The science of desire
A denim company used the slogan „I believe in love at first touch” in the early 2000s for one of their ads and there is more truth to that sentence than one might first think. Attraction, desire, all consuming love and passion, workdays spent together in bed, steamy messages, then losing yourself in crying for hours on end, unbearable pain – what is common in all of these?
The answer is chemistry and it’s quite complicated. You might find yourself wondering why you’d give anything without hesitation for a smell, a sound, a touch or the plain sight of a person. Our hormone system is the most sensitive defense mechanism of our body, and although you might think it sometimes becomes easy to deceive and it’s vulnerable but it’s not, it’s just not ruled by common sense. In fact, our hormones might even go against our better judgement and trying to balance it is no joke. So what’s to blame for all that teenage drama, infidelity and blind love?
We all know about this hormone and we tend to blame a man’s unacceptable or rude actions. We tend to forget that ovaries also produce testosterone and it greatly impacts female sexuality as well. According to certain studies, people with higher levels of testosterone are more willing to risk more – they might be more open to gambling, fast cars, extreme sports or infidelity. To sum it up, testosterone is that bad guy who makes us drop our panties immediately.
It is a well-known fact that people who are in love have higher levels of oxytocin. This hormone is responsible for monogamy: while high levels of testotesrone might be making us more willing to cheat, oxytocin is our shoulder angel telling us to stop. It is responsible for developing deep connections so basically every touch, every kiss and cuddle session and every orgasm makes us produce more of it.
If testosteron is the bad guy, estrogen is that moody little teenage girl. It’s nor surprising that this hormone is responsible for regulating the female productive system – it’s also to blame for depression and irritability, it increases anxiety. But we definitely need estrogen for it is also responsible for keeping us young – fittingly, it is also called the beauty hormone.
It is probably the least well-known hormone of them all but it is also responsible for developing deep connections as being in love, making love and feeling loved release vasopressin. Experimental studies showed that, in grophers, vasopressin and oxytocin released dopamine while copulating which basically makes them associate happiness with the one they copulated with for the first time. This is how we stay monogamous.
Picture an even moodier teenage girl. Progesterone an estrogen are like BFFs ready to make some trouble. Progesterone levels are highest before getting your period, during and after pregnancy. Progesterone is to blame for all those tears we shed over nothing but it prepares the uterus for the miracle that is pregnancy.
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