What happens in your body and mind during sex?


You probably recognise this moment: you look at your partner and suddenly you see the fire in his or her eyes. One short glance is enough to set off a passionate lovemaking session. Your heart is hammering in your chest, your cheeks start to glow, and your body becomes hyper sensitive. When this is all happening, you don’t stop to think about it. Which makes it even more interesting to take a look at what is actually happening in your body and mind during sex.

Letting go by understanding

If you want to completely let yourself go during sex, it’s important to understand your body and mind. It’s possible that you’re holding yourself back by worrying about things that are actually very normal. Sometimes this leads to lightheadedness, shaky legs, tingling in your body, and only getting aroused after a considerable amount of foreplay. The body is a complex machine that operates at full capacity during sex. And every body works differently. We will take a look inside our brain to understand the process. Read and learn!

The first phase: desire for sex

Everything starts with a strong sexual desire, so strong that you decide to take action. But where does this desire come from? Broadly speaking, there are two types of stimuli that cause sexual desire: the conscious stimulus and the subconscious stimulus. A subconscious stimulus can be a look or a remark that triggers a bodily response. Sometimes without you even noticing it. A conscious or direct stimulus is something that you feel or see, like a kiss, a sexy text message, or a porna video (female-friendly porn).

Your brain reacts to these sexual signals. After a while, desire turns into sexual arousal. How long this process takes varies per person. So always take all the time you need to get aroused.

The second phase: sexual arousal

Your brain is very aware of what’s going on at this point. There have been direct or indirect stimuli that gave your body the necessary impulses. Your body creates the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin in record time. These hormones give you a feeling of connection with your (sex) partner. Your blood flow increases, your blood pressure rises, and your cheeks flush. In low-oxygen rooms, this can make you feel a little lightheaded, but you’re usually so into the moment that you don’t notice it.

”Your blood flow increases, your blood pressure rises, and your cheeks flush.”

Your body creates nitric oxycide, which, among others, makes your vagina and breasts swell up (up to 25%) and if you’re a man, your penis gets hard and your balls pull upwards. Intimate parts like labia, nipples, or balls become much more sensitive.

The third phase: plateau

‘What is plateau?’ I can hear you think. The plateau phase has everything to do with your sexual response cycle. Simply put, this is the phase where your body prepares for sex and tries its best to stay in that mode for as long as possible. In a manner of speaking, all your body cells focus on just one thing: sex. Your circulation improves even more, your vagina gets wetter, you start to breathe more heavily, and you can’t wait to actually have sex. If you’re a man, your penis releases precum.

plateau; seksuele opwinding

The fourth phase: SEX!

Now that you’re completely into the moment, your body works extra hard to help you along. More oxytocin (the ‘hug hormone’) and dopamine are released. The latter is mainly known for its painkilling and stress-relieving effect, which is why dopamine is often called the ‘happiness hormone’. Dopamine is also the reason why sex is usually such a pleasant experience.

Your brain is so busy at that moment that it causes a natural high. In other words: you end up in a state that is similar to the effects of a light dose of drugs like xtc. The more intense the previous phases were for you, the more intense the entire experience will be during sex.

The fifth phase: this is what happens during an orgasm

You usually feel it coming: your heart rate and blood pressure reach a high point. You start sweating, your face turns red, and you can no longer control your body and facial expressions. The vagina and pelvic muscles contract at a high speed and if you’re a man, the sperm in your scrotum is ready to be launched. During the orgasm, which for women lasts about 25 seconds, more dopamine, adrenaline, and oxytocin is released.

The contraction of your uterus by oxytocin is useful from a biological point of view. It makes sure sperm cells can swim through the cervix. Almost nothing that happens throughout all the phases happens without a reason.

Also read: Say yes! Give in to your orgasm with these tips

The sixth phase: recovery

The shaking, sweating, heavy bereathing, and moaning part is suddenly over. Exhausted from a passionate adventure, you’re trying to catch your breath. Your heart rate recovers, your breathing stabilises, and your muscles relax. After a while, your face is not as red anymore and before you know it, you’re completely recovered from an intense lovemaking session.

”Your heart rate recovers, your breathing stabilises, and your muscles relax.”

Men get sleepy after sex, because after they have an orgasm, their body creates a chemical reaction of prolactin, oxytocin, and vasopressin, which promotes sleep! That is why many men seem to be completely wiped out after sex. For both men and women, the endorfin that is released has a physically and psychologically calming effect. Want to know more about afterplay? Let this article inspire you.

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