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Science of Meditation

Scientists Just Did a Study on Orgasmic Meditations—Here’s How It Affects Your Brain

There's a new way to achieve a calmer state.

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In a recent study, scientists pointed to the effectiveness of meditation in achieving a calmer and more relaxed state. Yet, this type of meditation isn’t your typical 20-minute mindfulness session. It’s orgasmic meditation.

Led by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University, this study, which is the first of its kind, studied the brain responses of 20 pairs of participants—all of which included one man and one woman—who engaged in orgasmic meditation for 15 minutes. To engage in this type of meditation, an individual strokes the clitoris of their partner. However, unlike the name may suggest, the goal is not to achieve an orgasm. Rather, it’s aim to induce an intense meditative state—and according to the research it’s attainable.

“The practitioners have described various spiritual-like experiences, such as the feeling of oneness or connectedness, as well as a sense of flow and awareness,” the study says. “Emotional reactions including a profound sense of relaxation, energy, or joy are also described [by participants].”

See also: Everything (And We Mean Everything) You Ever Wanted to Know About Tantra

The science behind orgasmic meditation

After the pairs concluded the orgasmic meditation, researchers evaluated neurophysiological changes in both the male and female participants using blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)—a technique commonly used to measure brain patterns and mapping. Compared to the control group, those who participated in the orgasmic meditation showed changes in their left superior temporal lobe, the frontal lobe, anterior cingulate, and insula. (And yes, the male participants showed the same changes as the female participants.) Meditation practices and sexual stimulation play a key role in these areas of the brain, which govern your emotions, sensory processing, and behavior.

So, what does this all mean? Well, traditional mindfulness meditations may not be the only way to engage the frontal lobe in this way. Orgasmic meditation can produce a similar response in the brain to that of a mindfulness meditation. Additionally, the sexual stimulation has its own set of benefits. Orgasmic meditation may also help counteract low libidos and sexual dysfunction.

The results of this study point toward the array of meditations that can spur a state of relaxation. If a quiet mindfulness meditation just isn’t your thing, consider orgasmic meditation, a rhythmic meditation to hip-hop—or a screaming meditation. The perfect type of meditation for you? It’s out there (we promise).

See also: Find Your Meditation Style With These 7 Practices