Your Brain On Sex: 4 Ways To Use Human Physiology In Your Bedroom

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brain and sex
Learn how to use your most powerful organ — your brain — to have smarter sex.

Consider this scenario: You and your man have been looking forward to this moment all week. Flirty emails at work, emoticon-laced texts at 1 a.m., and finally, on Friday night, a long boozy dinner followed by a makeout session on the way back to his place.

But, when you're finally in bed, (more than) ready to get it started, you get distracted. "Oh no! I forgot to send that email for work!" Suddenly, all the foreplay in the world can't seem to connect your brain with your vagina.

It's happened to the best of us. And according to the latest brain science, it's no surprise. In the past ten years, advances in brain-imaging technology have allowed scientists to see first-hand the avalanche of chemical activity in the brain during sex. The brain truly is the the center of desire. So what exactly have they learned? And how can you use it to avoid the situation above? YourTango reports.

Look To Buddha For Better Orgasms

In 2003, Dutch neuroscientist Gert Holstege measured brain activity in women while their partners stimulated them to orgasm. He found that key parts of their brains went "silent" during the big "O," specifically, the parts of the prefrontal cortex involved in self-control and social judgment. For anyone who's had an orgasm — or been mentally distracted so that they can't have an orgasm — this makes sense. "If you're thinking, 'I look fat,''‘Is that mole in my leg gross?' or 'Am I making a weird face?!' you might have trouble reaching orgasm," says Kayt Sukel, author of This Is Your Brain on Sex. Dr. Kristin Mark, Ph.D., a sex and relationships researcher at the University of Kentucky, agrees: "There is a connection between inability to orgasm and inability to give up control. Practicing mindfulness, being in the moment, is something that can vastly improve ability to orgasm. When individuals have trouble orgasming, it is often a mental block, and much more rarely something physiological going on. So by giving up control of the situation, being present in the moment and really focusing on the arousing sensations, an orgasm is much more likely to occur."

Break Free Of The Big O

When you have an orgasm, your dopamine levels soar — producing the full-body euphoria that causes humans to seek out sex again and again. To wit, brain scan studies show that the brain during orgasm is 95 percent the same as the brain on heroin. But after orgasm, dopamine levels fall dramatically, and this change in brain chemistry can last for up to two weeks. "During this slow, somewhat erratic, return to neurochemical homeostasis after orgasm, it's not unusual to experience intermittent sensations of neediness, irritability, intense horniness and so forth," says Marnia Robinson, the author of Cupid's Poison Arrow: From Habit to Harmony in Sexual Relationships. For some people, that means dopamine-seeking behaviors, such as overeating or compulsive shopping. The fluctuations in dopamine have also been blamed for our tendency to seek out new and novel sexual partners when things have cooled off in the bedroom with a long-term mate. Keep reading...

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