Sex and the brain: what turns women on, finally mapped

The prude may want to skip this one, but if you’re really interested to find out what turns women on, this is quite a worthy read. Long story short: stimulating the vagina and the clitoris are two different things.

map vagina

Basically, on the brain’s sensory cortex, the female vagina, cervix and nipples correspond to different areas. Researchers have finally been able to map those areas, proving that vaginal stimulation activates different brain regions to stimulation of the clitoris. The study also found a direct link between the nipples and the genitals, which explains why some women are able to orgasm via nipple stimulation only.

In the sensory cortex, neurons linked to different body parts exchange information about the sensory information feeding into them; basically, you could say that everything you feel starts in the sensory cortex.

The team at University Children’s Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland, led by Lars Michels, used functional magnetic resonance imaging to confirm that the position of the clitoris on the sensory cortex almost perfectly coincided with the position of the penis, for males – while the point for the vagina is not.

“This is hard proof that there is a big difference between stimulating those different regions,” says Stuart Brody of the University of the West of Scotland in Paisley, UK, one of the researchers in the study.

These findings demonstrate wrong the belief that any vaginal stimulation is pleasant because of indirect clitoridian stimulation. They also showed that when the nipples were stimulated, in addition to the chest area of the cortex lighting up, a part of the genital area also lit up.

“When I tell my male neuroscientist colleagues about this, they say: ‘Wow, that’s an exception to the classical homunculus,’” he says. “But when I tell the women they say: ‘Well, yeah?’” It may help explain why a lot of women claim that nipple stimulation is erotic, he adds.

The research was published (where else?) in the Journal of Sexual Medicine

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