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Why Is Everyone So Worked Up About Sex?

Keen Category: Love Advice

Pensive woman and confused man in bed

Women tend to strive for perfection in most areas of their lives, but in the bedroom they will settle for less than they hoped for and less than they need. I often talk to women in my private practice who are having difficulty in their relationships or suffer from depression, and most don't describe sex as a factor in their unhappiness unless asked. On the other hand, men have no problem venting about their frustration with sex (or lack of). Why? Is sex just not that important to women? Do we not care about it? Is there a reason why we should?

Sex is useful for more than meeting your matrimonial demands. One of the benefits is that it relieves both physical and emotional stress. There are a number of chemicals released during sexual activity, but my three favorites are the endorphins, phenylethylamine (or PEA) and serotonin:

  • Endorphins create a euphoric and pleasurable sense of wellbeing; they are often what make you feel so relaxed that you drift off to sleep after sex.
  • Phenylethylamine is my favorite because it is also found in chocolate – certain chocolate delicacies are arguably better than sex – can you say molten chocolate cake?1 This nifty little chemical triggers the slow release of dopamine into the pleasure centers of the brain with a burst during orgasm that gives you that blissful toe-curling feeling.
  • Serotonin is used in modern anti-depressants as a mood regulator and arguably has the most positive and long lasting effect on depression. Orgasm releases a shot of serotonin that helps you feel contented, satisfied, and emotionally well.

These same chemicals are released whether you are having sex with a partner or with yourself. Yes ladies, I am talking about masturbation, and it is ok – in fact, it is more than ok; it's a great way to feel good. You don't have to feel ashamed – no one even has to know!

If you have a partner, it is imperative that you express yourself. Most men actually like for a woman to provide them with some direction. You can begin by being subtle ("yes, yes, up, up") and if he doesn't get it you can be more specific ("touch me there"). You don't have to open up about everything immediately; just take baby steps to get started. If you are in a long-term relationship, your partner may be a little startled at this new information. He was probably thinking that he was doing just great (especially with you fakers out there – no worries, we all fake occasionally). Just tell him that you want sex to get hotter so that you'll be in the mood more often – most guys will see this as a win.

It's understandable why some women aren't interested in sex – if it isn't good, it can be downright unpleasant. It's hot, sweaty, sticky and messy – who wants that unless it comes with an orgasm? Also because many women are dissatisfied or obsessed with the way they look, it becomes difficult to concentrate on getting what you want. Ladies, the good news is that the chemicals I mentioned above also make men blind. He isn't going to notice all of those little things you are worried about.

Sex really is about more than him; it's about you too. Don't settle for anything less than what you deserve – which is a lifetime of orgasms!

1. Editor's Note: The theory that ingesting chocolate can make one feel the effects of phenylethylamine has been discredited.

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