I'm reminded of Sigmund Freud's Life(libido) and Death Drives. The Life Drive, or libido, would be the aggregate of forces that propel the Self to live; these are: "survival, propagation, hunger, thirst, and sex". The Death Drive would be repetitive habits we consciously, but mostly unconsciously, take on that propel ourselves to an expected, determined(and, in extreme cases, such as that of OCD and suicidal persons, intended) death, or "self-destruction".
Originally Posted by k0rpsey
Eros (the life drive/instinct, libido) is concerned with the preservation of life and the preservation of the species, It thus appears as basic needs for health, safety and sustenance and through sexual drives. It seeks both to preserve life and to create life.
Eros is associated with positive emotions of love, and hence pro-social behavior, cooperation, collaboration and other behaviors that support harmonious societies.
Thanatos (the death drive/instinct, mortido, aggression) appears in opposition and balance to Eros and pushes a person towards extinction and an 'inanimate state'.
Freud saw drives as moving towards earlier states, including non-existence.
‘The aim of all life is death...inanimate things existed before living ones’ (Freud 1920)
Thanatos is associated with negative emotions such as fear, hate and anger, which lead to anti-social acts from bullying to murder (perhaps as projection of the death drive).
Freud also noted that we have a strong drive to repeat things, even to the point where is is harmful to us. This is at the root of several disorders, in particular Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Rocking helps a baby sleep and traumatized adults will return to foetal position and rock frenetically.
Fixation is a particular effect that leads to repetition where the person is unable to remove their attention from something or someone.
The reason why I believe this is relevant to the study is because of the repetitive nature of sexual stimulation, which is, in essence, a drive towards a climactic end(represented as Death for analogous purposes). Yet, at the same time, sexual stimulation is a means to perpetuate life, making sexual stimulation, simultaneously, part of both the Life and Death drives. And orgasms, as mentioned in the study, with people speaking of "letting go", is clearly analogous to the end of Life and acceptance of Death. Orgasm, theoretically, is a synthesis of the Life and Death drives, and, practically, is a fundamental link in the existence and continuation of Life.
So, I find all this to be related to the topic of this thread, which is Orgasms and their relation to Altered States of Consciousness. Using what I've already explained, I believe orgasms do open up a metaphorical gate to higher or altered consciousness as orgasms are a fulfillment of the Ego's role to Live and to Die, which is nothing short of numinous.