Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sex life lies in brain size

ALISON ROBERTS: Size does matter after all when it comes to sexual satisfaction, according to Dr Daniel Amen. Forget those enlargement offers in your e-mail inbox: We're talking about the Big B - the Brain. "In order to have a great sex life, you have to have a great brain," Amen says.

Brain greatness, he explains, requires avoiding activities that can literally shrink the brain, including abusing drugs and alcohol. Amen is a clinical psychiatrist and brain-imaging expert who also brings a single guy's interest to the topic. "I like to look, that's all I can say," he says, savoring the double-entendre of expressing his love of the view inside the skull.

His latest book, Sex on the Brain: 12 Lessons To Enhance Your Love Life, falls into his growing catalogue of writing about how to enhance the good life. "It just seemed like nobody was putting the brain right in the middle of our sex lives," Amen says.

The way he looks at it, sex largely occurs in your brain. Specifically, it appears that the right temporal lobe may be called the B Spot, the part of the brain that is "the seat of orgasms."

His experiences of the heart - or perhaps we should say love lobe - have given him a particular empathy for those who have been buffeted by the stormy seas of love. "I have been in love four times," says Amen.

He says evaluating the brain's physical condition can provide relationship-saving clues. He recounts one case where a husband suddenly turned into a colossal jerk, which almost led to divorce. Brain imaging uncovered evidence that the man was suffering brain damage from chemical exposure on the job.

Once the exposure was stopped, his brain's health and his marital happiness were restored. The moral of such stories, is that taking care of your brain physically is key to a satisfying romantic life. Like your body, your brain's good health requires aerobic exercise, a healthy diet and avoidance of harmful chemicals, including too much alcohol and caffeine.

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