Your #GirlBoner Brain, on Orgasm

“Orgasm is one of the most all-encompassing phenomena in the brain. The only other thing that is known to produce such widespread [brain] activity is epilepsy.”
– Barry Komisaruk, researcher at Rutgers University

August McLaughlin Girl Boner

Many of us think of sex like this.          In reality, it’s more like this.

When I learned that researchers were studying the female orgasm by hooking women up to MRI machines while they climaxed, I was INSANELY slightly envious. Why couldn’t I have participated?!? Not sure I can conjure a cooler gig for a research and Girl Boner obsessed writer. My greenness quickly turned giddy shades of red, thanks to the power of distraction. The findings were fascinating, and affirmed what many sexually empowered women believe: Our brains are funky, sex-tastic beasts!

Some of the highlights:

* When our clitoris, vagina or cervix are touched, a different part of our brain’s genital sensory cortex—a fancy term for the outer layer that promotes sexy feelings—fire up. (Think July 4th fireworks.) All three areas can independently lead to orgasm.

* When the clitoris, vagina and cervix are touched at once, our pleasure sensations are amplified. (Think July 4th fireworks on steroids.)

* As we move toward orgasm,  the hippocampus, which is associated with dreamlike memories, is stimulated. (No wonder mid-sex fantasizing rocks.)

* All 80 regions of the female brain studied at Rutgers University were stimulated during orgasm—at maximum capacity.  (YES! YES! YES!!!)

* During sex, the amygdala, the brain’s emotional powerhouse, is sparked. Women are generally more emotional than men when it comes to sex and orgasm. (This is one reason that female physical sexual dysfunction is controversial; emotional factors, such as poor body image, low-self esteem and trust issues halt women’s libido. As I keep sayin’! ;))

* As we approach orgasm, the cerebellum causes tension in our abs, butt and thighs. Meanwhile, the front cortex, which controls abstract thought and planning (Hmm… more FANTASIES), kicks in. Then the pain-inhibiting brain areas, the anterior cingulate cortex and insula, rev up, causing the opposite of pain: PLEASURE.

* As we climax, the hypothalamus releases the feel-good “love hormone,” oxytocin. Our brain’s pleasure center, the nucleus accumbens, fills with dopamine and we sore even higher. ECTASY.

* As the brain and body calm down after orgasm, the hormonal shifts and release of tension stimulate a warm, nearly intoxicated, glow. Ahhh…. 

Girl Boner sex glow

Knowing that the brain plays such a major role in our sexuality can help on multiple levels. I hope you’ll join me next week as we discuss lifestyle tips for a healthier, sex-friendly brain.

Would you volunteer to orgasm in the name of research? Do the orgasm study findings surprise you? Matchup with your experiences? I LOVE hearing from you! ♥ 

Leave a comment

22 Comments

  1. The findings don’t surprise me at all. I have known for many, many years that most of orgasm results reside in the brain. If you aren’t interested…not gonna feel it either.
    As for volunteering? Yes, but can we work in male / female pairs and not solo? Just a thought!
    Scott

    Reply
  2. Interested in volunteering? Of course but I’m sure that waiting list stretches for decades, so no. Also I could never master the simultaneous stimulation of clitoris and “G Spot”, but since I read now that they both part of the same nerve bundle it was probably redundant as well as a tad distracting to the lady. Bummer

    Reply
    • I’m pretty sure there are ways for most anyone to stimulate both. Stay tuned for more on that soon. 😉

      Reply
      • I can personally attest to the fact that there are ways to stimulate both. And, the results?

        Exponential O-X-Y-T-O-X-I-N hit(s-s-s-s-s-s).

        GB(er) with her #GirlBoner endorsed G-spot toy? You bet!

  3. I’ve always found that if you engage the mind, then the body is more apt to receive the stimulii which in turn releases the desired response from the brain, so it can be kind of cyclic in nature…

    Reply
  4. August, this is an awesome post. I am very interested in female sensuality and find it interesting that most of the activity is happening in the brain.

    Reply
  5. Catherine Johnson

     /  May 6, 2013

    Wow, that’s fascinating stuff, August.

    Reply
  6. August McLaughlin: Willing Sexual Guinea Pig!
    Interesting stuff, as always.

    Reply
  7. Our bodies are wondrously made!

    Reply
  8. Well, thanks! I um think.
    Scott

    Reply
  9. I would SO volunteer, pay for, or sneak into one of those lab studies.

    [ERM. Unlock the supply storage closet two floors up and 100 feet due east of the research lab. I’m certain the original volunteer will be grumpy. Bring an Alpha Male along to handle the situation. IYKWIM.]

    Duh! This is #GirlBoner time. Of course YKWIM.

    Reply
  10. Well…let me think about that for a while. YES! Where do I sign up?

    Am I surprised by the results of the study? Given where my thoughts wander for large portions of each day, not in the least. 🙂

    Reply
    • Woot! A woman after my own heart. 🙂 If men knew how much women really thought about sex, well… That’s another post. LOL

      Reply
  11. I’m in.

    Reply
  12. Ha! I always knew female orgasms were mostly in the mind. This explains why I read so many sexy novels. I wonder if books can prime women for better physical experiences afterward. What do you think? Maybe we should suggest a new study.

    Reply
  13. Raani York

     /  May 9, 2013

    Thanks for sharing this, August. I’ve read about some similar studies earlier, but a few of them still surprise me. It was fascinating and very interesting to read about what’s happening sharing a great moment with my partner.
    Would I volunteer to orgasm for science? Nope. I personally think If sharing this, it’s with my partner, no one else. That’s still very private to me. I might share a lot of things with the world, but not my orgasms. LOL

    Reply
  14. My inner exhibitionist has advised me that it’s for a good cause, so I’ll be ok.

    Reply

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