Techno and rat cocks and Class As, oh my!

Readers, you have been very good to me these past few months, and I have an end-of-term treat for you.

Let me present to you what is quite possibly the greatest academic paper ever written: Effects on rat sexual behaviour of acute MDMA (ecstasy) alone or in combination with loud music by Cagiano and colleagues. The paper is open-source and I would thoroughly recommend reading it through as it contains some absolutely blindingly brilliant lines. The keywords alone are the stuff of genius: MDMA, Loud music, Sexual behavior, % of ejaculating rats, Copulatory efficiency.

Those who have ever taken MDMA or attempted to fuck someone with a penis who has taken MDMA will be familiar with a problem which can most delicately be described as incredibly willing spirit in combination with incredibly weak flesh. Less delicately, “disappearing cock syndrome”. Cagiano and colleagues politely describe the problem as “impairing human sex drive and behaviour”.

Like good scientists, Cagiano and colleagues acknoweledge that there are a number of confounders to studying the effect of MDMA on vanishing dicks, such as environmental context. For these reasons, the authors decided that the best way to study the effect of MDMA on sexual behaviour would be to introduce the variable of loud music, as MDMA is often consumed in places surrounded by the sort of music that can really only be appreciated with a vast quantity of chemical aid. Therefore, the authors decided it may also be prudent to study the effect of music.

In the study, therefore, some male rats were given varying doses of MDMA, others only a placebo, and some were exposed to music while some where not. The authors are coy about the type of music used: in the introduction, techno music is discussed, while in the method section we are only given information about the sound frequency of the music. Given the frequencies involved, it seems more likely to be techo than dubstep.

The rats were then put in the dark with a “sexually receptive” female rat, and their behaviour was monitored. The authors were fairly thorough about the aspects of sexual behaviour they were observing, including exciting-sounding conscepts such as “mount latency”, “ejaculation latency” and “next intromission in each copulatory series”. Sexual vocalisations were also recorded, including “duration of the 22 kHZ post-ejaculatory vocalisation in each copulatory series”. I can only assume that this means the grunt a male rat makes when he spunks, which is educational.

Until I read this paper, I had never really thought much about what rats do when they fuck. After reading this fairly comprehensive account of various aspects of rat-shagging, I am now, unwillingly, intimately familiar.

The researchers found that MDMA does indeed impair sexual performance in male rats at the higher dose. Surrounded by a lot of statistics, the authors describe how the rats took longer to get going, more of them failed to fuck at all, and they were less likely to ejaculate if they did manage to fuck. Some of this may seem somewhat familiar to anyone who has ever been fucked by a penis-owner on MDMA, or been that penis-owner.

The music had an effect on sexual behaviour among all of the rats: it meant that they ejaculated faster. Fucking to techno music apparently speeds up the time to orgasm. In the rats who had high doses of MDMA, presence of techno music was the only way they could actually manage to come. Without the music, they were highly unlikely to achieve ejaculation. The music also improved how many times the rats were able to fuck, and how frequently they attempted: at the high doses of MDMA, the rats showed higher levels of “copulatory efficiency”.

Again, some of this may sound familiar.

Of course, as a rat study, its results are not necessarily applicable to human experience, and female rat behaviour was not studied at all. It is an amusing study,one which raises a knowing smirk and a giggle. Its major contribution to science is that it provides an empirical account that environmental factors do interact with MDMA and affect what happens, which is quite important.

As with all science, please don’t try this at home, as it is a branch of research in its infancy. Nobody should have to expose themselves to techno until its necessity is proved.


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