I have decided to elaborate on the part of my last post that related to oxytocin. It appears that some people have no idea what I was talking about. My girlfriend seemed to think I was talking about that drug that Rush Limbaugh was addicted to. That is OxyContin, a man made narcotic pain reliever, not oxytocin, an amazing molecule naturally in all of us. However, I do understand the confusion due to the similar spelling.
So the first thing to know about oxytocin is that it is a hormone. You know hormones, they run around in your blood stream and causing chaos with your emotions. They can cause women to go from fine to irrationally angry and lashing out in point two seconds and teenage girls to think the entire world hates them. They probably screw with men’s minds too but I haven’t experienced that first hand.
Oxytocin is also known as the bonding hormone or the trust hormone. It plays an important role in the biochemistry phenomena that occur in the brain during sex, love, and relationships. It is released during sex and nipple simulation and at lower levels with more basic physical contact such as hugs or handshakes. Among other things, it gives one feelings of contentment, calmness, security, and trust. Studies indicate it is responsible in part for romantic attraction. It creates sexual arousal, helps males maintain erections, and helps bring about orgasms.
So overall oxytocin is pretty awesome. The problem arises that during orgasms a lot of oxytocin is released all at once and that can lead to making you feel “head over heels” in love. This is biochemical deception. There is a good chance you are under its influence if you have just met someone and feel you can’t live without them, if you feel they are perfect, or if you are generally obsessed with them. If you are asking yourself or saying to them, “What do you do to me?”, there is a good chance you are under its influence.
Believing this deception is a newbie mistake in the context of swinger NSA (no strings attached) casual sex. In the context of polyamory it can still be a bad idea. Don’t be fooled and think you are in love as opposed to being influenced by your hormones. That initial obsession will wear off. Sure these initial feelings could grow and the relationship could turn into love. It can also turn into a “What the fuck was I thinking being with that person with whom I have nothing in common?”
All swingers and poly folks should be well aware of oxytocin. Actually anyone dating should too. It addles your brain and you don’t have much control of it. You can however, be aware of it and hopefully that will keep you a little more grounded during the high so you don’t do anything stupid and irreversible under its effects. You know, like turn down a job opportunity, intentionally get pregnant, or ditch your current long lasting partner for the shiny new object before you.
There should be a minimum 12 month waiting period to do any of those things in a new relationship. Because while it may be love, it may also be that your hormones are tricking you and making you blind to the fact that you are totally incompatible with the other person. One can last with hard work and communication. One will be a disaster.
Ms. Scarlet, this is very informative and, for me, very timely. I am even now finding my way in a poly relationship and the advice of don’t do anything too fast is welcome. I hope other poly people (and swinger as well) take heed and be aware of all those interesting chemicals coursing (and carousing) though our brains.