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The Science Of Sex: 5 Must-Know Facts About Your Brain And Desire

Posted: 01/10/2012 11:56 pm EST

"The Science of Romance: Why We Love."

"10 Ways to Have Better Sex, According to Science"

You'll be hard-pressed to open a magazine or go to a news site without seeing headlines like these. Human relationships, desire, love and sex have been written about and rationalized since time immemorial, it's no wonder that modern scientists continually try to dissect their mysteries. But what can our minds really tell us about matters of the heart?

That's exactly what author Kayt Sukel, who has a background in neuroscience, set out to find out. The result was her new book, "Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex and Relationships." Part of her exploratory journey even included being a lab rat for a study on female orgasms -- a study which produced a pretty incredible video of a woman's brain during climax. The experiment involved masturbating to orgasm ... while strapped into an fMRI machine. It may not have been her sexiest moment, but Sukel says she didn't let the circumstances affect her performance.

"My Type-A personality and refusal to accept failure probably helped me along," she said, laughing. "It was kind of a 'Little Engine That Could' moment."

It's hard not to admire that spirit of determination. We had a chance to pick Sukel's brain and find out what women really need to know when it comes to the science of sex.

Slideshow: 5 Things To Know About The Brain, Love, Sex And Desire

Pheromone Sprays Might Work ... If You Believe They Do
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In recent years there has been a lot of talk about pheremones -- chemicals that have the ability to trigger a social (and potentially sexual) response from members of the same species. Some companies have even begun bottling these chemicals, urging consumers to use them as cologne and "enhance your sex life."

According to Sukel, these bottled pheromones are little more than marketing. "As of now there's no good scientific study that shows that these sprays actually work," she said. "But there are plenty of people who use them and claim they're the best thing ever. The placebo effect really works."