So 2019 has arrived, everyone and their mother is looking at starting the new year with good intentions except me! Things that folks might be aware of though is that January is statistically the worst month of the year for people struggling with depression and has the highest rates of suicide. So what has this got to do with sexual health, you might ask?
Well so many of us are super broke post December am I right? Guess what is a fun and cost free activity that is scientifically proven to give you good feelings? Yes I am talking about that taboo word masturbation. Now I don’t know about you but I always feel significantly better post self love. So however that looks for you be it spanking the monkey, flicking that bean or anywhere in between, it is proven that orgasm’s release chemicals in your brain that give you yummy feels. So let’s talk about the science for a little bit.
Neuroscientist Barry Komisaruk, Ph.D.,who is a co-author of The Orgasm Answer Guide has been studying brain activity during sexual stimulation for 20 years now. He has studied lots of people who have had orgasms inside MRI scanners For science!!!
Based on all those lab based “O faces” we have a good idea of why parts of your brain light up like the fireworks on New Years Eve. Also why they might make you want to get your groove on in bed/shower/ wherever – hey I am not here to judge, just remember folks safety first! No one looks good in Prison Orange.
Did you know that genital stimulation sends a signal to your limbic system that it’s time to get it on, or off as the case may be! The limbic system is the emotional control center of your brain. Part of that system is the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and fantasies. No wonder I keep fantasising about Tom Hiddleston! Remember my previous comment, no judgements okay? Thanks pals….now let’s talk more of that sweet sexy science.
The amygdala, which is another emotional part of the brain is involved in sexual functioning, fear, and aggression. This doesn’t necessarily translate into rough, angry sex — it just means that this highly emotional area is also activated when you’re bringing sexy back. While we mention rough sex, some brain areas respond to both orgasm and pain. But Hey No kink shaming here, either! So things like biting and hair pulling don’t hurt as much when you’re having getting your kink on and yes Kink can be a solo activity but that’s another day’s article. This also explains why facial expressions made in the heat of an orgasm are similar to the grimaces we make when we’re in pain, according to Dr Komisaruk.
Let’s talk orgasm facial expressions even though again it’s generally considered taboo. Increased activity in your cerebellum is responsible for increased muscle tension related to sexual stimulation. All those light switches flicking on in your brain act as a chain reaction causing a volcanic eruption of an orgasm. Which in sexy science terms is when the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens, are fully engaged. You know those bodily sensations like palpitations, pupils dilation, breathing heavily, and increased blood flow to your cheeks causing you to flush you sexy thing you! — this is all thanks to activation in the hypothalamus. Or not if you are Asexual and Aromantic and don’t engage in these activities, that’s cool too.
During orgasm, your brain release oxytocin which is a hormone and neurotransmitter. In many people with a womb, oxytocin can trigger strong contractions that pulse along with their orgasms, which might explain those butterflies I feel when I think about Tom. At the same time your brain dumps a load of that sexy feel good hormone dopamine into the Nucleus Accumbens a.k.a. The reward center of your brain which activates it and rewards you for your feel good sexy times. Other ways folks can kick up their dopamine is through sports activities. But like that’s not my new year resolution. For 2019 I wanna get my rocks off more.
Post-orgasm bliss is awesome right? The world is a better place. So yes my friends it’s super okay to have some alone time. Even if you do have a partner or FWB willing to help. I recommend connecting back to your own body. How can you communicate to a partner what makes you feel good if you don’t explore that with yourself first.