6 Ways Sex Affects Your Brain
Even though you’re bumping uglies everywhere but your heads, your brain should be the center of your sex life. Orgasms occur in the brain (and elsewhere), and you want to make sure that you’re getting the most, um, bang for your buck. Consider these six ways that sex affects your brain, and always think (and act) responsibly.
The major neurochemical that’s affected by sexual activity is dopamine. Dopamine is the control center for survival mechanisms and cravings. It’s also the neurotransmitter whose reuptake is inhibited in the use of cocaine. All this to say, sex is a drug. The more you have, the more you crave. And that’s the chemical truth.
When you have sex, oxytocin is released, pair-bonding you to the person that you’re shagging. Oxytocin is released in higher doses after a female orgasm, while male orgasms release more dopamine — activating the addictive reward brain centers, not the “cuddle hormone.”
Your brain is affected in numerous ways at the point of climax, with thirty brain centers being activated during female orgasm. Your nervous system short circuits and your pain centers are numbed, just by the act of finishing the deed. Scientists at Rutgers have the studies to prove it — a good old-fashioned orgasm jumbles up the brain so much, it can make you all but paralyzed (seriously) by pleasure.
Sex addiction is a real thing, just like drugs and alcohol. Anything you do compulsively can turn into an addiction, and having mega amounts of sex can incite junkie-like behavior. Your pleasure centers are affected upon orgasm, and endorphins and dopamine are affected and released. If you get more high than you do randy, make sure that your sexual activity is reinforcing positive not destructive behavior. Junkies might get laid in scads, but no one wants the issues that come with compulsive copulating.
If you can’t have sex, eat some chocolate. And if you’re not hungry, whet your appetite for love. Sexual activity releases endorphins (just like chocolate!) and adrenaline (just like running!), making you feel great. Who knew that post-coital glow was chemically founded? After a roll in the hay, enjoy the good that you’ve done for your mind and body.
A healthy sex life that’s a positive force in your life can work wonders for your brain chemistry and help level you out. The mark of a balanced sex life is one that lifts you up, not brings you down. Those suffering from mild depression (which often comes with loss of libido) or other mood disorders can help even out their chemistries by engaging in sexual activity — but you’ve got to make sure that it’s a balanced and healthy situation from square one.
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