What do sex and music have in common? According to a recent study from Northwestern University published in the journal Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology, both put you in a trance-like state. And that’s amazing news for your sex life.
In looking at how orgasms directly effect your brain, Adam Safron, a neuroscientist and PhD candidate in the psychology department’s Brain Behavior Cognition Program at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern, found that rhythmic sexual activity influences brain rhythms. If sexual stimulation is intense and long enough, the sensation can spread to your brain and put you in what feels like a trance. “The idea that sexual experiences can be like trance states is in some ways ancient, but it’s supported by modern understandings of neuroscience,” Safron says. “In theory, this could change the way people view their sexuality. Sex is a source of pleasurable sensations and emotional connection, but beyond that, it’s actually an altered state of consciousness.”
In other words, not only is sex an act of the body, but it’s actually an act of the brain too.
Safron found that sexual climax, music, dancing, and even seizures are all alike in that you completely lose yourself in the act. And if you and your partner are completely absorbed in the sex and you’re both going into trance-like states, you’re more likely to feel connected and enjoy a bigger release from the experience. “I suspect that viewing sexuality as a kind of altered state of consciousness could help people to see sex as something extraordinary, potentially helping them to have a greater appreciation for their partners, and possibly even helping to prevent sex from losing its fascination,” Safron told huffingtonpost.com.
What this means for your sex life: You’ll have better sex if you and your partner are able to reach this trance-like state. To boost the odds of that happening, think of sex as having a rhythmic beat, like dancing or music—and maybe even play some rhythmic music to enhance the sensation. In fact, music has a direct pathway into the pleasure centers of the brain, according to a 2011 study from McGill University, stimulating the same dopamine areas normally activated during sex. Pick out tunes with a steady beat and try to lose yourself in the rhythm. You might be surprised by what happens next.
If you’re looking for more ways to turn up the heat in the bedroom, check out these hot tips to improve your sex life.