What orgasms do to your body is no secret — they make you feel good. And beyond knowing how to have one and how to make your partner have one, the research seems almost pointless, right? But there are some weird things orgasms do to your brain that can make you appreciate the big O even more. (And remind you that science is totally sexy.)
It's also pretty amazing to know what happens to your body when you orgasm and how your post-orgasm reactions are related to biology. Like the way you want to snuggle your partner, or the way you're able to push away fears and anxieties with an orgasm (which can make just about any bad day feel a little bit better.) It's not just a coincidence, or because an orgasm simply feels good. It all has to do with the reactions in your brain and the centers that light up as you feel the sensations of an orgasm.
And these facts are found in the best possible way — taking an MRI of a woman having an orgasm. If you want to see what your brain looks like as it approaches, experiences, and comes down from an orgasm, there's a video available. No wonder orgasms are described like fireworks. It's incredible to think what's happening in the span of 30 seconds, and these nine weird things orgasms do to your brain will totally impress you.
1. Your Brain Temporarily Shuts Down
A study conducted by neuroscientist Dr. Gert Holstege found that part of a woman's brain is actually shut down when she's having an orgasm. The deactivation occurs in the amygdala, the part of your brain that registers fear and anxiety. So if you feel like an orgasm helps you to "let go", you're more than accurate.
2. Your Brain Goes Into Cuddle Mode
According to Shape, within a minute of your brain having an orgasm, your brain's hypothalamus releases oxytocin. Known as the love hormone, this brain activity is what makes you want to cuddle with your partner and is responsible for the uterine contractions you feel. It also increases blood flow throughout your body and can reduce inflammation.
3. Your Brain Resemble One On Heroin
Does sex feel totally addicting to you? Then you'll appreciate this fact. According to Holstege, the way a brain looks during an orgasm is similar to how a brain looks when its on heroin. Love's one hell of a drug.
4. Your Brain Connects Pain And Pleasure
They say it's possible to have an orgasm during childbirth because of the vaginal sensations, which sounds pretty insane. But apparently when you have an orgasm, your brain also activates the part of the cortex that handles pain. So although you not be hurting while you're partner is making you cum, there is a connection in your brain between the pleasure you're feeling and pain.
5. Your Brain Goes Into Fight Or Flight
According to Everyday Health, when a woman has an orgasm, the periaqueductal gray (PAG) is activated in her brain. This is the part of our brains that controls our "fight or flight" response.
6. Your Brain Gives You Your 'O' Face
Huffington Post notes that when you're in the throes of an orgasm, your cerebellum is all lit up and working, controlling your muscles. And according to the American Stroke Association, it's also responsible for muscle tension. So when you're curling your toes and contorting your face in pleasure, you can blame your cerebellum.
7. Your Brain Might Want More Sex
Ever wondered why having an orgasm makes you want more sex? The answer is in the dopamine. According to Huffington Post, dopamine is released when you have an orgasm, and its a hormone that can motivate you and make you maximize your efforts to get what you want. So when its released during sex, it can make you want more and more sex for that rewarding feeling.
8. Your Neurons Synapse Quickly
Dr. Barry Komisaruk told NJ.com that when you're having an orgasm, your neurons are synapsing so quickly that, when amplified, they sound like popcorn popping. Basically, with all of the different centers of your brain lighting up and the popcorn noise, your skull is a movie theater during an orgasm.
9. Your Brain's Stimulation Is Second Only To An Epileptic Seizure
Still not convinced your brain is going into overdrive during an orgasm? Scientific American noted that the only thing that stimulates brain activity more than an orgasm is an epileptic seizure.