Push-Button Orgasm Device Can't Raise $6 Million

Lila Gray

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — How much are people willing to pay for an instant, flick-of-of-the-switch orgasm? Surprisingly, not very much.

Stuart Meloy, a surgeon at Piedmont Anesthesia and Pain Consultants in North Carolina, discovered in 2001 that a pain relief implant could also be used to trigger a “push-button” orgasm, but is still struggling to raise the necessary funds to study it further, NewScientist reported.

"Staging an FDA pivotal trial is a fairly expensive undertaking, and that takes money I don't have right now," Meloy said. "Though it would be nice to bring [the device] to fruition." Meloy, who estimates the trial would cost around $6 million, believes that the device could be used to help women who have chronic difficulty reaching orgasm.

Apparently health insurers do not cover the cost of experimental treatments — and approval from regulators is needed to license the devices for treating a specific condition (in this case, sexual dysfunction.)

NewScientist reports that even in 2003, amidst significant media hype, Meloy had difficulty finding volunteers to participate in studies using the device.

According to Meloy, the discovery came completely by chance while he was performing a routine pain-relief operation:  "I was placing the electrodes and suddenly the woman started exclaiming emphatically," he said. "I asked her what was up and she said, `You're going to have to teach my husband to do that'."