You’re getting down and dirty with your partner. You stand up to grab a condom from the dresser across the room. On your way there, you pass by your mirror and notice your skin looks like that time you fell asleep on the deck chair in summer. Don’t panic, that bright red hue all over you is what’s called a sex flush or sex blush.
You’re shocked that you’re so red all over but it’s nothing to worry about. It’s just your body getting seriously into what’s going on!
[Read: Physical signs of female arousal: 20 ways to recognize the horny girl mode]
Seriously, don’t panic. We can assure you that it’s quite harmless and happens normally in such situations. With that out of the way, let’s look into some facts on how and why we get those bright red patches when having sex.
To reassure you even more – it’s normal!
Sex flush is the noticeable reddening of the skin on certain parts of the body when in a state of sexual arousal. Sex flush appears all over the body as bright-pink to deep red swatches on certain parts of the body.
Sometimes, it appears as small clusters of red blotches similar to the ones when you have an allergic reaction. Don’t worry however, you’re not allergic to sex or your partner, you’re just super-turned on! [Read: 14 questions about sex most of us are too shy to ask]
When men get the sex flush, it usually appears on the chest, upper belly, face, ears, forearms, back, and the shoulders.
Women get their sex flush all over their face, breasts, torso, belly, hands and feet, and even down on her lady parts. Yes, ladies, your vulva can blush too!
The point is that you can get the sex flush anywhere and it’s normal for everyone to get it. [Read: Peeing after sex and other confusing myths about the vagina]
Sexual flushing occurs to approximately 50-70% of females and 25% of males during sex.
Aside from this, the signs of flushing on the body are more consistent among females compared to males. You might notice that your male partner never gets the sex flush but your ex was always flushing left, right, and center when turned on. Both situations are normal.
Compared to the average person’s heat blush or drunken glow, sex blush has an intense red color. It becomes more apparent as the level of arousal increases.
Think of it as something similar to the flush a person gets after running a full marathon. It’s a great way to assess just how turned on your partner is! [Read: How to make out: The subtle moves that’ll make you oh-so-good]
The fairer the skin a person has, the more visible the blood vessels are to an observer. It’s just more noticeable on fair-skinned people and doesn’t mean that fair skinned people are more susceptible.
The warmer the room where you have sex, the brighter your sexual flush will be. Cold temperatures, on the other hand, may make your sex flush less noticeable.
They may even prevent it from appearing at all. You can’t really control it but if you want to hide it *why?!* then get busy in a cold room! [Read: The pop culture sex terms you should definitely know by now]
Flushing is a part of the human sexual arousal cycle. When a person gets sexually aroused, the circulatory system goes into overdrive to increase blood flow to certain areas of the body.
This is to prepare the body for an obviously exhausting physical activity. The increased circulation shows itself on the skin where the blood vessels are more noticeable.
It’s nothing weird or funky, it’s just blood circulation!
Oxytocin is a hormone released by the brain during sexual activity. It is a hormone connected with feelings of love, bonding, trust, and intimacy associated with sex. During arousal and especially during orgasm, the body has an increased surge of oxytocin which shows as that distinct red glow we are all familiar with.
Oxytocin is also likely to make you feel closer to your partner, which is why you might get the urge to cuddle afterwards. [Read: Why oxytocin can be toxic to flawed relationships]
The closer a person is to orgasm, their heart rate and oxytocin levels also reach peak levels. This makes the sex flush redder compared to the sex flush from the arousal stage.
It’s a good way to figure out how close your partner is to getting an orgasm, but it’s not something you should solely rely upon either.
Flushing starts at the moment you realize sex is indeed going to happen. It ends after the body reaches a relaxed state after sex. We mentioned that oxytocin causes the sex flush and that hormone remains in circulation for several minutes after orgasm. Some people are still glowing after sex!
Once a person’s heart rate goes back to normal and passes the point of sexual arousal, the sex flush fades away as well. [Read: A few tiny fixes for the most jaw-dropping orgasms]
Open some windows or turn on the air conditioning. If neither is an open, grab a fan. The warmer a room is, the more noticeable the flush will be. If you make the room cooler, you’ll have less of a glow and you’ll be more comfortable too.
There are certain types of lubricants or condoms that add a little “heat” into the action, these are normally marketed as “warming” products.
Using these kinds of products with warming substances included may make your sex flush more obvious. If you don’t want to make the flushing more apparent, avoid using these products.
However, ALWAYS practice safe sex, so just use regular condoms. [Read: The best lubricants sitting in your kitchen cupboard]
Mint-infused condoms and lubricants help cool the body down during sex. These help you lessen the appearance of the flush. However, make sure you don’t have any allergies to these products, otherwise a sex flush might be the least of your problems.
To avoid the obvious sign you just had sex a few minutes ago, take a cool shower a few minutes after sex. Not only will this literally cool you down, but the cold water running all over your body relaxes your circulation and moves your body back to its regular state much faster.
Or, perhaps more easily, you could just embrace your beautiful, natural glow and own it!
[Read: The taboo sex topics we all love but hate to talk about]
Sex flush is like an alarm beacon. It’s your body telling you you’re sexually aroused and ready for action. It’s a pretty normal bodily function and should be no cause for concern. Instead of being alarmed, just enjoy the red rush of sexiness instead!
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