When the study was published on the Internet, Beverly Whipple heard from many men claiming to share Richard Brent’s experience. Is he really that unique?

Sex Researcher Beverly Whipple

Although the subject is very unusual, I don’t think his experience is unique. Since the study, many men have contacted me asking if we’re looking for more research subjects. So, no, I don’t think it’s physiologically impossible.

Research Subject Richard Brent

I think women experience the same thing, and men just don’t understand what they’re talking about. A part of me wonders what it would be like to see how far and how high I could take it.

Sex Researcher Beverly Whipple

As far as I can tell, the research shows that men as well as women are capable of a variety of sexual responses. There isn’t just one way of responding. Another multiorgasmic man offered some advice to other men in an e-mail he sent me: There are a lot of psychological aspects to it. Men aren’t as tuned into their fantasies as women. Use your imagination to keep yourself turned on.

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Six ejaculations with the same erection.

Beverly Whipple is a professor of nursing at Rutgers University in New Jersey and president of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). She’s spent a good part of her career conducting research on sexual response.

In 1995, Richard Brent contacted Beverly Whipple at Rutgers about doing a scientific research study about his sexual experience.

Sex Researcher Beverly Whipple

I did the study simply to validate one person’s experience. In the past, my whole research program has been centered on validating a woman’s sexual experience. I’ve done studies on female ejaculation, orgasm from stimulation of the G spot. I’ve studied women who are able to orgasm through imagery. I thought it would be good to document a man’s experience as well.

The Parameters

The study was done in a laboratory at the College of Nursing at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Brent was hooked up to various devices such as a pupilometer, blood-pressure cuff and pulse monitor, in order to measure and record the physiological changes his body goes through from the arousal stage to orgasm. The diameter of Brent’s pupils was measured as he sat in a chair facing the pupilometer. This consists of an infared video close-up camera directed at Brent’s eye. He was instructed to look into the camera each time he had an orgasm, so that the changes in his pupil diameter could be recorded. The blood-pressure cuff on his left arm and pulse monitor attached to the big toe on his left foot collected individual data that was analyzed later.

A television and VCR with erotic material was operated via remote control. Alone in the room, Brent was observed through an observation window.

The Task at Hand

The blood-pressure cuff would inflate every two minutes. This was the signal for Brent to place his chin in the chin rest of the pupilometer. He was then required to remain still as his pupil diameter was recorded. Blood-pressure readings were recorded every two minutes throughout the experiment, and each time Brent reported he had had an orgasm. After orgasm, his pupil diameter was again recorded. During blood-pressure measurements, he was asked to rate his level of sexual arousal on a scale of 1-10. He was required to collect each ejaculation in a separate container for researchers.

The End Result

Thirty-six minutes elapsed between Brent’s first and last orgasm. Despite the distraction of the equipment and instructions, he maintained his erection throughout the experiment and achieved six orgasms with full ejaculations. The data collected displayed significant elevations of Brent’s blood pressure, heart rate and pupil diameter during orgasm.

Research subject Richard Brent:

All the books say it’s physiologically impossible. I’ve been called a liar, or a bragger. Everyone just says it’s impossible, but I know it’s not. If I could write a book, I’d be a millionaire, but there’s nothing I’ve found so far that I can attribute it to, so I figure it’s just something about me and my body that’s different.

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They have wrinkles, perhaps a few pounds too many and lower backs that ache when they bend and twist the wrong way.

But that doesn’t stop them from being excited about their sex lives. And we meanvery excited.

We’re talking about the more than 160 myprimetime readers who wrote us in response to our story Great Sex Comes to Those Who Age. The sentiment was “Right On” and “Bravo,” since the article dispelled the myth that your sex life has seen better days by, say, 45.

These gleeful testimonials celebrating the splendors of midlife sex reinforce some universal secrets that really shouldn’t be secrets at all. They also suggest that if everything works and your general health is good, there is no reason for passion to ebb.

“I never thought in my wildest dreams that it would get as good as it has at this point in my life,” writes Bill, who is 51.

“This article is right on the money,” writes Dulce, who’s 58. “My sex drive now is as good if not better than when I was in my early 30s.”

Yes, our electronic deluge of responses also included a few skeptics who said a flowering sexuality after the bloom of youth is “rubbish,” and another example of “denial” and PC propaganda.

“The baby boomers are at it again!” writes Michael, who counts himself among the boomer crowd. “Let’s stop deluding ourselves that we’re getting better, just because we’re aging.”

You can argue that it’s just trendy to say attitude is more important than biochemistry. But the vast majority of respondents who wrote to us make the point that sex is about a lot more than raging hormones. It’s about relating, communication, experimentation, intimacy and mutual pleasure-giving.

While myprimetimers had a great deal to say on the subject, we’ve narrowed down their words of wisdom to the following six secrets of great sex:

Slow way down.
If ever a cliché fit, it is here: It’s the journey that counts, not the destination.

Those who responded to the article used words like “savor,” “explore” and “discover.” They all talked about leaving behind the mad rush to orgasm.

Slow down and you will not only discover what works, but you’ll also encounter new surprises. File them away and pull them out the next time. There are detours and side streets that should be explored.

Rhonda writes that she and her husband of 27 years like to go slow, and when that feels good, they slow it down some more.

“When we begin to move into the home stretch toward orgasm, we pull in the reins a little so that the moment can be stretched out and enjoyed even longer. We have learned not to rush through what should be taken slowly and savored. We totally enjoy each other now like we never have before! Orgasm is secondary in the quest for great sex for us.”

Give and you will receive.
Are young people selfish or just overeager? Are they so concerned about performing they forget about creative ways or tried-and-true ways to please their partner?

One way or another, a theme among the correspondents is that the ability to give is something that is cultivated with time.

Michael, who is 49, writes about himself: “It is extremely pleasurable to know your partner is completely fulfilled. At a younger age I didn’t know how to or didn’t care — big mistake.”

Those who wrote in didn’t say that giving was an obligation they can tolerate, but a thrill in its own right, one of the best parts of sex.

Invest the time and you’ll get big returns.
You know the choreographed love scenes in movies. Sex is not a ballet. It does not always happen naturally and spontaneously. In truth, there is much to learn.

“Out of all the men I have dated and made love to, the ones who are 40 and up are much more satisfying and fun,” writes 46-year-old Marilyn. “The 26-year-old I dated I had to teach technique to and he still didn’t understand. I’m sure he will ‘get it’ at some point.”

Men and women both wrote in admitting they weren’t skillful lovers and really didn’t know what they were doing when they were in their 20s and 30s.

You don’t get to know each other without investing the time. Many longtime couples are highly practical about the whole thing, marking their calendars to set aside quality time.

“I have always believed in spontaneous sex as opposed to scheduled sex,” writes Alan, who is 69. “I never liked the ‘Let’s set aside Thursday evenings for the lovemaking’ approach. I see that is wrong now. My wife and I are going to work toward scheduling at least one evening a week for intimacy.”

Kick back, relax and enjoy.
Easier said than done, right? With time, people become a little more secure with who they are, and that means as lovers, too.

Cherie, who is 51, writes: “Young men are so anxious — it’s the act they are interested in. An older man is just as anxious, but he knows how much more joy good foreplay can bring. He knows how to pace himself and wait for his mate.”

One 50-year-old woman longed for the body she had at 20, but admitted she was more comfortable with herself now nevertheless. Men spoke about accepting less endurance and even, in a few cases, the need to rely on Viagra, so long as it works.

In the end, the confidence of middle age can translate into increasing pleasure. “I am 47 years old and I enjoy sexual relations better now than I ever have,” writes Junie. “I am more confident, self-assured, comfortable and feel like I’m just reaching my sexual maturity.”

There’s nothing you can’t talk about.
Back to that ideal movie version of lovemaking with no talk, just moans and groans of delight. That’s not realistic most of the time. “When you get to a certain point in your life, you realize everything comes with problems,” writes Jan, who doesn’t give her age. “It’s not the end of the world. You can talk about them.”

Justine, 28, who is enjoying a relationship with a 42-year-old man, suggested older men are more open to everything. “The thing people seem to miss out on is just how much joy can be found by being able to talk about anything, including ideas and fantasies.”

Find the right person.
Overwhelmingly, those who wrote in giving their sex lives rave reviews gave their mates rave reviews as well.

“Lovers make love in many ways,” says Dee. “Not just in bed, but the whole time they spend together should be devoted to making love, a touch, a smile, a caress, a kiss on the neck as he passes you in the kitchen.”

One correspondent bragged that her man likes to cuddle after sex. Hey, folks. It doesn’t get any better than that.

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