The link between sex and brain development is more complex than we even thought
We incorrectly assumed we'd heard it all before: how sex affects your physical and mental health, how to exercise your way to orgasm, etc. Now, a new study is taking the biology lesson one step further.
The link between sex and brain development
According to research in the Journal of Neuroscience (opens in new tab), the act of sex can actually be responsible for a more fully developed brain, specifically the somatosensory cortex. This part of the organ is linked to genital touch in women, and it's thicker in females who have had sex more frequently. Who knew?!
That begs the question: will sex make the brain bigger? Can we exercise our way to a larger somatosensory cortex between the sheets? It's inconclusive, but considering a little steaminess leads to improved memory with age, per the Archives of Sexual Behavior, this doesn't seem out of the realm of possibilities.
We're not medical professionals, but sex can ease period pain (check these sexual positions for menstrual cramps) and frisky activities lead to a mood boost and stress relief (especially when morning sex comes into play), so it appears a little steamy play goes a long way.
You'd assume that these benefits would make people more inclined to fool around in the bedroom, but a study released several weeks after the Journal of Neuroscience's findings indicate that sex frequency is decreasing in people of all ages—even before the pandemic began. Now in 2022, people are beginning to incorporate orgasms and sex into their wellness routines, particularly solo sex.
"Female masturbation is becoming far more openly talked about and is becoming widely recognized as a type of self-care," says Nina Julia, a wellness expert at CFAH (opens in new tab). "A great place to start is spending some time getting to know yourself and exploring what feels good to you."
If the road to a healthy lifestyle—and organs like the brain—includes some pleasure along the way, why not?
Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment.
The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets.
When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)