ORGASM: The role of oxytocin in sex

The more you look at oxytocin, the more amazing it appears. Beyond its role in uterine contractions and maternal bonding with baby, it is seen to be vital to human adaptive responses in the formation of monogamous pair-bonds, sexual arousal and orgasm, peer to peer social interaction, social memory, trust and anxiety reduction. It also increases our skin sensitivity to touch and facilitates affectionate behaviour. Pretty powerful stuff!

In a strange twist, oxytocin has been touted as addictive in some respects as its circuit is implicated in addictions to love in monogamous species and drug addiction. This isn’t surprising when we know that our levels of oxytocin increase as our sexual arousal escalates, with the strongest release at orgasm. As significant levels remain in the bloodstream afterward, spooning and cuddle-time become that little bit more sensual and rewarding.

A word of warning: most drugs like to piggyback the oxytocin circuit and give us a good release of oxy but this feeling is inauthentic in many ways. Repeated drug exposure can de-sensitise us to it and cause a reduction in overall oxytocin levels and creates long-lasting social deficits. There is a barrier to satisfying sex when alcohol and drug use is in the way.

With the Easter break now upon us, leave the couch to fend for itself and get back to some self-pleasure or some sensual time with your other and feel that oxytocin flow. After all, it feels very, very good.

Lauren xo