The pleasure (and pain) of sex...

We all know sex is awesome but clever scientists have found that our pleasure and pain have a closer link than we ever knew...

Why sex feels so good

Sex feels good. We don’t need smart peeps in white lab coats to explain that to us! But new research has revealed exactly why our bodies are programmed to feel amazing when we have sex (after all, humans and dolphins are the only species to actually get serious pleasure from doing the deed). The weird thing? Sometimes women can't tell the difference between pleasure and pain during sex. Yep, this is info we haven’t heard before – well played, science, well played.

Dr Anjan Chatterjee, a professor of Neurology from the University of Pennsylvania, has revealed in his new book, The Aesthetic Brain, that women have higher pain thresholds when we’re sexually aroused. “These thresholds increase by 40 percent with vaginal stimulation and by 100 percent near and during orgasm,” explains Dr Anjan.

Basically, women don’t notice total pain as long as we’re having sex while it happens. Plus, sometimes our brain can confuse pain with pleasure, which explains why some people get turned on by BDSM in the sack. Weird huh?

Back in cavemen days, we had sex to ensure the survival of the human race. But Dr Anjan claims that if sex also didn’t feel good, they would’ve been less likely to want to do the deed at all – and no sex means no people, right? So getting enjoyment from sex started a long, long time ago.

And when we have sex, there’s a lot more being released than just your bra. We’re talking hormones – lots of ‘em. And these chemicals are what make you seriously up for sex. “Dopamine is a key player in making you want to have sex,” explains sex and relationship expert Isiah McKimmie.

“This neurotransmitter can actually be released before we’re even having sex. People who are watching porn release this hormone because they’re anticipating how good sex can feel.” Yep, this hormone is crucial for getting you in the mood.

Another reason sex feels so awesome is thanks to oxytocin, a hormone that helps us to feel bonded and connected. “Oxytocin makes us feel happy and makes us want to have sex again,” explains Isiah. But it’s not just chemical reactions that make us want sex. Put simply, it’s because humans like to feel good. Full stop.

“As humans, our bodies will naturally move towards feeling pleasure. We’ll seek out pleasure wherever we can and sex is a natural way to hold onto that good feeling. Sex can actually help to alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety so it’s no wonder we want to do it,” explains Isiah.

Like you needed another reason to get between the sheets!