Can Sound Induce Orgasm?
One of the most fascinating aspects of electronic music, part and parcel
of its ability to create new and unique sonorities never before heard on the
planet, is its ability to directly stimulate the brain through the auditory
center. Psychoacoustics, as art and science, allows technology to create
sounds that can either fool the brain into false perceptions of its environment
or cause the brain to react on a subconscious level to what the ears perceive.
Examples include the shudders in the limbs and torso when chalk scrapes across
a blackboard, the feeling of awe when in the presence of a church organ
playing bass pedal tones, or (somewhat more obscurely) the use of time delay
and frequency equalization to fool the brain into believing that the body is
in a different environment than it really is, like a cavern or cathedral, or
even that sonic events are occurring *inside the listener's head*. But an area
of psychoacoustics that has never been explored in any depth is that of, um,
well, um, sexual stimulus.
Can sound directly induce orgasm?
There, I've said it. Flame away if you please, but it's a question that won't
go away. Ten years ago, Craig Huxley gave a concert featuring, among other
things, a homemade instrument called the Blaster Beam. The Beam can be heard
on the soundtrack to STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (Vger's signature sound
effect) and on several New Age albums. It's an amazing instrument, especially
when amplified to high levels. The rumor circulating around after the concert
was that when Huxley played the Beam, there were women in the audience falling
out of their chairs with BIG smiles on their faces. Over a dozen reported
having intensely sexual feelings from the Beam sound, up to and including
I personally took the whole idea with about four point two billion
grains of salt, and never gave it much thought, until fairly recently. A
young lady who was a dear friend of mine in high school, whom I hadn't seen
in several years, came over for a visit, and was amazed at my studio (I hadn't
gotten involved in music until after we'd stopped dating). She asked me to
demonstrate what my stuff could do, and so I fired up a couple of synths and
played her some snatches. But when, in flipping through my Xpander presets,
I came to a sound called "THE BEAM" in honor of Huxley's instrument, the
expression on her face abruptly changed. When I asked her what was wrong,
she blinked for a moment and said, "Please play that again. Louder." I did
so, and had the odd experience of watching her eyes glaze over as she half
fell into a chair breathing hard. "I...*like* that sound," she managed to
get out in a whisper. Nobody else I've played that patch for, including
my fiancee (alas!), has had such a strong reaction to it, or indeed any
reaction at all. But my curiosity is piqued. (wouldn't YOURS be?!)
So my questions are as follows:
1. On rec.music.synth: As players and sound modellers, has anyone gotten
any sort of feedback of this type from certain timbres? Better yet,
does anyone have any idea of what QUALITY in the sound, from a
scientifically reproducible standpoint, might produce these effects?
My own theory is that heavy emphasis on low frequencies and a certain
set of higher harmonics seem to do the job, but I can't test it on my
friend in any structured manner as it wouldn't be fair to my fiancee.
2. On alt.sex: Has anyone ever experienced intensely sexual reactions to
music or sound of any kind? The heavy rhythm in dance clubs, the sound
of certain musical instruments, anything? Has this effect been reproducible?
Has it been consistent from person to person, or do some people feel
it more strongly than others?
And so on. Please Email me with your responses, particularly if you're shy
about them; I'll digest and post my findings, edited for confidentiality
unless posters specifically say they want to be mentioned. I *know* this
is a really weird concept, but like I said....if it had happened to *you*,
wouldn't it be worth checking out?
[the first progress report, as posted]
Hello to all interested alt.sex and rec.music.synth readers out there on the
Net! Welcome to the first progress report on what I've modestly dubbed Project
SyntheSex(TM), the first organized (well, sort of organized) effort to isolate
synthetic or other sounds that are capable of direct stimulation of the human
libido on a subconscious level.
The purpose of these Progress reports is to report on interim results to the
Net, to organize and guide any explorations of these ideas, and to pose new
problems and questions to the Net.
First, a few ground rules:
1. All replies to these posts should be via Email if at ALL possible; I'd
prefer to keep this stuff off the Net until I can compact it and, if necessary,
separate it out for two different audiences: unless I hear otherwise, I'm not
going to post any detailed synth patch information or technical jargon to alt.
sex, and I'm going to keep graphic descriptions of positive test results off
of rec.music.synth, thereby preserving the basic rules of Netiquette at a loss
of some extra bandwidth on the two bboards. I would rather not risk breaking
any rules or offending anyone (see below).
2. This post was originally a semi-flippant one, but it has generated a LOT
of interest (my account's mail file quota almost buckled under the mail I
received), and so I've decided to handle it in the most professional way
possible. I wish to make it clear that while I can not and will not obstruct
any experiments using these ideas between consenting adults, I will NOT take
responsibility for the misuse of any information presented here. Sex and music
are both a lot of fun; they can also be serious business, and people can get
hurt in either. PLEASE BE MATURE AND CAREFUL!
3. It's damned near impossible to do something like this in a scientific and
controlled manner; the most I can do is to collect, sift through, and pass
along information. I'm not claiming any sort of authority or control over this
area; we're exploring very new territory here. If anyone in either newsgroup
is offended by what transpires here, I must ask that they contact me DIRECTLY.
The alt.sex bboard recently suffered a nightmarish turn of events when someone
took offense to a poster's material and reported directly to that poster's
mail coordinator, nearly resulting in said poster's total loss of Net
privileges. This kind of stuff scares the pants off me, and I'd rather not have
myself dragged to the chopping block for doing this.
If it sounds like I'm issuing a blanket disclaimer here, I *am*. I'm just doing
my best to deal with the large volume of responses I've gotten so far, and I'd
like to avoid getting mired in unpleasantries. Okay?
1. ON REQUESTS FOR POSTINGS OF THE SYNTH PATCH IN QUESTION: I will be posting
(at least to .synth) the patch that caused the strong reaction in my one test
subject, along with details on treatment and amplification. I wish to correct
an earlier statement: the patch that caused the reaction was NOT the factory
patch known as "THE BEAM" at all, but rather was a patch of my own design
called "THE IRE." I'm sorry for any confusion this may have caused; I was
quoting from memory, and I made an incorrect mental connection between the
real Beam's effect and the Oberheim BEAM sound. My apologies.
2. ON REQUESTS FOR MUSIC TITLES CONTAINING BEAM SOUNDS: There is a New Age
label that carries music by Craig Huxley and Michael Stearns, both of whom
use the original Blaster Beam extensively. I do NOT know the name of this
label, nor of any particular albums that are heavy on the Beam. PLEASE send
me any information you have on these albums! I will also assemble a list of
artists and albums/songs tyhat have already been suggested, with notes on
the effects they apparently have and possible reasons for those effects.
3. ON REQUESTS FOR FURTHER CROSSPOSTS: No, we do *NOT* need to drag alt.emusic
and/or talk.bizarre into this! Nor do I take the suggestions that the Beam's
appearance in the STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE soundtrack makes it *obvious*
that we must crosspost to rec.arts.startrek terribly seriously. We're going to
be generating enough bandwidth as it is, folx. Let's not get ridiculous.
(Or should I say, any more ridiculous than we've gotten already?)
4. ON REQUESTS FOR RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE SOUNDS I'VE USED: Don't send me
any tapes yet, and please please PLEASE don't offer money! That's illegal and
could cost me my job! I'll do all I can to help, but I have yet to determine
if what makes these sounds so effective can even be caught by recording media.
So please, make requests for samples or tapes if you must, but bear with me.
And that's it for our first Progress Report: we're up and running!
Please Email rather than post your reactions, don't get carried away by all
this, and give me time to organize and collate, and we'll hopefully discover
something worthwhile without blowing up too much bandwidth and/or offending
or boring too many people.
[report posted prior to #2]
Project SyntheSex Progress Report #2 will be on the Net before the end of this
week. If you want your name associated with stuff you've sent me, please
send me a note as soon as possible. I'm not going to include any names or Email
addresses of any contributor except at their request. If this is unsatis-
factory to you, I'll be happy to put in your name in place of ("anonymous")
to acknowledge your input. Included will be excerpts from the mail and posts
I've gotten so far, the infamous "IRE" Xpander patch, and my comments and
questions on the material. I have decided NOT to split the progress reports
into two parts; the .synth techie stuff will be easy to skip over, and there
have been no .sex contributions too juicy to publish in .synth, alas |->.
This report will be heavily edited; not for censorship purposes, but to distill
the important comments and questions from the usual "Heyhowaya" stuff. I'd
like to thank all contributors so far for the 2000-plus lines of stuff they've
sent in. Now we're cookin'!
[the one exchange that wasn't in a progress report]
In article <18090@srcsip.UUCP>, mnkonar (Murat N. Konar) writes:
> In article <16398@cisunx.UUCP> mpmst1@cisunx.UUCP (metlay) writes:
> >I came to a sound called "THE BEAM" in honor of Huxley's instrument, the
> >[...] reaction at all. But my curiosity is piqued. (wouldn't YOURS be?!)
It is!! Post the patch to .synth and let's conduct some research!
OK, but keep in mind two things:
1. The patch is copyrighted by Oberheim...it's one of their old factory patches
and I don't think I've modified it any.
2. I claim no responsibility for ANYTHING (good or bad) that comes out of any
"research" on this topic....|->
I'll dig up the patch, and post it in a human-readable format for Xpander and
Matrix 12 users (with suggestions for Matrix 6/6R/1000 users if the smaller
synths' architecture allows it) as soon as possible. It may take a while....
[The second report, as posted]
Hi gang! Well, here's the first crop of responses, some from the Net, most
from email. I've edited them for brevity and anonymity, and inserted comments
in [square brackets] where needed. They're grouped in approximately the
1. Requests for sounds or albums with sounds, and suggestions for stuff that
has been erotically inspiring; these are of interest for their own merits,
but are subjective artistic opinions rather than indications of direct sub-
conscious stimulation. And STILL no Beam albums!
2. Requests for porting the sound to tape, sample, other synth, etc etc. I've
posted the Xpander patch below, and I doubt that it can be sampled or re-
created on another synth; the architecture of the Xpander is very complex,
and this sound, though it doesn't strain the Xpander's limits at all, is
simply impossible on a simpler instrument. Sorry. As for sampling, well,
the sound takes up to three minutes to take effect, and can't be looped.
The last alternative is taping, and I believe that analog methods would
saturate badly before capturing the power of the sound, and haven't the
time or energy to try it with analog OR digital. Any volunteers with
Xpanders and tape decks?
3. Personal experiences in studying this type of phenomena. These are mixed
together haphazardly, and I haven't interjected many comments. Each could
easily spawn its own discussion, particularly the question of resonances,
which I feel is a vital part of my Xpander sound.
4. Potpourri and commentary, and the long-awaited IRE patch, are at the end.
The patch IS copyrighted, by the way, so please don't try to sell it (tho
you can trade it around all you want).
Ready? Here we go!
Returned from an overseas trip a coupla days ago, logged on to catch up
on the latest .synth news, and what do I see? Metlay leading a discussion on
erotic patches! Gee, all the good stuff happens when I'm away. . .
It's certainly an evocative subject. Like many men, I spend a good chunk
of my waking (and sleeping, probably, for all I know) life contemplating
female sexuality, and given my interest in electronic music, the question of
sound as an aphrodisiac is one I've obviously devoted consisiderable thought
to. I can say with certainty (alas!) that I have never induced 'gasms in
women simply from playing sounds or music, but there is no question that cer-
tain types of sounds have stimulated various women I know when I've played
them (the sounds, not the women). I've always been aware that certain types
of music will get women (and men too, of course, though I think that women
are definitely more sexually responsive to sound than men) "into the mood."
The second side of the Isley Bros. "Fight The Power" always did the trick for
me in college. But sound actually inducing orgasm. . . I don't know.
Oh, another record just came to mind: Miles's "Kind of Blue." Works every
time. But this is music, of course, not an isolated patch.
To really attack the subject you've raised, you have to make sure that
cultural factors are sifted out and don't corrupt the equation. For example,
I think that "Kind of Blue" is sexy to women because of the atmosphere it
evokes- dim red lights, smoky (cannabis-soaked) air, late night people, etc.-
rather than for any purely bioacoustic reason. On the other hand, there is no
question that there is a reason that that kind of music developed in that
atmosphere. It's almost a chicken-egg thing, but in any case, it's clear that
it becomes self-reinforcing. (I hope this makes sense- I'm still badly jet-
lagged and don't feel terribly coherent.)
Anyway, it's a pretty complex issue. Hard to imagine that you'll solve
anything, but I look forward to your Progress Report.
Track 2 of Brian Eno's "Music for Airports" has rather extreme effects
on me, from the first time I heard it. No associations with anything or
anyone that ever happened to me, or anything... just, well, it gets a
response. Every time. Whew.
I can't even play it anymore... Someday (hopefully soon) when 'opportunity
knocks' (and opportunity seems to have lost my address for now, let me
tell you... ;-) ) I'll see what it's like for music to boink by... but
for now I just can't even listen to it.
I always find that certain sounds make me feel good generally, but only
in a few cases do they arouse me. I like bass sounds in general, and
examples such as Herbie Hancock's Headhunters in particular. I like the
sound of barrel-house piano and saxophone a lot; a friend of mine once
summed it up by saying "I can forgive anything in a song if it has a
good sax solo". I do find Steely Dan's FM arousing. I have long been
fond of certain classical "synthesiser-sounding" sounds, as in Billy
Preston's Space Race or at the start of Stevie Wonder's Boogie On,
I think you may be on to something here.
If you really ARE serious:
My girlfriend is strongly affected (nudge nudge wink wink) by the
third or fourth passage on the album "Oxygene" by Jean Michel Jarre.
It starts with a swelling spaceship sort of sound and then goes into
a jerky synth line (only vaguely) similar to the famous lick from
"Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield. The sound for that line is a real
clear, nearly sine wave sound.
If you aren't serious....oh well. It's a chance worth taking, eh?
Do you know of any available CDs with "Blaster Beam" sounds? I'd be willing to check out the effect. (Have a close friendwho responds very favorably to Kitaro.)
We borrowed a friend's condo at Seven Springs last winter for a week.
Among her CD collection were half a dozen by Kitaro, plusLanz & Speer's "Desert Visions", "Natural States";Acoustic Alchemy's "Red Dust and Spanish Lace";
Liona Boyd's "Persona"; Osamu's "Passages"; McLaughlin/DiMeola/DeLucia's "Passion, Grace, and Fire"
We enjoyed all, but especially Kitaro (favorite is ASIA).
This was our first introduction to Kitaro, and the response was
intense and mutual. I couldn't really say if it was the sound or
something hidden in the sound, but that isn't really significant
to me. We have a very intense, sensual relationship, with an
appreciation for wine, brie, French bread, fruit, warm rain,
beaches, summer nights, suntans, long lazy days...
I'm not looking for an aphrodisiac to CHANGE someone's mind,
just enhancements to an already fantastic mood.
a) if you haven't tried Kitaro, please try his "Asia" album/CD,
and let me know if there is a similar response (may still be
significant to your research)
b) any additional leads/feedback on Blaster Beam would be
appreciated (any word from Paul at Lost Horizon?) -
when we get a chance to try it, I'll let you know what
we think about it.
a) the writer assumes no responsibility for any events arising [sic] from the above suggestions
b) I know nothing about keyboards/synthesizers, etc., so technical discussions/suggestions about same will be lost on me - CDs I can understand.
Hi there. I found your article most interesting, and would love to test out
the sounds on a larger sample. I am a student at Yale university and am sure
that I could find a bunch of people to test out your hypothesis. I would
pay you if I could send you a tape for you to make a copy of some of those
sounds on. Let me know if this is feasible...
Can you describe that patch in objective Xpander terms (is it a simple
VCO-->VCF-->VCA thing, or is it something unique to Matrix Modulation?)?
[It's hard to describe; it is VCO-VCF-VCA-VCA, as are most Xpander patches,
but the modules are controlled by a sampling LFO and a Lag processor, which
no other synth has.]
I don't own an Xpander (or Matrix-anything), but this idea which you
present is something which I have pondered occasionally but dismissed as
too far-fetched to be realistic. How closely does that patch resemble the
original trademark sound? I am dying to hear this sound to see what this
fuss is about. Is it on any records in isolated form?
Do you have an Emax nearby into which you could sample that patch?
I have a Casio CZ-101. Is it possible for me to make the 'beam'?
Also, I am just curious, how can I get a tape of this sound?
Will it be accurately recorded on tap?
Other question- I have acces to a Matrix-6. Are Xpander patches
compatible with it? If so, could you send me a copy of you The Blast?
Sounds like a *verrry* interesting patch. If not, could you tell me where I
might find a recording of this sound? I'd like to try it out on a class...
[This person teaches an electronic music class, so banish all of those sleazy
thoughts of coeds in a Phys Ed class suddenly going out of control when the
instructor starts a new workout tape from your heads, folx. |-> ]
As an aside topic, what were the technical details behind this
"Blaster Beam." Sounds interesting. I will have to hear the patch
sometime. (Maybe I go dig out Star Trek: TMP and fast forward to V'ger.)
I've heard you're a matrix maniac, but this is taking it too far. :-)
[There is no such thing as "too far." Trust me. ]
Seriously, (or maybe not entirely seriously), could you do a FFT
on the patch, and post? I guess we'd all like to try it out :->
[Yeah, I'll bet. Do you have a one-minute-plus FFT capability?]
I would be interested in porting that patch over to a polaris, if you'd be
willing to work with me on the subject. I could even test this out on
a live audience and see what percentage responds...(I have a gig coming
up soon< and this sounds just too tempting).
AT least, put me on whatever distribution list you have for this experiment.
You have definately perked my curiosity.
[ I asked him if a generic sound description would help:]
YES. Publish a generic description, but more importantly you need to do the
1) Isolate those sound components which are absolutely necessary to create the
[How? I'm open to suggestions.]
2) TRY THE SOUND ON A FEW OTHER WOMEN.
[Do you have anyone in particular in mind? *I* sure don't, and I've only had
one volunteer so far.]
Don't worry about time, we've got the rest of our lives, right?
[I only wish.]
Ive been reading the stuff in alt.sex about the "synthsex" phenomenon (?)
and I am very interested, as the subject is fascinating (!!), and I'm hoping
you can help me on one or two points here...
I know little about synthesizers, and cannot even recieve rec.music.synth,
but would like to know exactly what machines the patch can be adapted to...
A friend of mine has a lot of equipment ( he keeps a Korg M1 Music
Workstation in his bedroom here at university... ) and he may be able to
cobble something up on something of his. I do not know if this is feasible
and I'm wondering if you can let me know whether it is, or not, from roughly
what I've said, Or what equipment he'd need, if I'm talking gibberish!!
[The M1 is a beautiful sounding synth, but it uses digital samples and can't
control them in the fashion the IRE requires. But I'd be pleased to be proven
Re song titles, I would indeed like to know what some titles/albums are that
are heavy in the appropriate sounds, and perhaps which tracks/rough posn if
you have that info for isolation... But maybe you'd need a high-frqequency
response tape to catch necessary sub-harmonics? i dont know!! Have you had
any feedback on whether any effects have been felt from a tape?!! You also
only mention t he female aspect of this situation. Is there a corresponding
male aspect to be seen anywhere? or havent you heard anything like that?!
As for requests for taped samples, I feel I would like very much to make a
request for any possible sample you could obtain from your "IRE" instrument.
I dont know how you'd feel about this. I only ask this (wrt disclaims) in
the unlikely case you are legally and financially able to do this. If so,
then I would very much like a copy of the IRE sample. If you are not, then
I'm just gonna have to live with it, aren't I ?!!
Oh, and another point which belongs in the other thread: I am no
biologist, but thinking back, it would seem to me a directly induced
orgasm would be physically impossible. You see, I was under the
impression that orgasm could NOT occur without following the normal
arousal curve. Of course, ANY kind of stimulation could contribute to
sexual pleasure, but only after arousal.
A couple of years ago I did some quick personal research into the
possibility of directly affecting the brain with electromagnetic
fields. Some work has been done in this area. The interests are wide
and varied- the military wants to fry them, the doctors want to heal
them, and the entrepeneurs want to stimulate them. Suffice it to say that,
despite the sensitive nature of the research (and difficulty in
obtaining laboratory animals for this type of thing), my conclusion is
that the brain CAN be directly affected by electromagnetic radiation.
Experiments have resulted in everything from wild stimulation to
instant death in laboratory animals. There were no human experiments
(at least none that produced data I had access to- I think the defense
research interest here has been well kept) and they did not outright
say that orgasm could be directly produced by electromagnetic
stimulation, but they definitely implied it.
Anyway, the main point is the nature of these experiments. First of
all, results are totall non-reproducible. These setups included all
kinds of wierd coil arrays and oscillator/sweeper/randomizer drivers.
It seems that every subject reacts differently. It was posited that
brain/mind "designs" just vary too much. If such equipment will ever
be controllable, it will probably have to be custom designed for each
Could it be that the electromagnetic interactions within the Xpander,
speaker coils, etc. during THE BEAM waveform just happen to be right
for stimulating the sexual centers in the brain in certain people
(women apparently)? If so, the Xpander would be the perfect party
[I keep mine running, under my bed, thanks. I prefer *quiet* parties.]
Or is it possible that the sound itself has something to do with it,
which seems more likely, physically at least? It has long been known
that both audio and photonic stimulation can cause the brain to
"go into" one of the regular waves (delta, alpha, etc.) Again, the
"tuning" is different for everyone and the results (most consciously
notable are the alpha wave) often include profound relaxation. It is
also well known that audio and photonic stimulation can cause major
and minor epileptic seizures. Although I have NO support for this
theory, let me suggest that it might cause a very minor epileptic-like
seizure in someone not even diagnosed as an epileptic and be
experienced as overwhelming pleasure.
Theories aside, I personally don't think something as dramatic as an
orgasm could ever be obtained in such uncontrolled conditions.
Personally, I have NEVER felt a connection between music and sex.
Even with music which people claim "is great for making love to," I
see no difference with any other type of music. Granted, music can
contain romantic themes, or "driving" rhythms, but I don't see any
Anyway, it is an interesting prospect, to say the least...
I was once thinking about looking at neurophysiological correlates of acoustic
stimulation for my doctoral thesis. One of the things that came up was
sexual response. I'll elaborate when I know that the mail is getting to you.
[Well, John, it is, but I couldn't reach you to tell you that!]
I am considering doing an honors thesis soon in psychoacoustics
and related musical issues, so the questions you've raised have
become of considerable interest to me. Would it be too much to ask
if I could get a copy of the correspondence you are receiving on
the subject of the "beam" sound and what it can do? Ideally, I'd
love to do some field research (no innuendoes intended), but you
seem to have started the ball rolling on your end.
At any rate, I'm very interested in whatever you uncover...please
forward to me anything you deem interesting pertaining to the
subject at hand.
[I gave him my usual disclaimers of responsibility etc]
I understand...I'm basically looking for a springboard, something to get me
researching in the right direction. The expander patch would help, for
starters...or even better, a tape of the sound it makes, so I can run it
through the spectrum resynthesizer on the Synclavier II here at school...then
I can model other sounds on it and conduct controlled experimentation tageting
elicited responses to the sound.
I appreciate anything you can send to me.
Are you sure your friend didn't recognize the sound as the Beam
and decide to play a little trick on you?
[Nope, she wouldn't rrecognize the BEAM from a hole in the ground.]
If not, then well hey; I'm over at CMU and I'd be willing to come by
and listen to the patch sometime :-) ...
I must admit, though, I'd probably feel more comfortable listening to
the sound in the privacy of my own home from a tape or something--
does it lose its interesting ability when recorded? I don't know how
I'd deal with reacting or not reacting in front of someone I don't know.
In article <16398@cisunx.UUCP> mpmst1@cisunx.UUCP (metlay) writes:
>I'm an electronic musician whose opinions are (much too) well-known...
Is this a straight line or what??...
>So my questions are as follows:
Hey, I gotta few questions of my OWN! How the hell do I get this SOUND!
How about posting a patch! I suppose I could sample it from the soundtrack
or the video tape.....HMMMMMMMmmmmmm.
Now I gotta admit I have used my studio as an, errr, incentive to intrigue
a young lady into visiting my lair, er, I mean, my house, ("Common over to
my Studio, baby, and check out my....instruments..."wink wink nudge nudge),
and as good as I think my music is (I do use bass pedals yaknow), I have
yet (to my knowledge anyway) been able to induce orgasam before sex! COME
to think of it, it may be best to play some SNATCHES to get them almost
"there", then pounce! Yeah, thats the ticket....
Now we know Metlay what your "day" job is....writing letters for Penthouse
("Oh baby! A minor! Again! Please!!......oh!...oh!....OOOHHHH!!!")
[This is funny. Very, very funny. Heh. Do they REALLY pay people for that?]
No really, seriously...I think what we have here is that in this particular
case, you just happen to find the resonate frequency of...er....a critical
piece of anatomy. Perhaps you could narrow down your research to finding
another test cases resonate point. If you explore this avenue, let us
know how it comes out.
(In other words, that Xpander is one expensive vibrator!....)
Yes...and that Ayatollah is one tough literary critic! ;^)
[the above sparked the following Net dialogue:]
>> (In other words, that Xpander is one expensive vibrator!....)
> Quite unlikely. Although it is possible that the effect coulr be due to
> actual physical stimulation, it is very improbable given the anatomy. In
> order to get actual vibration of the magnitude which we would be talking
> about here, it would almost certainly be necessary for the acoustic stimulus
> to be physically coupled with skin.
I have to disagree. While playing my synths quite recently I noticed that
a certain frequency would resonate with something in my abdomen. I'm using
my boom box as an amp and the thing only has 4" (diameter) speakers, so
we're not talking about extremes in volume here. And, no, I wasn't sitting
on the speakers. :-)
By the way, this doesn't really apply directly to the question of orgasm-
inducing sounds, but I knew a female bass player who was fond of sitting upon
her speaker cabinet whilst playing. Obviously there was a more direct
connection in that case...
[So who cleaned the speaker cabinets after the shows? |-> ]
I personally havent had or no anyone who has (at least admitted to
having ) a simulus while hearing music though i once was in a group who
were talking to a catholic priest (a guy in his late 20s) seemly he
had looked into the subject of music in disco and other forms and claimed
that certain companies backtrack there records with sonic frequencies
that create sexual emotions in the listeners .He also claimed that he read
that these vibrations were heightened if the resonated through wood such
as oak an simular materials used in concert halls ,etc though generally
any hard wood that causes resonance.
Hope thats what you maybe interested in.
[Yep, it is. But keep it away from Brother Jed and Sister Patty; they might
actually end up enjoying themselves for once! |-> ]
You are a mad scientist. Keep up the good work.
[How very kind. Thank you!]
I am inclined to believe the woman you mentioned was turned on by
your presence in the room, or perhaps a combination of the sound
and your presence. I would be very surprised if the woman was as
turned on by a sequencer playing the same sound without your
presence in the room. Of course now that she has experienced the
sound in your presence and became exited, we can never know. If
she were to respond now to the sequencer controlled sound in an
empty room, it might just be triggering her memory of the previous
I do have a personal story that may or may not be relevant.
My lover and I were standing in the doorway of my home on
an early summer's evening watching an approaching thunderstorm
through the large glass of the door. It started raining
and the thunder was getting louder. Within 5 minutes the
lightning was *very* close, flashing brilliantly in front of
us with almost simultaneous thunder cracks at near deafening
levels. The kind of sound that rattles your chest when it
hits you. Nature was putting on quite a show for us and the
"sound track" was one of the best. I turned to look at my
friend/lover and noticed she was trembling slightly in a way
that I knew well.
What had turned her on? Did the sound of the thunder excite her?
Did my presence have an effect? Was the storm's overall power
an effect? Was it just her imagination? Was it just mine?
[Having made passionate love in a thunderstorm on a football field
in my misspent youth, I hardly think it was just your imagination.
Thunder has a lot of low frequency sound pressure...this may be part
of the key to what we're looking for.]
There really isn't any way to answer these questions. What
people feel just happens. Sure, there are some loosely defined
cause and effect, but it is *very* difficult to be all that
scientific about this. Good luck in your inquiry. You have
certainly caught the attention and piqued the curiosity of
many, myself included.
I find it a rather interesting subject though I am extremely dubious.
You might also want to analyse those tapes that companies sell claiming
suggestive capabilities. I've seen them advertised in Penthouse. I can dig up
a reference for it if you like, I.E. Xerox the ad.
[I have my doubts about these; subliminal speech seems too much like homeopathy
to my tastes.]
I have a patch on my JP-6 that I call "Titanic Bluebirds" that has on more
than one occasion seemed to stimulate women when I've played it (though I have
to play it in a pattern of sorts; a single "note" doesn't do the trick). Des-
cribing it is kind of difficult- I guess I would say that it is a sort of
mellow twittering. I can send the parameters if you want. I myself don't find
it particularly exciting, but what the hey: to each his/her own.
I noticed that playing really low sine waves give me a great pressure
or tension. The setup is an old DX-7 going right into an AKG 240-DF
studio monitor headphones. (obnoxious high frequency noise from the '7,
of course) The best note for it is around c or e right above the
low frequency threshold of my hearing. The note is about 41 Hz or so.
Maybe a little less. I feel the pressure in my chest, along with
an anxiety and something which makes me think I'd be screaming if
I heard it for a long time at reasonable levels. The first time
I did it, releasing the key was one of the greatest reliefs I have
ever felt. Like the largest person you know getting up off your chest.
Now, that doesn't exactly have anything to do with sex, but it
is real easy and gets at deep simpler emotions. Toss in overtones
and it gets complicated, but the human mind seems to do a lot with overtones,
and with emotional communication, so I think that there is stuff there
to be discovered.
I've only tried to get one of my roommates to do it, but he is about
as sensitive as a dead elephant to that kind of stuff. With me,
the effect varies. Tonight, I have found a frequency which is just givint
me a headache -- it's a higher frequency one. You have to play about with
the pitch bend wheel to find the frequency where effects are strongest.
Try bending thru different pitches while trying to feel where you are
affected. Compare going up a couple of octaves thru 40 hz with going
I'll try to get my other roommate to try it. He's a psychology student,
and might even have some ideas or something.
Depends on the frequency range you're talking about. When I took one
of several audio courses in college, the prof mentioned that alot of
research was being done in the late 1960's on the affects of amplified
CWs on humans (as a function of frequency).
It was discovered that at 7 to 9 Hertz, with the proper amplification, the
human bowel would resonate, causing the subject to loose ALL control.
It seems that the police were intrested in using this technique as a
means of crowd control during the anti-war demonstrations. The idea
was to blast the crowd, watch for the expressions on their faces that
you knew would be there, have a good laugh, and watch them run for it.
The big bug-a-boo was that the police down in the crowd would also be
affected in the same way. Hence, idea abandoned.
[My opinion of K*te B*sh and her music/image/fans, combined with my new .sig,
got some interesting responses; too bad I can't print any of them without
offending the .gaffaheads who read these bboards. Some were fairly mild, like
requests to test the IRE on K*te; others were, um, less subtle. Use your
imaginations...I've deleted them all.]
And last but not least, folx, here it is, the item you've all been waiting for:
THE IRE by Metlay (not THE BEAM factory patch, I'm afraid; mistaken identity)
[This patch is listed in a modified text format similar to the one used in
XPANSIONS!, the Xpander Users' Group newsletter. It should be self-explanatory;
use no pages not explicitly listed below, and all parameter values not given
are either OBERHEIM store/clear initialization patch defaults and/or simply
VCO1 freq=14,detune=0,PW=31,vol=63. P.2: [underline only] LAG, PULSE.
FREQ MOD: ENV1/+63, ENV1/+63
VCO2 freq=12,detune=0,PW=31,vol=63. P.2: LAG,PULSE.
FREQ MOD: ENV3/-63, ENV3/-63.
VCF/VCA freq=108,res=63,mode=2 pole lowpass,VCA1=0,VCA2=0. P.2: (none)
VCF FREQ MOD: LFO1/+35. VCA1 AMP MOD: PED1/+4.
VCA2 AMP MOD: ENV2/+63, LAG/+63.
FM/LAG fm amp=63,fm dest=VCF,lag in=PED2,lag rate=58. P.2: EXPO.
FM AMP MOD: ENV1/+45.
ENV1 d=0,a=0,d=0,s=63,r=44,amp=63. P.2: FREERUN,SINGLE.
ENV2 d=0,a=0,d=0,s=63,r=63,amp=63. P.2: FREERUN,SINGLE.
ENV3 d=0,a=0,d=0,s=63,r=63,amp=63. P.2: SINGLE.
LFO1 speed=36,wave=sample kybd,retrig=OFF,amp=63. P.2: OFF.
AMP MOD: LEV2/-63.
TRACKING GENERATORS, RAMP GENERATORS, ENV4+5, LFO2-5: not used.
This patch is essentially a resonant ring modulation sound, with the
evolution of the sound controlled by the envelopes smeared out over
time by the lag processor. The interaction of the various pages is a
bit bizarre, but I can offer a few pointers on using it:
First and foremost, PED1 on VCA1 acts as a volume control. The maximum
volume allowed is 4 out of the control's total range of 63. DO NOT EXCEED
THIS! I've been known for flip comments in the past, but if I've *ever*
been serious on the Net, I am now. This patch is DANGEROUS at high volumes;
it creates runaway filter oscillation that can easily shred speaker cones
and permanently damage hearing. The last time this patch was auditioned
outside MysTech Studios was at Kurt Geisel's place; we had his Matrix 12
turned almost all the way down and the VCA1 level set to 4, and his woofers
were rattling like they were about to burst. You should set the maximum
allowed volume to your system's tolerances, and do so starting from zero.
And never, NEVER listen to this patch at high levels with headphones! I
did once, and developed a nice little 3dB sensitivity rolloff in my left ear
above 10k to show for it, for about a week and a half. My ears recovered,
which according to my audiologist was nothing short of a miracle, but you
may not be so lucky.
Second, you should audition the sound only through solid speakers with
plenty of headroom and as wide a frequency response as possible (I recommend
woofers from bass guitar cabinets for the low end), and use the loudest
level that doesn't cause the ears to tickle or ring, which indicates
incipient damage. Sound pressure levels seem to play an important part in
producing the desired effect, and one must walk a fine line between sound
that's too soft to have an effect and too loud for safety.
Third, the best playing technique is as follows. Before touching the keys,
depress PED2 and hold it. Then play either a tone cluster at the center
of the keyboard range, or two clusters at the high and low ends. Hold the
notes for anywhere from 30 to 45 seconds; it'll take that long for the Lag
processor to take keyboard control away from you. You can then let go of
some or all keys, experiment with LEV2 (not a very dramatic effect), play
and hold different notes, etc. Releasing PED2 begins the process of shutting
down the sound; if you release the pedal and all held notes, this will take
up to two minutes. In my experience, my lady friend began to look strange
at about 45 to 60 seconds and was breathing hard in 2 to 3 minutes. (Your
mileage may vary. |-> ) If you're impatient, lower the LAG RATE to 56 or 55,
but much lower than that and the character of the sound's evolution changes
Last but not least, I don't know what people are expecting from this sound,
but I will say this much: it's not exactly musical in the traditional sense.
It has a lot of power and kick, and will probably find its way into my next
album (due out next year) if only to reach a wider sample of possibly easily-
stimulated listeners, nyuk nyuk, but it ain't exactly a harpsichord. (OR a
Conrail locomotive, for that matter. |->) Enjoy....if you can!
The next report will probably be a lot smaller, as it'll include followup
and maybe even wrapup reports, as I'd prefer not beating this topic to death.
Keep those cards and letters coming! And have a little patience; between the
XUG, my upcoming wedding, my music, and, oh yes, *work*, I'm awfully busy.
So personal answers to SyntheSex queries may be slow or nonexistent, and I
just CAN'T send people tapes of the IRE, or anything else for that matter.
(Unless you want a copy of my first album, plug plug |-> ) See you next time,
and until then, remember to play safe: demagnetize your tape deck heads
regularly, make disc backups of everything, and if you're not 100% sure,
ALWAYS use a rubber--wrap it in foil before checking her oil.
[the third and last posting]
Well, the discussion has slowed to a trickle, and that's okay: no sense
beating a dead horse. People on rec.music.synth have turned their attention
to IBM-AT interfacing, and alt.sex seems preoccupied with the ethical question
of some guy losing his account for posting an offensive article to the Net.
All things must pass, I guess. Anyway, enough nostalgia; there are a couple of
last threads that have come up, and the first set spells the tone of where
this discussion seems to have ended up. So:
> Project SyntheSex(TM): Where the listener comes first. |->
This is a sick puppy.
[This was from a friend of mine who reads alt.sex. Nice to have friends!]
Metlay, I shared your original posting with a friend of mine. Her opinion
from a woman's point of view:
"for whatever motive, she was probably faking it"
hope this doesn't burst your bubble...
[I find this unlikely, for reasons I'd rather keep to myself. But you can
believe what you want....]
[other responses to this possibility:]
>Metlay, I shared your original posting with a friend of mine. Her opinion
>from a woman's point of view:
> "for whatever motive, she was probably faking it"
I showed several of the SynthSex(TM) postings to my girlfriend. Her
response was something like:
"Whether or not I have an orgasm has as much to do with the mood I'm
in and the situation surrounding the stimulation. Rarely does
physical stimulation alone do much for me. I think that it's the
same for most other women, too."
It sounds more to me like sounds & music make a good enhancement of
sexual activity, but they rarely work by themselves.
>Metlay, I shared your original posting with a friend of mine. Her opinion
>from a woman's point of view:
> "for whatever motive, she was probably faking it"
>hope this doesn't burst your bubble...
Perhaps she should
volunteer as a test
subject in our
"...er,...involuntary dilation of the eyes....." -Bladerunner
> research was being done in the late 1960's on the affects of amplified
> CWs on humans (as a function of frequency).
> It was discovered that at 7 to 9 Hertz, with the proper amplification, the
> human bowel would resonate, causing the subject to loose ALL control.
> The big bug-a-boo was that the police down in the crowd would also be
> affected in the same way. Hence, idea abandoned.
Back when the world was young, I read of this research and attemped
to duplicate it using a British motorcycle which had two pistons moving
exactly in phase, thus having an oscillating mass os a pound or so and
an amplitude of nearly three inches, WAY more power than wold be available
with electronic equipment. I was unable to produce resonance in my own
(for sure) or anybody else's (to the best of my knowledge) orifices. 7 Hz
is 420 RPM, a low but perfectly attainable rate.
[and one last bit of new data:]
for what they're worth, I'd like to mention some related obsservations
in the hope that they will contribute to the research
1) I've noticed some times when I'm getting ready to step into the shower
all of a sudden I need to take a piss. Once or twice, this has also happened
before washing my hands. It seems that perhaps the sound of running water
is causing it (or is it the impending drop in temperature?)
2) Many mornings I wake up rather hard, but this seems to disappear almost
immediately after using the toilet, leading me to notice a link between
bladder pressure and arousal. Very similar were the times when I had to
use the bathroom imediately after my then-girlfriend got me to come during
oral sex. Maybe it's just me, but in the case that it's more general...
What I'd like to suggest is that some of the trikling sounds that water
makes (similar to showers or sink faucets) might cause the need to urinate,
but in the nice, warm, dry (? |:-)) confines of the bed, one's brain may well
reinterpret the urges to be of a more erotic nature, and thus have the sensual
Just some thoughts; hope they give you some insight...
And that brings us to the end of report number 3, and to the end of Project
SyntheSex(TM), at least as far as organized Net responses and digests go.
The initial surge of interest has passed, and I'll keep a digest of all posts
to send to anyone who came in too late to retrieve the stuff from their
archives, but as of now I'm turning the tag-end of this discussion back to
the Net: the bandwidth is manageable, and I no longer have time to pursue
the topic in such great depth. I hope that I've accomplished at least part
of what I set out to do: to encourage thought and discussion on this weird
but fascinating topic. It may be that the synth/sex question will gain a new
lease on life in open discussion, and if so, that's fine. But I've done my
bit, and now it's time to get back to the more important stuff in life, both
in matters synthetic (I have a new issue of XPANSIONS to write and an album
to finish) and sexual (my RFL just bought a black velvet cocktail dress for
a formal dinner tonight. Yum!). Thanx for all your attention and input.