Between the swelling and the blushing, the secreting and the pumping, there are a number of chemical changes that take place within our bodies whenever we get all hot and bothered. During our most lustful encounters, our body is hard at work releasing a cocktail of several hormones, each chemical contribution leading to the overall euphoric rollercoaster ride we’ve come to know as “a good fuck.”
The two heavy hitters of our creations are endorphins and oxytocin, and if it weren’t for these two bad boys, sex would be no fun at all. No matter how many hookers you paid to discipline you while you watched your favorite “Lizzie Maguire” episodes, not even if Brad Pitt himself came over to service you (boys, don’t act like you wouldn’t like Brad to cup you and tell you he thinks you’re rad), would you enjoy yourself.
Endorphins function as your body’s natural painkillers, bring a calming feeling that helps to deal with stress, reverse the aging process and, most importantly for you lovers out there, give us a natural high. Your endorphin levels go up a bit whenever you laugh, exercise for a prolonged period of time or, for some, indulge in eating chocolate and spicy foods. When we make love, endorphin levels have the potential to increase by as much as 200 percent. Just as marathon runners experience a runner’s high or second wind, endorphins are the reason you can go through a sleepless night of incredible sex and still roll into I.V. Theater at 8 a.m. feeling like a million bucks.
The next time your hubby tells you they’re not in the mood because they have a headache, tell them that they don’t need Tylenol; they just need to quit their bitchin’ and take those goddamn pants off.
Oxytocin is the natural opiate that is released in the boys and the girls during orgasm. It’s responsible for female muscle contractions while they come and when they give birth, and it stimulates milk ejection when you eventually have a baby gnawing on your nips. Commonly identified as “the hormone of love,” this little wonder drug reinforces the bonds we experience when it is released into the body. When a woman gives birth, she and her child are completely smashed on the stuff, thus creating an incredible bonding moment. The same effect is experienced when you and your sweetie have an orgasm – the feeling that you two make the ultimate pair and should form a crime-fighting duo, just as soon as she washes her face. The rush of drugs to the brain is our body’s way of calming us down and bonding us with the features of the person who just gave us such a good ride. This is why women typically want to cuddle and hold their partner after having an orgasm; climax stirs up her most maternal and loving feelings.
Perhaps even more interesting than what these drugs do is just where they do their work. In a study conducted at University College London, the brain activity of lovers was recorded after they reached climax. They discovered that the area of the brain affected was not the one commonly associated with strong emotions, but rather the part of the brain that generates the happy feeling induced by drugs. Your brain, after having sex, looks like the brain of someone who is thoroughly stoned as opposed to a brain experiencing powerful emotions such as anger or jealousy.
If you’ve never had an orgasm, it’s like snorting really good cocaine and shooting pure heroin while snuggling a little baby. If you’ve never gotten your hands on really good hard drugs and a cute kid, they’re just like having an orgasm. If you fall into the third, pitiful category of someone who’s never had the pleasure of having an orgasm nor indulging in controlled substances while cuddling an adorable infant, all I have to say to you is: Yes, I have seen the new “Star Wars” trailer, and, no, it didn’t impress me that much, and, no, I am not interested in borrowing your “SeaQuest” DVDs for the weekend.
Dave Franzese is the Daily Nexus sex columnist.