If you're familiar with the classic PSA from the late '80s, you know that your brain on drugs is basically two scalding eggs in a frying pan. According to leading scientific research, then, your brain on sex might be something like those same little yolks stretching, working out, and then getting a nice luxurious massage. Forget this weird egg analogy altogether, actually, because the point is that the affect sex has on the brain is fan-f*cking-tastic.
Above and beyond the sensations you feel, there are lots of ways sex is good for your overall health: it gets your heart rate up, it helps you sleep, it makes your skin hella glowy, etc. It's still somehow hard to believe that doing something that feels so good can actually be good for you (unlike classic baddies french fries and cigarettes), but there's no denying the studies that confirm how sex boosts your physical functioning.
The brain is the major organ that benefits from all this, and although you might not have sex because it's good for you, there's no harm in enjoying the stellar side effects. Here are five ways sex impacts your brain:
1. Sex Can Inspire Brain Cell Growth
In 2014, researchers at the University of Maryland credited frequent sexual activity with boosted brain power in rats. According to an article in The Daily Mail, mating "increased the number of newly generated neurons in the hippocampus, where long-term memories are made." The best part? Even when the rats weren't going at it 24/7, their newly created gray matter stayed put.
2. You Can Orgasm Through Thought
One notable woman trained herself to "think herself to orgasm" or "think off" — and even underwent a brain scan to prove the same part of the brain stimulated by sexual climax lit up in hers when she turned herself on through thought. There's a corny joke to be made here about safe sex and putting on your "thinking cap," or something, right?
3. Sex Can Help Improve Your Memory
If you've been forgetting your keys or losing your way without your GPS, it might be time to have more sex. Not only does sex improve your long-term memory, but it's particularly useful in older folks who are starting to see a decline in sharpness. Those over 50 are likely to see an uptick in acuity if they get back to any kind of arousing activity, from intercourse to sensual touching or masturbation.
4. Sex Can Help Fight Depression
Sex can't replace cognitive behavioral therapy, anti-depressants, meditation, or whatever else you might use to cope with depression, but it sure can help. According to one study, semen exposure might help fight depression, so folks having unprotected sex with men are good to go. Beyond that, however, sex does cause the release of happy hormones from dopamine and oxytocin to serotonin, and those can go a long way to improving your mental state.
5. Sex Can Help You Focus
On top of boosting brain power and memory, sex can also help you hone in on a task at hand. It's one of the few activities that doesn't cause your mind to wander, so some researchers have suggested that having sex before you do something that requires intense focus, like, say, studying or taking an exam, will help calm your mind.
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