A tasp is an electronic
device which stimulates the pleasure centers
of the human brain
, artificially inducing emotional
satisfaction. This is done by running current through electrodes implanted in the brain or in the spine
Until recently, the tasp was mere science fiction -- but now a surgeon in North Carolina trying to use electrodes to reduce pain accidentally stumbled across the part of the spinal cord which, when stimulated, provokes orgasm in women. A model that works on men cannot be too far behind. The surgeon said that the device must have programmed instructions to prevent it from being used too frequently -- something that the real inventors of the tasp have already thought of.
The tasp was originally conceived of by Larry Niven for his novels of Known Space; tasps were central plot devices in several of his Ringworld books. It has also been used by Spider Robinson as a plot device in his books Deathkiller and Lifehouse.