The science of why sex feels so good

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In case you’ve ever wondered why sex feels fantastic, a group of researchers took it upon themselves to figure this out for you.  Thank goodness because most of our minds are not on the science of why sex feels so good at the moment of climax, instead we are just relishing in the delight of how wonderful we feel.  But, scientists at Northwestern University decided to unravel why humans experience such pleasure when having an orgasm. 

What this 2016 study found after reviewing related studies and literature over many years was that it appears to be induced when rhythmic sexual activity occurs that likely influences brain rhythms.  In other words, it’s the repeated stimulation, the type that makes our toes curl and our body to move rhythmically to touch, that causes us to enter a trance-like state right at the moment of orgasm. 

To put it more technically, it’s the rhythmic stimulation that enhances neural oscillations at corresponding frequencies, sort of like pushing someone on a swing.  When certain nerves are stimulated in a certain way at a particular speed over and over again, it focuses our neurons. This process is called neural entrainment. When sexual stimulation is intense enough and goes on for a period of time, this synchronized activity can spread throughout the brain.  Orgasms feel so good because sexual stimulation sends the brain into an altered state of consciousness by blocking everything else out, allowing us to solely concentrate on the sensation.

The study author, Adam Safron, a neuroscientist, stated that “Sex is a source of pleasurable sensations and emotional connection, but beyond that, it’s actually an altered state of consciousness.”

Like the saying goes, “sex begins in the brain,” is very true.  When we are in the midst of having sex, our brain is literally our “pleasure center” letting us know what feels good and what doesn’t.  When the various nerves in the genitalia are being touched, this sends communication to the brain about the sensation experience which is why depending on what part of the body is being touched, determines how nice the sensation feels.  Many people describe the euphoria of sex as being on “cloud nine” or “going to the moon.” This is due to the nerves sending messages to the brain’ pleasure center or reward circuit saying “this feels really good.”

Sex and the pleasure we derive from it, floods the brain with a surge of neurochemicals that cause simulate emotions, feelings of attachment, and love.  The intensity of our orgasms is connected to the release of these chemicals.  When we are in the throes of pleasure, everything else is shut out and we are only focused and concentrating on the thrill of the moment. 

So, the next time you are in the arms of your lover and are about to have an orgasm, forget about thinking of the “why” of the feeling.  Rather, focus on the “wow” and enjoy the ride.