Michelle and I have been talking a bit over the past year about hormones, and the roles they play in our relationship. I have also done some reading but nothing extensive. This is mostly just guesswork.
Dopamine: as well as all its other functions, this is apparently a hormone associated with the first phases of being in love, and produced whenever the loved one is seen. But Michelle and I are way past the stage where dopamine is triggered just by seeing one another. Now we have to actually love one another, rather than loving the dopamine rush.
Endorphin: natural opiate produced by the body in reaction to various stimuli: pain, exercise, chocolate or orgasm, or by being dominated. I suspect it is possible for submissive men to get addicted to this chemical, increasing their neediness even further.
I am a bit confused about the difference between endorphin and dopamine. I have read that endorphin is nothing other than a natural pain killer, whereas dopamine is a neuro-transmitter and has many functions, one of which is the release of endorphin.
Adrenaline: the “fight or flight” chemical that gets produced in situations of conflict. It is clear that some people, particularly younger folks, associate adrenaline with sexual attraction, and go for the sort of relationships in which a certain level of conflict and drama can be expected. I am still somewhat like this, and I am pretty sure i get surges of adrenaline when fucking. Some of the sexual rush I get from being dominated might also be from adrenaline. Michelle is not really into adrenaline in a sexual way, at all. She describes herself as a complete “oxytocin girl”.
Cortisol, also produced by the adrenal gland, appears to me to have a similar function as a adrenaline, although it is not the same.
Oxytocin: the cuddle hormone. Michelle feels that this is her key. She likes nice peaceful relaxed situations in which she gets lots of quiet, gentle affection. But then again, she also likes roughing me up, so I guess she has more than one side to her. But generally, she doesn’t particularly like getting her own way by being aggressive. She likes to get her own way as a matter of course. Adrenaline just isn’t a turn-on for her, like it can be for me.
Vasopressin: Like oxytocin, but a hormone more associated with men. Drinking alcohol disrupts the flow of this. I suspect my drinking – which sometimes is on the upper end of moderate, and sometimes even heads into excessive – causes me to miss out on some vasopressin, making me more reliant on endorphin and adrenaline.
Fenylethylamine: apparently this produces a feeling like ecstasy, with a light sweat, increased heart rate, engorged genitals and a general feeling of being high. Sounds like sex to me. I can’t think of too many other situations in which I feel like this. I’d like to have this chemical in my life more regularly, though.
Testosterone and Estrogen: while obviously vital to libido and function, I can’t see that these explain much of the psychology of our situation. Michelle and I both feel as horny as we feel, and both function quite fine. I’m not buying into any crap about how dominant women have more testosterone and submissive men more estrogen, or anything like that.
So, part of the point of all of that is: my wife is very motivated by oxytocin, and likes very quiet, peaceful situations with lotsa gentle cuddling and kissing, having her breasts touched gently and her hair stroked and fondled, and all of this really going on for quite a long time without either of us saying a word, especially in the way of sexy chat or power play.
She doesn’t like this exclusively, but she hasn’t been getting it much at all, so now she kinda craves it. We’ve looked back and realised that we used to do this kind of thing all the time when we were first married, but somehow it slipped off the menu and the sex related to endorphin and adrenaline started to predominate. Basically, the chilled out cuddle- sex thing, which can take hours and go nowhere, was replaced by more quick and vigorous forms of turn on as we got older and more used to one another. It just seemed faster and more immediate and effective.
We want to change that around again, and have more times for her that are all about the relaxed, peaceful affection. And that seems fair enough: she comes with me on my trips, and over the last year, she has started to find the words to ask me if I can go on hers.
This is a challenge because I have a very active mind, the sort that likes new stimulation and it is always wondering where the next thing is going to come from. So, the challenge for me is to slow myself down to the point where Michelle and I can lie around together in the big pink oxytocin brain-bath she wants to make for herself, without thinking it is going to go anywhere. It’s just so she can feel the glow.
So, bring on the oxytocin.