In French literature, the release from orgasm is famously referred to as la petite mort, the little death. Freud thought that orgasms opened the way for Thanatos (the death instinct) after Eros had departed. These death images capture the lassitude that follows orgasm, but not the emotionally satisfied feeling. The satisfied state probably results from release of a combination of beta-endorphins, prolactin, and oxytocin. The hypothalamus regulates the production of prolactin and oxytocin. Prolactin, a hormone that helps women produce milk when breastfeeding, contributes to the sense of sexual satiety. At least in men, prolactin plays an important role in the refractory period after orgasm during which men have little further sexual desire. Given the blockbuster sales to men of drugs like Viagra, it is no surprise that prolactin-inhibiting drugs are being researched with the hope of minimizing this refractory period. Oxytocin is a hormone associated with trust and a sense of affiliation. In sex, it is the “cuddling” hormone. Users of the death metaphor for the post-orgasmic state simply ignore the warm glow of endorphins and oxytocin, unless they know something about death that the rest of us do not.
Pubblicato da Daniele Martino
Daniele Martino è: insegnante che studia («Il professore di Italiano era, cioè è ancora adesso, un tipetto misterioso, un po’ lunatico ma divertente»), critico culturale (doppiozero.com/users/dmartino; KanGuru_the jumping wise); pratica meditazione dal 1995 (Association Zen Internationale); è poeta ("Minimale" in "Nuovi Poeti Italiani 4" Einaudi 1995, "Zen session" Marcos y Marcos 2012) Vedi tutti gli articoli di Daniele Martino