Climaxing in other ways and other places: From plant spasms to psychopomp pillows

Agnès GIARD, Emmanuel GRIMAUD, Anne-Christine TAYLOR


Taking as a point of departure the status accorded to sexual orgasm in Western societies, we take a step back from modern “orgasmolatry” as well as from its critique. By considering the choices made in other cultural worlds and making room for concepts of sexuality among Amerindians of Amazonia, the latest Japanese sex toys, and the debates surrounding cybersex, it envisages new interpretative approaches to a topic that has spawned an abundant literature in other fields. Our aim is to open up avenues for reflecting on notions about the experience of orgasm in different cultural contexts. What exactly does the orgasm mean elsewhere? Is it viewed in the same way as in the West? Where it is cultivated as a sensitive moment in relationships between the living, what types of sociocosmological connections does it reveal?


orgasm, sexuality, pleasure, life energy, libidometry, cybersex

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/705812