Be Mine Forever: Oxytocin May Help Build Long-Lasting Love

The hormone oxytocin increases empathy and communication, key to sustaining a relationship between mates

Two locks on a fence with a heart on each.If cupid had studied neuroscience, he’d know to aim his arrows at the brain rather than the heart. Recent research suggests that for love to last, it’s best he dip those arrows in oxytocin. Although scientists have long known that this hormone is essential for monogamous rodents to stay true to their mates, and that it makes humans more trusting toward one another, they are now finding that it is also crucial to how we form and maintain romantic relationships.

A handful of new studies show that oxytocin makes us more sympathetic, supportive and open with our feelings—all necessary for couples to celebrate not just one Valentine’s Day, but many. These findings have led some researchers to investigate whether oxytocin can be used in couple therapy.

Karezza: the new trend reviving sex lives

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An unconventional approach to sex known as karezza has been linked with improving health and restoring relationships

There’s an interesting new idea being discussed in sex therapy circles as a way to enhance relationships and revive sex lives. It involves having regular intercourse without it ending in orgasm. The practice is called karezza and while the trend is new, its roots are in ancient times, borrowing from Taoist and Tantric principles, says Marnia Robinson, a karezza devotee and author of Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow (Random House), in which she writes about climax-free sex.

Anonymous contribution from forum member

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A forum member who doesn't post much, and who prefers not to start a blog, agreed to let me post his thoughts on what he calls "conscious loving." I thought you would all find it interesting.

I’m a man, at this point in time single. I make no claims to be any sort of role model in long term relationships. In regards to what I will call “conscious loving”, I can only share what I have experienced and felt, no particular expertise.

Oxytocin, Fidelity and Sex

Can a guy keep himself faithful by jacking up oxytocin?

"A study published Tuesday in the Journal of Neuroscience has uncovered a surprising new property of oxytocin, finding that when men in monogamous relationships got a sniff of the stuff, they subsequently put a little extra space between themselves and an attractive woman they'd just met," wrote the LA Times recently.

The results surprised researchers. They had assumed oxytocin would make all men inch closer to cute females. Instead men in committed relationships moved farther away when dosed with oxytocin (and only when dosed). It's more evidence that pair-bonding is biological not cultural.

Descriptive Experiences and Sexual vs. Nurturant Aspects of Cuddling between Adult Romantic Partners

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couple cuddlingThis research is in line with Cupid. Bonding behaviors register as both nurturing and sexual. Note also that solo sex makes cuddling less appealing.

Abstract: Touch is a critical factor in intimate bonds between romantic partners. Although cuddling is a key expression of intimacy, it has received little empirical attention.

Are Sexual Tastes Immutable?

It'sMorphing brain time to distinguish 'sexual orientation' from reversible 'sexual tastes'

The bulk of scientific evidence currently favors the view that the origins for most sexual desires are not cultural but innate. —Leon F. Seltzer

Such statements mislead people that all sexual inclinations are created equal and are immutable. This is simply not true.

I feel like the story of our transition into karezza is about told

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Lovers on a beach[Excerpt from a site member's blog] Now finally home, this morning we awake early, and she suggests an early morning date in lieu of the Thursday missed on the plane home. This turns out to be a lovely long session, with lots of pillow talk and reminiscing, and about 6 or 8 of our favorite positions, lol. As well as the trip we also review the last 20 weeks on our karezza journey and we are unanimous at the miracle that has quietly but steadily sneaked into our lives and relationship. But there remains a sense of semi-disbelief that something so simple could be so effective.

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