The brain’s pleasure centre indicates to us when something is pleasurable and then enforces the desire to achieve that certain feeling again. Certainly this is applicable to all pleasures, but in this instance, we will relate it to sex.  

Sex, or the act of making love, an activity we all undertake at some point (or many) in our lives, is the most recreational psychical activity known to man.

“Over 90% of mammalian species are highly promiscuous”
Linden, 2011, p.124

Studies have shown that both new love and orgasm strongly activate the dopamine-using medial forebrain pleasure circuit, in both men and women.

In fact, according to a study conducted by a team of scientists at the University of Groningen (Freeman, 2011, p.1), “There aren’t many differences between the men’s and women’s brain when it comes to sex.

In both males and females, the brain region behind the left eye, called the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, shuts down during an orgasm” (p.2). This part of the brain controls behaviour, and during an orgasm, you lose control.

An orgasm occurs in the brain, when a woman has sex, the part of the brain called the periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) is activated and this then results in women’s decreased activity in the amygdala and hippocampus, which both inextricably relate to fear and anxiety.

An orgasm itself is a burst of pleasure, which also relaxes and leaves people in a blissful state. During this blissful state, both men and women release the hormone oxytocin, from the pituitary gland, and is thought to be crucial for sexual pair-bond formation. (Linden, 2011, p.56). a topical issue surrounding sex itself is sex addiction.

Its existence is well debated throughout the media, however it has been scientifically proven that just like any other pleasurable activity, it can be addictive. Whether it is sleeping, eating, doing absolutely nothing, if a pleasurable activity is repeated enough, it can very well become addictive.

Originally posted on: 3 August 2012
Last updated on: 12 April 2024
The About my Brain Institute

The About my Brain Institute

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