Not the way I want to be found dead.
July 23, 2010 12:55 PM   Subscribe

I get a funny feeling when I do something funny. NSFW details within.

Ok so a couple of facts:
1) I am a hypochondriac about my heart. I oftentimes think that I'm having heart palpatations of one sort or another. I get checked out every 2 years or so because my anxiety builds up and everything turns out fine. I'm 35.
2) My dad had an aortic valve replacement recently and the surgeon told me that I should probably get an echo cardiogram to rule out the defect that my father has. That has definitely been on my mind and it's part of my plan but probably have to wait a bit till I get better insurance.
3) I've had a really stressful year and I'm a bit anxious at the moment.

Ok so the problem. Well, when I masturbate, which I do pretty regularly, right when I orgasm I get the tiniest little feeling of fluttering or palpitation in my chest. No pain. I suppose it feels like 1/1000 of a feeling like I'm going to faint. I've just noticed it recently.

So I'm wondering. Does this ever happen to you? I'm going to have my 2 yearly "I'm a freak can you listen to my heart" conversation sometime soon but I was just wondering if anything like this ever happens to anyone else
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are you holding your breath at that point? Erm--some people instinctively hold their breath at that point without realizing it because they get caught up in the moment. If you're holding your breath, such a feeling would likely be normal since you're getting less oxygen at a time when your body is excited and using more of it. Or, so I've heard?
posted by Phyltre at 12:59 PM on July 23, 2010

Oh that sounds pretty normal. In my experience as someone who used to (and still to some extent does) suffer from anxiety and palpitations, they can be triggered by all sorts of things. As an example, for a while I couldn't go to see a movie because whenever anything even slightly exciting happened on-screen, I'd get that fluttering feeling in my chest and start panicking and getting short of breath. I also dreaded any kind of physical exertion (including sex) for the same reason - anything that raised my pulse a little triggered the anxiety, and that led to palpitations, both real and imaginary.

For me it seemed to be largely about anticipation. You anticipate that event X or action Y will cause those symptoms, and so when X or Y happens, those physical signs of panic start to occur, even if you're not consciously aware of feeling anxious. Once you create that association in your mind, it can be hard to shake off.

So wank away, I say! For me, repeatedly facing the things that triggered my anxiety / fluttery-heart-feeling and realising that no, I hadn't died, helped me to get over it.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:12 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I get that - but then again I do hold my breath towards, uh, the end. You're probably just noticing it because you're anxious about your health. Mention it to your doctor when you get the ECG in case it's indicative of anything, but don't let it bother you.
posted by teraspawn at 1:54 PM on July 23, 2010

That happens to me sometimes, too (it probably is associated to holding my breath, as others have suggested).
posted by Eicats at 2:18 PM on July 23, 2010

I get the flutter sometimes; I believe a common poetic framing is that 'your heart skips a beat'.

In french you say 'orgasm' as le petit mort. The little death. With that in mind, one thing that may help ease your worry?

No better way to go out than mid-orgasm. Other people might care whether you're alone or not when it happens, but you'll be dead so it won't matter to you.
posted by carsonb at 3:03 PM on July 23, 2010

My bet is premature ventricular contractions (here, let me give you my diagnosis!)...a usually benign and really common, heartbeat. I've read that most people have an isolated one now and then, but anxious people may have more (or may just pick up on them more thanks to endless self-monitoring), because stress can cause PVCs...and PVCs can cause stress! They're a match made in cardiac heaven!
posted by mittens at 6:48 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

This happen to me sometimes as well, and I catch myself holding my breath sometimes in conjunction with this. I have trained myself to relax and remind myself to breathe when it happens.
posted by Gridlock Joe at 8:36 PM on July 23, 2010

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