Orgasms are one of the most intense pressures that humans are triggered with. It’s deeply devoured yet complex to explain this alchemy of emotions. Who doesn’t need this elixir of life? It’s not just intercourse when two lovers/significant partners are naked in bed. It’s the intimacy of skin, mind, and soul too. Hearts racing, blood pumping, electrifying chemistry running through each other and all of this is eventually expressed with deep moaning. But have you wondered what exactly is going on inside your head when you’re in the highest state of euphoric sex?

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It seems that the right hemisphere is the sexy part of our brain. While pleasure is thought of as a province of the left hemisphere of our brain, a study proves otherwise. It is in fact the right hemisphere that is much more active while we indulge in sexual pleasure. Attaining pleasure, be it sacred or profane, requires a decrease in the sense of pain, alteration in body perceptions, and a weakening of self-awareness.

It is simple to understand that a decrease in the sense of pain will give us pleasure, but it is unlikely how the other two parameters provide us with bliss.

We use alcohol and drugs across cultures to weaken our self-awareness, and sometimes people also commit suicide to do so. But an orgasm can do it all for us. A study suggests that while having sex, the brain of both, men and women, is much like that of a person who is high on heroin. The lateral orbitofrontal cortex of our brain, which is considered to be the voice of reason, shuts down during orgasm, thereby making it free of self-awareness. This absence of self-awareness can also be obtained with meditation. Meditation reduces activity in the part of the brain that is responsible for judgement, self-scrutiny, and planning.

Another state of mind that pleasure is linked to is alterations in body perceptions. Both meditation and orgasm can alter body perceptions. Meditation does it by enhancing specific regions of our brain, such as the angular gyrus. These kinds of regions are most active when people lose awareness of their body’s boundaries.

During orgasm, alteration in body perception is done by the release of hormones. These hormones influence our brain, thereby impacting our body’s perception. Unlike meditation, which gives a sense of being outside of a body, these hormones give a sense of being in one’s body. This inwardly experience is brought about by the hormones released during orgasms such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.

Dopamine is a pleasure hormone released by the hypothalamus region. It is released when we do things that feel good to us, in this scenario, orgasm. Serotonin is similar to dopamine except that the pleasure sensation we get is less as compared to that we get from dopamine. Oxytocin, also referred to as the cuddle hormone, is the bonding agent that is also released by the hypothalamus region.

All the hormones mentioned above are released when our genitals communicate with our brain through various nerves. That’s a lot of science! It’s these essential hormones that lift up the mood and make you feel ecstatic while having sex! It’s a weird sorcery and also a gift how humans can get high on lust!

Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP