How does the insula help my sex life?

Dr. Marsha Lucas
The insula is a radically underappreciated part of the brain. It's been called by Daniel Siegel, M.D. the "the information superhighway" that runs up and down between higher, cortical brain areas; lower, limbic areas; and the body.

Experiments in which brain images are taken while the brain is emotionally "in action" have shown that the insula has an important role in the perception of bodily experiences, but also in the experience of a number of emotions.

How does the insula seem to help thee? Let me count the ways:
  • Having a bigger, juicier, busier insula can help you be better able to experience all of the fantastic bodily sensations and changes that are part of the real deal in sex, in ways that can seem magnified compared to the way you've been feeling them if you've been underutilizing your insula.
  • When your insula is more active, you're better at expressing your feelings through your body, as well as perceiving the emotions of your partner through his or her body.
  • If your mind and your body are both paying attention to what's going on here and now (something for which the insula is key), you're also better able to be attuned to your partner's state of mind, making you a better lover.
  • Note also that if your partner perceives that you're better attuned, he or she will be more attuned and present, as well, adding to the fabulousness.
  • And, last but not least, there is a study out of Dartmouth that found a correlation between activation of the insula and the quality of orgasm in women.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.