Science Says Your Facial Muscles Impact Sexual Satisfaction In This Unexpected Way

Ani Dimi/ Stocksy

Most people don’t give their orgasm face much thought (or at least try not to). In the grand scheme of things, when it comes to being intimate with someone, I have never thought it was that important. But I could be very wrong. According to new research, your ability to freely use all the muscles in your face whilst having sex may be linked to sexual satisfaction. So, does botox impact your orgasms? Research suggests there may be a link between muscular restricting procedures, like botox, and a decline in sexual satisfaction.

The study conducted by Cardiff University looked into the effects of botulium toxin based facial treatments (botox) on embodied emotions. Basically, whether botox has an effect on how we feel emotionally. Among some of the areas it covered, the study looked at sexual satisfaction. The research followed a small sample of 24 women before and after they had received botox and compared them with a sample of 12 women who had got non-muscular restricting procedures. The study found that “reducing the ability to make the facial expressions associated with sexual pleasure leads to a reduction in the reported feeling of pleasure associated with it. This finding demonstrates the importance of facial expressions during sexual intercourse.” Of the 13 women who had their frown lines altered the study found a significant drop in sexual satisfaction and for the women who had injections for crow’s feet and frown lines there was a “near significant” drop.

Alexey Kuzma/ Stocksy

The study reported, “the results suggest that the facial expressions do not occur simply to communicate pleasure to a partner but they are an integral part of the feeling of pleasure and are important in the process of achieving orgasm. This demonstrates an important role for facial feedback within sexual intercourse and it is potentially a previously unimagined significant negative impact from cosmetic BTX treatments.”

These findings fall in line with other studies which have found that by simply smiling you can trick your body into feeling happier, and even healthier. Dr Isha Gupta, a neurologist from IGEA Brain and Spine, explained to NBC News that smiling can trigger a reaction in which the brain can release hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. She said, “dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression and aggression and low levels of dopamine are also associated with depression.” The study at Cardiff University also found that those who had injections to their frown lines, and couldn’t frown, were found to be overall happier.


So, does botox limit our sexual satisfaction? Speaking to The Guardian, the leader of the research Dr Michael Lewis said, “You can certainly make yourself feel better by smiling and laughing … but could you move yourself to ecstasy by producing the (associated facial expressions)? I think that’s probably less likely.” What is known for sure is that there is power in the facial expression, not only to translate how you are feeling to a partner, but also to enable yourself to fully let go in the moment.

The research concluded that hindering our ability to produce the facial expressions associate with sexual pleasure leads to a decline in feelings of sexual pleasure, and whilst Dr Lewis thinks it unlikely that you can facially fake your way to an orgasm the findings are definitely food for thought.