Recently, the Czech government started using "phallometric testing" to prove the credibility of gay asylum seekers in their country (aka "erection tests to see if people are really gay") and human rights agencies around the world are currently up in arms over the issue. This controversy is nothing new, however, because sexual arousal tests have been around as long as scientists have been horny (read: always.) So, here are the 7 craziest sexual arousal tests in history that have probed human beings for years. You're welcome.
Vaginal Photoplethysmograph aka The Vagina Flashlight
Let's start off with something both educational (you'll learn a new word that you can use at parties -- to get kicked out) and incredibly weird, that uses the female body somewhat like a lampshade. Welcome to this list.
A vaginal photoplethysmograph is essentially a flashlight that's used to illuminate the capillary bed of the vaginal wall and the blood circulating within it. It then uses that to measure stimulation.
It consists of a clear acrylic, rod-shaped device, a light source and a light detector. It's one mighty, hefty flashlight that only scientists, vaginas and unemployed test subjects ever get to see.
The light is used because scientists can determine the amount of blood flow in the vagina by the amount of light that is backscattered, which is measurable. This light is thought to be directly related to the transparency of engorged and unengorged tissue which in turn can indirectly measure sexual arousal.
So basically, the redder the better.
Shaped like a tampon, the device can be self-inserted or applied by anyone willing to do it. pornographic movies are usually the erotic stimulus in these tests.
So the test goes Show porn > Flashlight in Vagina > Check for Color > SCIENCE!
Volumetric Air Chamber aka The Penis Balloon Test
The male equivalent of a vaginal plethysmograph, which as you now know, basically makes the inside of a vaginal wall into a lampshade, but not in a leatherface-y way.
The Volumetric Air Chamber which, no, is not something that James Bond was trapped in at some point, is a penile plethysmograph (aka that lampshade dealy.)
This is one exciting (see what I did there?) method you can use to measure sexual arousal in a dude; which I know is one of the leading problems science is constantly trying to solve.
1. Besides sounding like they're going to send your penis into space, this thing is an air chamber that's, sadly, the more accurate sexual arousal measurement among these two.
Here's how it works:
The penis is placed in an airtight cylinder with an inflatable cuff at its base, and as blood in the erectile tissues increases, the air displaced in the tube is measured. So it's kind of like that one time you dipped your hand (or at least that's what your parents told the neighbors) into that glass full of water, only there's someone around to measure exactly how much you dropped.
The device was first used in post-World-War-II Czechoslovakia by scientist Kurt Freund who was given the task by the communist government to identify men in the draft who were falsely declaring themselves to be get out to get out of military service during a time of war. Freund later also used the same method in Canada for the assessment of sexual offenders which, come to think of it, is a pretty good use of this stuff.
The Anal Pressure Probe aka The Vibrator Prostate Measurer
Really? Like, really? Talk about taking the scenic route with this one, science.
The Anal Pressure Probe is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It's basically a measuring device that's inserted into a male subject's anus. Already pretty user unfriendly, right? Well, it gets worse (better?) After this intimidating-fruit shaped thing is in there, the male subject is then forced to m********e.
Between the beginning of their masturbation session and the end of it, the handy dandy Anal Pressure Probe measures, you guessed it, anal pressure. The APP monitors the pelvic muscle contractions that occur during orgasm which indicate how high or low a man's overall level of arousal is. So it can basically tell you if the guy was having an okay time, or a great time. Once again, this is a miracle of modern science because I usually just use distance as a measurement.
Basic scientific flaw: this thing probably does its fair share of stimulating itself, so the results are pretty dumb/moot/null no matter what they are since this test basically uses a sex toy on someone to measure if they're turned on or not.
It's like testing how dead someone is by shooting them with a gun.
Circumferential Transducer aka Growers Are Bigger Than Show-ers
A more common type of plethysmograph used on males, which is much less accurate, is the circumferential transducer. By the sounds of it, this thing probably helps power time machines.
It actually involves measuring the circumference of the penis with a mercury-in-rubber strain gauge that's placed around the shaft of the penis. Cause if there's one thing you want close to your penis, it's mercury.
The strain gauge (which basically works like that thing that doctors use around your real arm to measure blood pressure) has a small amount of liquid mercury enclosed in a small rubber tube. During sexual arousal the penis swells which stretches the tube, causing it to become longer and thinner and increasing electrical resistance. So the harder you get, the closer you come to poisoning your tallywhacker, which I believe is the medical term for what most people call "weiners."
This change in circumference is what scientists use to measure the degree of a subject's arousal which basically means that this thing was invented by a grower just to prove to show-ers that growers have a better time (which I assume we do based on nothing.)
The Unclean Napkin Ring That You Shouldn't Use for Napkins
Invented, fittingly, in 1984, the "Napkin Ring Myograph" is definitely not something you put on your mantle. This awesome/crazy machine that only weird doctors and metal bands would think of features three silver electrodes which measure the muscle contractions that take place in the vaginal wall during stimulus. Cause there's nothing women love more than putting electrodes inside their bodies.
The electrodes make contact with the pelvic muscle which then contracts during orgasms if you're doin' it right. This allows people to measure the intensity of the female orgasm, just in case.
Luckily, the hollow ring does not interfere with stimulation of the Grafenberg Spot or, as most of you know it, "that thing you can't find", which is central to a lot of female orgasms (or so I've been told by TV and science.)
Heat-Sensitive Lingerie That Changes Colors aka Mood Lingerie
Sexual arousal tests and examinations don't usually make a woman feel very sexy, cause c'mon, if you have to test for it, she's obviously not doing a great job or there's obviously something wrong that is probably your fault.
When testing something like sexual arousal, though, that could be a problem. See why? Yeah. So....
... That's why inventor Laura Lanzo (who is not a superhero's girlfriend) has created lingerie that's covered in heat-sensitive beads that change color as temperature in various erogenous zones increases. Kind of like a mood ring, only everywhere and on breasts/pelvic regions.
See the actual patent form for this invention here.
Labial Thermistor aka Three Different Thermometers on a Vagina
During sexual arousal, a person's body temperature usually rises, thus the phrase "hot and heavy" and, you know, that uncontrollable amount of unsightly sweat that pours down your head every time you have sex, basically showering your partner in your lack of exercise.
The labial thermistor was designed in 1978 (so you know it's safe!) and its purpose is to measure the temperature of the female labium (aka, what most erotica calls "lips.") Each thermistor (a heat measuring device) measures the heat of a different part of the labia and uses heat as an indicator of stimulation.
One thermistor monitors the room temperature, another the skin temperature at an extragenital site (around the labia, not on it) and another the temperature of the labia minora (the lips themselves).
The thermistor for the labium is fastened on by a metal clip which, of course, probably leads to quite a bit of amazing research due to women loving cold metal things clipped tightly to their most sensitive regions.
Though there may be a slight tug while the clip is being placed, there is no discomfort after it's secured (according to scientists in the 1970s.) The temperature climb, and thus a higher level of sexual arousal, is shown to begin shortly after the stimulus of an erotic film which proves that no matter what your girlfriend says, everyone loves porn because it is healthy and it is awesome and it, after going through this entire list, can apparently aid in scientific research and should never be taken away from anybody. Take THAT, Los Angeles Superior Court System!