BY: KHADIJA KHAN
It’s a no-brainer TLC improves intimacy in relationships, but did you know cuddling can be addictive? No, seriously you can become biologically addicted. This is because our bodies release a hormone, oxytocin, which makes us feel more trusting and loving toward our partner. This hormone invokes feelings of optimism, boosts self-esteem and can relieve stress. Couples who cuddle regularly can become addicted to each other. This means when you’re apart from your partner and you miss them, it is actually the start of oxytocin withdrawal.
This chemical has been coined the “cuddle drug.” Oxytocin is a hormone naturally made in the body in both men and women. Traditionally, oxytocin has been used to induce labour, but recent studies show it is highly arousing to men. Now, oxytocin has been formulated into a nasal spray to be used as an extra dose to improve a man’s libido. Its results for sexual arousal in men is on a par with Viagara, only it has the added bonus of strengthening your relationship on an emotional level. What else do you need? Better intimacy and understanding all in one.
But wait, there’s more: new research suggests oxytocin plays a crucial part in enabling us to not just strengthen our social relations, but in helping us to fight off several psychological and physiological problems as well. Cuddling is a predictor of longevity and happiness in relationships. But more conceptually, oxytocin is proving to be the top ingredient to what makes us capable of bonding with people. If you didn’t produce oxytocin, you’d be an expressionless robot going about mundane activities in a grey world.
While cuddling, the hypothalamus region in the brain creates intense feelings of bonding and dependency. Go ahead, test out this hypothesis for yourself by cuddling more, when you’re not having sex, to make your brain used to oxytocin.