by Walter Last

from Scribd Website

Spanish version

 

 


Sex, or rather sexual energy, is a potent force in regard to our health, intimate relationships and spirituality, but the extent of this is rarely realized. Fortunately we can now understand much of the prevailing dynamics due to recent advances in the neurochemistry of the brain.

 

The observed effects can partly be explained with biochemistry and partly with bioenergetics.

 

 

 


THE NEUROCHEMISTRY OF SEX


Orgasm is generally regarded as the ultimate goal of recreational sex. Wilhelm Reich was the first scientist to describe the nature and purpose of the orgasm as a discharge of excess bioenergy with the additional liberation of feeling energy, and he also recognized the negative consequences of blocked sexual energies.

 

Unfortunately, in addition to exciting peaks, orgasms tend to produce powerful negative side effects that are only now becoming better understood.

 

This is due to predictable trends in hormonal activity which seem to be similar in all mammals to ensure certain evolutionary objectives, especially the wide mixing of gene pools and the safe raising of offspring. This is achieved with the following neurochemical changes.

 

The main players are:

  • dopamine, the reward hormone

  • prolactin, the hormone of satiation

  • oxytocin, the cuddle hormone

  • levels of androgen receptors, which all powerfully affect our mood, our desire for intimacy, our perception of our mate, as well as our susceptibility to addictive activities and substances

These hormones can also have different but generally related functions.


Additionally the stimulant phenylethylamine (PEA) is involved, which is also present in cocoa and chocolate and elevates energy, mood and attention. PEA is produced in greater amounts when one is in love; conversely a deficiency (common in manic-depressives) causes unhappy feelings.


When we first fall in love we become bonded by rising PEA, oxytocin and dopamine levels. When we are sexually aroused by close contact our dopamine level rises further and at the time of orgasm we have a dopamine brainstorm which one researcher compared to the effects of heroin on the brain. Dopamine is active in all addictions, even in people who have forgotten what sex is.

 

Most of this activity is in the limbic system, the oldest part of the brain.

 

 

 

Dopamine Levels

 

Excess

Deficient

"Normal"

Addictions

Addictions

Motivated

Anxiety

Depression

Feelings of well-being, satisfaction

Compulsions

Anhedonia - no pleasure, world looks colorless

Pleasure, reward in accomplishing tasks

Sexual fetishes

Lack of ambition and drive

Healthy libido

Sexual addiction

Inability to "love”

Good feelings toward others

Unhealthy risk-taking

Low libido

Healthy bonding

Gambling

Erectile dysfunction

Healthy risk taking

Compulsive activities

No remorse about personal behavior

Sound choices

Aggression

ADD/ADHD

Realistic expectations

Psychosis

Social anxiety disorder

Maternal/Paternal love

Schizophrenia

Antisocial behavior

 

 (From http://www.reuniting.info/science/sex_and_addiction)

 

After orgasm dopamine levels fall sharply with the usual withdrawal symptoms.

 

This reaction tends to be immediate in males and delayed in females. Also prolactin levels rise, and androgen receptors fall after orgasm. Low testosterone is associated with irritability and anger. In sexually satiated rats it has been shown that serotonin and endorphin levels also rise, and this also decreases dopamine and raises prolactin levels. Oxytocin levels fall after conventional orgasm but remaining in close contact may help to counter this drop and sustain oxytocin levels.


Behavioral changes from this disturbed hormone equilibrium have been noticed for up to two weeks. During this time we may be more irritable, dissatisfied, anxious or depressed, and instead of seeing the good side of our mate, we are now painfully aware of his or her shortcomings.

 

This is exactly the same process and length of time prolactin levels need to recover during withdrawal from cocaine.

 

 

 

Symptoms associated with excess Prolactin

 

Women

Men

Loss of libido

Loss of libido

Mood changes / depression

Mood changes / depression

Hostility, anxiety

Impotence

Headache

Headache

 

 

  Continuation of above, HERE