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Can music give you an orgasm?

Can music give you an orgasm?

How climactic can the right high note be?

It is no secret that music, like fragrances and the right lighting, can get you in the mood. The parts of the brain that are positively stimulated by drugs, food, and, yes, sex, are stimulated by music as well. In 2012, Spotify commissioned a study, examining the link between music and sexual arousal from a neuroscientific perspective, wherein almost half of respondents admitted that certain songs turned them on as much as touch.

If you’ve ever hit play on an extra-sensual playlist before doing the deed, this will come as no surprise. Perhaps you were privy to a recent news story about an apparent orgasm at the symphony. As the philharmonic's rendition of Tchaikovsky crescendoed, an audience member seemed to as well. This begs a different question: Can the right song actually induce an orgasm?

A head rush.

Studies have shown that music can arouse feelings of “euphoria” and “craving” and that an experience of intense pleasure while listening to music does correlate with a rush of dopamine to the brain. Dopamine is also produced in response to sexual stimulation. 

The act of anticipating a reward, say, in this case, the swell of music that anticipates a crescendo, can result in a dopamine release. From the time we learn what music is, we are identifying musical patterns that our brains find exciting or stimulating. For some people, when these patterns deviate, it can be thrilling enough to prompt a physical response, resembling arousal. 

Getting chills.

Getting goosebumps with the onset of a favorite song can tell us about more than just your taste. Getting chills when listening to music is an indicator of what’s been termed “emotional arousal,” a sensation inclusive of things like increased heart rate and respiration, and a generally heightened physiological state. When music is especially satisfying or intense it can bring on what is called a “frisson” or a “skin-orgasm.” 

A useful point of comparison might be ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, the tingly, euphoric, physical response to certain sounds, like whispering or nails on a chalkboard. While people who experience ASMR would not identify the feeling as sexual in nature, it does create a (sometimes intense) physical, pleasure response. 

All in all.

When it comes to physical arousal, there are a lot of variables that come into play. Be it mood, environment, focus–there is a lot that amounts to whether or not we can get there. What’s also worth noting is that while the mechanics of whether music alone can prompt orgasm is somewhat murky, evidence that music can be physically stimulating might create a mental condition for orgasm. In other words, in the way that lighting a candle relaxes you and may make you feel all the more ready for intimacy, the right concerto could do the same.
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