Mile-high orgasms — more intense?

Originally Published: October 9, 2009
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Dear Alice,

I'm sending you this message from the top of the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. My wife just experienced her best orgasm ever. We live by the beach, a very low altitude... so that made me wonder, although crazy, "Does altitude have any impact on sex?"

If it doesn't impact sex, it definately impacts the lube bottle as it came squirting out on it's own...

Thank You,
Mile High Guy

Dear Mile High Guy,

Your wonderings aren't crazy at all. But because mind-blowing sex at a high altitude isn't a disease that needs curing, research into its causes and workings has not been extensive. Some educated guesses can be made as to the origins of your partner's high-altitude/high-pleasure experience.

The higher above sea level you get, the less oxygen is in the air. Once you reach 8,000 feet, the oxygen level decreases considerably. Some people feel that decreasing oxygen intake during sex or masturbation can lead to a more intense orgasm. It has been shown that temporarily cutting off the oxygen supply to the brain can create feelings of excitement, euphoria, and a generally greater intensification of physical sensations. Clearly, there are serious risks associated with limiting oxygen to your brain, such as brain damage and death, because the ol' thinker (and your whole body) needs a constant supply of oxygen to survive. However, oxygen levels at a mile or two above sea level are safe; after all, millions of people live, work, exercise, and have sex every day at high altitudes.

The Sierra Nevadas generally run somewhere between 9,000 to 12,000 feet high. It's possible that your partner may have been experiencing a bit of oxygen-constricted intensity. It's also possible that in addition to some altitude-induced sensitivity your partner may have been exhilarated by the experience of having sex in a new place, outdoors, or with the mundane concerns of daily life left far below.

Whatever the case, it sounds like you may have found yourselves a new favorite vacation spot. Next stop, Everest.

Happy trails and happy endings,

Alice