an aversive effect."
But is this actually good news for women, or just another impossibly high bar to strive for?
Komisaruk has long been an advocate of sex as a perfectly natural and adequate form of pain relief. Might we start reaching for a vibrator in lieu of an epidural?
"I had pain, but was not afraid of it, because I was dealing with it," she said. "It was fun, because I could laugh through it." Whatever you say, Skoko...
Did you come during childbirth? Do you believe it's possible?