Flashback Friday: On the function of groaning and hyperventilation during sexual intercourse.

By Seriously Science | July 5, 2013 12:00 pm

Photo: flickr/db_in_uk

Here’s something you’ve probably never wondered about: why do people groan and breathe faster during sex? A naive guess is that it has something to do with all of the physical activity. But the authors of this paper have another theory – that the hyperventilation and resulting “alteration of consciousness” serves to enhance the sexual experience. One could speculate about the evolutionary advantages of this effect (pair bonding? increased enjoyment of sex?). But we do know one thing: these researchers will probably never enjoy sex the same way again.

On the function of groaning and hyperventilation during sexual intercourse: intensification of sexual experience by altering brain metabolism through hypocapnia.

“Sexual arousal is accompanied by some typical physiological reaction patterns. Another typical feature of sexual intercourse is involuntary sound production implying in its more intense forms acceleration of breathing (hyperventilation). Up to now no study examined spCO2 during intense sexual intercourse, but there is evidence that some degree of hyperventilation with its physiological consequences may often be induced during sexual intercourse. This article discusses implications of hyperventilation during sexual intercourse for alterations of consciousness and subjective experience in the light of recent studies of brain metabolic changes during states of hyperventilation. Groaning and hyperventilation are interpreted in this context as a psychophysiological mechanism to deepen states of sexual trance.”

Related content:
NCBI ROFL: Large penises and an evolutionary theory of vaginal orgasm.
NCBI ROFL: Apparently women (but not men) like monkey sex… literally.
NCBI ROFL: An explanation for the shape of the human penis.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: analysis taken too far
  • James T. Richmond

    cool.

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Seriously, Science?, formerly known as NCBI ROFL, is the brainchild of two prone-to-distraction biologists. We highlight the funniest, oddest, and just plain craziest research from the PubMed research database and beyond. Because nobody said serious science couldn't be silly!
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