Hooked on a feeling: Orgasms stimulate the release of oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. Picture: Pixabay

That euphoric orgasmic high has some incredible health payoffs, writes Marchelle Abrahams. 

It's your lunch break. You have two choices: a quick pedicure or an orgasm? It’s an easy enough question, but one that would make some women break out in hot flushes.

Adam Lewis, founder and CEO of sex toy company Hot Octopuss, wanted women to experience sexual freedom - even if it’s in the middle of the work day - and built the world’s first “orgasm pop-up shop” in New York’s Manhattan. He hoped women would see this as an opportunity to take their orgasms - and their sex lives - more seriously.

The response was phenomenal and proof that, yes, women are taking their orgasms very seriously.

The tide is turning and now more than ever women are in touch with their sensuality. They are owning their orgasms.

Even sex toy brand LoveWoo knows it and recently advertised for a sex toy reviewer - offering a £28000 (about R480 000) salary with uncapped holiday to try their products.

The only requirements: test the items and review them.

THE ELUSIVE O-SPOT

Mystery still surrounds the female orgasm, and even though countless studies have been conducted, no conclusive evidence suggests how one is triggered.

The Kinsey Institute investigates the science of human sexuality, and even they seem stumped by the why and the how of female sexuality and orgasms.

US-based sex psychophysiologist Nicole Prause could soon have an answer. She studies the mental and physical changes that happen during sex. Her goal is to identify the health benefits of sexual stimulation.

But her methods are somewhat controversial; hooking up partners to an EEG monitor to track brain activity and measure heart rate during intercourse. Prause hopes to show how intercourse and, especially, orgasms, can help supplement certain prescription drugs and expensive therapies.

GOOD FOR OVERALL WELLBEING

There have been proven health benefits attached to orgasms as well. That euphoric feeling has some incredible pay-offs.

Pretoria clinical psychologist and sexologist Dr Eugéne Viljoen absolutely agrees, saying that orgasms serve as a relaxant and give an overall good feeling of being alive.

“It flushes the system with endorphins (feel-good hormones) and lowers cortisol, which causes havoc in the body if it is not well regulated,” he says.

Women struggling with irregular menstrual cycles can also benefit - Viljoen notes that it regulates menstruation. It increases the hormone DHEA which improves memory and brain function, as well as lowering the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Endorphins’ sedative effects ensure a peaceful night’s rest. Picture: Flickr.com

And here’s the best part: “It makes you look younger through the effects of regular flushing and may help to regulate pain (such as headaches) better.”

But don’t go thinking an orgasm once in a while will start paying dividends. Viljoen says “one orgasm a week is seen to be good for the body.”

Other unusual health benefits:

SEXERCISE

Apparently, 45 minutes of getting freaky burns about 100 calories.

HAPPINESS

Orgasms stimulate the release of oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. It counteracts stress and depression.

BOOSTS LIBIDO

A hormone normally associated with men, testosterone has the opposite effect on women. When an orgasm occurs, it elevates oestrogen and testosterone levels in the body, boosting sexual desire and increasing sexual appeal.

SOUND SLEEP

That rush you get when feeling the earth, move triggers the release of those feel-good endorphins. Their sedative effects help to ensure a peaceful night’s rest.