The secret benefits of the orgasm

Sexual pleasure is a natural desire that is frequently enjoyed by many, either solo or with partners. According to a recent study detailed by Jonathan Margolis, the average person will spend around 20 seconds per week in orgasm (which adds up to approximately twelve minutes each year, or a whopping ten hours over the average lifetime!). Yet, the orgasm is seen as a social taboo in polite conversation, and you would be hard-pressed to find a sex education curriculum that features discussion of the orgasm more than for biological and reproductive purposes. With this, it is no wonder that we cannot seem to bear mentioning it outside of hushed whispers among friends. For what is a very common and natural part of the human experience, the topic of sex and orgasms is awkwardly sidestepped in nearly all social settings. However, unbeknownst to many, reaching ‘The Big O’ comes hand in hand with a plethora of unique health benefits for both men and women.  

Now for the science. On a biological level, the orgasm is a state of peak physical pleasure as a result of the stimulation and arousal of erogenous zones — areas that are particularly sensitive to touch. But the orgasm does more than simply make you feel good. While the body experiences an orgasm, the brain releases a whole heap of hormones to provoke a complex chemical response in the body. A unique combination of oxytocin – ‘the love hormone’-, dopamine -‘the reward hormone’-, serotonin -‘the happiness hormone’-, and shed loads of euphoric endorphins are released into the body at the point of peak arousal, regardless of whether achieved through a solo session or through shared intimacy with a partner. This hormone cocktail not only makes you feel calm and relaxed, but it also enables better moods and increases the feeling of closeness with a partner (or alternatively a feeling of comfort and self-empowerment after masturbation)

This hormone mix is responsible for the euphoric climax feeling, but also has some surprising advantages for the insomniacs amongst us. The release of feel-good hormones that provokes a sense of calm, comfort and safety is known to create a significantly improved quality of sleep post-orgasm, and it is a well-known fact that better sleep comes with a whole host of benefits in itself. A good night’s sleep reduces stress levels, improves concentration, and even lowers the risk of health issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular complications.

The magic of the hormone release does not end there. The combination of oxytocin and endorphins in the body can act as a temporary pain relief, especially for those who menstruate as a means of easing aches and cramps, alongside increasing brain activity which contributes to improved focus and concentration.

Aside from this wonderful hormonal response, the body also experiences increased white blood cell count within the bloodstream during orgasm which aids the body’s natural immune system response to fighting off any illnesses (so wave goodbye to that cold that doesn’t seem to be shifting!).

Increased blood flow closer to the surface of the skin is what is responsible for what we know to be the ‘post-sex glow’, causing a rosy flush to the cheeks. Yet, this blood flow also has longer lasting benefits for the skin, naturally reducing inflammation and common skin complaints such as acne and rashes even after the initial rosy glow has died down.

So, with all this in mind, it seems absurd that we are not talking about orgasms more. What more could you want than both feeling AND looking good from the inside out! Take the plunge, talk about it, experiment. Trust me, your body will thank you.



Featured image: Nataliya Vaitkevich via Pexels

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