Isn't it incredible how just one glance from your loved one still has the power to make you feel all warm and fuzzy, even after all these years? Sure, you have your ups and downs, but sometimes the simple act of looking upon your partner's face can somehow make you feel better. Cheesy as it may sound, there is actually a science behind this sentiment, and researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany might have just cracked it.
We've discussed the machinations of oxytocin, a.k.a "the love hormone," a lot on this blog. According to HealthDay News, the German researchers have identified a way that the surge of oxytocin in any context might actually enhance a man's sense of attraction and intimacy with their romantic partners.
"When you're first becoming intimate, you're releasing lots of dopamine and oxytocin. That's creating that link between the neural systems that are processing your facial cues, your voice and the reward system," said lead author and psychiatry professor Dr. Rene Hurlemann in a statement.
The researchers speculated that this established link between the chemical sense of pleasure and a partner's image could play a role in what drives men to pursue and remain in monogamous relationships, even as other biological factors urge them to go forth and spread their seed.
How did the scientists reach this conclusion? They recruited 20 men, all of whom were in committed relationships, and either asked them to take an oxytocin nasal spray or a placebo. Then, the participants compared photos of their partners to female acquaintances who were objectively deemed to be on a similar level of attractiveness. All men were wont to label their partners as more visually attractive, but those who were exposed to oxytocin expressed this more strongly.
While it's great to hear that the love hormone can further strengthen the sexual intimacy you share with your partner, it never hurts to introduce a few new tricks to the bedroom. Consider investing in new arousal gel and other sex aids to really kick things off.