This is a guest post by Erika McClean.
Everything your partner is doing is driving you crazy. They leave the toothpaste cap off. There was no note to let you know where they went off to that morning. There is fast food trash in your car when you hop in to go to work. The list goes on and thinking about it makes your blood boil. You stew about it all day and when you get home, boy, you are raring to go a few rounds. Fury causes you to lock eyes when you walk in the door but suddenly the indignation starts to seep away like sand in a faulty hourglass as you gaze at him. Then your mate reaches out and touches your face. You’re drawn forward and your lips meet. For some reason, you can’t fathom why you were upset in the first place. Meet Oxytocin, the human bonding hormone, and natural relationship superglue.
Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland as well as the hypothalamus in the brain. The body is stimulated to make Oxytocin by a ton of different things. From eye or skin contact with other people to petting the family dog, interacting with other creatures causes varying levels of Oxytocin to swirl through the bloodstream. It’s the basis for the illegal drug ecstasy, which originally was a prescription drug used in psychotherapy to help people with relationship problems. Oxytocin increases the urge for people to look at each other and make eye contact. It increases sexual arousal. In men, it is important in helping to maintain erections.
When you first meet someone there is a lot of stress involved in participating in a scene. Will you find yourselves to be compatible play partners? Will they respect the limits you’ve outlined? Ever wonder why the longer you’re together the more willing you are to let your partner push those boundaries? It's a no brainer right? You trust them. But trust isn’t only a matter of demonstrated behavior; it’s got a biological basis. Trust is enhanced and strengthened through Oxytocin in the brain.
Last but not least there are the sexual side effects. Ever wonder about afterglow? That urge to snuggle and melt into your partner is the massive amount of Oxytocin that was just poured through your system. As another side effect, ou will be interested to know that Oxytocin increases the likelihood and amount of generosity that a person is willing to give. It’s why there’s a stereotype about right after sex being the best time to ask for something you want. Smiling and sated is the time when your partner is most likely to be sympathetic to your request.
For me the best part about sex is not so much the experience itself, but the oxytocin side effects that come after. When my sex life is good I find that I am more touchy-feely, more romantic, more accepting of physical affection. Conversely it also increases my tolerances. I am less irritable, can take higher pain levels and in general am a happier person all the way around. It’s not exclusively Oxytocin, but I know that happy golden glow that rises from my chest and fills my whole body when I look at my Owner is not just in my mind. It’s my whole body’s biochemistry responding to him, and that’s a very pleasing thought.
Erika McLean of SnugglySubWear.com graduated from Husson University. She lives in Maine with her Dom husband, three kids and pets.