In case you were wondering, co-creators Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown outline what exactly happens to your body during an orgasm in a brief video.
They state that sexual response in humans is typically made up of four stages: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. The brain is the main player here, controling stimulation of blood flow, heartbeat, breathing, and the response of the central nervous system, which sends nerve signals to the brain’s reward system. In addition to the physiological response that causes contractions in the anal sphincter, penis and/or vaginal muscles, and prostate gland in men, the brain releases feel-good chemicals called dopamine and oxytocin — the latter of which is also a “bonding” chemical that helps humans create relationships.
Research has shown that during an orgasm, certain parts of the brain are activated — while others are completely shut down. In women, the lateral orbitofrontal cortex temporarily shuts down; this is the part of the brain that is known for reasoning and behavior control. Women also experience an activation of the periaqueductal gray (PAG), which triggers the fight-or-flight response, but isn’t activated in men’s brains during an orgasm. Research has also proven that women see a decrease in the activity of the amygdala and hippocampus, both of which have to do with anxiety and fear. This contributes to the post-orgasm relaxed afterglow, which is mixed with the “cuddling” hormone and rushes of dopamine that produces an overall pleasant effect. This is why sex has often been linked to a reduction in anxiety, greater connection and bonding between partners, and a sense of well-being.
Interestingly, some researchers even claimed in 2008 that they could tell a woman’s orgasm history by her walk. In their study, they found that they could instantly tell the difference between videos of women walking, noting that the relaxed muscles lent an air of “fluidity, energy, sensuality, [and] freedom” to their strides. Below, you can watch a more detailed explanation of how orgasms work in the body.