Heard about oxytocin, the new wonder drug for the bedroom? Lady Friday looks at the science – and debunks it.
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The search for ‘the next Viagra‘ is big business.
The male enhancement drug doesn’t actually increase desire, just blood flow, and scientists are always on the look-out for the pill which guarantees a high libido – for both sexes.
This week reports came out that oxytocin, the hormone released to help people bond with their children, is being touted as the next ‘blockbuster’ drug.
However, the science isn’t convincing – and Rescu. is here to tell you why.
Oxytocin is called ‘the cuddle chemical’ – don’t get it mixed with OxyContin, the addictive pain medication. Oxytocin was used in a trial at the University of California to help a man, known only as B, with his social anxiety. B had Asperger’s and ADHD, and was a highly stressed father of three kids.
Apparently it didn’t help the social anxiety at all – but low doses made B much more affectionate, amped up his sex drive and even prompted him to hug a co-worker in a way she didn’t really appreciate.
The oxytocin spray’s use was mentioned in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, journalists took notice, and ‘the new Viagra’ was born.
Problems? There are several.
For one, poor B – whose problems we sympathise with – isn’t a large enough test group to really guarantee oxytocin will have an affect on the average Joe or Jill. Viagra is a male-only drug, but you can at least guarantee it’ll work on most males – and that took years of testing, approval by several associations, and reams of health warnings.
For another, oxytocin is an emotional chemical. It’s released after birth to make sure you bond with your baby and start breastfeeding, and it has ties to falling in love, happy relationships and maternal behaviour. (Not having enough oxytocin is a classic sign of narcissism – you can’t empathise or connect with other people.)
Overdosing on an emotional hormone is never a good idea, particularly if your body is perfectly capable of producing the chemical on its own. Viagra doesn’t cause mood swings or wreak havoc with your ability to feel affection – can you imagine if a bedroom enhancement drug did?
It also increases trust and reduces fear, so an excess amount might reduce a person’s ability to react properly to a bad situation in bed (or out of it). Plus over-producers of oxytocin have been found to distrust outsiders more, and be more prejudiced against people not in their immediate group.
So calls for ‘the next Viagra’ are overblown – but it is interesting to see that it works well on people on the autism spectrum. Autism makes social activities difficult, including intimacy, so a drug to increase their empathy and confidence would be a rare boon.
Don’t go out and buy an oxytocin spray for your man just yet. Keep an eye on the science, and Rescu. will have all the updates.
Lady Friday xx
Taking the pillow talk out of the bedroom, every Friday…