Why women don’t need to be to­tally re­laxed to en­joy sex

Daily Mail - - Life - By Vic­to­ria Allen Sci­ence Cor­re­spon­dent

FOR many women who are stressed out with a de­mand­ing job and clam­our­ing chil­dren, plea­sure is prob­a­bly the last thing on their mind.

But there is good news for ladies who be­lieve they have too many cares to en­joy them­selves prop­erly in the bed­room.

A study has found that women don’t need to ‘switch off’ from life to achieve or­gasm.

This goes against pre­vi­ous re­search, which sug­gested that to cli­max, fe­males must be com­pletely re­laxed – which is eas­ier said than done.

The lat­est study also dis­cov­ered that the fe­male or­gasm is truly ‘mind-blow­ing’, as it ac­ti­vates the same part of the brain in­volved in ‘out- of-body ex­pe­ri­ences’.

A 2005 ex­per­i­ment used a PET scan­ner to mea­sure brain ac­tiv­ity dur­ing or­gasm and found a lack of ac­tiv­ity in the frontal part of the brain that deals with stress and prob­lems.

This may have con­trib­uted to the myth that, for some women, un­less they were en­tirely ‘switched off’, cli­max would not be pos­si­ble.

How­ever, by us­ing more pre­cise MRI ma­chines, US neu­ro­sci­en­tist Dr Nan Wise ac­tu­ally found in­creased ac­tiv­ity in that part of the brain at the cru­cial mo­ment.

Her study in­volved ten women ex­pe­ri­enc­ing or­gasm while in­side the scan­ners. This al­lowed re­searchers to follow their brain ac­tiv­ity in 20-sec­ond in­ter­vals.

They ob­served that brain ac­tiv­ity in re­gions re­spon­si­ble for move­ment, senses, mem­ory and emo­tions all grad­u­ally in­creased dur­ing the leadup to or­gasm, when ac­tiv­ity then peaked and low­ered again.

Dr Wise said of the find­ings: ‘We found no ev­i­dence of de­ac­ti­va­tion of brain re­gions dur­ing or­gasm.’

The ex­pert, whose re­search is pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Sex­ual Medicine, re­marked: ‘This sug­gests that the brain does not need to be switched off for a woman to ex­pe­ri­ence an or­gasm.

‘I don’t be­lieve women have to be worry-free at the time, they just need to fo­cus on the sen­sa­tion of what is hap­pen­ing.

‘Then this will es­sen­tially take over as what they are fo­cus­ing on.’

She added: ‘We know so lit­tle about plea­sure in the brain, we are just now learn­ing the ba­sics.’

The study, re­ported in New Sci­en­tist magazine, also found a part of the brain called the dor­sal raphe nu­cleus be­comes more ac­tive dur­ing or­gasm.

This is in­volved with re­leas­ing sero­tonin, which can dampen pain, ex­plain­ing why women may be less likely to no­tice be­ing in pain dur­ing cli­max.

These find­ings con­tra­dict the 2005 re­search by the Univer­sity of Gronin­gen in the Nether­lands, which found a much-re­duced blood flow to the dor­sal raphe nu­cleus.

This was in­ter­preted to mean that women need to be free from wor­ries and dis­trac­tions to reach this state.

Dr Wise added: ‘The re­search shows or­gasms can lit­er­ally be mind-blow­ing. In­ter­est­ingly, a re­gion of the brain in­volved in cli­max­ing is also in­volved in out-of-body ex­pe­ri­ences.

‘When you think of it, an out-of-body ex­pe­ri­ence is a state of al­tered con­scious­ness. And you also get to a point in or­gasm where you are taken com­pletely out of your­self.’

‘Brain does not need to be switched off’

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