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Have you ever felt refreshed after sex, like you’ve just undergone a mental reset? Maybe you’re more clearheaded, feel better equipped to deal with a problem, or are able to take a better perspective after having an orgasm. This sensation is colloquially called post-nut clarity.
In a new video on her YouTube channel, urologist and sex educator Dr. Rena Malik reveals that there are a couple of scientific reasons that could help explain this phenomenon.
During sex, several different areas of the brain which are responsible for functions such as pleasure, sensation, reward pathways, and emotional processing and control, are all engaged. However, according to one specific study, the prefrontal cortex, which oversees decision-making, attention and social behaviors, experiences a decrease in blood flow during ejaculation. Then, after the orgasm, that blood flow returns to the prefrontal cortex, which might bring with it a renewed sense of clarity to your thought processes.
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Malik adds that the human body releases all manner of substances before, during, and after sex.
“During orgasm, the brain will release things like endorphins and neurotransmitters like dopamine, which is the feel-good signal,” she explains. “After sex, those dopamine levels drop, and there’s a rise in prolactin, which is the reason why sometimes it’s hard to have sex again. In addition after orgasm there’s a release in oxytocin, the bonding hormone. All these changes in signals from your brain to your body may be contributing to this post-nut clarity.”
And finally, Malik says, thanks to a little something called the parasympathetic nervous system which calms the mind and body post-coitally, orgasms are just a great natural stress-reliever.
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.
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