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What’s Love Got to Do With It?

I was talking a few days ago to a woman who has a low T husband, and she said something interesting. She has a lower sex drive than her husband and for many years has been content to not rock the testosterone boat. Didn’t want to wake the Kraken, so to speak. She finally encouraged her husband to seek out testosterone testing for one reason …. their relationship was absolutely falling apart. They were fighting all the time and her husband seemed increasingly angry and resentful. She didn’t feel any sense of connection to him at all and the feeling was mutual. Every little decision became a battle between them. That got me to thinking. Sex has been called the relationship glue, but why is that? What goes on in the body and brain during sexual intercourse that helps connect us. Turns out ………. quite a lot.

During sex, most of us focus on all those lovely sensations going on in our bodies, but have you ever wondered what’s actually happening in your brain during sex, and more importantly, during orgasm? As two people start touching, and especially kissing each other, multiple mechanisms are triggered in the brain, releasing chemicals and neurotransmitters that lower stress and boost mood, increasing the levels of pleasure hormones, leading to deep relaxation and a reduction in anxiety.

As we approach orgasm, neural circuits of pleasure, reward and emotion are activated. The hypothalamus releases the hormone oxytocin and it floods the brain and spinal cord, intensifying feelings of pleasure. So, why is this important?

Well, oxytocin is one of the primary hormones responsible for bonding and trust in humans. Oxytocin helps lower our defenses and allows us to trust people more, and increases feelings of empathy and forgiveness.  Oxytocin also increases our ability to remain positive during conflict and it decreases the stress hormone, cortisol, thus helping us handle conflict more easily. In a very real sense, oxytocin = love. As unromantic as it sounds, when you increase your oxytocin levels, you increase your feelings of love for your partner.

A sexless marriage is about a lot more than just orgasms. The act of having sex bonds and connects us in ways that last well beyond the encounter. So what? you say. How does this help me? My low T husband could care less about having sex with me and I am so unattracted and disgusted by him that the last thing in the world I want to do is have sex with him.

When you’re in a sexless marriage, there in an endless loop of negativity that feeds off itself. The trick is to end the cycle, stop the -1 interactions and start inserting positive interactions in their place. Someone has to get the ball rolling, and guess what?  Since you’re the one reading all this information, you just got elected. Is that fair? Of course not, but for right now, you’re the acting Captain and you’ve got to do what’s right for the ship, regardless of what you want.

When my husband and I were stuck in this negative cycle, Athol Kay recommended something to us that really helped. He called it the Low T Work-Around, but it’s also known as ‘edging’. It’s not intended to be a permanent solution, but a temporary work-around until you get the T fixed. The basics are that you and your husband spend time together touching. It doesn’t have to start off sexual; it can start off very simply. Schedule time together every night to be with each other and look into each others’ eyes. Do some touching. It can be as simple as a shoulder massage, but it needs to be skin-to-skin contact. You’re going to be more relaxed if you’re warm, so take a bath first.

Over the course of the next few weeks, you can gradually escalate the touch until you work up to full intercourse. You can have as many orgasms as you want, but your husband should ‘edge’ and only have an orgasm every few days. This will keep him from experiencing the diminished dopamine levels that come with the Orgasm Crash Cycle that I’ll be talking about in a future post.

So, try it and let me know what you think. If you modify it to work better, let us know what you did, so that readers here can benefit from your experience.

And you knew this was coming. Tell me you won’t be singing this all day long now  ………