Tasp + Hookers = Heterosexuality!

Self-stimulating the brain for heterosexual sex with a prostitute. Seriously.

Scene: 1970s, late night; car rolls up to young woman standing under a streetlight; window rolls down as car approaches

"Excuse me, miss? My name is Dr. Heath. I've got a young, gay man hooked up to a brain stimulator back in the hospital. He's been stimulating himself stupid horny these last few days. If I give you $40 would you mind coming back with me and see if you can't screw him straight-wise? Be sure to mind the wires because they're hooked right into his brain.

Can you imagine writing this into your IRB proposal? I mean. What?

And I love the matter-of-factness about describing how this all played out:

The laboratory was modified to permit complete privacy, and an extension cord was inserted between the plugs in the patient's hand and the jack box to the recording room to give him adequate mobility.

He goes on:

Later, the patient began active participation and achieved successful penetration, which culminated in a highly satisfactory orgiastic response, despite the milieu and the encumbrances of the lead wires to the electrodes.

To recap: this study involved taking a severely depressed, drug addicted, gay man into the hospital, letting him stimulate his own brain, and then tracking down a prostitute to have sex with him.

And in related wood-panelled 1970s mad neuroscience news, may I present The Feraliminal Lycanthropizer.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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9 Responses:

  1. Ian Young says:

    400 quatloos for the Niven reference.

  2. dolface says:

    Louis Wu approves. (Also, holy unethical shit!)

  3. Aw, the 70s: the golden age of hands-on, two fisted human (and other) subject research. No laws, no ethics panels, no institutional review boards: just you, your bottle of whiskey, your scalpel, your hypo, and whatever you could get away with. (See also. See also. See also.) And yet... dear god, this might actually be the nadir. Dear lord.

  4. Elusis says:

    I'm actually going to use this in a conference presentation next month. Thanks.

  5. Ian says:

    Given that at the time, half the profession would have been attaching electrodes to the subject's genitals and shocking them if he showed any sign of being interested in other men.... this could have been much worse.

    Even Masters and Johnson were writing a book which would claim that they could change orientation, on the basis of 'being able to have heterosexual intercourse = not gay'.

    Got to note the prejudice against sex workers in the report too. Prostitute street worker.

  6. Giles says:

    I'm trying ever so hard to figure out what the control group would be in this experiment.

    • Wim says:

      I can't decide which control would have more interesting implications— a depressed, addicted gay man with a fake nonfunctional tasp; or a depressed, addicted straight man with a male prostitute; or a depressed, addicted lesbian etc; or a healthy, happy gay man etc; or…