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Sex and the brain

The brain is an incredibly powerful sexual command center.

It is our most important organ when it comes to sex and pleasure. The brain controls our emotions and perceptions, as well as the physical reactions associated with excitement and attraction.

Sexual excitement ignites our brain’s pleasure center, which is what we call the brain’s reward system. For example, when the levels of dopamine and endorphins are increased in the brain, our bodies get a feeling of happiness and well-being. The brain also activates all kinds of reactions throughout the body; such as, when our blood flow  increases we become more sensitive to touch and other sensory impressions. Touch, sight, smell, taste and hearing are processed in the brain. These are all important aspects of desire and sexual hormones.

Sexual arousal can be initiated by pure power of thought, for example when you fantasize about something that turns you on. In fact it can sometimes be hard to keep your horniness in check, even though it might turn up at an inappropriate time or place (like the shower at the gym). Other times you really wish you could get sexually aroused but your horny-brain seems to be switched off.

If you’re having sexual problems such as reduced libido, erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness, the brain might often be a culprit. The same might be true if you have problems with self-esteem or in your personal life. These both impact your sex life. How you are feeling generally, both mentally and physically, also affects your ability to feel desire and horniness. However, not wanting to have sex isn’t necessarily a sign that you don’t feel right. Sexual desire can vary over time and is related to all sorts of factors that affect it. Some people never want to have sex and see themselves as asexual.

The brain changes and develops throughout most of our life, as we live, experience and learn things. This also often applies to our thoughts and feelings when it comes to love, sex and pleasure.

Om man upplever sexuella problem som till exempel nedsatt lust, erektionssvårigheter eller brist på lubrikation så har hjärnan ofta en viktig del i arbetet med att förändra situationen till det bättre. Detsamma gäller om man har problem i relation till sig själv eller andra som påverkar sexlivet negativt. Hur du mår rent allmänt, både psykiskt och fysiskt, påverkar också din förmåga att känna lust och kåthet. Att man inte vill ha sex behöver dock inte vara ett tecken på att man mår dåligt – sexlust kan variera i perioder och är beroende av många olika saker. En del personer vill aldrig ha sex och ser sig själva som asexuella.

Hjärnan förändras under större delen av livet i takt med att vi lever, upplever och lär. Det gäller många gånger även våra tankar och känslor när det kommer till kärlek, sex och njutning.

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