No, seriously, though. A new study published in the Journal Of Neuroscience explores the hormone oxytocin and its effects when administered artificially. This sneaky little chemical known as "the love hormone" is naturally released by the brain and is already known to be a key factor in the formation of relationships, but in this study, a group of men were given a shot of nasal spray — either of a placebo or of a solution containing oxytocin. Then, they were asked to stand 24 inches away from a female assistant deemed "attractive" by the researchers (congratulations BTW!). As the men and women moved closer to each other inch by inch, the men were asked to note when they felt they were at an "ideal" distance and when the women became uncomfortably close.
The researchers expected to see the men administered with oxytocin behave more openly and allow the female participants to come closer than those without — indicating a willingness to engage in a romantic or sexual encounter increased by the so-called love hormone. However, the men who had received oxytocin and were also in long-term relationships displayed the opposite behavior. Compared to those not in monogamous relationships, they preferred to keep a significantly larger distance between themselves and the women. The study thus concluded that oxytocin promotes monogamous relationships by preventing men from "signaling romantic interest."
So, when will this spray be available at your nearest CVS? Don't know. Until then, you can cause the hormone to be naturally released by holding your man's hand just before he finds himself 24 inches away from a sexy lady other than yourself. Or, you know, just cultivate an equal, open, and loving relationship that works for both of your needs and desires. Your call! (Journal of Neuroscience via The Atlantic)
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