In case you needed some gentle encouragement to try a finger in the bum, new research has set out to probe the depths of the prostate orgasm. In a paper published in Clinical Anatomy this week, Dr Roy Levin looks into what we know about the prostate, and what makes prostate-induced orgasms so intense. Dr Levin notes that while there’s a lot of research into the role the prostate plays in reproduction, very little information is out there on why stimulating the prostate can provide new realms of pleasure. The prostate, if you didn’t know, is crucial to maintaining erections and the release of semen during ejaculation. The gland’s main function is to secrete prostate fluid – a component of semen – and for the prostate’s muscles to propel the seminal fluid out through the penis. We know that during ejaculation, millions of sperm move through the vas deferens to the area of the prostate, causing the prostate to contract, close off the opening between the bladder and urethra, and push semen through. What is the prostate? The prostate is a muscular gland around the size of a walnut. It surrounds the urethra underneath the bladder. The main reproductive purpose of the prostate is to secrete prostate fluid and propel semen out of the penis to fertilise an egg. Prostate fluid makes up around one third of semen and contains enzymes, zince, and citric acid. It also has an enzyme called prostate specific antogen which works to liquefy and thin semen so sperm can swim more freely. What we don’t really know is why stimulating the prostate via anal play can feel so orgasmic. That’s what Dr Levin plans to find out. ‘Most of the information about this pleasurable function comes from anecdotal sources,’ he writes. ‘“he scientific study of orgasm has always been challenging. Those induced by prostate stimulation have been ignored.’ Dr Levin proposes a few possible reasons for stimulating the prostate during sex feeling so grand. Perhaps it’s down to heightening body awareness, making people more in tune with the rest of their body and thus increasing genital stimulation, which in turn leads to a connection between anal stimulation and sexual pleasure. MORE: HEALTH Why hundreds of teens marched on Westminster for free periods Can we please stop criticising older women for working out ‘too much’? How to get through Christmas when you’re recovering from an eating disorder This might explain why poking and prodding the prostate feels good, but it doesn’t explain why people report prostate orgasms feeling more intense than stimulation of the penis. The paper also notes that previous research suggests the prostate may have an endocrine function, which can work to stimulate the release of hormones. Dr Levin plans to get to the bottom of things by doing brain imaging studies of people having prostate-stimulated orgasms and comparing them to people having penis-related orgasms. We’ll have to wait for people to volunteer before we can find out more. How to stimulate the prostate: The prostate is located internally underneath the bladder, so you can’t actually poke it directly. Instead you can stimulate it through the perineum or the rectum. You can do this through anal play, either with your finger or a sex toy designed for anal play. Start by gently stroking the perineum during sex to see how that feels. If you’re ready to turn things up a notch, lube up your finger and locate the prostate – it’s around two inches into the rectal canal. You’ll know you’ve found it when you can feel a ball of tissues that feels different to the other bits of the rectum. The prostate will swell when the person is aroused, which should make it easier to find. Go slowly, gently, and make sure your fingernails are short. Make a come hither motion, starting gently then stroking more once you know how it feels. If you’d like to try toys, make sure you use sex toys specifically designed for anal play – ones with a flared base so the toys can’t get lost inside the rectum. Play safely.