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Ask Dr. Miro: Sex Makes You Smarter? [What You Didn’t Learn In Health Class]

Dear Dr. Miro,

My boyfriend tells me he read an article that says sex can make you smarter and he could assist me in benefiting from this scientific fact. I think he is calling me stupid while pressuring me to be more sexual. Is he full of crap?


Blonde and Pressured

Dear BAP,

In answer to your actual questions: yes. Your oily beau hunk is indeed calling you stupid, and pressuring you to have sex with him via wonky pseudoscientific data. As for being full of crap? He probably is most of the time but on this issue, he actually has a few facts behind him. I believe he is referring to a study done on rats at Princeton’s Psychology Department by Leuner, Glasper, and Gould. But remember: rat sex and human sex is a little different, to say the least. The thing is, during human sexual interludes a few things happen that can stimulate brain growth. Keep in mind that some of this stuff, like absorbing Vitamin D, getting exercise and having an intimate conversation with your significant other, could happen just from taking a thirty-minute walk together in the sunshine. What most likely will not happen on your walk is orgasm (although it depends on the walk)!

During orgasm your body increases its levels of oxytocin and dopamine. Oxytocin is a hormone that creates all those fuzzy, loving yummy feelings and dopamine is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel super happy and, well, a little dopey but in a good way. In fact, both give you a pretty good high. As a result, sex tends to decrease anxiety, as it is pretty hard to feel stressed out and tense with a bunch of dopamine and oxytocin flowing strong through your body. When you are under duress, the body and brain interpret it as trauma. During trauma everything you have will go towards survival as opposed to growth. Eliminating trauma by decreasing anxiety, whether through passionate sexcapades, meditation or shopping will enable your brain and body to work together in their promotion of brain development.

So, in a sense, your boyfriend is right. Sex can increase brain development by allowing a healthy, peaceful backdrop in which your big thinker can focus on other connections besides staying alive. As anyone who reads my blogumn knows by now, orgasm is indeed a very healthy act to incorporate into your life! Mere sex, especially if it is going to raise any stress levels through guilt or feeling pressured into acts in which you do not want to participate, does not.

Lust & Happiness,

Dr. Miro