One of the, almost, universal truths is that as you get older your body begins to turn down some of the primal drives that you have – in particular the relationships between older couples can seem devoid of the physical aspects of being in love. Forget the ‘flowers and hearts’ stuff, but there is a fundamental truth and a link between the lengths of time you have been together and the numbers of small, seeming significant, quarrels over almost nothing.
There are numerous scholarly articles related to experiments and testing on prairie voles, sheep and rats that demonstrate the levels of potency increase with the production (or in these cases the introduction) of a naturally occurring hormone called oxytocin. First ‘discovered’ in 1909 by Henry Dale (later to be ‘Sir’ and a Nobel Prize winner), oxytocin is named after a Greek phrase which, when translated, means ‘speedy birth’. What he found was that this hormone, produced in the pituitary gland does many things – amongst which are controlling the contraction of the uterus during birth and the production of human milk during the nursing period! It seems that oxytocin is a wonder drug – so why haven’t we heard so much about it? And if it was thought, primarily, to be about childbirth, what on Earth has it got to do with us seniors?
Well, ‘seniors’ have feelings too and that is what oxytocin controls. There is a wonderful warmth and feeling of ‘togetherness’ in simply having a cuddle or holding hands and that warmth is, in a way, a byproduct of the little gland, the size of a pea, that we know as the pituitary.
I talked earlier about the ‘quarrels’ between people who have been together for a long-time and much of that is down to stress and distance in a relationship – it isn’t that people move apart, more that they don’t find it easy to show emotion or come closer together. So if there was a way…and there is. By simply having a cuddle, you feel closer to the person you are cuddling physically and emotionally. And science has found a mechanism for helping people overcome that irrational fear of disagreements and feeling alone – it’s a treatment that goes under the ungainly title of ‘oxytocin factor sublingual drops or the nasal spray’ – enough to put you off, but don’t let it.
A sublingual drop is a scientific description of placing a drop of liquid under the tongue where it can be absorbed by the mucus membranes very quickly – and thus begin to have an effect within about ten to fifteen minutes. Similarly, nasal sprays allow for inhalation of a medication, again being absorbed into the body very quickly. Oxytocin Factor is a synthetic form of the naturally occurring hormone and has the effect of stimulating the effect of belonging, of acceptance and as a result can aid the reduction of stress resulting in smother relationships and even improved sleep patterns. What it isn’t is a synthetic drug to create arousal – à la Viagra – it’s more a stimulus for that mysterious human characteristic we know as ‘lurve’ (OK I take liberties but I really mean ‘LOVE’).
Love is one of the most contentious and least understood of human emotions – it is oft misused “Ooh! I love that…” when what is meant is that you like something a great deal, whereas love between two members of the human species is an hugely strong emotion that ties people together for years, often decades.
And as we pass through those decades together we may need stimuli to help us regain the drive for what we do naturally. Oxytocin isn’t an artificial replacement for sex-drive but it can be the starting point – love doesn’t, normally, begin with sex but it is a huge part of the process, As we get older using oxytocin might just be that nudge we need. But don’t expect to rush into the druggist and pick up a bottle or packet. It is a non-prescription treatment for which you do not need to talk to your MD about but it is always advisable to seek an expert medical opinion before taking medication of any kind.
Sex for seniors is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to be prurient over. Sex is a natural instinct and whilst the libido might diminish in seniors, it is still there and simply needs awakening – Oxytocin Factor might just be the missing link.
For more information contact Bryan Post, Managing Editor of Oxytocin Central email@example.com or call (405) 476-1983