Photo cred - Jose Manuel Duran Ramos
Having a post-sex cigarette is second nature to any regular smoker, but new research has found that smoking plays a role in how you experience your time in the sack itself. If you're a smoker, you're gonna want to have a few smokes well before any sexual encounters, otherwise you may find the whole experience much less pleasurable.
Nicotine, the primary addictive ingredient in cigarettes, is the reason for the correlation between smoking and sexual pleasure. Research published in the online journal JAMA Psychiatry has found that a person's brain is less attuned to recognize pleasure from stimuli (like sex) when going through nicotine withdrawal.
After studying the relationship between pleasure and nicotine in humans addicted to cigarettes and rats, researchers found that both species had a significantly decreased reaction to pleasurable rewards when nicotine levels were low.
When a relapse occurred, or in other words, when the participants had a smoke and the rats were given some nicotine, pleasure levels went back up. So if you've ever tried to quit smoking and found it to be the hardest thing ever, it kind of is, because once you're hooked on nicotine, everything is less pleasurable when going without a smoke, even sex.
While these findings make it really hard for anyone to decide to quit smoking (aside from, you know, preserving your lungs) researchers do point out that as humans and rats reacted in the same way throughout the study, it gives credence to the findings of any study performed on rats being applied to humans, at least when it comes to effects of nicotine.
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