Torsten Passie, Uwe Hartmann, Udo Schneider and Hinderk M. Emrich from Department of Clinical Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical School Hannover, Hannover, Germany published the following study in 2003:
On the function of groaning and hyperventilation during sexual intercourse: intensification of sexual experience by altering brain metabolism through hypocapnia. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0306-9877(03)00010-0
Sexual arousal is accompanied by some typical physiological reaction patterns. Another typical feature of sexual intercourse is involuntary sound production implying in its more intense forms acceleration of breathing (hyperventilation). Up to now no study examined spCO2 during intense sexual intercourse, but there is evidence that some degree of hyperventilation with its physiological consequences may often be induced during sexual intercourse. This article discusses implications of hyperventilation during sexual intercourse for alterations of consciousness and subjective experience in the light of recent studies of brain metabolic changes during states of hyperventilation. Groaning and hyperventilation are interpreted in this context as a psychophysiological mechanism to deepen states of sexual trance.
Let’s look at the science first:
Hyperventilation often occurs through fast deep breathing and it results in a state, where more carbon dioxide gets removed from the blood stream than the body produces, resulting in a drop of carbon dioxide concentration, which is known as hypocapnia. Hypocapnia then leads to a 30-50% decrease in the blood flow to the cortex of the brain, resulting in less than normal supply of oxygen to the brain. This in turn affects the balance between cortical and limbic system control, letting the limbic system become more dominant. Basically this change leads to less thinking and more feeling, resulting in more intense emotions and euphoric mood states.
Hyperventilation leads to many other physiological changes and side-effects, like metabolic changes, that may lead to muscle cramping, but they are irrelevant in the context of trying to see whether it can heighten the sexual experience, as long as they don’t have the negative effect, in which case, well, don’t do it.
If you haven’t never experienced hyperventilation, expect feeling all kinds of odd sensations in your body, such as tingling all over or only in some parts of your body, muscles contracting, in particular your lips, feeling lightheaded and even slightly dizzy, etc.
The ridiculous $40 paywall access to the 2.5-page paper itself is not very useful for practical matters, so don’t bother trying to get it, unless you have an easy access to it. The authors also refer to another paper of theirs “Alterations of consciousness during forced and prolonged hyperventilation”, which hasn’t been published, so we can’t really know what other insights they found on that topic.
Let’s now bring this down to earth:
Lovers often make various types of noises during a passionate love making, from moaning to groaning. And heavy breathing is also a very normal manifestation during sex, both, due to excitation and the intense cardio activity.
Prolonged hyperventilation is known to dramatically change mood and states of consciousness, in particular, it’s used for inducing trance states.
So what the science observes is how sexual activity may lead to hyperventilation and which in turn may lead to an intensified sexual experience. What you and I get out of this is that we might be able to intensify our sexual experience if during sex we try to (1) groan and (2) breath deep and fast, causing hyperventilation.
Of course you may need to check with your doctor in case you have any condition to which hyperventilation is contraindicative. Always be responsible for your wellbeing when you try something written on the Internet.
I practiced Stanislav Grof’s “Holotropic Breathwork” (3-hour non-stop hyperventilation breathing!) and Osho’s Chakra Breathing (1 hour and longer) with some amazing results, ranging from feeling elated to having a transformative experiences of deep heart opening, mind cobwebs clearing and some other ineffable effects. I haven’t yet tried this during love making. I will report here once I do, but it won’t happen before 2018, because of a specific regime I am on, which doesn’t allow me to hyperventilate for the next 6 months. I hope you beat me to it and report your experiences in the comments section before I get to try it myself. One thing that may occur here for some men is that you may lose erection at some stages of hyperventilation and get a very strong erection at other stages.
Women are known to be more into making sounds during sex. Some years back I spontaneously started groaning during the intense parts of the love making. I found that groaning not only excites my lover (what women won’t want to make love to a beast!?), but it helps me to hold back the excitation level. I will explain the science behind why this works in another article [XXX], meanwhile just go ahead and try deep groaning if you’re a man – you might find it quite revolutionary. So for me, as a man, groaning helps to slow the sexual excitation down, contrary to the suggestion in the study. I’m curious what effect it has on other men.
I originally stumbled upon hyperventilation and sexual activity research in Chapter 3 of “Reichian Therapy” by Jack Willis, where he suggests that you will have a dramatic [improvement] of your experience of sex if you make it a habit to breath deeply and quickly during sexual activity.
When you “Sex This”, remember that there are two separate components (groaning and hyperventilation), therefore practice them separately and together and see how they impacts your love making. Another permutation to try is to have only one of the lovers groan and hyperventilate, and then at another time doing it together. And of course to be completely scientific also trying one to groan, while the other to hyperventilate ;).
So give it a try and report back your findings.