Oxytocin, your new favourite hormone – Everything about Oxytocin
Oxytocin – The hormone which makes you more loving ❤
When being in love has gone away and day to day life with lunch boxes, putting the kids to bed and doing the laundry kicks in – you know, normal everyday life – something happens to the relationship and the love and the sex.
In most cases the sex drive decreases significantly in comparison to the being-in-love phase, where men’s sex drive normally increases by 110% and the female sex drive will usually increase by 200%. (And no, this ISN’T something we have control over, not men nor women; this is a biological thing).
When the day to day life kicks in and the burning hot desire, deep talks, kissing for hours and so much sex that you can barely ride your bike to work the next day fades away and is quietly but surely replaced by disagreements, fights, days in silence, a lot less sex than in the beginning and much, much less of pretty much all the things we were crazy about in the beginning of the relationship.
But what if all the things we run around doing in an attempt to get back “the spark” really only has a minimal effect, and this is why we possibly tend to experience disappointments, frustrations and perhaps even the thoughts like “Well, it doesn’t matter then, I’ve tried this and this and this, maybe we’re just not meant to be.”?
And what if you could just press a button which even just sometimes would deliver us a boost of the being-in-love feeling? What if you could awaken all these romantic feelings? Wouldn’t you want to?
My very first meeting with Oxytocin
It’s no secret that I see love as a skill or an art, if you will. And like all other skills out there, you can master this particular one to some degree, exactly like ski jumps, fly fishing and homemade sushi – practice does make perfect. Also in love. (I’ll have you know that it took quite a few practice times before it started looking even remotely like sushi at my house.)
At a couples’ therapy supervising course I participated in many years ago, we spoke about actions that release feelings. So a particular action releases a certain feeling.
If I’m standing with my arms crossed when Mads comes home from work and start yelling at him for this and that, then the possibility of him reacting with the same feeling as I’m showing him, is quite big, let’s be honest. In any case, Studies from Denver University show that 85 % of all conversations end in the same feeling (and in many cases even stronger) as they started with.
So if I start off by being pissed off, there’s an 85% chance that I’ll get the exact same thing back – put simply, you know 🙂
Action = feeling
And let’s try a positive feeling, just to test it.
I meet him with a warm, deep and long hug, hold him, kiss him and tell him how much I’ve missed him.
85% chance that I’ll get the same thing back – perhaps even stronger.
Now, we’re not going to have the talk about how you should just pretend that everything is all good, if you’re mad at your partner, this is not where I’m going with this at all.
To disagree is something you can deal with in many different ways, and you can have a constructive dialog in a LOT of different ways.
Back to Oxytocin!
This means I can do things which enhance feelings in my partner – both negatively and positively. Aha! This is very interesting, is what I thought to myself and I immediately started looking into this. And this is what led me onto the 5 languages of love. The expressions of love, the knowledge about successful relationships and last but not least biology and hormones.
But what is it?
Oxytocin is a molecule that looks like this —————–>
It’s cheekily called ”The love hormone” because it is released by loving acts. And release is actually quite an important word here!
Because the hardcore facts about Oxytocin are that your “bottom line level” of this hormone is pretty much zero, and that it takes a stimulant to release it.
So this isn’t a hormone that shoots around in the body by itself and increases and decreases as it pleases. Nothing in the body is an isolated occurrence and that goes for this too. It takes an action – can you see where this is going?
For many years people thought that it only helped the females of the human race to become good at breastfeeding, and because of this you believed that this was a female hormone.
But people got wiser.
Later you discovered that this hormone is released during sex by both sexes (there’s an image(!) Don’t ask me how this was actually discovered).
Other facts you need to know are that in its pure form it is halved in 3 minutes and is broken down faster at room temperature.
It is produced both in the brain and in the blood. With their studies, scientists from Zürich found that about 5% of their test subjects did NOT release Oxytocin at all when they were shown trust, love, care or touches etc.
We won’t dwell on the fact that these also were the people they found to be sociopaths, psychopaths and other unattractive personas. Furthermore, these same people also showed strong non-empathetic traits in the rest of the test and study.
Let us only dwell on this long enough for me to mention that loneliness and a lack of care and affection when you were young actually means that as an adult, the “system” hasn’t learnt to release Oxytocin when you’re touched, shown love, care or have sex.
So following this, a low level of Oxytocin makes you selfish, morally questionable, egotistic and less empathetic. In addition to this, large amounts of stress will also decrease the production of Oxytocin. This is also why you act like an idiot when you are extremely stressed out.
All right, Maj. But why do I even need to know about this?
You need to know about this because Oxytocin is your friend! When this hormone is released you become a nicer person, and when it is released in your partner, they will be nicer as well (If they don’t belong in the 5% group I just spoke about, that is)
And in addition to that, you also become:
✔ More trustworthy
✔ More loving
✔ More generous
✔ Less stressed
✔ Less anxious
✔ More empathetic
✔ More calm
✔ More cooperative
✔ More virtuous
✔ Your blood pressure will go down as well as your cholesterol (I know, perhaps not overly relevant in this case but still)
✔ And it will strengthen your ability to learn new things. That’s right, kids who are filled up with Oxytocin from home will find it easier to learn new things at school.
★ All in all, if you have a high level of Oxytocin in your body you will be a nice and loving person to be around. And funnily enough, this is exactly what Oxytocin can do!
It can create deep and meaningful loving relationships.
It can create bonds. It can create closeness, unity and a long-lasting emotional connection.
It can create love, care, empathy and everything that is warm and what we expect to be in a good, stable, deep, safe and loving relationship.
“We are social creatures, sharing our feelings with each other, so if I do anything that hurts you, I’ll feel the pain and because of this I’ll try to avoid doing just that. If I do anything that makes you happy, I’ll share your joy and because of this I try to do exactly that.” – The philosopher Adam Smith 1759 from the book “The theory of moral feelings”.
So besides from all this, this is a hormone which helps decide what your brain is focusing on but also what your brain and body wants to do more of in the future.
When you have a high level of Oxytocin and are experiencing the effect of the points listed above, then this going to determine how you meet other human beings + what you see in others and what you interpret their actions to be. So all in all, the world will be a MUCH nicer place to be, if you are given a shot of Oxytocin every now and then.
All right, fair enough, but what about sex and Oxytocin?
See…… To have back the burning and all consuming desire which you experienced in the being-in-love phase is so difficult! Yep, that’s what the sex therapist said. Sorry to break it to you, but that is just how it is.
But why even strive for the sexual desire, which it basically is, when you can have deep, erotic, loving and amazing love making which ALSO gives you wild and “I think I’m going to pass out” amazing orgasms and sexual experiences?
Yes, it’s totally different, I agree.
However, if you’re smart, you and your partner should aim to get exactly that instead of trying to rebuild a desire which was really only released in you due to biological factors such as reproduction and a human need to pass on genes. That’s all desire is.
Wow, a male gorilla bigger than my own one – I need to mate with him.
(This is what the instincts are whispering in your ear – and you will sometimes find yourself being quite frightened by fantasies, dreams and day-dreams which are completely out of your control – luckily, your power to act isn’t out of your control – and there is a massive difference between elusive, irrational desire and hardcore betrayal.)
And bam, now your panties are on fire. And then this person can really be an absolute idiot, that doesn’t matter if the “correct” biological signals are released.
Funnily enough, there is a big, big difference between which type of man women are turned on by during the time in which she is ovulating and after she has ovulated. When she is ovulating she’ll be turned on by “The big gorilla in the herd” and after she has finished ovulating she will be attracted to “The safe, loving and caring gorilla who knows that I want to take care of myself and my offspring.”
Okay, enough about the biology behind sex drive. We will move on to Oxytocin. The clever thing here is that when you attach yourselves even more emotionally to one another, then it does create a sense of security and this is exactly what makes us want to lie close together and be naked with each other.
This is exactly what makes us want to want it. This is what makes us want to go to bed an hour early and invite our partner to join us. This is what makes us want to erotically “spoil” our partner.
The relationship and Oxytocin
Beate Ditzen, behavioral psychologist at Zürich University in Switzerland asked 47 couples to discuss their greatest and most frustrating problem in their relationship while they had a shot of Oxytocin, from a nasal spray: “We found that the Oxytocin affected their behavior significantly – it clearly enhanced the couples’ communication.”
And like it wasn’t enough that they were significantly less aggressive and much better at actually talking about the problem between them, they were actually less stressed as well. They simply produced less of the stress hormone Kortisol. This was tested and proven through saliva samples.
The presence of a higher level of Oxytocin in the blood will reduce arguments because it simply turns up your lust to understand your partner, listen more, show a greater deal of empathy and act more loving and trustworthy during the argument.
The argument might now “just” be a disagreement you are having, a constructive dialogue about, instead of an actual fight where you end up slamming doors and yelling at each other.
Fights which now turn into constructive dialogues which won’t “tear” on your feelings but will give you an emotional connection which then again will reward you with a shot of the “Love hormone” that will make you feel understood and listened to.
You will experience your partners understanding and empathy and be given another “shot” – give more back of the same feeling, you know what I mean.
And now we’re suddenly talking about a positive spiral ❤
Infidelity and Oxytocin
Studies show that at some point about 50% of all relationships experience infidelity, but is there something you can do to prevent this from happening? An international study, whose results were published in the Journal of Neuroscience, has with experiments now documented proof that the interest in the opposite sex is made SIGNIFICANTLY smaller if you have a high level of Oxytocin in your blood.
In an interview, Danish Oxytocin expert Troels Kjær, brain scientist and head doctor at the neurophysiological clinic at Rigshospitalet in Denmark, tells us that it is no surprise to him that the chemical has this effect since studies with monkeys have previously shown that monogamy can be what you strive for if your body is registering a high level of Oxytocin.
He also tells us, that if you want to use it to keep an unfaithful partner, you need to touch each other more and have more sex. This will create the chemical in the brain and you will get the same effect as if you were taking medicine.
But perhaps we should rather be preventing infidelity by working on having a good relationship in general? That’s what I’m thinking anyway.
This is how you boost it
You remember this, I’m sure: Actions = emotions. So let’s now take a look at what you can do in order to boost the Oxytocin in your own blood as well as in your partner’s.
Oxytocin released by a hug lasts longer than Oxytocin released by sex and orgasms – Fact fra Thedoctorstv.com
❤ Weddings will create a very high dose of the chemical. Preferably live, however, videos can be used as well if you don’t fancy travelling to the church every weekend to see a wedding.
❤ Social media. A Korean study shows that your Oxytocin level will increase by two digits when you are on social media with people you are having fun with. For instance, if you are chatting to a friend or having a look at what is going on in your little sisters life etc.
❤ Positive socialising with other people – get out and have a good time with your best mates!
❤ As a couple you can play together and have a laugh together.
❤ Massages – The soft, comfortable, ”I’m about to fall asleep” kind
❤ As a couple you can start doing new things together (Yes, there IS a reason why a lot of couples take on new projects; that being a campervan, redecorating the living-room, a herb garden or trip together to the local swinger’s club)
❤ Physical activities – together. As a couple. As a family etc. And then the brain scientist swoops back in with a clever comment: “Do something other than lying on the couch for the 30th time this month and get out and do something different together will make you see each other in a different light and will make you feel closer.”
❤ Physical touches, like hugs.
❤ You can buy yourself a nasal spray or get a prescription from your doctor if you are having trouble getting your milk running when you are breast feeding – but then it has to be used for this. Breast feeding, that is!
To sum up!
People who release more Oxytocin than others are happier in their relationships and now I know why after coming to the end of this ultimate Oxytocin guide!
The good thing is how easy it really is to get a human brain to release Oxytocin. But remember, that the easiest way to do this is by hugging someone. A loving touch will release Oxytocin much better than a nasal spray.
You can give it to your partner, you can give it to yourself. So cool. And then there’s only one thing left to say:
Do you have a good tip on how to boost your level of Oxytocin? A trick that really works wonders at your place? Or just a good story? I’ll love to read your comment ❤
*Please remember to keep a nice tone, ALL negative comments will be deleted immediately; I wish to create a positive and supporting space, where we can help each other and because of this I have a zero tolerance policy to rudeness, condescension and negative inputs.