Hildegard of Bingen was a twelfth century nun, possibly with repressed lesbian desires, who had visions, was a proto-scientist, advised the Pope, composed music, and, er, wrote about the role of the brain in the female orgasm.
BBC Radio 4′s Great Lives just had a fantastic programme about her where they read out her description of the female orgasm and how it is driven by a ‘sense of heat’ in the brain.
Remember, if you could possibly forget, that this was written by a nun in the 12th century.
When a woman is making love with a man, a sense of heat in her brain, which brings forth with it sensual delight, communicates the taste of that delight during the act and summons forth the emission of the man’s seed. And when the seed has fallen into its place, that vehement heat descending from her brain draws the seed to itself and holds it.
I for one, certainly feel closer to God after reading that.
Hildegard is most well known among neuroscientists for the descriptions of her visions which Oliver Sacks has interpreted as likely stemming from migraines as these can can cause an array of visual distortions and hallucinations.
Although from now on, I shall give equal consideration to her interest in erotic brain heat.