An orgasm is described as a feeling of intense pleasure that happens during sexual activity. While some people experience orgasms differently than others, there are some key changes that occur in the mind and body. By studying the brain activity of people experiencing orgasms, researchers have been able to pinpoint some of these key changes that occur. Using fMRI machines functional magnetic resonance imaging or PET scans positron emission tomography , they were able to measure blood flow and neuron activity inside the brain during climax. The hypothalamus, which plays a key role in releasing hormones like dopamine and oxytocin, is one of the regions of the brain that lights up during orgasm. Image by SciePro on Shutterstock.
You Really Can Think Yourself To Orgasm — And It's SPECTACULAR!
You Can Have An Orgasm Using Only Your Brain, And Here's What You Need To Know About "Thinking Off"
When it comes to sex, there is a lot of speculation about how an orgasm affects the brain. For example, the French call an orgasm, " la petite mort " the little death because it's often thought that your brain shuts off during an orgasm — meaning that you "die" a little bit in that moment. However, as a French-American woman, I can attest to the fact that there's actually no death involved at all. But while that may be the case, that doesn't mean that the brain, in addition to the body, isn't affected by an orgasm.
These devices can measure the blood flow and neuron activity in the brain. By studying the brain activity of people having orgasms in these machines, scientists have learned some pretty amazing stuff. There's a reason why people tend to feel bolder and less inhibited during sex — the part of your brain in charge of your logical reasoning skills temporarily goes on vacation. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for reason, decision making, and value judgments.
Barbara Carrellas more than thinks so. She says she knows so, since she's been "thinking herself off" for more than twenty years. It's a technique she learned in the late 's, when she was managing off-Broadway plays in New York. It was the height of the AIDS crisis, which hit the theater community particularly hard.