Illustrated Guide – Neurochemicals

One of the great joys of the kink community is that everyone comes at things from a different angle. At a munch you might talk to someone who sees things in terms of energy and spirit, or someone who finds their joy in the sensate.

One discussion you’re likely to come across is “the science of kink”, particularly as it relates to headspace (subspace, topspace etc).  Neuroscience is a complex topic for many reasons. Take, for example, cause and effect. Does happiness release serotonin, or does serotonin cause happiness?

This quick at-a-glace guide doesn’t answer those kinds of questions, but do follow the links below to read some accessible writing by a neuroscientist and pain expert. It will help to familiarise you with some of the main neurochemicals and the levels they are in your body during particular emotional states.

This is a regular series of illustrated guides. You can find the others here.


• Deviance & Desire – Ask a Neuroscientist: Altered States of Consciousness in BDSM
• Deviance & Desire – Endorphins and Adrenaline: What Science Really Says
• Deviance & Desire – BDSM is not Science, It’s An Art
• Deviance & Desire – Ask a Neuroscientist: Pain Physiology, Explained to a Bottom
• Deviance & Desire – Subspace and the Magical Mix of Mind and Chemistry
• Broadly – Your Brain on BDSM: Why Getting Spanked and Tied Up Makes You Feel High

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