Some people fake them, others ache for them but for one woman, the big ‘O’ is the bane of her life… as she has to endure up to 100 orgasms a day.
Kim Ramsey, 44, has a medical condition which makes her feel constantly aroused.
Even the slightest pelvic movement – on a train, in a car, doing domestic chores – can trigger a climax, but the sheer volume has left her tired, in pain and unable to have a normal relationship.
Ms Ramsey, a nurse originally from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, suffers from Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD).
Doctors believe the incurable syndrome was caused by an accident in 2001 when she fell down some stairs.
This may have led to a Tarlov cyst on her spine, at the point where a woman’s orgasm originates.
‘Other women wonder how to have an orgasm – I wonder how to stop mine,’ she told The Sun.
Ms Ramsey, who has since moved to Montclair, New Jersey, first noticed the problem in 2008 after having sex with a new boyfriend.
She said: ‘I had constant orgasms for four days. I thought I was going mad.
‘We tried everything to make it stop. Squats, deep breathing, I even sat on frozen peas but the orgasms and sexual arousal continued for 36 hours – I must have had around 200 orgasms during that period. The pain and exhaustion was excruciating.’
Ms Ramsey said she now finds it hard to go about her daily life as she is worried she will not be able to control the sexual arousal.
She said she no longer feels like she has control over her own body: ‘Imagine feeling aroused for no reason other than you got up that day.
‘I’ve even had one in public. I was traveling home on the train and it was a bit of a bumpy ride.
‘Every jerk of the train or vibration made me more aroused and it was a 40-minute journey so there was nothing I could do.
‘I just had to bite my lip and sit on my hands and hope no one noticed.’
Although the sensations experienced during PGAD may seem like arousal, they are not actually based in any sexual desire, thoughts or behavior, and it is unconnected to libido.
Any pressure on the genitals can result in increased intensity – and also bring on the urge to urinate.
Due to shame, guilt and fear of rejection, it is not clear how many people have the condition, as some patients may suffer in silence.
Ms Ramsey added: ‘Both women and men just don’t seem to get it – they seem to think it’s a great thing and, believe me, it’s really not.’
Despite going to several specialists about her condition, doctors remain unable to help.
The condition is very rare and there has so far been very little research into it.
Ms Ramsey only received an official diagnosis, in Pennsylvania, in June and will travel to London next month to see a PGAD expert.
She said: ‘At the moment I am able to work. But without the correct treatment this condition can limit my ability to work. I don’t want that. It’s already destroyed my chance of having a relationship.’
GENITAL DISORDER MAY BE AS COMMON AS 1 IN A 100
Dr David Goldmeier, an expert on sexual medicine at Imperial College in London said: ‘Persistent genital arousal disorder is a newly recognized condition, where the sufferer complains of long periods of genital arousal that are not associated with sexual desire.
‘PGAD sufferers experience intrusive, unsolicited and spontaneous genital arousal that can be unrelenting. This arousal can persist for hours, days or even longer.
‘This can be highly distressing for a woman and despite attempts to relieve it with sexual activity or orgasm, this often doesn’t help or can worsen the symptoms.
‘Tarlov cysts are small jelly like cysts that form around the sacral area of the spine. They are a common finding in normal people. One current research paper suggests that a lot of women who have PGAD have Tarlov cysts, but this is contentious.
‘There is very little research into Tarlov cysts and PGAD. But due to the relatively high occurrence of Tarlov cysts currently observed in women who suffer from PGAD symptoms, it would seem advisable to suspect Tarlov cysts as a possible underlying factor in the cause of PGAD.
‘Tarlov cysts can cause problems with the pelvic nerves and are reported to produce genital symptoms that bear similarities to those described for PGAD.
‘Spontaneous genital arousal is quite common but it’s those women who can’t control the arousal which is uncommon.
‘I see around 20 women a year with this condition, it may be as common as one in 100 we just don’t know.
‘Sometimes it may resolve on its own, there is no cure but there are a number of ways to manage the symptoms such as meditation and pelvic floor exercises along with pain medication for the patient.’