Growing Up Sexually

The Sexual Curriculum (Oct., 2002)

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Janssen, D. F. (Oct., 2002). Growing Up Sexually. Volume II: The Sexual Curriculum: The Manufacture and Performance of Pre-Adult Sexualities. Interim Report. Amsterdam, The Netherlands



Addendum: "Versunken in Mysterischer Betrachtung"
Proto-Orgasms and Other Choppers to Chop Off Your Head (Or, the Problematic History of Prepubertal Orgasm)



"My guess is that she had had a little orgasm"[1]


"Your response can be as simple as "It's an intense feeling of pleasure during sex" "[2]


"In no other portion of the human body are so large a number of nerves brought so closely together as in the reproductive system. In the act of masturbation, these nerves are wrought upon in such a manner as to produce the most serious results. The pleasurable emotion with which the beginning is attended culminates in a spasm of the nerves, terminating for the time all pleasure, and leaving the nerves as wasted and depleted as the body of a person whose entire physical system has been brought under the influence of a spasm, or fit as it is called. You will easily understand how such violent shocks to these special nerves, are communicated to the nerves throughout the entire body, and if such shocks are repeated, or long continued, the entire nervous system will eventually become shattered and ruined beyond all hope of complete recovery"[3]


"[…] a chopper to chop off your head […]"[4]




Contents [up]


Contents [up] 1


Abstract 2


Introduction 2

Major Authorities 2

Terminology 3

Pediatricians: The Old Record 3

Doubts and Beliefs: A Too-Easy Curriculum 4

Freud on Infant Pleasure Potentials 5

Illegal Observations: Kinsey and Alike Cases 5

Frequency: Numeric Studies 6

Psychoanalysts Doubting and Pathologising the Matter 7

Orgasm Equivalence and Symbolism before Puberty: Non-, Nongenital and Pre-Orgasmic Orgasms 7

Tension and Discharge Multimodality: Synerotics, Erotoplasticity and Synattractivism 9

The Experience of Orgasmarche: Anecdotal Materials 9

Knowing Orgasm (Together with Some Ethnographics) 10

Anxietas and Orgasmarche 11

Further on Pathogenesis 11

Prespermarchic Ejaculation? On "Prostatarche" 12

A Sidestep: Spermarche 13

The Pollution Enigma 13

Early Non-Orgasmia Pathologised 14

Anorgasmia, Pathological Masturbation Categories and Pathogenetic Experiences 14

A Biosocial Apology for Early Orgasm? 15

Physiological Requirements: Prepubertal Phallic Response 15

The Vertical Politics of Orgasmarche: Input for a "Delay Theory" 15


Conclusions 16


Tables 17


Table 1 Orgasmarche: Age 17

Table 2 Orgasm: Early, Prepubertal and Pre-Ejaculatory 17

Table 3 Ejacularche: Age 18




This paper contains a detailed literature review of academic and secondary literature statements concerning early orgasmic experiences. Further topics include the phenomena of orgasmarche, prepubertal orgasm, pre-ejaculatory orgasm, prepubertal orgasm equivalence, prespermarchic ejaculation etc.


1 Introduction [up] [contents]


Neurologists have been plagued by an awkward confusion between two spasmodic phenomena in early infantile life: the epileptic (pseudo-orgasmic) and the orgasmic. In another paper[5] I propose to review the literature in search of the latter phenomena known as ictal masturbation, masturbatory seizures, masturbatory fits, convulsive masturbation, masturbatory paroxysms, masturbatory spells, masturbatory attacks, pseudomasturbation, thigh rubbing neurosis, onanic spasms, etc. In the present presentation, I wish to review the literature concerning the (perhaps equally awkward) phenomenon of prepubescent (in the male domain, pre-ejaculatory) orgasm. Its existence may seem relevant in the scope of the hypothetical role of masturbatory[6] conditioning in erotogenesis; the sociology of the problem, however, may prove of more importance. I do not proclaim an orgasm paradigm for human "sexuality"[7], but I wish to explore the developmental reality of the body as it relates to erotic acculturalisation.

To be sure, these hypothetical phenomena are what Richard von Krafft-Ebing, father of Western medical sexology, would have rated "paradoxic", in the sense of an apparent contradiction to the creative laws of puberty[8]. Phylogenetically, these orgasm dry-runs would be auto-instructional, and thereby indirectly contributing to sexual congress beyond the prefertile years, while socially serving no function other than a hedonistic one. Nature, as opposed to after spermarche, does not seem to have instituted a periodic orgasm exercise in childhood, so that all orgasm would be optional and artefactual.


The Western academic world has seen problematised orgasm discourses in the past. Eu-orgasmicity in women (Degler, 1974:p1474-5) was discussed by 19th century scientists, although it does not seem to have been much of a controversy. As for a later date, the Freudian problem with female orgasm was taken up in gynaecological textbooks (Scully and Bart, 1973:p1046-7). The problematisation of early orgasm has not received a parallel interest of scholars. The review below suggested that there is a case for this argument, though.




2 Major Authorities [up] [contents]


Brick and Koch (1998) used the statement "infants have sexual responses like clitoral/penile erections and orgasms" [2], as one that was to be answered as "definitely true" in a questionnaire testing "knowledge about children's sexual learning". Thus, we might be justified as to inquire to their nonprovided resources. Orgasmology, a term as so many introduced by Money (1993), has not addressed specifically the question of orgasmogenesis[9] (to coin one myself). Male prepubertal dry orgasm is frequently mentioned by sexologists, yet often without the need for reference. Others have assumed a kind of physiological anorgasmia before puberty; for instance, Serba (1935) noted that "[t]he really new element of puberty is the climactic satisfaction which was missing in infantile sex activities". Wilhelm Reich introduced the concept of orgastic potency (capacity for complete surrender to the involuntary convulsion of the organism and complete discharge of the excitation at the acme of the genital embrace) as a criterion of emotional health, but he rarely if ever directly commented on orgastic potency in childhood. Although Reich observed that orgasm's "purely sexual nature is verifiable in the state of the infant during masturbation (i.e., flushed cheeks, convulsive movements, heavy breathing)", he (1922 [1975:p108]) remarks in a footnote that "[t]he nature of the infantile orgasm has not yet been explained". Later (1924 [1975:p217]) he would write: "Whereas the orgastic potency of men may be clearly traced to the erogeneity of the phallic zone in childhood, we may not justifiably assume, in women, that any erogenous response other than clitoral existed in the first genital phase". Still later (1927/8:p151), he remarks, that the infantile orgasm "verläuft in einer flachen Kurve mit aufsteigendem und absteigendem Schenkel ohne spitze Akme (Höhepunkt). Die Sensation beim infantilen Orgasmus dürfte am besten der beim Kratzen einer heftig juckenden Hautstelle zu vergleichen sein". Finally, in 1936, speaking of restructuring and destruction of sexual helplessness, he pleads for "cultivating the capacity for full surrender, for infinite experience of sexuality (orgastic potency) from childhood on" (ital. in orig.).

Havelock Ellis knew of early orgasm. He (1913, [III]:p337) relates a case of a boy of 12 after attempted intercourse with a girl "the hand flew to the phallus and worried it, and orgasm came at one- the childish orgasm consisting of well-spaced spasms of the ejaculators, without the poignant preliminary nisus of the adult orgasm"[10]. Metschnikof (1910:p124)[11] cited Curschmann and Fürbringer[12] in the observation of "[…] das Vorhandensein der Geschlechtsempfindung bei Kindern under fünf Jahren. Sie entwickelt sich weiter und erreicht ihren Höhepunkt, bevor beim Knaben das Sperma mit den reifen und sehr beweglichen Samenfäden auftrit", which would be the explanation of prepubertal masturbation.


Sex therapists have almost entirely neglected developmental implications in what is known as primary sexual dysfunctions [vide infra]. Masters and Johnson (1966:p140) include only speculations on female prepubertal sexual response, most notably by the enigmatic reference 131 ("unpublished data"), but never even seem to have systematically recorded retrospective data on first orgasm. Their later Human Sexual Inadequacy (1970), and for unelaborated reasons, included childhood only as a part of the sexual anamnesis of adult patients. Perhaps the ethical issues involved (see Johnson and Mann, 1980) in direct research pertained to mere retrospection too. Influential authors such as Carlfred Broderick (1966), Floyd Martinson (1973[13], 1981a,b), Marie Calderone (1974), Thore Langfeldt (1990) and Ernest Borneman (1990:p202) all concluded positively on the existence of prepubertal orgasm. Langfeldt (1990:p184) estimated that "about 10% of children between 4 and 10 masturbate to orgasm" in Norway; he also found suggestions to dry multiorgasticity[14] (ibid.). [Langfeldt (1977 [1981:39]) earlier estimated a one in 5 occurrence since early childhood.] Borneman (1990:p202) had read "close to hundred reports of orgasms among infants and preschool children. We found six children under two years and seven under four who seemed to be able to produce bodily states which we would have termed orgasmic had they occurred in a grown-up". Orgasms were not filmed because the parents objected.



3 Terminology: Ambiguity [up] [contents]


The terminology classically revealed uncertainty about the nature, strength and comparability of orgiastic states in the young[15]. Lampl-DeGroot (1950) vaguely refers to "[s]ome observations on infants up to the age of one" that "seem to indicate that a kind of acme may be reached which could be considered as an early infantile form of orgasm" (p157). Further, acme could be frequent during the phallic phase (p160). This is in concordance with Tausk's information (1912 [1951:p64]) who speaks of "orgasm-like excitation", and Fenichel ([1982:p74]), commenting on "a kind of genital orgasm". Lloyd (1964:p491)[16]: "Even in the infant, orgasm appears to take place; at least the child undergoes an episode of physical reaction".


The sexual trance symptom of masturbating infants resembles the "sexual trance" of adult orgasm, as is described by Schwartz (1994), who problematises the concept of absence and orgasm experience:


"The absorbed state-sexual arousal-orgasm pathway hypotheses assert that absorbed states of consciousness accompanying sexual arousal (sometimes called altered states of consciousness or sexual trance) play important roles in sexual response not previously recognized. Absorbed states are an obligatory pathway to high physiological sexual arousal and to orgasm in many, perhaps all, females. The role of absorbed states in males is facilitation of arousal and orgasm, with enhancement of pleasure and subjective quality of the experience. But the absorbed states pathway is not an obligatory feature of arousal and orgasm in most males. These hypotheses are empirically testable; absorbed states have objectively measurable defining characteristics as well as subjective dimensions presenting greater but not intractable methodological difficulties. Inclusion of a cognitive psychology of absorbed states can bring us closer to a more adequate and integrated psychobiological understanding of sexual response in both women and men".



4 Pediatricians: The Old European Record [up] [contents]


Sadger cites professor of paediatrics Dr. Max Kassowitz[17] as an observer, and is said to remark that "[o]ne is justified in speaking of sexuality (in children) when phenomena occur that are well known from sexual orgasm or when there are inclinations that reassert themselves over and again despite all obstacles and threats" [18]. As it appears, paediatricians in gone-by eras did not doubt infantile orgasm (for a random selection from a random decade, consider: Friedjung, 1912:p345/1923:p17; Thiemich, 1912:p363; Morse, 1915:p510; Kerley, 1919:p480).


Still earlier sources dealing with the issue of masturbation equally suggest a belief in preproductive orgasm. Vogel (1787) in an early document on masturbation relates the following story as it occurred to him in April 1785 (quoted by Neter, 1913): For 1/2 year a boy now one year of age is noticed to press his thighs together.


"Gewöhnlich dauert der ganze Auftritt eine Viertelstunde, wobei er rot im Gesicht wird, mit dem Augen funkelt, oft ganz laut ächzt, und mit Händen und Füþen arbeitet. Zu gleicher Zeit steht ihm das männliche Glied steif in die Höhe, und die Mütter will sogar bemerkt haben, daþ ihm wirklich einige Feuchtigkeit abgehe. Entsetzlich! Endlich versinkt er ganz ermattet und von Schweiþe triefend in einen tiefen Schlaf"[19].


The differential diagnosis of epilepsy was widely recognised a clinical challenge since many observations included some loss of awareness or responsiveness[20] in addition to the locomotoric symptoms. An example from Scherpf (1881):


"Bei sehr nervös angelegten Kindern finden sich in Folge der Masturbation nicht selten ekstatische Zustände, die aufgeregte Phantasie in Verbinding mit einem überreizten Sensorium verursacht Hallucinationen, welche die gesammte Aufmerksamkeit auf einem Punct concentriren. Die Kinder sind versunken in mysterischer Betrachtung. Der Blick ist starr, die Haltung der Glieder eine bizarre. Perception und Reaction können in einem solchen cataleptischen Zustand aufgehoben sein".


Fleischmann (1878, quoted by Sadger, 1921) describes the following example of a boy:


"Das Glied wurde steif […]. Das Gesicht begann sich zu röten, die Augen wurden glänzend and der Ausdruck zeigte die gleichzeitige Erregung des Nervensystems. Während des höchsten Orgasmus blinzelte das Kind mit den Augen, schob die Hände in den Mund und rotierte mit dem Kopfe nach links und rechts, vorn und hinten; dabei ist es gegen alle Liebkosungen der Eltern taub und unempfindlich".


Another typical example by Hirschsprung (1886):


"Kreuzen der Beine im sitzen und dann hin- und herrückende Bewegungen mit glühendem Gesicht, starren Augen, vollständiger Beklommenheit bis zur Erreichung des Höhepunktes; der Anfall endet oft mit einem Schluchzer und Collaps"[21] (etc.; p629)[22].


Schoondermark (1902:p26-7) relates [tentative translation footnoted]:


"Dat hier, in de eerste jeugd [age 5-10], geen spermauitstortingen optreden en dat dikwerk marasmus volgt, gaf volgens sommigen schrijvers, zooals Curschmann [?], aanleiding, de zwakte na spermatorrhoe, niet hieraan toe te schrijven, doch aan eene zekere epileptische zenuwschokking, die bij dergelijke acten gewoonlijk geschiedt. Dit te generaliseeren, is zeer zeker niet juist, omdat het zenuwstelsel van een' 8-jarigen knaap op de onanistische daad toch geheel anders reageert, dan dat van een' 20-jarigen jongenman. Wij moeten dus den zenuwschok vóór de puberteit, als heel wat meer ingrijpend beschouwen, dan daarna. […] Wij kunnen de nadeelen van de onanie voor het zenuwstelsel wel opvatten als den invloed van herhaaldelijke convulsieve schokkingen van het zenuwstelsel. […] Anders is het na de puberteit, omdat hier na de masturbatie, meestal pollutiën volgen[23]".


Schoondermarck refers to the often disregarded fact that masturbation nosologies have been based on orgasmogenic (rather than spermatorrhoeic) principles to specifically legitimise the combating of the pre-ejacularchic and female onanist. An early report on orgasmic control was published by Demetrius Zambaco (1882, cited by Sedgwick, 1991). He related that with labial cauterisation in girls, "after the first operation, from forty to fifty times a day, the number of voluptuous spasms was reduced to three or four" (ital.add.)[24].



5 Critics and Believers: A Too-Easy Curriculum [up] [contents]


The biomedical impossibility of early orgasm has been contested infrequently, although not in any very convincing way. On clearly insufficient grounds, Kramer (1954) assumed a physiological impossibility of complete release in boys (p137, 138) as a mode of "explaining" clinical (psychoanalytic) gender differences in certain character traits. Specifically, the reader should bear in mind that: "Reactions and sensations approaching the orgasm in intensity are known to occur in boys, but they regularly lack the quality of relief and relaxation that occurs in girls". Its relevance is further stressed with the hypothesis that "[u]nder certain conditions capacity for orgiastic discharge in childhood predisposes to favourable character development". Anyway, he presents two cases of infantile "masturbation" in girls, aged four and three years[25].


Conversely, some authors adopt a narrative that accomodates the hypothesis of a pernatal orgasmic capacity[26], while others argue that it may be "learned behaviour" (e.g., Kline-Graber and Graber, 1975; Jehu, 1979:31-40), and as such may prove modifiable by curricular and "non-normative" experience (Yates, 1982)[27]. Others appear to have their own specifications. Well after Kinsey, yet without further explicits, Kriekemans (1968:p170) relates that orgasm is possible after age 7 ("sometimes earlier").


Some authors venture to discuss the existence of prepartal fetal orgasm (Brenot and Broussin, 1996; Giorgi and Siccardi, 1996). Brenot and Broussin (1996) describe the earliest-in-life observation of an erection at 26 weeks, and the earliest-in-life auto-orogenital stimulation at the same age. Giorgi and Siccardi (1996) report female fetal clitoral masturbation at 32 weeks gestation age. "The current observation seems to show […] that the orgasmic reflex can be elicted during intrauterine life [and] doesn't need a full sexual maturity to be explicit". [One wonders about fetal pornography and fetal privacy (cf. Botkin, 1995).]


While true for "preorgasmic" adults, no data exist on the developmental prerequisites of such "orgasmic behaviour". Hence, within American psychiatric order no speculations can be made about precocious or retarded orgasmarche, since its occurrence is historically defined on the basis of coital functionality, or else takes into consideration only the far end of the age spectrum, not the proximate (APA, 1994)[28].



6 Freud on Infant Pleasure Potentials [up] [contents]


With such an input from the psychodynamic industry, one might like to reread the classics. Freud (1896) claimed that since the pre-pubescent individual is incapable of experiencing the full cycle of sexual arousal and satisfaction, it is impossible for a person who finds himself in a sexual situation in childhood to experience anything like the kind of satisfaction that could allow the tension of sexual activity to be adequately dissipated. Therefore the sexual experience led to anxiety, and it was the anxiety that laid down the disposition to the neurosis.

In classical psychoanalytic approach erotic pleasures have been divided into those associated with increasing erotic tension (the fore-pleasures) and those associated with release of the tension (end-pleasures). Thus, fore-pleasure will be found denoting any activity functioning to increase the desire for end-pleasure[29]. Another Freudian conception of pleasure is pleasure-in-movement ("Lustcharakter der Bewegungsempfindungen"), which consists in the (unimpeded) execution of an (imminent) activity.

Abraham (1907) considered fore- and end-pleasure (e.g., Balint, 1936) present in children seducing adults. From his revenged article: "It is difficult to say which of the two kinds of pleasure plays the greater part in children. Undoubtedly there are marked individual differences in this respect"[30].

Freud (1905), in following Lindner of the matter, commented on early orgasm-alikes in association to suctus voluptibilis ("einer motorischen Reaktion in einer Art von Orgasmus")[31], and two mysterious references to non-productive (?) pollution: (1) "The sexual excitation of the nursing period returns during the designated years of childhood as a centrally determined tickling sensation demanding masturbatic gratification, or as a pollution-like process [pollutionartiger Vorgang] which, analogous to the pollution of maturity, may attain gratification without the aid of any action". Thus, "[…] whenever the enuresis nocturna does not represent an epileptic attack, it responds to a pollution". (2) "In the school child, fear of a coming examination or exertion expended in the solution of a difficult school task, can become significant for the breaking through of sexual manifestations as well as for his relations to the school. Under such excitements, a sensation often occurs which impels him to touch the genitals, or it may lead to a pollution-like process [pollutionartiger Vorgang] with all its disagreeable consequences". It is not clear what Freud meant by these "proto-pollutions". He does refer to actual pollution in a discussion of accumulated semen, or "the sexual substance", allowing for sexual excitement, which is rejected partially on the argument that it would not allow for children's sexual excitement[32].


Criticisms on Freudian sexualising of the infantile sex life, including orgasm concepts, have been offered by many (e.g., Bautigam, 1991).



7 Illegal Observations: Kinsey and Alike Cases [up] [contents]


Kinsey et al. today hold the most elaborate statements on the nature and typology of prepubertal orgasm. In their Male volume (1948:p149-80) the authors found themselves able to demonstrate up to 6 types of pre-adolescent orgasm including "extreme tension with violent convulsion", "accumulating in extreme trembling, collapse, loss of color, and sometimes fainting"[33] and "pained or frightened at approach of orgasm[34]" with violent attempts to avoid or postpone orgasm[35]. Critics (most notably Reisman and Eichel, 1990; Reisman, 1998)[36] have interpreted these "observations" as portraying sadistic abuse of the "observer", trained personally by Kinsey. Among a row of objections to the academic value and ethical standards of the research, Reisman, "in a personal Odyssey", doubted the interpretations from these individuals. Kinsey and associates, however, were quoted on infant orgasm throughout decades without raising much ethical questioning (e.g., Ford and Beach, 1951:p179; Von Stockert, 1956; Lutz, 1957:p4-9; Eglinton, 1964:p15, 143; Broderick, 1970; Rutter, 1971:p261; Frölingsdorf, 1976:p28, cited by Thomasky, 1978:p27; Martinson, 1977; 1980; Katchadourian et al., 1979; Grassel & Bach, 1979:p106-7; Kolodny et al., 1979; Katchadourian and Lunde, 1980; Morrison et al., 1980:p15-6; Brongersma, 1987:p69-70; Serbin and Sprafkin, 1987:p170; Rathus et al., 1993:p381; Wyatt et al., 1993:p18; Cohen-Kettenis et al., 1995; Offer and Simon, 1976; Bancroft, 1989; Frayser, 1994:p187-8; Gijs, 2001:p226-7; Mah et al., 2001:p831; etc.).


Gagnon (1977:p84) pleads for caution in a footnote; however, "[…] the observations should not be ruled out simply because they emerged from illegal or stressful situations". In fact, and not surprisingly, Kinsey and associates are the most quoted authors on the matter.


Similar ethically incorrect cases appear to have accumulated in the literature. Ormezzano (1975) seems to base his arguments on the "pederasts", arguing: "Tout pédéraste vous dira que l'enfant, même impubère, s'éveille progressivement dans le plaisir, il connaît les mêmes mouvements du bassin avec accélération de la respiration qui s'y rattache" (p112). Equally explosive material concerning the relation of paedophilia and childhood orgasm are found in Sandfort (1979:p210-5), Sandfort (1981a:p58-60), Sandfort (1981b:p110); Sandfort (1986:p68-9), Pieterse (1980), Wilson (1981) and Borneman (1990:p202); see also Valles (1978).


Sandfort (1979, 1981, 1986; & Everaerd, 1990:p368) mentions dry orgasm (5 cases) and multi-orgasticity. Okami (1991) reported that responders with a positive attitude to age-disparate sexual interactions before age 16 admitted having been orgasmic "within 54.9% of their experiences"(N=51); no further data are available. Wilson records how Osborne notes a boy relating about himself masturbating from "[t]en to twelve. I went long enough but I couldn't get it [ejaculation]. I would get an orgasm but I wouldn't expel spunk. When I first came it was a wet dream at about twelve".



8 Frequency: Numeric Studies [up] [contents]


Little appears to be known about nonhuman orgasmarche. According to observations by Wolfe (1978), ejaculation "with concomitant body movements indicative of orgasm" in Japanese macaques begins at age 4.5 years. However, an orgasmic (dry) pattern is noted in infant anubis baboons (Owens, 1973; cited by Hanby, 1977:p466).


Quantitative studies on orgasmic onset and childhood orgasm do exist (Green, 1985; Rennert, 1966, 1967; Alzate, 1977, 1978, 1984; Gebhard & Johnson, 1979:p178, 180,182,188, 201); Califia, 1979; Hite, 1981, 1994; Schnabel, 1973; Klein, 1993; Gundersen & Skår, 1977/ Gundersen, Melås & Skår, 1981/Skår & Melås, 1980; Gebhard et al., 1965; Hamilton, 1929; Davis, 1925, 1929; Kinsey et al., 1948; Bell et al., 1981; Okami, 1991; Fox, 1993; Weller, 1993; Schaefer, 1964; Gates [2000] 2001; Larsson and Svedin, 2002), so that the existence of a prepubertal and perhaps infantile occurrence seems not impossible. A large number of nonnumeric observations and speculations add to this[37].


Margulis and Sagan (1991:p86) note:


"Sexually immature, prepubescent boys enjoy a range of sexual response similar to that of adult women. Kinsey and his coworkers reported, "The most remarkable aspect of the preadolescent population is its capacity to achieve repeated orgasm in limited periods of time. This capacity definitely exceeds in the ability of teen-age boys who, in turn, are much more capable than older males". The response of young boys, including multiple climax without losing an erection, "is", according to biologist Donald Symons [1979], "perhaps similar to orgasmic women". Neither prepubescent orgasmic boys nor women ejaculate sperm, and thus the "ability of females to experience multiple orgasms may be an incidental effect of their inability to ejaculate" ".


Note that Gordon and Schroeder (1995:p2, 3) observed that


"[d]espite the difficulty of conducting research on sexual development, it is now commonly accepted among professionals that the physiology and orgasm […] appear to be present in children from birth or even before birth".


A number of studies thus provide an indication to the timing of its occurrence (see also Tables 1 and 2 below).


Merrill (1918) was quoted by Kinsey et al. (1948) as a study with the most definitive statements on preadolescent orgasm (6 boys, masturbatory). This survey is probably the first with quasisystematic data.


Studies providing range values suggested various bottom limits: 3 (Davis, 1929; Califia, 1979), 4 (Schaefer, 1964; 1973 [1974:p133-4]), 5 (Delvin and Webber, 1995), 7 (Chilton, 1972) and 10 (Savin-Williams, 1995). Knorre (1981:p304) did not seem to find any orgasm under age 15.


Some studies provide mean ages of orgasmarche (Table 1). Green (1985:p172) reported a mean age of first masturbatory orgasm at 12.87 (SD 2.01) for males and 12.25 (3.12) for females, a significant difference (p<.01). Savin-Williams (1995) reported a mean age of 12.6 (N=83, SD=1.4, range=10-16) for first orgasm in a sample of gay and bisexual male youths. Bardeleben et al. (1995:p54) reported mean orgasmic ages of 15,1 (males) and 17.0 (females). "Less than 1% of girls, as opposed to about 4% of boys, become so intensely involved in prepubertal homosexual contact that they reach orgasm [while] [m]ore than 25% of boys, as opposed to 10% of girls, masturbate to orgasm before puberty" (Van Wyk and Geist, 1984:p535). Gates (2001) found an average masturbatory orgasmarchic age of 12.59 (N=171; range 1-27) in a sample of male balloon fetishts. Alzate (1977, 1978) found an average age of male orgasmarche at 14.1 (which equals mean age of masturbarche; notably, Alzate, 1984, found an ejacularche of 13.1), and a female orgasmarche at 17.0 (1978) to 18.1 (1984). The difference between ejacularche and female orgasmarche was significant (p<0.025). Califia (1979:p258) found a mean age of 16.5 (N=286, 7 nonorgasmic). Hertoft (1970:p79) found a percentage of 1 for first petting with orgasm at or before age 12; the figure for ejacularche was 19. Davis, (1929:p114-5) found a percentage of 17.7% (65/368) of orgasm in girls 11 years and under. Miller (1958:p614) found that in his sample of 55 effeminate homosexuals, "[m]ost experienced their first orgasm by the age of 12 […]".

Kinsey et al. (1948:p157-61; Dutch transl., 1951:190-7), who, surprisingly, did not systematically inquire for first orgasm, found an accumulative total 172 cases of preadolescent orgasm in 269 males. Data suggested a minimum age of 2 months (male), mimimum time to single orgasm of 10 seconds, and up to 3 in 70 seconds (boy, 13 years) and 14 in 38 minutes (boy, 11 months). Total data include would have been available on orgasm in 604 preadolescent boys[38]. Subsequently, Kinsey et al. (1953:p102-7) report a total of 659 cases of preadolescent female orgasm: accumulative estimates are 9% at age 11 and 14% at age 13. Four cases referred to ages less than one year. Using Kinsey data, Gebhard and Johnson (1979) provide information on source of first prepubertal [pre-ejaculatory] orgasm (Table 129), age of first postpubertal masturbation resulting in orgasm (T152), age at first prepubertal orgasm in masturbation (T131), age at first prepubertal orgasm in heterosexual (T133) and homosexual (T139) contact, and orgasm in first prepubertal sexual acitivity with adult males (T150). Most data are specific for male-female, white-black, and white college-non-college comparisons. Within the Kinsey sphere, original co-author Gebhard et al. later (1965 [Bantam, 1967:p460-1]) found percentages of 25 to 62% of prepubertal orgasm in various groups of male sex offenders.


Hite (1981 [1982:p868]) reported a pre-ejaculatoric orgasm in 36% of questioned males; 24% within one year before ejacularche, and 12% not specified (cf. anaecdotal material on p506-12, with eight unambiguous instances of dry orgasm)[39].

In Hite (1994a, Dutch transl.:p339) 45% of girls claimed having experienced orgasm by age 7, and more than 60% at age 11 or 12[40]. Hite (1994b:p24) notes a difference in gender: "While most boys first masturbate or [to?] orgasm with ejaculation between the ages of ten and 12, girls usually masturbate to orgasm much earlier, with almost half starting by the ages of five to seven" [?].


Retrospective data suffer from distortions pertaining to the question of comparability of early and contemporary orgasm. As noted supra, observations are rare. However, Gundersen, Melås and Skår (1981:p56) reported, that "[t]wenty-three percent of the preschool teachers [N=60] had observed orgasm in masturbating children, while 70 percent said that they "did not know"". On the other hand, Schuhrke (1994:p118) found only one description in a group of parents commenting on 26 children aged 2 years suggestive of orgasm[41]. With a low response rate, Klein (1993:p48) found that teachers of preschools had never observed orgasm in 83% (Bs) and 80%(Gs). It would be often or repeatedly observed in 13% (Bs) and 17% (Gs).


Recently, Larsson and Svedin (2002:p266) found that of senior high school students, 6.3 (Bs) and 7.0 (Gs) claimed to have masturbated to orgasm at ages 6 through 10; for ages 11-12, these figures read 42.5 and 20.4, respectively. The latter figures are significantly different (p<.001). López Sánchez (2001)[42] refers to a numeric study on childhood sexual behaviours carried out by López et al. (1997): "Estas conductas tienen para los niños un claro significado sexual hasta el punto que el 5% de ellos cree haber llegado a tener orgasmos antes de la pubertad" (2001:p276, 279). The original work [received from the author, entitled "Sexualidad Prepuberal"][43], however, claimed that a total 9.4% experienced orgasm, or 5.4% of females and 18.0% of males [p20, 32 of accompanying Engl. transl.]. Ryan et al. (1988) found in their sample that by age 12, half of the males had experienced ejaculation and over half of the females remembered orgasm (reported by Ryan, 2000:p38).


Less reliable data are gathered in large online surveys. In one such survey (Jackinworld, 1997b) 26.6% of self-selecting respondents indicated having had orgasm at 11 or younger and 34.8% at 12. An earlier survey (1997a) found that 3.1% of boys aged 11-15 had dry orgasms. Jackinworld (1998) found a pre-ejaculatory orgasm in no less than 45.7% of male responders under age 19 (N= 2,476). Another online questionnaire (Q Tip, January 29th, 2001) gives a mean orgasmarche at age 11 years or under of 49%, as opposed to an implausibly high mean ejacularche age of 18 (based on 95% of male respondents).




9 Psychoanalysts Doubting and Pathologising the Matter [up] [contents]


Within selected psychodynamic curricula, orgasm timing has been discussed in the light of pathology. Greenacre (1960/1971, I: p172) doubted the existence of early infantile (<2.5y) orgasm except for pathological cases. "The early orgastic response (in the sense of excitement reaching a pitch and then rapidly falling off) may not […] involve the same feelings as those in a full adult orgasm with ejaculation. But these appear to me as but different steplike stages in the development of genitality, and it seems important to understand their intrinsic developmental relationship. Under ordinary healthy conditions genital excitation does not show any great pitch and does not "take hold" during the first two or two and a half years of life". However, Greenacre (1954/1971, I: p54) had observed: "[From the last half of the first and much of the second year] genital orgasm may occur and has been observed from about the eight month on; usually however, only in situations of stress" [thereby referring to Kinsey data?]. This premature stimulation of genitality to an "orgiasticlike response "has been observed a number of times by pediatricians as appearing as early as the second half of the first year in infants severely damaged at birth" (1960/1971, I: p178). A similar distinction is made by Tramer ([1945:p96]) who remarkes: "Orgasmusartige Erscheinungen, wie sich auch E. Leer schildert[44], kommen nur bei pathologischen Kindern vor". Bühler (1931a:p622, 639) grants the child Voluptas, but sees orgasm "nur im Falle der Früreife beim Kinde". She (1931b:p193) heard from one E. Lazar that he saw

"orgasmusartiger Erscheinungen" only in morbid cases, and prefers to think of the child's physiology as including "ein Zustand wohliger Versunkenheit".




10 Orgasm Equivalence and Symbolism before Puberty: Non-, Nongenital and Pre-Orgasmic Orgasms [up] [contents]


Some analytic authors discuss the genital nature of orgastic states in young children. Kestenberg (1968:p467) argued that:


"Direct observation of masturbatory practices suggests that much of infantile genital handling is performed with rhythms which only rarely lead to orgasm comparable to that of an adult. Light tapping or pulling of genitals has the character of an "oral" rhythm; playful tensing and releasing of perineal muscles evokes genital pleasure, associated with rhythmic sphincter contractions; prolonged contractions culminating in an explosive release may simulate orgasm, but this turns out to be an anal-sadistic discharge […]. An "inner genital" rhythm of discharge, is characteristic between two and a half and four years of age [etc.]."


Others have doubted the sexual nature altogether. Hirschfeld (1910 [1952:p52]) observed that "[t]he stimulation of the erotic zones induce in the child an initial orgasm that is different from that of the post-puberty period in that the infantile initial orgasm is not combined with tension. This is [an] indication that the pleasurable sensations of the infant are not sexual". Löwenfeld (1911:p524-5) also doubted a full orgasm before puberty, but seems to date ejacularche before spermarche [p529].


Bornstein (1953) observed that avoided orgastic sensations are "nevertheless symbolically manifested". Other authors refer to suborgastic states, which would be a transitional (developmental) intensity level between preorgasmic and "full-orgasmic" potential. Sarnoff (1976:p39-84), who speaks of proto-orgastic sensations [p48], relates:


"Apparently a physiological potential for the use of the genitals for achieving sexual pleasure, though minimal, is usually present in latency age girls. It is variable in extent as well as in character. Sensations range from orgastic responses and sensations of excitement to soothing sensations"[45].


However, "Latency age children are, with few exceptions, maturationally incapable of achieving orgasm and ejaculation. Those with orgastic capabilities are limited by social pressures or internal inhibitions. Children of the [latency] age period are therefore unable to express sexual drives effectively. In the absence of a primary organ and physiological apparatus for discharge, regressions and defences guide the child to outlets compatible with socially approved guidelines" (Sarnoff, 1976:p153). Sarnoff observes that under the pressure of masturbatory inhibitions, direct motor stimulation of the genitalia is transformed to "an expression of drive activity utilizing movement of the entire body" (p55), such as disorganised jumping, organised athletic activities, and organised total body movement in play.


Martinson (1994) related that "[r]egarding a baby's physiological sexual responses to breast-feeding, babies possess a capacity for oral orgasm, a quivering of the lips and tongue in connection with breast-feeding followed by relaxation of the face into sleep. Oral orgasm can be frequent in occurrence during breast-feeding (Baker, 1969). Baker observed that oral orgasm does appear to have a sharp peak similar to the genital orgasm following puberty". A sharp peak?


Winnicott (1947:p328, 329) offers the following:


"The climax or detumescence [in sex play] is often represented more by the aggressive outburst that follows frustration than by a true relief of instinctual tension such as can be obtained by an older person after the onset of puberty. In sleep the dream life rises at times to excited states, and at the climax the body commonly finds some substitute for full sexual orgasm, such as wetting, or waking in nightmare. Sexual orgasm is not likely to be as satisfactory as such in the little boy as it can be after puberty, with emission added; perhaps it is more easily got by the little girl who has nothing to add as she matures, except being penetrated. These times of recurring instinctual tension must be expected in childhood, and substitute climaxes have to be provided- notably meals- but also parties, outings, special moments. Parents know well enough that they often have to step in and induce a climax by a show of strength, even a smack producing tears. Mercifully, children get tired in the end, and go to bed and to sleep. Even so, the delayed climax may disturb the calm of the night, as the child wakes in a night terror […]. Excitement calls for climax. The obvious way out for a child is the game with climax, in which excitement leads to something, "a chopper to chop off your head", a forfeit, aprize, someone is caught or killed, someone has won, and so on".


Sperling (1978:p235-6) described tic phenomena as a masturbatory equivalent in a 6-year-old boy. Infantile proto-orgasms as orgasm equivalents, a concept appearing in a posthumous note by Freud[46] (1938:p152), include, as Kramer (1954:p134) recalls, trancelike states, " "convulsive" crying, and motor phenomena described as terrifying shaking or twitching of various muscle groups […]" (ibid.). Also, first orgasm may be experienced as threatening, and subjectively continue "endlessly" [p136][47]. Garnier[48] described a one-year old girl with violent movements of the lower body, with an acme of opisthotonus, screaming, recovery, and recommencement; when interrupted, she cried.

A number of psychoanalysts have suggested physical orgasm analogies, or substitutes, in children as a result of behavioural masturbation equivalents. Many authors label whole-body movements in children as paroxysmal[49]. Brody (1960) classified the appearance of self-rocking in infancy as either normative ("a rythmic activity vaguely analogous to that which adults know in the course of genital gratification"), repetitive ("in which the infant looks rather withdrawn, lost, in the sensation") or agitated (in the action of which "he seems to be beyond external influence for the time being"). The last two types had "a quality of stereotypy and of excessive detachment from external stimuli". Spitz (1949:p102, 110) remarks that "[i]n the case of rocking, whether supine, knee-elbow, or standing, the children's expression was one which could go up to the point of orgiastic delight […]. [Rocking is] one of the few autoerotic activities at this age in which the child frequently manifests a wild delight, an orgiastic pleasure"[50]. Haroian ([2000]) remarked that "[d]ropping or casting is the neurological forerunner of counting, bowel and bladder control and orgasm". Niemann (1920:p875) points to orgiastic but "non-sexual" peripheral sensations. Spruiell (1985) observed that


"[i]n "harmless" jokes, the pleasure is like the "harmless" play with words in childhood and the more obvious forms of "harmlessness", i.e., the supposedly non-sexual play of older children and adolescence. In "tendentious" jokes, which always have to do with more genitally organized erotic and aggressive sources, there is a sudden organization of the pregenital components into foreplay, with a surprising, even shocking, climax, an orgastic-like discharge. Such jokes allow access to ordinarily suppressed unconscious fantasies, and combine them with preconscious fantasies on other levels. The result is a discharge and a saving of energy equivalent, Freud thought, to the forces ordinarily maintaining the repression. "Harmless jokes", according to Freud, resemble the non-orgastic play of children more directly".


Symbolic orgasmicity is probably in part a culturally acquired orientation in humans (bio-agogism). Examples are numerous, spreading an area of "orgasm" motivated behaviour and "orgasm" attitude (appraisal). In studying the culturally shared structure of narrative form, Reid (1999) observed that in children's narratives, "[t]he high point- the hingepin of mature narrative discourse- was found to be typically indiscernible in 4-year-old speakers; however, by age 11, the high points, or climactic moments of the narratives, were identifiable in 100% of the sample". In contast, Hudson et al. (1992) found that in 4-year-olds, stories about anger and fear resembled "traditional "plotted" stories, in which dynamic actions rise to a climax or high point that is followed by falling action and resolution". Blyler (1966), concluding on children in grades 2-6, suggests that the subjects prefer songs melodies possessing "strong melodic movement, strong climaxes, and definite points of repose".




11 Tension and Discharge Multimodality: Synerotics, Erotoplasticity and Synattractivism [up] [contents]


The nature of orgasm equivalence is that its authentic (genital) occurrence is brought about by an autonomic response to nonclimactic, but climax motivated behaviour. Orgasm has to be conceptualised as a passive experience brought about (eventually) by active, orgasmically motivated behaviour. In the hypothesis that orgasmic motivation is reinforced solely the reward of orgasm (orgasm equivalent), its initial experience has to be accidental (nonmotivational), or suspected on the basis of suggestion (experimental), which implies that orgasticity would have to be communicated either verbally, visually or interactively.

As outlined above, psychoanalysts have suggested that the discharge of tension associated with a certain organ can be "displaced" to other sites in the body, or through the body as a whole, warranting the term masturbation and orgasm equivalence. Specifically, genital arousal (eroticity) could be held accountable for various general acting out patterns aimed at and effective for discharge. In the child, who, on the basis of this survey, may at any time prove orgasmic, secondarily anorgasmic or suborgasmic, or pre- (perhaps non-) orgasmic, this hypothesis may prove valuable in explaining specific "discharge disorders" (ADHD, etc.) and neurotic dysfunctions, such as compulsivity. Further elaboration of this point may have to await a moral climate that permits its testing.



12 The Experience of Orgasmarche: Anecdotal Materials [up] [contents]


Orgasmarche as a psychological milestone has not been explored in depth. Five classic attitudinal studies on seminarche (Levin, 1976; Gaddis & Brooks-Gunn, 1985; Downs & Fuller, 1991; Adegoke, 1993; Stein & Reiser, 1994)[51] proved uninterested in the psychological appraisal of the orgasmic component; the routine analogy with menarche, then, is suspect phenomenologically. This subject of ejacularche has recently been studied by Frankel (2002a,b), but he, likewise pretty much skips over orgasmarche. Authors refer to the experience, as occurring before puberty, as possibly threatening (Kramer, Barnett, Kestenberg) and overwhelming (Fraiberg), painful (Féré, Moll, Kinsey et al.), ecstatic and biographically superior[52], as well as "endless" (Fox, Stekel), and accompanied by various degrees of alteration of consciousness, including temporary black-out.


Most informative cases have been incidental ones. Behavioural psychologist Skinner described his own dry orgasm around age 11[53]. "Meinen ersten Orgasmus hatte ich mit vier", opens Swiss Nella Martinetti's biography[54]. Rare clinical observations of female orgasm at age 6 or 7 were reported in detail by Frenkel (1993:p180) who previously reported an anamnestic case (Frenkel, 1991). Again, this case suggests withdrawal of environmental awareness, with a postorgasmic state.

Hall (1904:p438) observed:


"The first orgasm, especially if forced at premature age, consists in a general and diffused glow and exhilaration of the sense of well-being even before emission is possible. This gives a heightened sense of the value of life, and a flush of ecstasy and joy that tinges the world with a glory that is far more than sensuous. But before this function is well developed the Nemesis of depression follows hard after these exaltations, and both states arouse thought and fancy in new directions and with a vividness unknown before".


Another case:


"I cannot recall the exact date of my first masturbation or the circumstances leading to it, but I remember vividly the traumatic moments after I had completed the act. I didn't know what I had done or what had happened. Boy, was I scared!" [note the orgasmic definition of masturbation, or masturbatory definition of orgasm] (Martinson, 1994).


Orgasm may form the anticlimax of an otherwise agreeable "primal scene". Rather than fascination (Sandfort, 1980:p191), a boy may be frightened by his (first) observing (adult) orgasm (Oskamp, 1980:p96, as cited by Brongersma, 1990 [II], p279-80): "I thought it was a kind of disease".


Quoted in a study by Perkins (1991):


"My very first sexual experience was with this little girl over the road. We used to go down into this huge garden where we lived and we used to do this fantasy masturbation theme with hoses and stethoscopes. I can remember having orgasms at five. They were definitely orgasms, and she did too. They were definitely sexual because we would take our clothes off and both reach orgasm. Then we weren't interested in the game any more. We used to play these games two or three times a week".


Morrison et al. (1980:p3) quote a male: "I was an avid masturbator from about age ten on. Climax back then was unreal. The intense feelings kept building until I could no longer bear to manipulate my penis". Villinger (1926:p124-5) reported on orgasm from early childhood:


"Merkwürdig wird sie keinenwegs immer im Genitale selber empfunden, sondern von guten Beobachtern ins Becken und die Gesäþ- (nicht speziell Anal-) gegend verlegt, wo ein Gefühl von wohliger, eigentmlich kitzelnder und erregender Wärme und Dehnung "wie von einschieþ endem Blutt" entsteht. Dies bildet den Höhepunkt, der nur unter enegischer mechanischer Genitalreizung erreicht wird, sich nicht festhalten läþt und langsam wieder absinkt. Von männlichen Individuen weiþ ich, daþ diese Form sich bald nach eintritt der ersten Ejakulation ändert und von da ab immer mehr dem bekannten Erlebnistyp gleicht".


Fox (1993), on the basis of an informal and unstructured survey of 100 men's accounts concluded positively on the existence of male prepubertal multiorgasticity. Relating to age 3 and onward, 82% of males described what Fox from personal experience identifies as "boyhood bliss". Including " "ripples" of continuous, smaller climaxes preceding the major ending or quiet cessation of the activity" (p24), 63 males would report a disappointment in the onset of ejaculation regarding these prolonged orgasmic states.


These resemble one of the two types of orgasm proposed by Stekel[55] (1950 [1961:p22-4]). In Stekel's typology, "We may recognize two forms [of childhood orgasm]: a progressive orgasm followed by release of tension or a lightly accentuated but more or less permanent orgastic state". It was not identified how Stekel got to this classification.


In a study by Brackbill and Brackbill (1963), people were asked about their first orgasmic experience. The most frequently reported affect was said to be bewilderment. As a disappointment feature, ages are not offered, and the results are not systematically presented. Martinson (1973:p95) quotes an autobiographical case (age 12), [strongly suggestive of multi-orgasticity]:


"Well, he [other boy] began to manually stimulate me, and the sensation was so great at orgasm I honestly remember that I made him stop for a second. Then I asked him to start again and the sensation came back and I made him stop again. I was too young to ejaculate anything, but it sure felt good. We repeated the cycle at least ten times before we quit".




13 Knowing Orgasm (Together with Some Ethnographics) [up] [contents]


Gagnon (1977:p83-5) writes:


"It is possible to imagine a social order that does make orgasm an early and constant activity on the part of the child, an activity as important as eating, running, jumping, getting good grades, learning to read and to smile. It could even be made gender-specific […]. In such a society it is likely that orgasm and orgasm seeking would be characteristic of most children; however, it would be so not because of the innate desire to have orgasm, but because the activity was socially highly valued".


The average age of orgasm knowledgibility has been researched only scantly. The average age of first knowledge in an online sample of male balloon fetishists was 12.05 (Gates, 2001). Sarnoff and Sarnoff (1979:p112-4) provoked that "true awareness of the orgasmic experience" is possible first in early childhood, while earlier orgasms may be forgotten.


Only a very limited number of ethnographers refer to early orgasm and orgasm knowledgability, as I have argued elsewhere (Janssen, 2002). Some authors mention it en passant. Pangkahila and Pangkahila (1997) note on Indonesia: "Although some parents report that they watch their children pleasuring themselves to orgasm, many parents are afraid when they discover their children self-pleasuring because they believe this to be an abnormal act" (ital.add.). "To the Polynesian, sex is life itself: the entire cycle of birth, love-making, death- and then eternal life through one's seed. It is all-embracing, like the weather or the sea, and it is talked about as freely. Even the small children on Ra'ivavae know that navenave means to experience the orgasm, and they understand that both men and women are capable of it. According to Marshall (1962:p241)[56], Ra'ivavae children have an understanding of orgasm, but, possibly not of their own ability: "Even the small children on Ra'ivavae know that navenave means to experience the orgasm, and they understand that both men and women are capable of it". Suggs (1966:p45) writes:


"Young [Marquesan] boys from the age of six or seven upward gather surreptiously in the bush for masturbation contests. The object of these contests is too see who can experience orgasm and/or ejaculate (manini, haka te'a), first. Naturally, the younger members of these groups are physiologically incapabale of ejaculation, and their participation evidently is based on their desire for sexual stimulation devided both from the actual manipulation of the genitals and from observing the behaviors of others".


Devereux (1951 [1967:p98]), although hesitatingly, agreed to the fact that, "because of the child's inability to achieve a true orgasm, the entire tension [associated with a primal scene experience] cannot be abreacted in a massive and climactic manner, and that, because of the oedipal fantasies which accompany it, the defensive masturbatory act itself may, in some instances, further increase anxiety and tension". He continues to observe that the Mohave believed in dry orgasm in small children. He also seems to infer that "because of cultural conditioning and the absence of a latency period, the Mohave child has a somewhat greater orgastic capacity than has the occidental child, although there can be no doubt that this capacity is still considerably inferior to that of the adults, and does not suffice therefore to release in a massive and climactic manner all tensions generated by the witnessing of the primal scene" ( orig.). Edwardes and Masters (1961:p81) commented on Oriental children that "orgasm is achieved easily and rapidly at each contact, because the mind and senses of the child are not disciplined like those of the adult".



14 Anxietas and Orgasmarche [up] [contents]


The element of anxiety is interesting, at least from a psychodynamic point of view. Laforgue (1931) wondered: "Is it possible that the erotic fear (l'angoisse) may be the infantile form of orgasm, and may account for erotic dreams?" Root (1962) observed that


"[l]atency children are more unwilling than adolescent children to bring anxiety dreams into analysis. The anxiety dream is an attempt to achieve orgastic discharge that fails to materialise. These children seem to become addicted to anxiety excitement. The anxiety dream may also be viewed as a "sadomasochistic discharge" like a temper tantrum. Anxiety inhibits full discharge which is hungered for but fantasized as total destruction. Being overwhelmed by anxiety in the dreaming or waking state represents failure of mastery over the excessively stimulated sexual and aggressive drives".


Rosen (1979:p39) wrote that


"[i]n early childhood, pre-genital sexual seduction is traumatic because the intensity of the experience is beyond the infant's capacity to endure it. The ego anxiety aroused by being out of control is countered by the hyper-libidinization accompanying the pleasure in the experience".


Anorgasmia has been widely suggested as a source of tension caused by masturbation.

Anxiety provoking qualities of first orgasm may postpone orgasm regularity. Little, however, is known about this attitude. Keiser (1947) enumerated some adult fears as occurring in the preorgasmic state: overfilling, evisceration (overemptying), convulsion, death, incontinence, addiction, commitment, etc. Secondary reading provides clues that some of these fears are indeed encountered in children as well as postpubertals and that they might indeed postpone a postinitiatory second orgasm attempt. The delay of an "orgasmic identity", thus, may be tentatively regarded as normative in the industrial West. Apart from the fact that virtually all verbal and practical socialisation is absent, at least before orgasmarche, it could be assumed that parents fear infant and childhood orgasm for its presumed negative qualities, probably addiction[57]. Simultaneously, the first and subsequent orgasm, as it is most often experienced ex masturbatione, is coupled with, above all, an active and personal identity.



15 Further on Pathogenesis [up] [contents]


Orgasmic or tensional conditioning has been cited as a contributing cause of erotic preference by Binet, Schrenck-Notzing, Kreft-Ebing, and many others. Hardy's appetitional theory of "sexual" motivation decided that in childhood, the affective fundament of this motivation lays in preorgasmic arousal, that is, "without the potent affect associated with orgasm" (1964:p8, 16). However, he is not sure about the timing of "true sexual arousal (lust)" (p10-1). MacGuire et al. (1965)[58] suggested that the nature of the first sexual experience followed by orgasm is critical for the establishment of erotic orientation. Montagu (1986) quotes Oliven (1955) in pointing out that "[…] spanking on the buttocks may produce distinctively erotic sensations in children, including sexual orgasm. Children have been known to misbehave deliberately in order to receive such desired "punishment", pretending to be distressed while experiencing it" (cf. Johnson, 1994). A possible equivalent of this was provided by Denko (1976, case 7) in which a later klismaphiliac recalls his first remembered enema being accompanied by "an erection and a tingling sensation in his anus that ran all the way up to the base of the skull, which he now calls a "mini-orgasm" ".

The normative role of orgasmic conditioning for erotic orientation has not been established.



16 Prespermarchic Ejaculation? On "Prostatarche" [up] [contents]


Eighteenth century European parents probably knew the difference between a "Leerlaufstadium" (ejaculation without sperm) and the subsequent "Funktionsstadium" (Van Ussel, 1967:153/1968 [1971:p173])[59]. Evans-Pritchard (1974:p19) on the Azande's concept of ejacularche: "The first time a boy gets an erection with sperm in clearing a way in his penis it may trouble him while it makes a way. When it happens and he for the first time ejaculates sperm it is hot for him like fire. After that he begins to ejaculate coolly. The first sperm just comes like water for a long time, for about three months, then real sperm begins to come […]". Evans-Pritchard (1932):


"Azande say that in the early stages of male puberty the seminal fluid (nzira) does not contain souls of children (mbisimo gude) and it is only when a boy blossoms into manhood that his semen becomes fertile. That the souls of children are connected by a simple inference with the presence of spermatozoa in the seminal fluid is shown by the statement that the fluid becomes fertile when it ceases to have the appearance of water and becomes thick and slimy like the yolk of an egg […]. Semen is thought to cause a boy's first ejaculation by collecting at the root of the penis and forcing its way out. This first ejaculation of semen is somewhat painful since the semen `burns like fire' but afterwards the boy ejaculates without difficulty though for a long time his seminal fluid is like water. A boy of about 12-14 years of age is said to have orgasms without emissions; from about 14 to 16 his emissions are `merely like urine' and contain no mbisimo gude; at about 17 years of age they contain mbisimo gude[60]. A man considers himself capable of procreating children so long as he is able to ejaculate sperm".


Some older authors mention the expulsion of fluid before a genuine "ejaculation", implying sperm, is noticed. Kormann (1872:p293) mentions that boys manipulate their genital organs so long, that "der Erguss einer in früheren Jahren rein schleimigen Flüssigkeit, später wiklich Samens stattgefunden hat, wornach entweder das Befriedigingsgefühl eines natürlichen Coitus oder ein Zustand höchster Ermattung zu folgen pflegt". Vogel ([1887:p451]) mentions that "Knaben die über 10 Jahre alt sind, bringen es durch längeres Onaniren endlich zur Ejaculation einer schleimigen Flüssigkeit; ob dieselbe schon Samenfäden enthalt, ist meines Wissens noch nicht untersucht worden, es könnte mglicher Weise auch prostatischer Saft sein". Steiner ([1873:p334]) also mentions the slimy fluid. Albert Moll (1898:p48) found that a mother of an 11-year-old boy frequently caught him in the act of genital play, and often found an efflux of "Feuchtigkeit". Moll had the stains examined by one Dr. Kutner, who found no spermatozoa. "Ungewiss ist, ob es Prostatasekret ist; wahrscheinlich aber scheint es Herrn Dr. Kutner, das es sich um einen Ausfluss aus der Harnröhre handelt, die durch die vielen manuellen Reizungen entzündet sein dürfte".

Moll (1908 [1912:p56-9]) later discussed this issue in extenso.

"In my own investigations on the subject, I have been able to learn nothing regarding the occurrence in children of any urethrorrhoea ex libidine; and my information relates only to the true ejaculation of a fluid. I have seen a few cases in which such ejaculation occurred in boys at the early age of twelve years, although this is quite exceptional, and, as already mentioned, in such cases the ejaculated fluid contains no spermatozoa.

In the case of women, what has been said of the glands of Cowper applies equally to the glands of Bartholin, the homologues of the former both as regards significance and development. The glands of Bartholin also begin to secrete in sexually immature girls, and even in children. It must be added that when ejaculation occurs in sexually immature girls, the products of other glands are probably intermingled with the secretion of the glands of Bartholin (mucous glands of the uterus, of the cervix uteri, the vagina, the vulva, and perhaps also of the urethra). I have distinguished the simple outflow of secretion from its forcible expulsion--from true ejaculation. This latter demands the rhythmical activity of certain muscles, such as takes place during coitus. The question arises, whether such muscular activity can occur before any fluid has been formed capable of being ejaculated. When I compare what is published in the literature of the subject with what I have myself observed in this connexion, I regard the following points an definitely established. There are certain cases, and these in young persons of both sexes, in which typical rhythmical muscular contractions take place in the child, although no ejaculated fluid is discoverable. It remains doubtful, however, whether a small quantity of secretion, overlooked by the observer, and perhaps not even recognisable, may not, after all, be ejaculated. I consider it probable that this is so. Moreover, we must not forget that the rhythmical muscular contractions, which in the adult effect ejaculation, are able to expel the fluid from the urethra only when this fluid is present in sufficient quantity. When the quantity is minimal the fluid is retained for a time in that passage, owing to the frictional resistance of the urethra, and is perhaps not expelled until the next act of micturition. Some may, of course, object to denote such a process by the word ejaculation; but I myself see no reason why the term should not be extended to include the rhythmical muscular contraction both in the child and the adult, even in cases in which there is not sufficient fluid secretion in the urethra for this to be visibly extruded by these contractions[61]".


Stier (1910:p326) found reported on a mentally retarded boy, aged 7 years, whose mother found "gelbliche Flecke", which Stier interpreted as an ejaculation, "eine Erscheinung, die im 7. Lebensjahre relativ selten ist, und für gewöhnlich erst am Beginn oder kurz vor der Pubertätsentwicklung aufzutreten pflegt"[62]. Ziehen (1917:p363) remarks in a footnote: "Ausdrücklich sei bemerkt, daß im Ejakulat bei dieser Onanie des Kindesalters bis in die Pubertät hinein Spermatozoen in der Regel ganz fehlen". Clearly citing Freud, Noorduyn (1915:p7) notes [tentative translation footnoted]: "De sexuaalprikkeling uit den zuigelingentijd keert terug in der kinderjaren (de tijd is nog niet met juistheid aan te geven) als een zekere jeukprikkeling die tot onanie voert, of geeft pollutieachtige uitvloeiien, analoog aan de later geregeld optredende polluties, welke slijmafscheidingen vooral bij meisjes optreden"[63]. Sandfort (1986:p68) also describes this ejaculatory transition phase, as observed by adult males, in 13-year-olds; here, the "transparent" fluid is not ejaculated, but oozes out.


As reported many times, infant and toddler lubrication led parents to search for stains as an indicator for masturbation[64]. Garnier (p241, as quoted by Guyon, 1929:p61) noted "émission d'un sperme liquide et mal préparé" in nine or ten-year-olds. Moreau (1888), writing on childhood nymphomania, included the example of a girl with "furniture masturbation" at 3 "with strong ejaculation"; the age at which this begins does not become apparent. On the basis of interviews with people incarcerated for sexual offences against minors, Borneman (1990:p202) stated that "[b]oy's ejaculatory discharge develops prior to polluarche and masturbarche".



17 A Sidestep: Spermarche [up] [contents]


"Normal figures for semen volume, semen liquefaction, spermatozoal concentration, and morphology are observed 12-14 months after first ejaculation. The percentage of normally motile spermatozoa becomes standard 21-23 months after first ejaculation. There were changes in semen characteristics from azoospermia through cryptozoospermia, oligozoospermia, and asthenozoospermia to normospermia. Azoospermia dominates until the fifth month after the first ejaculation, oligozoospermia from the sixth to the eleventh month, asthenozoospermia from the twelfth to the twentieth month, and normospermia from the twenty-first month" (Janczewski and Bablok, 1985).

Guizar et al. (1992) found that in Mexican boys, spermaturia occurred at median age of 13.4 (SD= 1.01) year, at median height of 155.2 (8.9) cm, and at Tanner stage G2P1. Nielsen et al. (1986) also found a median 13.4 (range=11.7-15.3, median P2.5), while Schaefer et al. (1990) found a median spermaturic age of 14.1. Bornman et al. (1990) found a mean age of Tswanan boys with spermaturia of 14.95 +/- 0.85.


None of the spermaturia studies, however, report ejacularche. Indeed, spermarche analysis is done with repetitive morning urine samples because "[e]stablishing spermatogenesis by masturbation in maturing boys may be considered inappropriate" (Hirsch et al., 1985). In cryptorchids the first ejaculation may be slightly later and the frequency of nocturnal emissions in pubescence may be lower (Raboch et al., 1977).

Pedersen et al. (1993) found that spermaturia was not associated with secondary sex characteristics; neither is ejacularche (Naron et al., 1980). "Spermaturia in non-virilised boys is probably a result of spontaneous, continuous, or intermittent flow in contrast with the peristaltic flow in ejaculations and nocturnal emissions", "occurring at a later stage of puberty when androgen levels become high enough to allow ejaculation" [p386][65]. Nysom et al. (1994) likewise reported spermaturia in two normal boys with testicular volumes of 3 ml and no other signs of puberty. "This supports the hypothesis that spermatogenesis can begin before any other signs of puberty and indicates that the definition of start of puberty as testicular volumes of 4 ml or more may be too rigorous".


Spermarche age is informative in sperm retrieval issues related to iatrogenic infertility. For instance, Schmiegelow et al. (1998) described semen retrieval methods applicable in pubertal boys with a fertility potential, although not "psychologically ready" to produce a semen sample, who are likely to become infertile because of anticancer therapy. Self-applied penile vibratory stimulation and electroejaculation (in general anaesthesia) are techniques successfully used in boys aged 13 and 14 years. Muller et al. (2000) further report that they only considered boys of Tanner stage 3 or more "able to deliver a semen sample"[p192]. "Presence of spermatozoa in the urine is not tantamount to the ability to produce a semen sample". In a sample of Kliesch et al. (1996), the lowest age was 14.


Kim et al. (1997) found that more parental marital conflict in early childhood, less emotional closeness to father throughout childhood, and more aggressiveness, unruliness, and externalizing symptoms (aggressiveness/unruliness) in late childhood were associated with earlier spermarche. Earlier spermarche was associated with earlier age at dating women, more girlfriends, higher likelihood of having had intercourse, and more intercourse partners.



18 The Pollution Enigma [up] [contents]


The function of male pollutions, and ejaculatory masturbation, Levin (1975) argues, may lie in the avoidance of teratozoospermia. Likewise, male postejacularchic masturbation is a way of titrating sperm quality so as to optimalise it for next copulation (Baker and Bellis, 1993; Bellis and Baker, 1995) [a legitimisation for pre-ejacularchic masturbation thus reads that it precipitates perpubescent continuance][66]. So, after legitimising these phenomena biologically, does their sociology suggest a problematisation curriculum? In pre-1900 studies, pollutions were considered symptomatic, diagnostic, and prognostic for Onanist disease. According to Money (1999), Jean Gerson, Chancellor of the University of Paris and Dean of the Cathedral School of Notre Dame, was one of the first to publish information concerning nocturnal wet dreams and boyhood masturbation. Since then few if any papers have been dedicated to the phenomenon, and few if any clinical studies are available on its normative occurrence.

Whether polluarche accounts as orgasmarche, thus remains debated, since the psychological, behavioural and physical nature of pollution remains speculative. For instance, does it entail hypnopompic frictio membri? This would be problematised when "pollutions" would occur diurnally (suggested by Furman, 1975:p227-8), and when giving attention to such clinical oddities as female prepubescent nocturnal orgasmic dreams (suggested by Moll, 1909:p86 [1912:p95] and Hamilton, 1929:p313).


Polluarche age, as is the timing of "erotic" dreams, has been researched at a minimum. Wulffen (1910:p184; 1913:p255) stated: "Die schon im Kindesalter eintretende Pollution ist ein Symptom für einen früh erwachten, gewöhnlich dann auch starken Geschlechtstrieb"[67].

Adolescents have commonly been plagued by emissions, possibly due to insufficient parental preparation (e.g., Paonesa and Paonessa, 1971; Hockenberry et al., 1996). Adolescents may confuse emissions with enuresis (Sugar, 1974), or be otherwise concerned over their occurrence (Raymond et al, 1968). Stein and Reiser (1993:p377) reported a 31% initial confusion of first semen with urine. In a Tanzanean study (Leshabari, 1988), 10% of boys initially interpreted ejacularche as injurious.

The psychological correlates of ejaculation and pollution phenomena in precocious puberty cases are not clear. Money and Alexander (1969:p117) report on "erotic imagery in dreams and daydreams" in cases of male precocious puberty followed longitudinally (N=18). "The earliest reported dreams with sex content and nocturnal emission occurred in one boy at age 5", and at age 6.5 in another two.



19 Early Non-Orgasmia Pathologised [up] [contents]


The concept of sexual dysfunction in children is rarely acknowledged in the literature. Haroian (1986:p321-2) briefly touches upon childhood "psychosexual dysfunction", when writing:

"Psychosexual dysfunctions, characterized by inhibitions in sexual desire or the physiological changes that characterize the sexual response cycle, are undiagnosable in children, although there is reason to assume that they may be manifest. There is no help for children who have developmental sexual problems (i.e., arousal, orgasm, pain, guilt, low sensation, etc.). […] Although there are no studies on sexual dysfunction in childhood, retrospective sex histories of adults and case histories of children in psychotherapy suggest that all is not well […]. Until we better understand the development of the erotic response through childhood and adolescence, and until normative behavior gradients are established, children's sexual needs will not be properly addressed by the mental health community".


Fraiberg (1972) finds that "[t]here is strong evidence [...] that there may be a prototype for frigidity in the genital aneasthesias of [the] latency [period]. These observations suggest that dread of penetration and the fear of the orgastic explosion encountered in many frigid adult women may have antecedents in infantile experience" (p465) due to a fearful reaction to vaginal discharge[68]. According to Fraiberg, this explosion is better referred to as "peaks of excitement", or "an explosive discharge that has the characteristics of orgasm, even if it may not be identical with orgasm" (p474). A male equivalent is also suggested (Fraiberg, 1962).

This horror orgasmicus could lead to what Rohleder identified as masturbatio interrupta (no orgasm) or perhaps incompleta (i.e., orgasmus sine ejaculatione).

A surprising exception to the exclusion of the child in the sex therapy curriculum is made by Thore Langfeldt, a Norwegian sexologist who in the late 1970s issued the existence of child sexual dysfunction[69]. He states:


"It is quite a new area in sexual pathology to even talk about sexual dysfunction in children. From a theoretical point of view there is no reason to assume that sexual problems originate only in adulthood […]. One of the most typical sexual dysfunctions in children is hypermasturbation. No effort so far has been made to analyse what hypermasturbation is all about. Clinical studies so far [Langfeldt, 1986; unpublished] have demonstrated that hypermasturbation is a symptom due to an inability to achieve orgasm in children who have previously experienced or nearly experienced orgasm, or in children who have retarded orgasm. Careful interviews and observations with these children down to 3 years of age showed clearly the inability to achieve orgasm"[70].


Langfeldt suggests changing masturbatory techniques and patterns, using vibrators in multi-handicapped children and adolescents, and model learning, or using film or video. He also comments on early impotence [at age 12]. Langfeldt (1981b) sums up what would be 6 widely experienced sexual problems of children: difficulty in achieving a proper erection or lubrication, delayed orgasm, anorgasm (in spite of masturbatory activity, muscular pain during orgasm, depression, anxiety or guilt feelings after masturbating to orgasm, and repressed sensation, little or no feeling about masturbation to orgasm (p71).



20 Anorgasmia, Pathological Masturbation Categories and Pathogenetic Experiences [up] [contents]


This (secondary anorgasmia)[71] has proved a useful concept in the case presented by Janzen and Peacock (1978) on a 9-year-old girl with classroom public "masturbation":


"Masturbation was accomplished by either rocking back and forth on the edge of her seat or rubbing herself with her hands. The intensity of such behaviour ranged from a casual rocking motion during which time she attended to her work, to a very intense and rapid motion at which time her desk moved, her eyes appeared to become glassy, her face became flushed, and her breathing became deep and rapid. It was never established whether she actually achieved orgasm" (p303).


Langfeldt would have argued that she probably did not. This raises the question whether other instances of "excessive" masturbation are in fact cases of childhood secondary orgasmic dysfunction. A contemporary case was discussed by Ferguson and Rekers (1979) who treated a 4-year-old girl's public (and "excessive") masturbation, after school teachers feared that other children would learn the behaviour, and suspended her from school until remission of the public component would be effectuated [they claimed that it caused distraction]. Untreated frequency and duration in natural environments were not communicated. After discussing the possible paediatric and psychological dispositions, they add:

"It could be argued that this is a case of sex (genital) play rather than of masturbation. If so, it could be proposed that the child's sexual activity was prolonged and excessive because she was not experiencing orgasm, if, indeed, she was capable of experiencing orgasm. If this was genital play rather than masturbation, some would question whether suppression of her "need" was better therapy than expression of it. Why not teach her to masturbate to orgasm? […]. Masturbation was defined by the teacher and the parents. Consequently, no theoretical necessity prompted us to differentiate genital play from masturbation. A behavior was occurring that could be clearly defined and that was excessive [?], especially in the social setting. With this situation, it is incumbent upon therapists to intervene for the presenting behavior problem" (p220).


However, orgasmic cases of masturbation[72] all judged compulsive / excessive, have been recognised by McCray (1978), in an 11-year-old girl by Wagner (1969), in a 4.5-year-old girl by Bitter-Lebert (1956:p44) and in another 4-year-old girl by Pearson (1951:p223-37). A further dubious case of frequent public toddler (5y) masturbation is presented by Dutch professor Kamp (1971, case C): "It is not clear whether [he] attains an orgastic climax while masturbating. When he begins, he usually continues a long time, sometimes a whole day"(p359; transl. DJ). However, there was transpiration and pallor. Mittelman (1955), lastly, presented a case of prolonged masturbation, in which the duration of the activity, including intercourse-like movements, was thought to be related to, amongst other factors, an inability to reach "relief from tension (orgasm) because of the loss of the love object and his fears of abandonment and genital injury" (p250).


A most exhaustively researched association exists between female childhood sexual abuse and "adult" orgasmic dysfunction. This, however, may be an artefact in a cultural design that promotes the association of a psychiatrically stigmatised experience with subsequent arousal, libido, fantasy, cognitive, attitudinal and relational behaviour implicitly conform an "abuse script". Due to cultural "priorities", too little is known about these "environmental" processes to warrant any conclusion on possible (if any) causative mechanisms. Indeed, Adams (1953) concluded that, for his sample, the degree of sexual responsiveness depended almost completely upon "psychosexual conditioning" and that the most crucial factor in unresponsiveness was "learned repression and inhibition" having "their genesis in earliest childhood, perhaps as early as the first week of infancy". It appears that causative speculations regarding female anorgasmia refer to "cultural" academic curricula more than they do to any rigors in the psychoneuroendocrinological discipline.



21 A Biosocial Apology for Early Orgasm? [up] [contents]


Cocchi and Rocca (1977; see also Cocchi, 1977)[73] suggested that


"[c]hildhood masturbation is closely tied to depression [a presupposition contradicted by Landreth, as cited in Calderone, 1985] and has the function of impeding deeper depression and maintaining the integrity of the organism. Activities such as masturbation, as well as giving actual somatic satisfaction, reduce the activity of the reticular system. Orgasm in the child, as in the adult, is accompanied by an increase in arterial pressure and a discharge of adrenalin. The antidepressive compensation of masturbation may occur through a replacement of the noradrenergic component necessary in the maintenance of normothymy, which because of its temporary nature has to be repeated".




22 Physiological Requirements: Prepubertal Phallic Response [up] [contents]


Fürbringer thought that erections started at age 15, while providing an example of "masturbation" at age 5. We see here demonstrated that terminology, together with some degree of attitude, in childhood sexuality studies has been most critical in determining eroticism as a "developmental" concept.


There are innumerable accounts of so-called physiological, spontaneous, or reflex erections in children. Fifteen minutes of in utero "masturbation" have been documented ultrasonographically in a boy 28 weeks gestation age (Meizner, 1987), as is fetal erection (Sherer et al., 1990; Koyanagi et al., 1991; Shirozu et al., 1995), which is probably related to REM sleep. These observations, making Calderone's "scalp prickle" (1983; 1985:p700), have led French sexologists to re-issue the concept of "fetal sexuality" (Broussin and Brenot, 1994, 1995)[74], a hardly more sophisticated attempt than Calderone's.


Providing a normative baseline situating clinical presumptions[75], nocturnal phalloplethysmographic data on prepubertal subjects are very rare. Data from recordings using an apparatus detailed by Karacan (1969) described nocturnal penile tumescence in infants (Karacan, 1966; Karacan et al., 1968), boys from the age of three years upward, (Karacan et al., 1975; 1976; Jovanovič, 1972) and during early puberty (Karacan et al., 1972). Data collected through other methods are presented by Halverson (1938, 1940) and Clarke et al. (1937). In diagnostic settings, a bottom age of 11 (Becker et al., 1989) is found. More observations are done by Blanton (1917), Conn and Kanner (1940), Pierce et al. (1961), Wolff (1966, cited by Fisher et al., 1965), Korner (1968,1969), and Dement (1966:p297) Questionnaire data are available by Ramsey (1943/1950), and Kinsey et al. (1948).




23 The Vertical Politics of Orgasmarche: Input for a "Delay Theory" (cf. §12.4.1) [up] [contents]


Meyer (1996:p100) conceptualised orgasm as a behavioural tool mastered by the adult, in contrast to the child, and utilised in defining sexual reality of the child with this "superior orgasmic technology". Indeed, it seems that orgasm enters the stage of information hierarchies. Orgasm is rarely communicated to prepubescent children as an immediate possibility, even in "progressive" texts[76]. Some books explicitly deny the possibility of prepubertal age orgasm (Stoppard, 1997) in answer to a specific question (p34). The possibility, however, is infrequently suggested to parents (e.g., Van der Doef, 1994:p57). A Dutch instructional guide to masturbation (Lammers, 1992), intended for 11 years and above, dry orgasm is described as possible, although perhaps "different" and less intense (p48); dry (p65, 66) and preschool (p71) orgasm are mentioned in personal retrospective accounts of adults. Two other Dutch children's booklets on ejaculation and masturbation, the issue of dry orgasm is not mentioned (Delfos, 1997, 1999; "research" by M. Gottmer). Orgasm is not a topic commonly discussed in books on sex education prepared for parents of children in U.S. society (Martinson, 1992; ref., 1994).






24 Conclusions [up] [contents]


Insufficient data exist to warrant definite statements on the matter of prepubertal orgasticity (potentiality). Theoretically, there are as yet no verified psychoneuroendocrinological arguments against its occurrence or adult-equivalent nature before puberty. Future study, although particularly sensitive to ethical curricula, could add to the probability of suborgasmicity, developmental orgasm threshold level shifts due to hormonal influences, curricular multi-orgasticity, proto-orgasticity and pre-orgasticity. Some child psychoanalysts have suggested a frightening nature of the experience, resulting in both secondary masturbatory and orgasmic inhibition. However, the relevance of orgasm, and orgasmarche, in early "masturbation" remains speculative. As discussed elsewhere, early infantile orgasm and epilepsy, perhaps due to the possibility of "atypical" masturbatory technique, are prone to be confused by observers (Janssen, 2000 for a full review); a neurophysiological kinship, at least in some cases, cannot as yet be dismissed.



25 Tables [up] [contents]




Table 1 Orgasmarche: Age [up] [contents] [Bibliography]



Mean Age (SD)

Type Specification




Friedman and Stern (1980:p180); Friedman (1988:p196)



12.3 (hom)

12.0 (het)



25 mast.,

3 noct.emiss.,

6 mutual mast

Homosexual and heterosexual males, N=34; range 11-14






PARTNER II (1979/80) / etc.

15.657 (2.191)

[specific data available on ability to remember; mode of actualisation, age 10>]

German [DDR] students



PARTNER III (1990) / Weller (1993) /etc.

15.026 (1.652)



[specific data available on ability to remember; mode of actualisation, age […]10>]

German [DDR] high school and academic students

16.80 (3.24)

German [DDR] working people <44y

13.366 (2.643)

German [DDR] homosexuals

[range 6>]

* (4.35 [1.338])

German [DDR] academic students

* (3.962 [1.417])

Soviet academic students

Klausner (1961a)




Iraqi women

Klausner (1961b)




Israelese women

Davidson et al. (1989)


16.8 (N=753)

- (23.0 for orgasmarche in coitu)

Adult women

Green (1985)

12.87 (2.01)

12.25 (3.12)



Bardeleben et al. (1995)





Gates (2001)




Balloon fetishists

Savin-Williams (1995)

12.6 (1.4)



Gay and bisexual youths

Califia (1979)





Alzate (1977, 1978)




Columbian university students

Chilton (1972)


14.4 (0.85)


- (M+F =4.0 [0.51])

Monozygotic and same-sex dizygotic twins

Jackinworld (1997b)




Online, self-selected

Alzate (1984)




Columbian university students






* Different scale







Table 2 Orgasm: Early, Prepubertal and Pre-Ejaculatory [up] [contents] [Bibliography]







Larsson and Svedin (2002)

6.3 / 42.5

7.0 / 20.4

6-10 / 11-12. Masturbatory

Klausner (1963/1971)



11,12,…; spontaneous: 9.8% age 11 and 12.2% age 12 in active Iraqi males; 5.2% and 10.5% for females [etc.]

Klausner (1961a)

2.4 (ejac?)


<12, spont. Petting to orgasm: none at age 11, 2.4(M) at age 12; and 5.2%(F)at age 11, which stays roughly the same till age 16

Klausner (1961b)

9.1 (ejac?)


<13, spont (0% at age 11); petting to orgasm: 0% (MF) at age 12

Kinsey et al. (1953)




Kinsey et al. (1948)




Yankowski (1965)



≤10y; 11-13

Jackinworld (1998)




Q-Tip (2001)

49 (95%M)


Davis (1929)




Gebhard et al. (1965)



Prepubertal, sex offenders

Hite (1994)



<11 or 12y

Hite (1981)




Eichner and Habermehl (1978:p58,203)

2 (<=12)

2 (<=13)

Orgasmarche in coitu

Van Wyk and Geist (1984)



Prepubertal, masturbatory




Table 3 "Ejacularche": Age [up] [contents] [Bibliography]



Age (SD)


Klausner (1961a)



Klausner (1961b)



Chilton (1972)

13.7 (0.47)


Levin (1976:p178)

13.1 (0.16)

Mean; median: 13.17(N=142)

Kinsey et al. (1948:p184)


Mean; median: 13.77 (N=3,573)

Garcia et al. (1993)



Laron et al. (1980)

13.5 (0.5)

Bone age; range: 12.5-15.5

Ji (2001)


Median: 14.4 (urban), 14.6 (rural); 14.3, 14.6, and 14.7 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd socioeconomic classes

Downs & Fuller (1991)



Gaddis & Brooks-Gunn (1985)



Vassilchenko (1980)

14.2 (0.13)

Mean (noct. emiss:51%; masturbatory:45%; in coitu:4%)

Manosevitz (1970)

12.59 (Ho);



Malina & Bouchard (1991) / Tanner (1990)



Kleinsorge & Klumbies (1959)



Ramsey (1943)



Asayama (1980)



Knoth, Boyd & Singer (1988)



12.4; 12.6; 13.1; 12.9. Mean [4 samples]





[up] [contents] [Bibliography]

[last revised 011102]










[1] Mother of a boy of 6, speculating on "a little peer" of her son, quoted in Berges E. T. et al. (1983) Children & Sex: The Parents Speak. N.Y.: Facts on File, p127. The expression "little orgasm" was also used by the description of a woman's own orgasm, reported by Schaefer (1964:p128), who at age six discovered that rocking and rubbing herself genitally on some bedclothes bunched between her legs could be continued "until something would happen-something moved, which I guess was a little orgasm". It can also be read in a letter by a woman in Hooper, A. (1977) More Sex-Life Letters. London: Grafton Books, p245 (age 11).

[2] Cadoff, J. (2000) Your kids' most embarrassing sex questions -- answered! Redbook, 195,3:200

[3] Stall, S. (1905) What a Young Boy Ought to Know. Philadelphia: The Vir Publishing Co. New rev. Ed. Cylinder XII

[4] Winnicot (1947:p329)

[5] Neurologists at a Loss: The Differential Diagnosis of Infantile Masturbation (2000). Unpublished Manuscript.

[6] As is dealt with elsewhere, the definition of masturbation in Western literature has evolved from hardly substantial to hardly satisfactorily. Analytic pondering on the possible functions of genital and self-satisfying behaviours or inclinations is seriously fraud by this nonconsensus. In this sense, it is surprising that Unal (2000) who claims the first controlled study investigating clinical and developmental features of childhood masturbation, defining the entity as "self-stimulation of the genitalia in a prepubertal child", not simply genital play, with accompanying symptoms like sweating, flushing and tachypnoea, but does not mention a possible orgasm.

[7] On the occasion of receiving the Van Emde-Boas-Van Ussel prize for sexology, Rademakers (2000:p17) contended that "[s]exuality of children does not lend itself for description in terms of the sexual response cycle (desire-arousal-orgasm-recovery)". Since she does not write why not, this choice remains suspect. Otherwise put (Rademakers et al., 2000:p50), "[t]he limited definition of human sexuality in terms of the sexual response cycle […] doesn't do justice to aspects of sexuality which are more relevant to children".

[8] See my 2001 manuscript Paradoxia Sexualis: The German Psychopathia Sexualis of the Child, 1877-1930, with a Biomedical Discussion. University of Nijmegen, Dept. of Medical History, Phylosophy and Ethics.

[9] The first international conference on orgasm was held more than 60 years after Wilhelm-Reich created a big scandal in Vienna by discussing orgasm publicly. The theme of this conference, which was held in New Delhi, India from 4-6 February 1991, was "Pleasure without Procreation". More than 500 sexologists from 30 countries were in attendance. The conference, organised by Dr. Prakash Kothari, dealt with a large spectrum of issues related to orgasm and attempted "to rewrite the ABC of sexology".

[10] Also quoted by Brongersma, E. ([1986]) Loving Boys, Volume I. Elmhurst, NY.: Global Academic Publishers, p96

[11] Metschnikof, E. ([1910]) Studien über die Natur des Menschen. 2nd ed. Leipzig: Von Veit & Co.

[12] Real-Encyklopädie der gesamten Heilkunde. 2nd ed. Vol. 14, 1888, p593

[13] Martinson (1994) reviewed that "[…] in Davis's (1929) study, 25 percent to age ten had practised self-stimulation and 12 percent had attained climax; in Kinsey et al.'s (1953) study, 19 percent practised to age twelve and 12 percent attained climax; and in Schaefer's (1964) study, 43 percent practised to age twelve and 23 percent attained climax".

[14] Apart from Kinsey et al., the multi-orgasm literature is generally silent on prepuberty. Robbins and Jensen (1978) do not comment on prepubertal occurrences of male mutiorgasticity. "Most began having multiorgastic response after having had considerable sexual experience". The explicit consideration of a "multi-orgasm capacity" in pre-pubescent females, as opposed to males, is not referred to by Kinsey et al. (1953). Whipple et al. (1998) reported a case of male multiple productive orgasmicity from the age of 15, equalling the age of ejacularche, while nothing is said about dry orgasm (the subject started "self-stimulation" at age four years). Yates (1978:p207): "A latency-age boy possesses monumental erectile capacity. When ejaculation isn't present, he can progress from one orgasm to the next without needing to rest. From about age eight he notes a buildup phase which intensifies his pleasure". Hammond [1889:p63] reported a case of prepubertal dry orgasm. Quoting from the German translation: "[…] a patient masturbated as long a could be remembered and was used from earliest youth by his nanny, one Mulattin, for the purpose of fulfilling her sexual lusts. He often attained orgasm 12 times a day, or even more. Only with the arrival of puberty, and sperm was produced through his manipulations, he lowered his masturbation frequency".

[15] First ejaculation is termed oigarche (Carlier & Steeno, 1985), as opposed to spermarche (onset of production of spermatozoa, or onset of sperm emission, operationalized as spermaturia), seminarche ("semenarche"), thorarche (first seminal ejaculation; Levin, 1976) and polluarche (first nocturnal emission). Some papers have explored spermarche (Yi and Oshawa, 2000; Ji, 1995, 2001; Garcia et al., 1993; Guizar et al., 1992; Jorggesen et al., 1991; Schaefer et al., 1990; Kulin et al., 1989; Nielsen et al., 1986a,b; Hirsch et al., 1986; Levin, 1976; Richardson and Short, 1978; Sanchez-Cantu, 1992; Bornman et al., 1990) via urinalysis. "Prepubertal" orgasmarche could be differentiated into premenarchic, prepubarchic, prethelarchic, pre-ejacularchic (dry), prepolluarchic, and prespermarchic; the value of this remains obscure. Orgasmarche can be divided in its temporal relation to adrenarche, gonadarche and also the "prostatarche". Orgasmarche in the literature is usually further specified as being spontaneous (as opposed to intentional or premeditated), masturbatory (solitary, mutual), and coital (vaginal, oral, anal). Verville (1967:p270) considers "psychic" orgasm: "Psychic masturbation is attainment of orgasm through fantasy or visual excitation and is rare in children of this age [6-12y?]. It is possible only after manually-induced orgasm or the witnessing of others' sexual activity". A last psychosexual "first", erectarche, may be incorrectly attributed a biological milestone value. "Spontaneous" erections occur many times a day, periodically so from fetal life and for prolonged periods during sleep in children, as measured by phallometry.

[16] Lloyd (1964)

[17] 1910, Praktische Kinderheilkunde

[18] Minutes, 188, p159. See also Sadger (1915 [1923:p345-7])

[19] This may well be first infantile orgasm reported as such by the medical profession.

[20] The problem was probably more common than discussed, first reviewed adequately by Faerber and Demetriades (1927) and much later by Money (1996; 1999 [1997]: p73-6), however sparsely. The behavioural symptomatology of the infantile entity includes preoccupation / altered "consciousness" or "responsiveness", irregular breathing or tachypnoea, rocking motions with or without manual clutching of pubic region, axial and extremital rigidity, staring, mydriasis, flushing, sweating, turning of the head. Additionally, there may be quivering and wavering of hands in a sort of tremor (Livingston et al.), sometimes outcries, grunting or sighs and subsequent "post-ictal" drowsiness or sleep, occurring up to many times a day, lasting minutes to hours, with a natural history of spontaneous resolution of episodes after months to years. Symptoms may vary in combination and severity, in clusters of cases described or in single reports; additional features are frequently described (fisting, fixed pupils, temporary strabismus). The typical mode of seems to be postural, with crossing of the legs.

[21] Fuchs (1926:p94) and Kinsey et al. (1948) also described collapse after infantile orgasm.

[22] More recent cases of epileptoid masturbation/ orgasm are numerous (Livingston, Berman and Pauli, 1975; Bradley, 1985; Fleisher and Morrison, 1990; Wulff, Ostergaard and Storm, 1992; Sheth and Bodensteiner, 1994; Shuper and Mimouni, 1995; Finkelstein et al., 1996).

[23] "The fact that in the earliest phase of youth [ages 5-10] no ejaculations occur and that marasmus is a frequent result, made, according to some authors including Curschmann [?], that the weakness after spermatorrhoea was not attributed to this, but to a certain epileptic nervous thrill, that commonly accompanies such an act. A generalisation of this, however, is not most definitely erratic, since the nervous system of an eight-year-old boy reacts quite differently to an onanistic act, as compared to that of a twenty-year-old. We therefore have to consider the nervous thrill before puberty as having decidedly more impact than afterwards. […] We migh interpret the drawbacks of onanism for the nervous system as the negative influence of repeated convulsions. […] in contradistinction to the postpubertal situation, because of the pollutions that usually occur after masturbation" [DJ].

[24] The girl "[…] provoked the voluptuous spasm by rubbing herself on the angles of furniture, by pressing her thighs together, or rocking backwards and forwards on a chair. Out walking she would begin to limp in an odd way as if she were lop-sided, or kept lifting one of her feet. At other times she took little steps, walked quickly, or turned abruptly left […]. If she saw some shrub she straddled it and rubbed herself back and forth […]. She pretended to fall or stumble over something in order to rub against it".

[25] Discussed by Frosch (1954)

[26] Gardner (1991, 1993/1996): "There is good reason to believe that most, if not all, children have the capacity to reach orgasm at the time they are born"; Sarnoff and Sarnoff (1979:p24): "Human beings are born with the capacity for orgasm […]"; "Children are born orgasmic" (Mann, 1995); "[…] orgasm is possible at all ages […]" (Litt & Martin, [1992:429]). Langfeldt (1980:p106) observed that spontaneous states of increased pelvic bloodflow in the newborn facilitate orgasm, which process "and the likelihood of the appearance of orgasm can be interpreted as that the child is born sexually active". Other authors, however, deny the existence altogether (Buxbaum, 1959:p54). One occasionally reads the impression that at a certain age, one was not "old enough to be able to have orgasms" (Jay and Young [1979:p92]). Gardner (1992:p612) concluded on systematic masturbation of a 4-year-old girl by a nonrelated busdriver that "except for a certain amount of sexual frustration that was not gratified [sic] […] the 4-year-old had not been significantly traumtized by these encounters" (quoted by Dallam, 1998).

[27] Yates (1982:p483) observed that, in the context of incestuous "eroticization" of children, they are "readily orgasmic and also can maintain a high level of arousal without orgasm". She is referring to an "exaggerated learning process", causing a "hypertrophied responsiveness". See also Tracy (1982) who states that "[t]o construe a child's words to mean that he or she has orgasm is to invest that child with qualities of adult sexuality". Note that Gardner (1991) remarked the following: "Although orgiastic capacity is possible at birth, most young children under the age of nine or ten do not stimulate themselves to the point where they reach orgasm. Those who do may very well have been prematurely introduced into the pubital and post-pubital [sic] levels or sexual arousal. Certainly, such introduction can be the result of sex abuse. But this is not the only reason why a younger child might masturbate to orgasm. In some children it is a tension-relieving device, especially when they grow up in homes in which there has been significant privation and/or stress. In some it can serve as an antidepressant".

[28] "The diagnosis of Female Orgasmic Disorder should be based on the clinician's judgment that the woman's orgasmic capacity is less than would be reasonable for her age, sexual experience, and the adequacy of sexual stimulation she receives" (ital.add.). APA's negotiations regarding lower age limits for paraphilia categories are as interesting.

[29] Reber (1995)

[30] Selected Papers, p53

[31] Róheim (1945) agrees that orgasm, apart from being combined with a fantasied return to the womb, it is also associated with "a refinding of the first extrauterine pleasure, that of the union of mother and infant in the act of sucking and suckling".

[32] Sterba (1942:p56) has a similar argument, but "solves" the issue: "Many school children thus experience [anxiety provoked] sexual pleasure excitations, or at a corresponding maturity, real pollutions during school work or in examinations". Feldman (1951:p530-1) used Freud's argument to explain an 11-year-old boy's first seminal emission when for the first time pulling the trigger of a rifle, interpreted as the transformation of nonlibidinal excitement into the gratification of a repressed libidinal tension.

[33] The issue of fainting, or orgastic loss of consciousness, has been reviewed by Needles (1953), though he apparently missed many references on alleged infantile orgasm when concluding that "orgastic loss of consciousness is at most a very rare phenomenon [and that] it may be the indication of psychopathology [p517]" (he does cite Kinsey et al.). He did not gain much in twenty years (Needles, 1973:p317). As reviewed by Needles, Keiser (1949:p170, 171) attributed "unconscious" to early infantile orgasm when stating that genital sensations provoke "fear in the infant and part of that fear may be derived from the momentary black-out that occurs with the orgasm […]. [I] may be that a genital striving for orgasm may exist from early in life". See further my paper, Neurologists at a Loss, op.cit.

[34] Féré (1905) observed crying and outcries accompanying dry-orgasm in young children. « Chez des enfants et même chez de très jeunes, au-dessous de trois ans, il peut se produire un spasme sans émission de liquide, mais qui s'accompagne de secousses vibrantes du pénis excessivement tendu, état douloureux capable de provoquer des pleurs et des cris. Les petites filles éprouvent quelquefois un orgasme analogue. Cette douleur persiste autant que l'érection, et elle interdit la répétition du frottement. Certains sujets n'éprouvent cette réaction que dans l'onanisme en commun, mais jamais dans la masturbation solitaire [p624] « . Moll (1912[1908]) remarked: "In exceptional, and doubtless pathological instances, and above all in cases in which, owing to the practice of masturbation, there has been excessive stimulation, instead of the voluptuous acme, a painful sensation may be experienced". Moll writes: "But what is usually wanting in such cases, at any rate in young children, is the voluptuous acme which in adults occurs in association with the act of ejaculation. Cases have also been occasionally reported to me in which, even in infancy, a voluptuous acme has occurred; and still more frequently I have been told this in respect of somewhat older children, for example, at ages of seven or eight years. I believe, however, that this voluptuous acme is, at any rate in children, much less common than the equable voluptuous sensation which can be aroused by all kinds of manipulations and stimulations of the peripheral genital organs, and more especially of the glans, the penis, the clitoris, and the labia minora. The older the child, the more frequently is the voluptuous acme attained; in our own climate, during the last years of the second period of childhood, this occurs comparatively often; the voluptuous acme does not last so long as in sexually mature individuals, but is in other respects described in identical terms. It is experienced simultaneously with the occurrence of the rhythmical muscular contractions which have previously been described. It is possible, as I suggested before, that in such cases the ejaculation of a certain quantity of glandular secretion always occurs, although, as I have also explained, this secretion may sometimes be too small in quantity to be actually expelled from the urethra by the muscular contractions. This point is, however, still obscure. But it may be regarded as definitely established that the equable voluptuous sensation, and more particularly the voluptuous acme, may occur at an age at which, at any rate, secretion does not yet exist in sufficient quantity to be expelled from the urethra, and the existence of such secretion is therefore not unequivocally manifested. In exceptional, and doubtless pathological instances, and above all in cases in which, owing to the practice of masturbation, there has been excessive stimulation, instead of the voluptuous acme, a painful sensation may be experienced. In general, however, in children, just as in adults, the voluptuous acme is associated with a sense of satisfaction, and with the subsidence of the previously existing sexual excitement. This much is beyond question, that the voluptuous acme and the sense of satisfaction associated therewith make their appearance subsequent to the development of erection and the equable voluptuous sensation in the genital organs. Mutatis mutandis, this is equally true of both sexes".

[35] This observation was also made by Ormezzano (1975)

[36] For a selection of critiques on Kinsey's orgasm experiments, consider Unmasking Kinsey from June 1997 Issue of CWA's Family Voice; The Truth about Kinsey, The Schwartz Report 38,8(Aug., 1998):6-7; Muir, J. G. & Court, J. H. (1992) Fraud of the Century? Cathol Med Quart, May edition; "Acclaimed" book deserves our disgust, Daily Oklahoman on April 12, 1999; Reisman, (2000) Kinsey and the Homosexual Revolution, Journal of Human Sexuality, updated April 15, 1998, available at; Flynn, D. J., Professor Kinsey and the Last Taboo: An Accuracy in Academia Address, lecture delivered at Princeton University on October 10, 1998 as part of AIA's John M. Olin Conference Series; The false foundations in the Kinsey report by Rachel Wildavsky in R. Digest 4/97, p59 ff.; Alfred in Wonderland, Family Research Counsel, June 3rd, 2001, by Kenneth L. Ervin II. See also the Kinsey Institute's special site on the controversy, updated Jan 1st, 1998:

[37] See for instance Schmidt (1880); Garnier; Stier (1910); Friedjung (1919:p11); Villinger (1926:p123); Guyon (1929:p63); Guyon (1950:p241); Sarnoff and Sarnoff (1979:p113-4); Edwardes & Masters (1961:references to orgasm on p81, 241, 250, 251, 263, 287, 290); Greenacre (1941?); Bornstein (1953:p70-1); Barnett (1968:p590); Reng (1968:p20); Clower (1975:p113/1977:p116); Geissler (1959:p24), quoted by Borneman (1985:p61); Yates (1978:p13,15,117) ; Levine (1951 :p119, 121,122); Martinson (1973; 1977; 1980a; 1994; 1997); Morrison et al. (1980:p3); Money and Sirncoe (1986:p45); Friday (1973 [e-book, p240]); Friday (1980); Friday (1991 [1992:p37, 281, 358, 384; see also p253 and statements on late first orgasms]); Bakwin (1952:p676, 677); Our Bodies […] (1970:p13); Bieber, 1975:p168; Boyer (1979:p68); Elias and Gebhard, 1969; Garnier, cited by Haire (1937); Kris (1951:p113); Tollison and Adams (1979:p339); Oliven (1974); Halpert (1973:p536); Caprio (1955 [1962:p79]); Holt (11th ed., 1940:p943); Silva (1990:p467). Kleeman (1966), who reported on a two-year follow-up on a single boy's genital behaviour, did not note mother's observation of orgasm [p389]. Later (1975:p98), she writes: "My observations do not include any climax type of excitement in […] normal children during the first two years which can clearly be called orgasm". The observation by Holt is remarkable since in the preceding edition (10th, 1934) the authors remarked that "[…] before the onset of puberty orgasm does not occur [p779]". Kleeman (1976 [1977:p20]) argues that orgasm would not normally occur in the first two years of life. Isaacs (1933:p154) "Neither in the case of infant boys nor of infant girls have I seen masturbation carried to the point where the orgasm takes place (it must be remembered that the orgasm can occur without ejaculation before the age of puberty is reached". The percentage of orgasm prior to age 12 was reviewed as being more than 10% (Wanderer and Radell, 1982). Janus and Bess (1976:p344/1981:p81) remarked that in 6th-graders, "[m]asturbation to orgasm is prominent in both boys and girls".

[38] Kinsey et al. further reported on petting to orgasm (0.2% at age 11, 1.0% at age 12,N=2304).

[39] "The powerful emotions boys undergo when denying the mother – yet loving her – are experienced traumatically at the same time as first full orgasms for boys, creating in many men a sort of love/hate relationship with their sexuality, with women's sexuality, with women, and with love. This is one of the most important and unexpected findings of this research (Hite, 1994:p231)".

[40] Orgasm before 13 or dry orgasm is suggested in the Dutch translation on p86, 106, [107,109], 111, 356, 357, 363, 364, and 367.

[41] "Nur bei einem Mädchen scheint das Erleben derart intensiv, daþ wir von Orgasmen ausgehen können".

[42] López Sánchez, F. (2001) Intervención en la sexualidad infantil y adolescente, Boletín de la Sociedad de Pediatría de Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla & León 41(177):275-89

[43] López, F., Campo, A. del & Guijo, V. (nd) Sexualidad Prepuberal [unpaged paper received from author 141102. From an additionally received translation, López, F., Campo, A. del & Guijo, V. (nd) Prepuberal Sexuality, paper received from author 141102

[44] Leer (19??)

[45] For a discussion of lulling vs. orgasmic rhythms, see Greenacre (1954/1971:p51-4).

[46] Freud regarded the clitoral orgasm, as a result of clitoral masturbation, as infantile, immature (e.g., Walter, 1988) which was, as Angier (1999) perceives it, "a blot on history's understanding of female sexuality". Freud asserted that as girls reach puberty, sexuality is repressed and excitability is transferred from clitoris to vagina, the "supposed opposite" of the penis. This repression would excite male libido, encouraging monogamy and stability of family. There is no analytical or physical evidence for this putative transfer.

[47] No reliable data are available on the duration of orgasm in children. Levin and Wagner (1985) found a mean measured adult orgasm duration of 19.9 seconds (SD, +/- 12). Kratochvil (1993) reviewed the literature, and suggested the existence of long (up to one minute and longer) and short orgasm in adult women, in concordance to the wide variation found in women found by Bohlen et al. (1982).

[48] Cited by Thompson (1964 [1968]) De seksualiteit van het kind, in Willy, A. & Jamont, C. (Eds.) La Sexualité. 1968 Dutch transl., De Seksualiteit. Utrecht / Antwerpen: A. W. Bruna & Zn., Vol. 1, p202-9, at p204

[49] In neurology, a number of these phenomena are called nonepileptic seizures (NES), non-epileptic paroxysmal events (NEPE), nonepileptic events, psychogenic seizures, pseudoseizures, psychogenic pseudoseizures, hysterical seizures, pseudoepileptic seizures, neurogenic seizures, paroxysmal nonepileptiform disorders, and even a psychogenic status epilepticus ("pseudostatus epilepticus").

[50] See also the notion of "lulling rhythms" in Terr (1984:p639).

[51] See also Leite and Buoncompagno (1995) and Brongersma (1986:p147-55)

[52] Other cases, such as reported by Bernard (1975:p24) claim equality in productive and non-productive orgasmic quality.

[53] Skinner (1976:p64-5). "[…] although I was too young to ejaculate, I had my first orgasm. The only effect was that my penis began to hurt badly. I was panic-stricken: I had broken it! I got up and walked down to the ledge of rocks alongside the creek in despair". Also quoted in Allgeier & Allgeier (1984:p411)

[54] Baumann–von Arx, G. (2000) Fertig Lustig, Eine Nahaufnahme. Bern: Zytglogge Verlag

[55] Stekel's sources remain unspecified. He also knew that some "Kinder beim Orgasmus tierische Laute ausstoßen, z. B. Bellen oder Krähen" (1922:p55).

[56] See also Van Ussel (1975:p90-1)

[57] Biosophical pathologising of masturbation throughout the centuries has focussed on the presumed neurological consequences of, and this is not often made explicit, orgasm. Another problem in the masturbation literature is that ages were not always regarded as crucial factors, and were ommited or vague in the discussion of the orgasmic pathology of the nervous system.

[58] They do not cite prepubertal cases. See further a discussion by Stoller (1985:p117-9,120).

[59] Van Ussel refers to Zeller, and among "vele natuurvolkeren".

[60] The Zande does not speak of people as of so many years of age. The ages given above are my estimates for actual persons designated as examples by my informants [orig. footnote]

[61] Moll was quoted on this subject by Klinger (1939): "Ejaculations also appear in boys even before puberty, that is, when there are as yet no spermatozoa in the seminal fluid. Sperm in a boy's ejaculate appears for the first time between the 13th and 16th year of life, while the earliest ejaculations observed during boys' masturbation have been noted already at the age of 10. Such early ejaculate consists of excretions of ducts and sex hormones (Cowper & Littre's) without sperm and without the products of the prostate gland, which is not yet functioning at this stage".

[62] More stains on p329.

[63] "The sexual stimulus of the infantile period returns in the childhood years (a period which can not as yet be indicated with precision) as a species of itching causing masturbation, or pollution-like expulsions, analogously to the later frequent pollutions, which mucous secretions mostly occur in girls" [DJ].

[64] Edwardes and Masters (1961:p138-9), however, argue that "there is no secretion of lubricating fluid in prepubescent children". This would explain the use of saliva, and vaginitis in case of repeated coitus.

[65] The authors do consider two reports on ejacularche, but do not discuss orgasmarche.

[66] For a discussion, see also Thomsen, R. (Oct., 2000) Sperm Competition and the Function of Masturbation in Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata). Dissertation, Fakultät für Biologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München [ 00000105/01/Thomsen_Ruth.pdf]. The dicussion does not address ejacularche or masturbarche.

[67] Wulffen (1910:p63) quoted Freud's "pollutionartiger Vorgang".

[68] Kramer and Rudolph (1980:p113) agree that in some latency girls, "the intensity of the orgastic experience with transient loss of ego boundaries is so frightening that inhibition of masturbation follows […]. Boys may also be disturbed by the intensity of their response to masturbation […]".

[69] In 1980, he writes: "The child seems to consider its sexuality with the same importance as do adults. Loss of the sexual ability in children or development of sexual anxiety creates big problems in the child as it does in adults. But children lack the social linguistic structures in order to both formulate their problems and to get some support for solving their problems. Children are mostly left alone with their sexual problems and therefore we do not know the extend of these […]. Childhood sexuality should not only be seen as a developing process but as a value itself for the child. When children get sexual problems they put as much effort in solving their problems as do adults, but children mostly have to fool around with their problems, alone and often without conceptual structures […]".

[70] Ormezzano (1975) anticipated this hypothesis.

[71] Perry (1992) does not specify age when coining the "syndrome" preorgasmia.

[72] Excessiveness could be facilitated by inefficient technique. Sank's (1998) third case remembered masturbating from the age of 3 years. He would stimulate himself "until he urinated", and then he would stop.

[73] Data on the correlates of masturbation are rare. In "the first controlled study investigating the clinical and the developmental features of childhood masturbation", Unal (2000) found that in children with masturbation, sleep difficulties were more frequent (p<0.001) and breast-feeding was shorter than in paediatric controls (p<0.05).

[74] Fetal "masturbation" was noted by Piontelli (1992:p46-7), and labelled as such by DeMause (1995). It is said that Liley (1965) was the first to report oromanual behaviour in utero. Postnatal exploration starts at a median of 23 weeks, with a lower extreme of 16 weeks (Kravitz et al., 1978). However, these data may be biased by "differences in the observational skills of the mothers", to put it lightly, and because some infants were kept in diapers constantly. Another study found a median of 24 weeks (Provence and Lipton, 1963:p73).

[75] Prepubertal erectile dysfunction may or may not be found associated with pre- or postoperative bladder extrophy (Woodhouse, 1998), meningomyelocele, myelodysplasia, pre- and postoperative tethered spinal cord (Boemers et al., 1995). Prepubertal erection is possibly unaffected in the case of micropenis (Reilly and Woodhouse, 1989).

[76] Reiss (1998) found that in instruction books for 14 to 16-year-olds "Ejaculation was mentioned in 12 of the 15 books; female orgasm in just five" [no mention of orgasmarche].

[77] Kaltiala-Heino et al. (2001) found that 16.9% of Finnish boys experience first ejaculation at or before age 11 (N=18,510), while only a few had so at or before age 10. Generalizing from this datum, dryness of orgasmarche could be considered a possibility in contemporary Scandinavian male orgasmarche before age 11.