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Why Does Sex Feel So Good?

Why Does Sex Feel So Good?There are both physical and emotional reasons why sex provides such intense pleasure.

The Physical

First, let’s consider the physical aspects of sexual pleasure. The human body is designed to enjoy sex. Some experts believe the reason is evolutionary – in order to keep the species going, people should enjoy the process of procreating. But this isn’t the only reason people have sex.


Why does sex feel so good? (Click to tweet)



The Physical (continued)

Our bodies come with a number of erogenous zones – those areas that make us sexually excited when they’re touched by the “right” person (one we want to be sexual with). Male and female genitals are probably the most obvious erogenous zones. But there are others: some people are turned by a foot massage or when their partner nibbles their ears. It can take some time to learn where you and your partner like to be touched, although that can be part of the fun.

Our brains also help us enjoy sex. They process sexual stimuli, such as a touch, an arousing image, or a seductive whisper. And they trigger the release of chemicals that make us feel excited. For example, the neurotransmitter serotonin helps us feel happy when we’re sexually aroused. Another neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, helps blood flow to the genitals, making stimulation even more enjoyable.


The Emotional

The emotional side of sex is complicated.

In the right circumstances, couples enjoy sex because of the intimacy it provides – the bonding and sharing that helps keep their relationship strong. The hormone oxytocin, released during orgasm, fosters a sense of closeness and trust.

But not all sexual relationships are emotional, romantic ones. Some couples have sex for fun, for the release it provides, and to reduce stress and tension. And they still enjoy it.

It’s not unusual for people to enjoy sex when they’re not in a loving, caring relationship. But many would argue that the sexual experience is better when they are.


When Sex Doesn’t Feel Good

On TV and in movies, it may look like sex always feels fantastic. But there are many times it doesn’t.

For example, a woman may not feel pleasure if her partner pressures her to have sex when she doesn’t want to. People who do not feel ready for sex may feel too anxious and tense to enjoy it. (Click here to learn more about sexual readiness. Keep in mind that if you’re not ready, that’s perfectly okay.)

Also, good sex comes with experience. It may take some time before it feels good. If it’s not all fireworks at the beginning, don’t worry. Take it slow. And make sure that sex is something you and your partner truly want.

Print this article or view it as a PDF file here: Why Does Sex Feel So Good?


Go Ask Alice (Columbia Health)

“Why does sex feel good?”

(September 12, 2014)


Vernacchio, Al

“What Teens Really Want to Know About Sex”

(September 26, 2014)

Psychology Today

Shpancer, Noam, PhD

“Why Do We Have Sex?”

(April 16, 2012)