Endorphins versus Adrenaline versus Sex

topic posted Wed, March 23, 2005 - 12:56 PM by  Boogie
HI ---- i was reading some of the other discussion posts about the neuro-chemical differences between an endorphin response and an adrenaline response and was wondering if anyone could shed some more light on the matter-
I don't know the technical physiology involved but I appreciate that there is definitely a difference quality-wise between a "fight or flight" rush and what I would call an "endorphin" rush.
I don't usually feel "good" after a fight or flight response - like almost getting (or getting) in a car accident like I do after getting flogged or pierced.
A soccer match seems to combine the adrenaline of competition and stress with the high of exercise- an endorphin release.
I think I was mistaken to put "chocolate" and "sex" as favorite ways of getting an endorphin fix (in my introduction thread post) because i'm not sure if either of these two experiences actually release just endorphins - is that true? I think an orgasm is a combination of different neuro-chemical response, n'est-ce pas?
posted by:
SF Bay Area
  • Re: Endorphins versus Adrenaline versus Sex

    Wed, March 23, 2005 - 2:56 PM
    well boogie, there was this one time in band camp when i stuck a flute up my pussy!
    • Unsu...

      Re: Endorphins versus Adrenaline versus Sex

      Wed, March 23, 2005 - 3:15 PM
      how much fun was it to hear Alison Hannigan say that? I am such a nerd.
      • Re: Endorphins versus Adrenaline versus Sex

        Wed, March 23, 2005 - 4:06 PM
        um yeah thanks guys that really clears it up.
        • Unsu...

          Re: Endorphins versus Adrenaline versus Sex

          Wed, March 23, 2005 - 4:42 PM
          Storm does a mean Yankee Doodle Dandy on the pussy flute, but DAMN you should hear Mad Prof with a tuba up her butt and a can of baked beans! Music of the spheres.
          • Re: Endorphins versus Adrenaline versus Sex

            Wed, March 23, 2005 - 11:41 PM
            ouch! would that enduce an endorphin high, an adrenaline rush or a sexual awakening?
            • Re: Endorphins versus Adrenaline versus Sex

              Thu, March 24, 2005 - 8:35 AM
              I am leaving this tribe now for a more serious community of smarter people. You VNB's have infiltrated and infected this tribe with your vain comments and the noble truths being sought by this kind tribe are not being explored. I leave you to your fart and queef orchestras and your other childish antics. Do not follow me. For those of you staying in the !I.L.E.! tribe I warn you to watch out for these VNB's, they are sick.
              • Unsu...

                Re: Endorphins versus Adrenaline versus Sex

                Thu, March 24, 2005 - 8:48 AM
                Endorphins (meaning "morphine within") and enkephalins ("in the head") were only two of several morphine-like substances (opioids) discovered within our brains. Endorphins are polypeptides containing 30 amino acid units. Opioids are considered stress hormones -- alongside others including corticotrophin, cortisol, and catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline). Stress hormones are released by activity in sympathetic fibers; following pain, excitement, anxiety, hypoglycemia, cold, or hemorrhage. While adrenaline's release is accompanied by renewed synthesis, other hormones require positive stress (eustress) for reproduction.
                Diet, exercise, and general wellbeing control the production of endorphins, but stress and pain trigger their release. Examples: eating spicy foods (your mind believes your mouth is on fire and supplies some natural morphine), having charging sex (that sudden giddy feeling, or those painless pin pricks in your brain), or stubbing your toe (pain again). Why would a natural analgesic occur during something as pleasurable as sex? Endorphins (and elevated serotonin levels) cause "runner's high", a release which occurs due to necessary pain alleviation in stressed muscles. Invigorating sex is exertion, and therefore causes the same release. Intense pleasure also relates to pain; women often have the same extroverted, and chemical, reactions in child birth as they do during sex. You know those moments when you feel like it's just too much, but you're loving it and don't ever want to stop? Ever get the cranial pin pricks and euphoria right then? Some people release endorphins during orgasm, others do so from non-climactic over-stimulation.

                Endorphins control emotions as well. The psychological model is "Glad, sad, and mad", with fear as a sidebar. The average person (harrumph) is typically in glad mode. If duress downshifts them to sad or mad, endorphins are released for re-elevating them to glad. If fear strikes, endorphins similarly allow coping by providing a feeling of calm euphoria. Such a nice feeling, perhaps too nice of one. Your brain (the primal portion) maintains a certain quota of endorphins to ensure survival under duress. If you don't have that quota, you've got problems. In the instance of pain you simply aren't supplied with an analgesic, but it becomes more complex with emotional reactions. A startle reflex can escalate into terror and paralysis, depression can downgrade into catatonia. Or your body can compensate by supplying adrenaline, which is intended for lifting you back up to glad mode but often overshoots you into an explosive rage. Why would your mind consider this better? It's simple. If your upset is inspired by a physical threat, then obviously paralysis and catatonia musn't be allowed. Rage may be draining, but it is more likely to get you through situations than lying there with your head in the sand is. Adrenaline is your body's response to the threat of atrophy and death.

                Now, let's talk about synthesized opioids. Heroin...would anyone like to share?
                • Re: Endorphins versus Adrenaline versus Sex

                  Thu, March 24, 2005 - 10:21 AM
                  THANK YOU EMPRESS!

                  I haven't done heroin, but I have done crystal meth which I think is a serotonin-releasing (and depleting) drug. I only did it once, and while the high was really something, the come-down was just as long as the high (12+ hours) and made me depressed afterwards - much worse than I remember ecstacy being (although it could also be that I was much older when I tried meth and haven't done E since the early 90's, maybe my own body chemistry has changed now that I'm over 30).

                  Anyway, I am curious about a couple things you said - about endorphins being released during sex because sex is a kind of exercise - they say fucking is like running 4 miles - so are we having endorphins released during sex because it is (sometimes) so strenuous? And then the pain-pleasure connection: are we to understand that like with childbirth (but on a lesser scale) sex could be seen as an experience of pain, followed by or combined with an experience of pleasure so that the build up to climax (it you are having that kind of sex, where you build up to a climax, that is) is like a pain - that agony of almost coming "hurts so good"? Even though we mentally know that the "pain" will lead to a pleasurable release (unless you are having some power exchange and your top is not letting you cum and then you know you are going to just be stuck in the arousal state forever) - the body's response is to release pain-relieving (analgesic-like) substances?
                  I know what you mean about the"painless cranial pin pricks" that comes from "non climatic over stimulation". I don't associate this experience with euphoria, however, because it feels like I am having an uncomfortable out-of-body thing going on when this happens, but this might be associated with some atypical personal history. The first time I felt the painless pricks was during a re-birthing session, which involved a breathing technique.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Endorphins versus Adrenaline versus Sex

                    Thu, March 24, 2005 - 4:40 PM
                    wow oogie boogie! that means you could run four miles in like two minutes! no wonder you're so fit.

                    don't leave us.
                    • Re: running four miles

                      Fri, March 25, 2005 - 9:56 AM
                      just because you have a hairy ass now doesn't mean to you can imply i am anything less than a sixty minute man

                      and because of Empress B I am staying in this cute lil tribe
                      • Re: running four miles

                        Sun, March 27, 2005 - 10:56 PM
                        Wow, just joined by reading this one post.

                        I have a science background but I won't go there for those who are a little slow.

                        I'm very interested in endorphins to combat depression and in my personal experience, sex solo or with a partner can give me a rush. Sometimes not. And if I have have bad gas, a good toot can release some endorphins.

                        Sheesh, sometimes just getting out of bed and getting ready for the day does it.

                        What I find interesting, is that usually after about 20 minutes of exercise I start crying. Maybe there's a post on that but makes me wonder if I'm allowing myself to grieve or what. It's gotta be chemical though, don't you think?
                        • Re: sex. exercise etc.

                          Mon, March 28, 2005 - 9:41 AM
                          So have you always started crying after 20 min of exercise or is this a new thing? Have you recently experienced something major that you have not fully grieved yet? My experience is that tragedy and grieving can be so energetically draining, that exercise during these times is really hard and over the top, but still therapeutic. It would make sense that you would get a big endorphin rush if you were exerting yourself while still significantly grieving because it is more draining on your already taxed body- like i would compare it to the high of staying up all night . Exercise, of course, is therapeutic during times of stress for this reason because it makes you feel good and helps you "get it out of your system".
                          • Re: sex. exercise etc.

                            Tue, March 29, 2005 - 1:06 AM
                            I never cried when I was a kid. This is new in the past 10 years. I think I've had a lot more stress and it's just all coming out. Maybe it's divorce issues from back then.
                            Yeah, I guess I'm glad that I'm getting it out of my system but it's weird in a gym with dance music playing. Like, everyone intensely working out and I'm on the elliptic bawling. lol
                    • Re: Endorphins versus Adrenaline versus Sex

                      Thu, June 9, 2005 - 1:59 PM
                      Wow all this discussion is moving me to go masturbate or exercise. Fascinating subject. First I'm going for a run and then I'm going to stretch and masturbate in the bathtub. It's my fix.
                      Yes, crystal and herion are synthetic ways are duplicating the brains already internal "feel good hormones." But, natural ways such as disiplining oneself to weight train, run, or .... have sex is better. ... obvious statement. there's no come down . hi storm

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