What creates pleasure is a very interesting question. After doing research on the subject I discovered that the brain is our largest pleasure centers. Now I knew this before but what I did not know was that the pleasure center in our brain lets us know when something is enjoyable and reinforces the desire for us to perform the same pleasurable action again and again.

Similar to the rat who goes after the cheese and gets a reward for it, we humans reward ourselves with what is called the reward circuit. Dopamine is the principal neurochemical that activates your reward circuitry. The more dopamine you release and the more your reward circuit is activated, the more "reward" you experience. Of course we want more than just cheese, so our reward circuit has a great deal more methods of offering pleasure including sex, laughter and certain types of drugs.

The pleasure center of the brian.

amygdala - regulates emotions
nucleus accumbens - controls the release of dopamine
ventral tegmental area (VTA) - actually releases the dopamine
cerebellum - controls muscle function
pituitary gland - releases beta-endorphins, which decrease pain; oxytocin, which increases feelings of trust; and vasopressin, which increases bonding
The Brains Role in Pleasure

Did you know that there aren’t that many differences between the brains of men and women when in the throws of an orgasm? University of Groningen in the Netherlands conducted several studies of both men and women to determine brain activity during sexual stimulation. In both, the brain region behind the left eye, called the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, shuts down during orgasm. Janniko R. Georgiadis, one of the researchers, said, "It's the seat of reason and behavioral control. But when you have an orgasm, you lose control". The brain during orgasm also looks very much like a person on heroin. The only real difference that was found in this study was that when a woman has sex, a part of the brain stem called the periaqueductal gray (PAG) is activated. The PAG control the “flight or fight” response. The other differences are that in a woman’s brain there was a decrease of activity in the amygdala and hippocampus, which deal with fear and anxiety. ( Source: health.howstuffworks)

It was theorized that this might occur because overall women have more of a need to feel safe and relaxed in order to enjoy sex. I know that there are exceptions to any rule but I feel that this is probably not so far from the truth. Most of the women I speak with regarding sex tell me that relaxation and trust are a big factor in having a really good orgasm, or in having one at all. In addition to the PAG the area of the cortex associated with pain was also activated in women, which shows a distinct connection between pain and pleasure. This might support the fact that women have shown a greater tolerance to pain than men.

“The studies also showed that although women m­ay be able to fool their partners into thinking they've had an orgasm, their brains show the truth. When asked to fake an orgasm, the women's brain activity increased in the cerebellum and other areas related to controlling movement. The scans didn't show the same brain activity of a woman during an actual orgasm.“ So this must mean that women can fool their partner but they can never fool themselves.

Author's Bio: 

Luminessa Enjara writes for the Examiner.com and E-zine Articles. She is the founder of The School of Womyn's Mysteries a mystery school for women that explores the power and mystery of a woman's body. She is also a gifted Akashic Record reader and spiritual evolution coach, and offers readings and consultations by phone as wells as other support programs. Luminessa is a speaker and teacher of intuitional metaphysics and meditation and an amazing guide for self-awareness and transformation. She is also a teacher of Sacred Sexuality and has coached both singles and couples throughout the Bay Area