Reproduction is a primordial instinct. We are hardwired with a predisposition towards sex because instincts of survival and reproduction drive us. The driving force in human nature is the desire for reward. The reward, in this case, is the pleasure. Pleasure is a manifestation of the brain’s reward – the sum of parts we consider to be extra good for us. It is entirely individual how we perceive it.
SEX & PLEASURE
The brain is activated differently and in various places depending on what stimuli are activated and how they are sensed and evaluated. A woman will sometimes experience the full benefits of sexual pleasure, what we normally identify as an orgasm, and sometimes it is sensed less intense. There is a chance she sometimes may not even find much fulfillment in the act.
So when a man asks “how was sex for you” she might answer “hmmm; how can I explain?” “but did you come?” She answers “It was lovely”.
In couples, we can not always mirror each other’s answers, when it comes to pleasure. The man’s sexual pleasure is often linked to the release of semen. That is, therefore, an integrated part of his sexual pleasure. The woman does not have the same hook to hang her “pleasure-hat” on. She will most likely experience it differently from time to time: in the middle, deep down, a little to the side, today mostly in the body. Whereas the man probably will pay less attention to all the small variations or they are overshadowed by the ejaculation. It does not make one’s experience better than the others. It just means you might speak different languages.
It makes sense to stop assuming that men and women get the same from sex. It is far better to agree that sex is good and should be good for both parts. And to focus on how we make sure that both are sexually satisfied.
All the good sex can bring
Sexual activity is far more than just a means for reproduction. People have sex because it’s nice and because we like what it does to us as individuals and as couples. Precisely what sex does and how it does it is a mystery. Sexual action increases the activity in various parts of the brain. In particular, the frontal lobe, in a band between the two hemispheres, and deep inside the mind. During sexual activity, the body secretes various hormones that affect our behaviour and relationships.
Oxytocin – the magic potion
In both sexes, the hormone oxytocin is secreted in connection with sexual activity. That is when you feel, touch, have eye contact, feel the presence with another being. Women also secretes the hormone during birth and breastfeeding.
Oxytocin is believed to awake the urge to feel close, create the sense of satisfaction, lower the levels of nervousness and anxiety. It is even thought to enhance the strength of bonding, increase calmness, and a feeling of safety with the one close to you.
Oxytocin will fuse with other substances in the body. It interacts with estrogen and magnifies its effect. Very simply put, it is believed that the levels, in general, are higher in women than in men. Oxytocin is a big part of the explanation as to why women experience to relax, enjoy the moment and let go. In men oxytocin primarily cooperates with vasopressin, triggering the need to protect and connect. Vasopressin is released after sex and can give the man the sense of, this is my woman, and I will take care of her.
The hormones can be seen as a magic potion that causes us to react in almost unnatural ways, at times. In penetrative sex, for example, a woman allows the man physically inside of her, even exchanging DNA. During sex for reproductive means, she will let a part of another human to be left inside of her. Coupled with the fact that men typically are bigger and stronger than women, they have to be confident and trusting in the sexual process to allow penetration to happen. If she gets pregnant, the man should feel the urge to stay and care for the mother and child.
Maybe one can understand the secretion of the hormones as little puppet strings guiding us into the intercourse and binding us together. Perhaps this is a part of the explanation why oxytocin exists and is secreted.
WHEN Sex makes us feel good
Sexual pleasure and freeing of hormones does not depend on penetration or reproduction. Sexual pleasure is released with touch and kisses. It helps us feel better about ourselves, allows us to engage in further intimate body contact, contributes to a happier mood, brings us closer to our partner, and helps us to forge trust and commitment in our relationships.