Sex is so good for you in so many ways. It is truly healing – and not just emotionally, but physically too. This is one of the reasons why I advocate for having regular sexual activity, because it adds to your overall health and wellbeing. When you have satisfying sex, you set your body on a path of balancing your hormones and generally feeling happy. So what does a blush at high arousal or orgasm tell you?
Oxytocin is a key hormone in sex that leads to emotional and physical healing.
The hormone oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone,” is especially active in sexual activity in both men and women. For men, oxytocin facilitates good erections; and for both men and women, it promotes a feeling of connectedness and trust. Oxytocin helps people feel more strongly bonded with those people important to them in their lives, and even be more generous to others around them. It is one of the important ways that sexual activity can promote emotional healing. The beneficial effects of oxytocin can even be seen in reversal of feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed. This sense of relaxation is especially important for women to allow them to build their sexual arousal.
Oxytocin can make you younger.
One of the most astounding things about oxytocin is its positive effects on the cells and tissues of your body. Rising levels of oxytocin improve the quality and the function of muscle tissue. It has been found to regenerate muscle tissue back to younger levels from damaged muscle as well as muscle tissue of older versus younger individuals. This actually makes muscle tissue younger and stronger. Oxytocin also helps improve wound healing by tuning the immune system.
Oxytocin is increased by skin to skin contact.
In human, oxytocin circulation is increased by contact with skin, especially over the belly and chest. Caressing during foreplay can significantly heighten levels of oxytocin, which is why foreplay works so well for arousal. Oxytocin is metabolized within minutes, which is why continuous stimulation works best. Oxytocin is also released in large amounts at the time of orgasm, and is part of what contributes to the calm, sleepy feeling that follows.
Sex blush is a result of oxytocin.
In pregnant women, oxytocin encourages the let-down milk reflex by increasing circulation to the arteries in the chest. This is the same effect that produces sex blush (or flush) with orgasm in women, which can be seen as a pink or red flushing of the skin over the top and center of the chest. Sex blush can be an indication of an oxytocin surge around orgasm, although it’s not present in all cases. Oxytocin release is enhanced with stimulation of the cervix as well, which may explain why some women really love having deep stimulation with intercourse. So remember to give lots of skin contact during foreplay and go for sex so profound and intense that it makes you blush (from oxytocin!).
Dr. Castellanos is a psychiatrist specializing in sex therapy, bio-identical hormones, and functional medicine consultation. You can follow her on Facebook at The Sex MD, and Twitter at @DrCastellanos.