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Orgasms Best in Sex vs. Masturbation

Lovers know only too well that men usually need a “recovery period” after orgasm, and that sexual intercourse with orgasm is more satisfying than an orgasm from masturbation alone. Now scientists think the two phenomena might be linked. After orgasm from sexual intercourse, the increase in blood prolactin (a hormone released after orgasm) levels is 400 per cent higher in both sexes compared with after orgasm from masturbation. The hormone prolactin makes us feel satiated by countering the effect of dopamine, which is released during sexual arousal.

The researchers measured blood prolactin levels in male and female volunteers who watched erotic films before engaging in masturbation or sexual intercourse to orgasm in the laboratory.

This explains why orgasm from intercourse is more satisfying than masturbation. Since elevated levels of prolactin have been linked to erectile dysfunction, this may also explain why most men need a recovery period after sex. The study appeared in Biological Psychology, vol 71, p 312.

Orgasms Best in Sex vs. Masturbation

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He writes regularly and extensively on mental health concerns, the intersection of technology and psychology, and advocating for greater acceptance of the importance and value of mental health in today's society. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.


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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2006). Orgasms Best in Sex vs. Masturbation. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/orgasms-best-in-sex-vs-masturbation/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 24 Feb 2006
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Feb 2006
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