Orgasms: they’re exciting, they’re mysterious, and feel really, really good. But they’re not often talked about. We know about the bodily sensations that happen when you reach the peak of pleasure, but what about your mind? Behind the scenes, your brain is orchestrating a complex symphony of reactions and processes. This article will take you on a journey through the psychological secrets of orgasm, and hopefully empower you to embrace every aspect of your sexuality. Let’s explore!
Imagine a scenario: you and your partner get between those sheets, ready for some loving moments. But as the heat starts to rise, so does your anxiety. Suddenly, your mind is filled with thoughts like, “Am I doing this right?” and “Do I look good enough?” The next thing you know, you’re completely distracted and unable to focus on the moment. As it turns out, you’re not alone. Psychologist and sex therapist Stephanie Buehler said for Healthline.com that anxiety can be a major buzzkill when it comes to sex. It creates a flurry of busy thoughts that can be distracting from achieving that pleasurable orgasmic experience. This overwhelming anxiety can sometimes lead to a sexual dysfunction medically called anorgasmia. According to the Cleveland Clinic, sex can still feel good to those who suffer from anorgasmia, but being unable to reach the finish line could take a toll on their mental health. And as a result, some may try to fake the experience!
Fake It ‘Till You Make It
Faking orgasms is often the topic of rom-coms, and some may even joke about it amid the memes in a digital world. But having to fake your pleasure is not fun and games. A 2010 study published in Journal of Sex Research found that one of the reasons for performing a theatrical finish might be to avoid some negative feelings, such as shame and anxiety. In that study, 58% of men said they faked an orgasm to avoid negative consequences, such as appearing inadequate or feeling awkward about the situation. Have you ever pretended to enjoy yourself to avoid these feelings? Feel free to share if you’re comfortable!
In some other cases, though, the reason for feigning an orgasm might be simpler – love! A 2011 study published in the same journal found that faking it can be a good strategy to ensure you prevent your partner from straying. The ladies who volunteered for that study weren’t just pretending to have a good time. They also admitted to being totally cool with showing some PDA and flirting with their partners in public. This is what scientists call “mate-retention behaviors”, which means you’d do anything to keep your relationship strong and happy. And it seems that faking it in bed can be one of those strategies!
No Helping Hand Required
Regardless of the motivation behind the fake orgasm, it’s safe to say that most people would prefer to experience the real thing. And for some lucky ones, the real deal can be achieved without even laying a finger!
A recent 2022 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine tells the story of a 33-year-old woman who was able to climax through the power of thought alone – not a single helping hand required! She managed to achieve this by practicing tantric yoga, which is all about getting your mind and body in sync. She said she “learned to relax and let go, accepted her body image, and brought increased mindfulness to her daily life in general.” Her story illustrates the fascinating connection between your mind and body. In fact, there are even more intriguing ways in which orgasm affects your overall well-being!
Goodnight To Pain, Hello To Sleep
Pain relief and a good night’s sleep are two things many of us could use more of, and it seems orgasms can help with both! When you experience pain, your body releases chemicals called endorphins to help you cope. Dr. Kate White, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Boston University School of Medicine, said for Health.com that orgasms can also trigger the release of endorphins, leading to natural pain relief. This can help with headaches and painful menstruations, and a 2016 study published in Journal of Holistic Nursing even found that climax might play a role in relieving childbirth pain! And those without a uterus may benefit from the orgasmic health advantages too – a study published in European Urology in 2016 found that frequent ejaculation reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
But, it’s not just endorphins this euphoric experience has in store for you! A 2006 study published in the journal Biological Psychology found that orgasms also release the hormone prolactin, which is responsible for helping you fall asleep. It seems that sex doesn’t have to keep you up all night after all, but instead helps you get some quality shut-eye!
Hopefully, you’ve learned that orgasms and sexuality are intimately connected to your brain and psychological wellbeing. This article was just the tip of the iceberg – there is so much more to know about this orgasmic experience. Would you like to know more? Share your questions in the comments below! Until next time, we’d like you to know that there’s no right or wrong way to experience pleasure. The most important thing is that you feel safe and comfortable exploring your sexuality, whatever form it may take. We’re here to help you on that journey!
By StelaKosic from psych2go.net
Anorgasmia: Causes, symptoms, diagnosis & treatment. (n.d.). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved March 12, 2023, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/24640-anorgasmia
Brody, S., & Krüger, T. H. C. (2006). The post-orgasmic prolactin increase following intercourse is greater than following masturbation and suggests greater satiety. Biological Psychology, 71(3), 312–315. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2005.06.008
Drillinger, M. (2018, October 29). 7 ways your mental health can get in the way of your orgasm. Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health-reasons-not-orgasming
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