What's this sexual lightning bolt that I feel?
November 9, 2009 1:23 PM   Subscribe

Whenever I am close to someone I am sexually attracted to, I feel this spark go through my whole body. Is there a name for it? Why does this happen and what's going on in my body?

Ever since I first felt this spark when I was 13, it's how I know whether I am attracted to someone or not. I've kissed some guys I thought were ridiculously hot and not felt the spark and knew I didn't want to kiss them again, and then there've been times when I'm hanging out with some not so great looking dudes and I feel the spark even before there's any kiss or touching!

I've described it to a few friends and they always said "yea, it's the butterflies in your stomach" but it's not just butterflies and it's not just my stomach. It feels like a mini lightning bolt that starts deep inside below my stomach, or somewhere around where the uterus would be (I think), and within a second spreads throughout my whole body, down to my girly parts and my knees, and up to my hands, and it kind of takes over for a second and makes me a little dizzy and a little weak, at the same time giving me chills, and it feels so so good. If a spark-causing guy is holding my hand and doing that thing with moving his thumb around in a circle, the spark pretty much keeps going. If I think about the guy and the spark later I can re-create it over and over. It's kind of weird, but the spark is really easy to recreate if I have to pee and I'm squeezing to prevent that - so there's something there that's related to the pelvic muscles. After several months of being with one person the spark sometimes fades, but can be brought back with one really passionate kiss.

So what is going on physically when I feel the spark? Are millions of sexually excited neurons happily racing through my body? Is there a name for this phenomenon?
posted by KateHasQuestions to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

posted by antiquated at 1:32 PM on November 9, 2009

Endorphins and dopamine. This hormone/neurotransmitter flood is what the drug heroin replicates, FYI (and no, that's -not- from experience).
posted by crapmatic at 1:32 PM on November 9, 2009

but the spark is really easy to recreate if I have to pee and I'm squeezing to prevent that - so there's something there that's related to the pelvic muscles

This is probably due to action in your PC muscle.

In my undergraduate course on Tantric mysticism, we might have identified that feeling as unintentionally harnessing prana or what the Chinese might call Qi.
posted by muddgirl at 1:37 PM on November 9, 2009

This hormone/neurotransmitter flood is what the drug heroin replicates, FYI (and no, that's -not- from experience)

It would be nice if sexual attraction was that simple, but I'm afraid that heroin's neuorochemical impact does not provide a completely accurate facsimile of the 'spark' of attraction that OP mentions. Affiliation of this type involves a number of neurotransmitters/hormones, though vasopressin, oxytocin, and cortisol have received particular attention.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 1:37 PM on November 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I pretty much do the same thing. I've always told myself it was some sort of nerve cascade, but it sounds to me like muddgirl's answer is the right one. Tightening the muscle described in the link elicts the same cascade you mention. I would treat it as an internal measure to how receptive you are to someone.
posted by scrutiny at 1:52 PM on November 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is there a name for this phenomenon?

posted by trip and a half at 2:22 PM on November 9, 2009

Similar to tingly scalp phenomenon?

I ask only because I actually get that and it's pretty crazy.
posted by floam at 2:29 PM on November 9, 2009 [3 favorites]

I experience a similar sensation...although I've never been able to tie it directly to attraction/spark. (because for me, it mostly happens when I'm solitary) ...

For me the experience is like goosebumps (but more electrified, and deeper/closer to my bones).. it starts in my toes and fingers.. travels up through my hands and feet.. through my limbs..up into my torso where it hits my spine and rushes up into the base of my skull. It's very tingly and euphoric.. the entire experience typically lasts 5 to 10 seconds.. but I can sometimes extend it if I close my eyes (sucks when I'm driving) and regulate my breathing. Sometimes it happens 2 or 3 times a month.. other times I can go for 6months without having one. Very strange (although also very enjoyable) ... never had anyone be able to tell me definitively what it is (or be able to reproduce it -- I imagine it could be very addicting) .. and I've done plenty of drugs in my time, and this feeling makes drug highs feel like 2nd rate happy meals.
posted by jmnugent at 2:40 PM on November 9, 2009

Maybe this is a silly question but, um, is it possible you're having an orgasm?
posted by Sys Rq at 4:12 PM on November 9, 2009

Sounds like kundalini energy.
posted by divabat at 4:12 PM on November 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

I've noticed a similar sensation, an electric tingling on the upper surface of the forearms. However, it isn't related to sexual attraction, and it isn't very frequent for me. It's always connected with needing to urinate and then exactly when the urine starts coming out, there's a feeling of Ah! Good! and then a very satisfying feeling spreads through my body and the arms tingle for a few seconds. Not an orgasm, for sure, but a little bit in that direction.
posted by exphysicist345 at 5:17 PM on November 9, 2009

divabat - I have been trying to remember/google that term all day. Thanks!
posted by muddgirl at 5:36 PM on November 9, 2009

I experience the very same thing. I also think of it as sort of a pleasurable electric shock or throb of sexual energy that seems to originate in the uterus or pelvic region. When I'm hot for someone, even something as simple as locking eyes across the room, or the memory of their hand brushing mine, can provoke this sensation. Sorry, guess I don't have much to contribute other than to confirm that you're not alone, and agree that the feeling is totally sexy and exciting. /blushing/
posted by messica at 5:59 PM on November 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

So far none of these descriptions sound like exactly like what happens to me. Interesting how everyone feels these things differently! I'll be checking back for more replies, maybe there's at least one other person in the world who feels exactly what I feel?
posted by KateHasQuestions at 6:06 PM on November 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

"You can't hide the thunderbolt. When it hits you, everybody can see it. When it hits you, everybody can see it. Don't be ashamed of it, some men pray for the thunderbolt. You're a very lucky fellow. - - Calo"
— Mario Puzo (The Godfather)
posted by watercarrier at 3:54 AM on November 10, 2009

This same thing happens to me. It fades a bit over time as I stay with the same partner, but it can surprise me and come back during especially fantastic bouts of sexy time. I call it chemistry. Can't be manufactured. I assume is has something to do with pheromones. Mostly it is visceral response that tells my body that this person I'm kissing is better than homemade chocolate cake.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 4:15 PM on November 15, 2009 [3 favorites]

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