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Having Sex in an MRI Machine...

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Kayt Sukel isn’t afraid to talk about sex, nor is she afraid to write about it.

Her book, This Is Your Brain on Sex: The Science Behind the Search for Love, dives into the nitty-gritty of how the brain really acts while doing the deed. Sukel is part of the "The Brain: This is Your Brain On..." event during Chicago Ideas Week, where she, along with renowned neuroscientists, doctors and philosophers, will offer insights on how the brain works during a variety of experiences.

If you ask Sukel why she chose to write a book exploring the relationship between sex and the brain, she’ll tell you it’s her "sad, sad story" of getting divorced and looking for answers in the self-help books pawned onto her by helpful friends.

The inspiration came when she read the introduction of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus that stated "If the strategies in this book don’t work for you. it’s because you have too much testosterone."

Devoid of the mustache and super strength that her alleged excess of testosterone should be giving her, Sukel realized that many of these books claiming to use science as a basis for their advice lacked sources and links to research.

"I decided you know what forget this. I’m going straight to the source, to scientific literature, and I want to see if there’s an answer in there that make sense for me," said Sukel in an interview with WomensForum.

Sukel went on her quest for answers, researching all the information she could find on the science of sex. This led her to communicating with Barry Komisaruk, a neuroscientist who studies brain activity during sexual response and orgasm at Rutgers University, which then led her to participate in his research by well... self-stimulating and reaching orgasm in an MRI machine.

"I kept asking [Komisartuk] all these questions and it sort of came down to why don’t you come on down and give it a try because I won’t be able to answer these questions exactly you should experience it for yourself," said Sukel.

That experience is one she’ll be touching on during the "This is Your Brain" event during Chicago Ideas Week. However, Sukel will also be explaining the importance of research on sex.

"Having sex in MRI machines always makes for an easy punchline [but] I don’t know if [people] always recognize how important the research is," said Sukel. "Sex is a primary human motivator, we’re happiest when we’re getting it and when we’re not getting it where scheming on how to get it."

Additionally, Sukel will be explaining how sex as a biological process influences other parts of our bodies.

"[Sex] influences different pathways and different processes that are also involved with algesia (pain management)," said Sukel. "It’s involved with consciousness. Some researchers believe an orgasm may be an actual change in consciousness as it can inform networking and signaling because it’s something that links up over 80 discreet areas of the brain. There’s a lot more to orgasm that just the grand finale so to speak."

If you’re interested in learning more about your brain on sex, Chicago Ideas Week’s "The Brain: This is Your Brain On..." event will be taking place on Sunday, Oct. 19 from 12:00-1:45 p.m. at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. Tickets are available through Chicago Ideas Week website for $15 each.


Photo Credit: Facebook 

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