Health

How Your Body Changes when You’re Horny

Within the vast ranges of human sexuality, we all have different things that make us tick. Certain pressure points or words that get our engines revving. Memories and fantasies that get the juices flowing. 

We’re talking about getting horny. We all know the feeling. The yearn. The tingles and desires. 

What many of us don’t think about is the physiological changes when you’re aroused. There’s the telltale “feeling wet”, flushed cheeks, shallow breathing, but why?

How does the human body change when someone is horny? 

Hot and Heavy Hormones

We’re all familiar with hormones secreted by the endocrine system. Especially those related to sex and reproductive health. So it comes at no surprise that a whole cascade of them starts to flow when things start heating up. 

At first, that sweet system of yours gets flooded with endorphins, adrenaline and dopamine, because frankly – you’re excited. All this can cause your heart rate and pulse to speed up, and your blood pressure to rise.

This surge of dopamine, the feel good hormone, works on the reward center in the brain, so that you keep coming back for more. Pun intended. 

Of course, you can’t talk about intimacy without thinking of oxytocin. Often called the “love hormone” or “cuddle hormone”, oxytocin is released by the hypothalamus, and helps facilitate bonding and affection. You may experience an extra dose of it during orgasm, drawing you that much closer to your partner. 

Get Your Blood Pumping

Your blood flow changes a lot when you’re horny. 

This causes the classic “sex flush”. The rosiness that creeps into your cheeks when you start going at it. It also causes noticeable changes down south. 

For people with vaginas, the whole reproductive structure changes, swells, and expands in anticipation of what’s to come. Hint: hopefully, that’s you. 

Blood vessels begin to dilate, especially those in your genitals. For people with vaginas, this can change the appearance and feel of their vulva in all sorts of ways. 

Thanks to an increase in blood supply, the labia and clitoris may start to engorge and swell up. They may even change colors, turning to a more purple tone. If you’re comfortable looking at your genitals, take a peek in a mirror or with your phone camera to see how they change throughout different stages of arousal.

This can be a fun activity to bring your partner in on, so that you can both get to know your bodies a bit better. 

Along with changing colors, this engorgement also triggers erections – even for people with vaginas. Women have just as much erectile tissue as men, these erections just tend to be a little less obvious. 

Vaginal Variances 

One of the most commonly recognized shifts is in vaginal fluids, or “getting wet”. Depending on where you are in your cycle, you may have a higher concentration of cervical mucus, or discharge, versus secretions coming from other areas. 

Of course, vaginal lubrication changes from person to person, and day to day. Certain medications and where you are in your cycle, if you’re still menstruating, also have an effect on how wet you get. 

During arousal, the vagina starts to dilate, or “tent”, making space for penetration. When the vagina elongates, it also pulls the cervix and uterus up and out of the way. The clitoral glans may become hidden under the hood, to protect it from hyperstimulation. 

Wait, There’s More

Sexual arousal does wild things to the human body. Temperature starts to rise, pupils start to dilate, genitals engorge, and expand. Your nipples may stand on end.

Even your response to pain can change. For people with female bodies, their pain threshold increased significantly.

This is one reason why a common kink or sexual preference includes things that may normally be thought of as painful, like spanking or rough play.

A higher pain threshold also means sex can be helpful in soothing period cramps, and other aches and pains. 

We’d like to point out that just because you may be physically experiencing some or all of the effects mentioned above, does not mean in any way that you are obligated to engage in a sexual act with another person. 

With who, when, and how you choose to engage with someone sexually should entirely rest in enthusiastic consent, not whether or not your body appears aroused. 

In the same vein, just because you may not be experiencing these sensations, does not mean you’re not emotionally and mentally aroused. There are so many variances between humans and how we relate to and experience sexual arousal, so the best way to know is by asking yourself – and then communicating that with your sexual partner.

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