How Do Orgasms Affect The Brain?
-By Dr Andrew Orr
In the words of the late George Michael “Not everybody does it, but everybody should”, many of us forget the health benefits and relatuionship benefits of a good orgasm. Famous scenes of Meg Ryan simulating how an orgasm makes you feel and onlookers saying “I’ll have what she is having” have all of us nodding our heads in agreement.
There is no doubt that orgasm is one of the most pleaurable and intense experiences the body can enjoy on our own, or with another. Many of us try to replicate other ways to pleasure the body and induce hormone like reactions like orgasm can. This is why so many people dive into a bar of chocolate each night, trying to get some of the seretonin and oxytocin effects siimilar to a good orgasm. Maybe people should be ditching the chocolate, ditching TV, or social media and everyone elses sex life, and just heading straight to the bedroom for some action of their own. It would be more pleasureable and much healthier for the body and brain overall. Hey, you could be using the chocolate in other ways to help enhance those hormones on the bedroom.
So why does orgasm affect us in the way it does?
New research, reported in the journal Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology has set out to gain a better understanding of how the human orgasm affects the brain.
This new reseacrh has now shed some light on how orgasm affects the body and how it also affefts the brain. When it comes to the human orgasm, research has primarily focused on how this intense feeling of sexual pleasure has evolved. In a new study, rseacrhers have delved into a relatively understudied area of human climax: how orgasms affect the brain.
Orgasm can be described as a powerful, pleasurable release of accumulated sexual tension and is perceived as the epitome of sexual pleasure for both men and women. During orgasm, an individual may experience a rise in blood pressure, an increased heart rate, heavy breathing, and rhythmic muscular contractions. The lasting benefits on mood and ones health are often understated and many times forgotten and something that all of us need to be thinking about more.
But while the signs and sensations of an orgasm might be clear, the underlying mechanisms of this sexual response – particularly its neurophysiological effects – remain uncertain.
Previous Studies have shown that orgasm plays a role in ovulation, orgasm helps reduce depression and mood disorders, helps reduce inflammmation of gynaecological conditions, reduces certain cancers, helps you keep fit and also helps with maintaining long lasting relationships.
How orgasm can induce a ‘sexual trance’
An abundance of studies and literature were analysed by researchers, that have investigated the brain and body’s response to sexual stimulation. This information was then used to shed light on how rhythmic sexual activity affects rhythmic activity in the brain. If rhythmic sexual stimulation is intense enough and it lasts long enough it can cause the body to experience a “sexual trance,” where sole focus is on the immediate sensation experienced. These teachings are often taught by those that practice tantra.
While some of this has been known through many ancient tantric sex practice, having research to back up these practices, could change the way people view orgasm and their sexuality. Sex is a source of pleasurable sensations and emotional connection, but it is also actually an altered state of consciousness.
Brain responses to orgasms the same way it responds to dance and music
Additionally, researchers found that the way the brain reacts to rhythmic sexual stimulation is comparable to the way it responds to rhythmic music and dance. Here the study also showed that as humans, dance may have served as a test of fitness for a potential mate. Researchers added that rhythmic music and dance have served as a key part of mating for hundreds of millions of years, and these findings are consistent with this fact.
We do know that fitness and health of the body, also corresponds to ones sexual health and that exercise and keeping healthy is important to maintain healthy reporductive and sexual function. Good orgasms come from a healthy body and healthy reproductive organs.
Before this paper, we knew what lit up in the brain when people had orgasms, and we knew a lot about the hormonal and neurochemical factors in non-human animals, but we didn’t really know why sex and orgasm feel the way they do. Hopefully this sort of research paves the way for further studies in this area and helps us understand the health, emotional and physical benefits of regular orgasms.
In upcoming posts I will talk about what you can do to enhance a good orgasm and also what affects orgasms too. I will also talk about differing libidos and how to increase your libido if that is waivering, or not existant at all.
Source:- Journal Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology (Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 2016, 6: 31763 – http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/snp.v6.31763)
Dr Andrew Orr
The Brisbane Baby Maker and Women’s & Men’s Health Advocate
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