Why is Oxytocin known as the love hormone?
Oxytocin is released by males and females during skin to skin contact, sexual arousal, orgasm and ejaculation. It is also released in big amounts in females during childbirth and breastfeeding. Studies have shown that oxytocin plays a role in bonding, sexual desire, social contacts, and trusting others.
Research has also revealed that oxytocin is associated with the ability to control emotional matters in close relationships and maintain healthy psychological boundaries.
How does oxytocin work for sexual encounters?
The release of oxytocin by the pituitary gland enhances a warm bonding feeling, thereby increasing intimacy and sexual receptiveness. The desire to be touched further is also increased, which strengthens the cycle of sex hormones.
Here are some of the ways that oxytocin can improve your sexual experience:
- Enhance feelings of intimacy and closeness.
- Adds to the intensity of orgasms.
- Helps to lubricate the vagina.
- Intimate touches and feelings are more pleasurable.
- It envelopes you with feelings of well-being, warmth and trust in your partner.
A further benefit for couples involved in committed relationships having sex with the same partner, oxytocin could engender more frequent sexual encounters, and a desire to spend as much time as possible together.
Oxytocin helps to create a greater connection with all your relationships, not only those of a sexual nature. If your relationship is intense with a person, then the better the oxytocin works for the attachment. This may mean that your spouse or partner is first in the pecking order, possibly followed by the children, family and friends.
Note that there is usually enough oxytocin to go around to build on your loving feelings, no matter who it might be in your relationship and closeness sphere.
Symptoms of lack of oxytocin
Here are some signs that oxytocin may not be at good levels in your body:
- Feeling low emotionally, and difficulty communicating with others.
- Stress will cause your oxytocin levels to go down.
- A lack of interest in social interactions can indicate that oxytocin levels may be low, as oxytocin is a very social, good-feeling hormone, which comes to the fore socially.
- You will be less inclined to touch or be touched by those close to you.
- Your libido may not be what it was.
Note that you may also tend to shy away from people close to you, and might find it difficult to tap into other “feel good” hormones like dopamine and serotonin to help you feel better.
How to increase your oxytocin levels
- Physical touch is one of the fastest ways to increase oxytocin levels in the body. Start hugging, touching, or even shaking hands, or playing with your pet!!
- Exercise is an excellent way to reduce stress which may be hampering your oxytocin levels.
- A healthy diet can help boost oxytocin receptors, especially magnesium which is the most important mineral for oxytocin. Foods rich in magnesium include mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, avocados and broccoli among others.
- Vitamin D is known as a “pro-hormone” which means it helps to activate hormones – including oxytocin. Sunshine is an excellent source of vitamin D, as well as green veggies and fruit – which also contains important vitamin C.
Following a healthy diet, and getting some exercise, will give you a fighting chance to do something for yourself about getting your oxytocin levels back up to speed.
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