HowStuffWorks “Pleasure Center of the Brain”
Here’s a great article on what happens in the brain when we have an orgasm:
My favorite quote is this:
Interestingly, they discovered that there aren’t too many differences betweenmen’s and women’s brains when it comes to sex. In both, the brain region behind the left eye, called the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, shuts down during orgasm. Janniko R. Georgiadis, one of the researchers, said, “It’s the seat of reason and behavioral control. But when you have an orgasm, you lose control” . Dr. Gert Holstege stated that the brain during an orgasm looks much like the brain of a person taking heroin. He stated that “95 percent is the same” .
There are some differences, however. When a woman has sex, a part of the brain stem called the periaqueductal gray (PAG) is activated. The PAG controls the “flight or fight” response. Women’s brains also showed decreased activity in the amygdala and hippocampus, which deal with fear and anxiety. The team theorized that these differences existed because women have more of a need to feel safe and relaxed in order to enjoy sex. In addition, the area of the cortex associated with pain was activated in women, which shows that there is a distinct connection between pain and pleasure.