From what ancestors did humans inherit orgasm?

Do fish experience orgasm?

Are the male and female orgasm the homologues that can be traced to the time when there was no difference in sex between individuals (as in fish) or developed independently?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You're going to have to clarify. What do you mean by 'orgasm'? Do you include the pleasure, or just the act of ejaculation? $\endgroup$
    – MCM
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 0:15
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ -1 using the term "Invented" makes this question nonsensical. $\endgroup$
    – Abe
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 3:36
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps maybe you should ask instead when did we begin to sense pleasure. $\endgroup$
    – user1357
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 3:58
  • $\begingroup$ The meaning is completely distorted. I was asking about human ancestors, namely, fish, not "asexual species". $\endgroup$
    – Anixx
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 7:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Anixx: I did leave a comment exactly for that reason. Your last sentence does not really make much sense in English. By the way you wrote: to the time when there was no difference in sex between individuals. I don't read that as fish (and I did leave the fish part in my edit). $\endgroup$
    – nico
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


Let's assume that pleasure from sexual intercourse might be indicative of some sort of orgasm. Then this would suggest that any evidence of autoerotic behaviour would point to the existence of orgasm, or certanly physical pleasure.

I found this quotation on the Wikipedia page for Animal sexual behavior, amongst a lot of information about mammals :

Many birds masturbate by mounting and copulating with tufts of grass, leaves or mounds of earth...

apparently from Bruce Bagemihl: Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity. St. Martin's Press, 1999. ISBN 0-312-19239-8

If this is taken to imply that the last common ancestor of birds and mammals experienced this pleasure then we have got fairly deep into evolutionary history, although not as far as fish.


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