Wednesday, August 13, 2008

CNN: Is Hiking Better Than Sex?

Trust CNN to ask those hard-hitting questions! A recent article on looks at other activities that stimulate the brain's pleasure centres in the same ways that great sex does.

Along with mountaineering and hiking, which can give participants a thrill when they achieve physically demanding goals, the article highlights the (apparently ecstatic) joys of shoe shopping and public speaking.

The fact that something like public speaking can make anyone orgasmic, when it makes me simply want to vomit, brings up an interesting comparison with outdoor adventures (which don't generally make me want to vomit, unless I spin around too much).

It seems to me that there's a very fine line between "exciting" and "terrifying". So while I consider summiting a mountain in the first category and public speaking in the second, I can see where for some people an outdoor adventure would be just as scary as making a speech in front of thousands.

Those things that put us on the edge, and get our adrenaline pumping, can be either the best or worst experiences we have. Often, we can't predict which way it will go until it's all over - and we either feel orgasmic at achieving something so adventurous, or completely defeated.

What I think is funny, is the fact that all good experiences are measured on a sliding scale against sex. Chocolate? Mountains? Stilettos? If they're really gonna do it for you - they must be "better than sex".

Perhaps I can borrow one of the comments posted in response to the story (please don't sue me!) which sums things up nicely:

"I've had some great orgasms, and I've ascended some awesome peaks... Both are very different highs and both great. Each a little different though. Next up: sex on the mountain... now that would be a rush."

Hey, I know a great book that can help you achieve that next goal...

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