Love is a drug.  

tall50swm 63M
117 posts
11/30/2005 4:39 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Love is a drug.

Words we all know at some level, but just how close to the truth are they? Metaphor, it seems, is always just a step ahead:
"The University of Pavia found a brain chemical was likely to be responsible for the first flush of love.

Researchers said raised levels of a protein [neurotrophin] was linked to feelings of euphoria and dependence experienced at the start of a relationship.

But after studying people in long and short relationships and single people, they found the levels receded in time." - link & link
Of course it's not the first time that science has reconstituted love as a hormonal, chemical reaction. In continued studies male rats seek out the thrill that dopamine-induced sexual pleasure instills in them as if it were the only thing worth attaining. Pain is no barrier to sexual lust:

"...when a male rat has sex it feels good to him because of the dopamine. He learns that sex is enjoyable, and seeks out more of it based on how it happened the first time." - link

"Experimental rats habituated to endorphins will go through much pain in order to obtain more. In rats, the addiction to endorphins is even stronger than the addiction to morphine or heroin." - link

But wait! Am I getting lust, romance and love all mixed up here? I'm going to destroy Cupid's arrow altogether! Those Italian science dudes will show you the way:

"Report co-author Piergluigi Politi said the findings did not mean people were no longer in love, just that it was not such an "acute love".

"The love became more stable. Romantic love seemed to have ended." - link
So the chemical imbalance of lust/romance is just a precursor to the stability that love brings with it. Is stability exciting? For hamsters at least its all about the number of ejaculations:
"...experiments with hamsters have shown that the level of endorphins in their blood increases dramatically after several ejaculations." - link
I wonder if the Italian scientists included that as a variable in their study...

tillerbabe 57F

12/1/2005 11:07 pm

It's "work" to keep it going....

rm_1hotwahine 64F
21091 posts
12/4/2005 6:42 pm

And then there's the oxitocin to contend with.

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

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