Wednesday, January 14, 2009

foreplay, orgasms and lifelong love


This poem is about a hormone which
may help prevent in seven years your itch.

Oxytocin tends to be released
during foreplay, and becomes increased
with orgasm, that demonstrates our trust
of him or her who triggered in us lust.
It is the hormone helping male voles bond
female voles of whom they’re rather fond.
When oxytocined, male voles will excite
one female, staying with her every night,
whereas most other species play the field
with other partners who to them will yield.

Some human males are much like voles, but some
prefer to play around before they come––
enjoying “sin” combined with “oxyto.”
Though they may keep their partners in escrow,
they generally abscond from females once
they’ve had the pleasure of their willing c-nts.
A lack of oxytocin always wrecks
intensity and quality of sex,
inducing males to look around and cheat.
The problem is they can’t go into heat
unless they’re first toned up by oxytocin.
Though if they lack it they commit no sin,
most people would prefer to take their chances
with it, hoping vainly for romances.
Though sex is always better after wine,
we need a chemical that’s endocrine
to have a climax and in love remain
for ever, if you think that’s not insane.

Inspired by John Tierney’s article on oxytocin in the Science Times of the NYT, January 13, 2009 (“Anti-Love Drug May Be Ticket to Bliss”):

Love was correctly identified as a potentially fatal chemical imbalance in the medieval tale of Tristan and Isolde, who accidentally consumed a love potion and turned into hopeless addicts. Even though they realized that her husband, the king, would punish adultery with death, they had to have their love fix. They couldn’t guess what was in the potion, but then, they didn’t have the benefit of Dr. Young’s research with prairie voles at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University. These mouselike creatures are among the small minority of mammals — less than 5 percent — who share humans’ propensity for monogamy. When a female prairie vole’s brain is artificially infused with oxytocin, a hormone that produces some of the same neural rewards as nicotine and cocaine, she’ll quickly become attached to the nearest male. A related hormone, vasopressin, creates urges for bonding and nesting when it is injected in male voles (or naturally activated by sex). After Dr. Young found that male voles with a genetically limited vasopressin response were less likely to find mates, Swedish researchers reported that men with a similar genetic tendency were less likely to get married. In his Nature essay, Dr. Young speculates that human love is set off by a “biochemical chain of events” that originally evolved in ancient brain circuits involving mother-child bonding, which is stimulated in mammals by the release of oxytocin during labor, delivery and nursing. “Some of our sexuality has evolved to stimulate that same oxytocin system to create female-male bonds,” Dr. Young said, noting that sexual foreplay and intercourse stimulate the same parts of a woman’s body that are involved in giving birth and nursing. This hormonal hypothesis, which is by no means proven fact, would help explain a couple of differences between humans and less monogamous mammals: females’ desire to have sex even when they are not fertile, and males’ erotic fascination with breasts. More frequent sex and more attention to breasts, Dr. Young said, could help build long-term bonds through a “cocktail of ancient neuropeptides,” like the oxytocin released during foreplay or orgasm.

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 1/14/09

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