Do you love having sex? You’re definitely not alone if you do!
Don’t be embarrassed about it. Sex is indeed incredible — it’s fun, exciting, and a great stress reliever.
But how and why does sex feel so good? Find out what’s happening to your body (and brain) during sex that makes the experience feel pleasurable.
Why sex feels good to your body
There are a lot of things going on in the body during sex, which makes it feel oh-so good.
These feelings of pleasure are part of the sexual response cycle. Both men and women experience this series of physical and emotional stages during sex or when they’re aroused.
Depending on the stage you’re in, your body can experience different things such as increased lubrication, swelling in the genitals, flushed skin, increased heart rate, and a lot more.
Why sex feels good to your brain
When you think of sex, the first thing that often comes to mind is the genitals, right? Of course it’s a key part of the experience.
But sex involves a lot of other body parts. And one of the lesser-known — but very significant — parts involved is the brain.
Pleasurable sex has a lot to do with the brain. It releases hormones that support sexual pleasure, and comprehends sensations and stimulation as pleasurable.
The pudendal nerve plays a big role here. It’s located in the genital area, and sends signals from the genitals to the brain.
For those with vulvas, the pudendal nerve branches to the anus, perineum, and clitoris. Most of the nerve endings are in the clitoris, that’s why most women climax through clitoral stimulation.
As for those with penises, the pudendal nerve branches to the anus, perineum, and penis.
During sex, nerves in the body send signals to the brain. And the brain uses those signals to produce various sexual sensations and release chemicals that heighten pleasure.
Another important player here is the neurotransmitters. They are chemical messengers that allow communication between the brain and other parts of the body. When it comes to sex, the neurotransmitters involved are:
- Dopamine. It’s known as the “reward hormone.” The body produces dopamine during the desire stage, and the hormone increases sexual arousal.
- Oxytocin. It’s called the “love hormone” because it makes you feel more intimate and close to your partner. Oxytocin is often released after an orgasm.
- Norepinephrine. It’s produced during sexual stimulation, and it dilates and constricts blood vessels. When this happens, the genitals become more sensitive.
- Prolactin. It increases following an orgasm. It’s said to decrease arousal and reduce sexual response, which may be linked to refractory period.
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Pudendal Nerve. (n.d.). Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/22000-pudendal-nerve#:~:text=The%20pudendal%20nerve%20is%20a,ends%20at%20your%20external%20genitalia