What Does Sex Look Like from the Inside? Footage from an MRI Scanner Shows What Happens When We Get it On

Have you ever wished you could see what goes on in the human body when you have sex? If your answer is yes, good news: This recent video put together by Vox uses images from an MRI scanner to show the human body in action during all kinds of situations — and sex as illustrated by a series of MRIs? Is just as fascinating as you think it is.

Unlike X-rays and CT scans, MRIs don’t use harmful radiation. As a result, scans can be used to create moving images — and cinematic MRIs, as they’re known, to open up a whole new way of looking at the human body. The folks at Vox cut a bunch of cinematic MRIs together to show us everything from what happens when we drink pineapple juice to how a horn player’s tongue works while they’re tootling away on their instrument. One of my favorite images is the one that compares what goes on in your mouth when you’re speaking a language like Chinese versus when you’re speaking something like German; I’m no great shakes at languages, but I’m endlessly fascinated by how the placement of the sounds in your mouth changes depending on which one you’re speaking.

But of course the part of the video that’s really drawing attention starts at the 45-second mark: an illustration of exactly what happens when we, ahem, “get busy.” Starting with a good ol’ fashioned French kiss, then moving onto intercourse, and eventually finishing up with pregnancy, this series of cinematic MRIs presents sex in a way I’m willing to bet most of us have never seen before. Here, take a look — although as you might expect, it’s a little NSFW, so consider yourselves warned:

The Daily Mail also points to a video uploaded to YouTube in February 2013 that offers an extended view of just the kissing — which, to be honest, I find to be the most interesting bit of the whole sex sequence in Vox’s video. Look at how fast their hearts are beating!

Fun fact: Although this is the first time most of us lay-people (read: non-doctors) have seen it, the sex footage was captured way back in the 1960s by Dutch doctor Pek Van Andel. According to the Daily Mail, the videos were created by knitting hundreds of still MRI images together. Dr. Van Andel, gynecology professor Willibrord Weijmar Schultz, anthropologist Ida Sabelis, and radiologist Eduard Mooyaart originally used the images for a scientific paper they wrote in 1999 called “Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Male and Female Genitals During Coitus and Female Sexual Arousal.” TIL, right?

Also, can we have a round of applause for the couple or couples who volunteered to have sex in an MRI scanner? I’ve been inside one of those things. It kind of freaked me out (claustrophobia is a bitch). Kudos to them for being able to stay focused on each other enough to make the whole thing happen, even under what were probably absurdly stressful circumstances. Talk about taking one for the team!

Image: Vox/YouTube; Giphy