In our Sexlab, we study the fundamentals of human sexuality in the laboratory. We mainly use psychophysiological, pharmacological and neuroendocrinological methods. To induce sexual arousal in the lab, study participants watch pornographic images or videos or masturbate to orgasm while we study body responses.

What does this look like in practice?

In a recent study, we examined how a drug, which blocks an important neurochemical mechanism and is commonly administered to treat compulsive sexual behavior disorder, affects the sexual response cycle. In another study, we examined in which animal species masturbation was observed, examined the difference in frequency between the sexes, and used the obtained data to develop a new theory as to why numerous animal species masturbate.

Selected publications

  • Fuss, J., Bindila, L., Wiedemann, K., Auer, M. K., Briken, P., & Biedermann, S. V. (2017). Masturbation to orgasm stimulates the release of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol in humans. The journal of sexual medicine, 14(11), 1372-1379.
  • Fuss, J., Claro, L., Ising, M., Biedermann, S. V., Wiedemann, K., Stalla, G. K., ... & Auer, M. K. (2019). Does sex hormone treatment reverse the sex-dependent stress regulation? A longitudinal study on hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity in transgender individuals. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 104, 228-237.
  • Roth, L., Briken, P., & Fuss, J. (2022). Masturbation in the Animal Kingdom. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-13.


Prof. Dr. med. Johannes Fuß