“I just want to want sex again.” I can’t tell you how many of my patients have expressed -- in one way or another -- this simple desire for the desire they experienced in their 20s and 30s, when their bodies were flooded with procreative hormones.
Wouldn’t it be great if I could mix up a love potion to send home with them and to share with you here? Some powerful concoction of roots and herbs perhaps, a magic elixir guaranteed to bring it all back?
Well, here’s the next best thing. A recipe you can use to produce your own personal, all-natural love potion. For free.
Oxytocin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, has long been recognized for its role in childbirth and lactation and mother/child bonding. Women in labor are sometimes given a synthetic oxytocin to stimulate contractions. And mothers and babies both experience the pleasurable effects -- calmness, trust, contentment -- of the natural oxytocin that is released into their brains and blood streams during breast-feeding.
Recently though, research has been identifying the significant effects that “the cuddle hormone” have on men as well as women -- and on their desire for (and enjoyment of) sex that isn’t about making babies.
Both men and women experience rising oxytocin levels in response to being touched anywhere on their bodies. The effects promote a bond of closeness that increases sexual receptiveness -- and the desire for even more touching. Even more touching leads to even more oxytocin which leads to even more arousal and even more desire for even more touching. Isn’t it beautiful how that works?
There’s more: high levels of oxytocin cause nerves in the genitals to fire spontaneously, triggering powerful orgasms. And during orgasm the body releases -- you guessed it -- more oxytocin. (Which, as it turns out, is good for you in all kinds of ways. Research indicates that oxytocin helps people sleep better, enhances feelings of well being, and counteracts the stress hormone, cortisol.)
The best thing about this amazing hormone for women our age is that -- unlike estrogen and other sex hormones -- you can make it yourself. Caressing your partner, enjoying a massage, bringing yourself to orgasm are all ways to get more oxytocin into your life. In fact, many women find that self-pleasuring is the best way to boost a sagging libido. More orgasms = more oxytocin = more desire.
Check out our website for information and products that can help you get this wonderful pleasure cycle up and running!
Dr. Barb DePree, M.D., has been a gynecologist and women’s health provider for almost 30 years and a menopause care specialist for the past ten.