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Is ‘Post-Nut Clarity’ a real thing?

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While you don’t need an orgasm for sex to feel good, the “climax” of a sexual encounter can feel pretty awesome. But beyond that peak moment, there are all sorts of thoughts and feelings that can arise after an orgasm. For instance, have you ever felt like a lightbulb went off in your head about something you couldn’t quite work out before you came? Suddenly you feel more clear-headed, and like you understand how to approach a problem in a way you didn’t before. The post-orgasm realization can be positive or negative, but overall it is an “aha” feeling of enlightenment. 

This sexual phenomenon is colloquially known as “post-nut clarity,” and it refers to the alleged clearheadedness that people feel after orgasming from masturbation or sex. There’s a ton of anecdotal (and lyrical) evidence of post-nut clarity, but like a lot of sexual phenomena, it’s shrouded in mystery. But is there actually any scientific evidence behind post-nut clarity? Is post-nut clarity even a real thing? Here’s everything you need to know. 

The Origins of Post-Nut Clarity

The origins of the term “post-nut clarity” have been misattributed to the podcast Call Her Daddy, when host Alex Cooper used the phrase in 2018. However, GQ found that the term dates at least back to 2012 when a user (@APthe___) on the site formerly known as Twitter, tweeted about the phenom.

Wherever the term came from, people seem to be on board! Drake has even sung about it in his song “Rich Baby Daddy,” saying, “I swear, poppin’ my sh*t come with consequences / Post-nut clarity, I came to my senses.” Nice.  

The Science Behind Post-Nut Clarity

Before we get into it, it must be noted that not everyone experiences post-nut clarity, and not everyone who claims to experience it experiences it in the same way. Different people, different post-nut clarities. That said, let’s dive into the “science” behind it. 

In a YouTube video, urologist and sex educator Dr. Rena Malik broke down a few scientific reasons that may help explain post-nut clarity. For one, during sex, the parts of the brain that take care of pleasure, sensation, reward pathways, and emotional processing and control are all firing off. But at the same time, the prefrontal cortex, whose main jobs are decision-making, attention and social behaviors, takes a backseat as it experiences a decrease in blood flow during orgasm. 

Once orgasm is achieved, the blood returns to the prefrontal cortex, which is why some people may experience this perceived sensation of clearheadedness and newfound ability to make decisions.

Another factor in explaining post-nut clarity is the release of feel-good hormones before, during, and after sex. When you orgasm, your brain releases endorphins and hormones like dopamine, which is what creates the feel-good sensation. After orgasm, the dopamine levels off and oxytocin—the “bonding hormone”—is released. All that is to say, there’s a lot of chemical changes going on in that climactic moment, all of which may contribute to that feeling of post-nut clarity. 

Also, with the parasympathetic nervous system’s involvement in sex (and post-sex), an orgasm is a great way to just naturally relieve stress, which is why some people claim to be able to get on with their day (send that email, make that dinner reservation, insert mundane task here) after a well-earned self-pleasure session. Another point for post-nut clarity!

So… Is Post-Nut Clarity A Real Thing?

Yeah, yeah, we know you’re just scrolling past the science to get to a clear answer. But truthfully, there isn’t one. It could just be that during sex, until we orgasm we’re pretty focused on the task at hand. Which is to say, it might only feel like there’s more clarity once all is said and done, but it’s really just that we were kind of…distracted. 
Of course, as outlined above, there is a lot of sexy science that may explain post-nut clarity, but researchers can’t make any for sure claims. (Maybe if researchers masturbated more, they’d gain more clarity on the phenomenon. Just saying.) In any case, one thing we can all agree on is that if you’re feeling more rational and level-headed post-coitus (or masturbation) then that sounds like a reason as good as any to do it again and again. Happy humping!

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