Did you know there’s a reason you feel the way you do during sex? Everything from your motivation to get naked to your urge to fall asleep after the deed is done (we’re looking at you, fellas!) is caused by the crazy cocktail of sex hormones firing around your brain before, during and after sex.
This neurological phenomena is different between men and women, too. Curious? Read on to find out the science behind sex.
Dopamine is the feel-good hormone. Its role is actually a lot more complicated than most people think, but one of its core functions is to send a signal to your brain to expect a reward, or pleasure. This is why dopamine is linked to addiction!
While this molecule is released around all kinds of activities and environments, when it comes to sex, it motivates us to seek out the activity again and again, leading to a feeling of wanting. Simply put, dopamine is highly responsible for putting you in the mood.
You probably know this one as adrenaline— that’s the stuff that gets your heart pounding, your attention focused and your energy levels peaking. Epinephrine makes sure you’re feeling exhilarated enough to do what (or who) you need to do.
Also known as the “love hormone”, oxytocin — like dopamine — is linked to reward and pleasure, motivating you to seek out whatever is giving you that hit. When it comes to sex and romance, it helps to increase bonding. Oxytocin floods your body during orgasm and wipes out cortisol, which lowers stress and leaves you in that blissful, post-orgasmic state of calm. Nothing clears the mind quite like an orgasm.
Looking for a natural antidepressant? Have an orgasm! This mood-boosting chemical is released during orgasm and provides a feeling of satisfaction. Much like oxytocin, it also creates a sense of peace and focus. In a bad mood? You’ll not only feel happier after an orgasm, but more energised and less irritable, too.
Oxytocin and serotonin aren’t the only chemicals at play post-orgasm. The release of prolactin, a dopamine inhibitor, helps to increase that satisfaction even more but also serves a very important function: helping you to recover for the next round. The release of prolactin after ejaculation could also explain why men feel the need to sleep after sex, so don’t take it personally— it’s just science, after all.
Prolactin isn’t the only thing contributing to a drop in sexual energy. Vasopressin encourages erectile response during sex, and while it really kicks into gear during orgasm it also declines pretty rapidly afterwards. Interestingly, too much vasopressin in females has been shown to be a sexual demotivator, which shows that you really can get too much of a good thing.
Much like the plethora of chemicals responsible for helping you get the deed done, Prolong’s Climax Control Training also employs a brain-based component to make sex as awesome as it can be. This is done through CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).