Bonding love is a need, love changes the very way we perceive life and makes us happier and we owed it mainly to the chemicals love triggers inside of us. We also know that infatuation drives us crazy. The very object of our affection may become a constant subject of misery draining energy and joy out of […]
Bonding love is a need, love changes the very way we perceive life and makes us happier and we owed it mainly to the chemicals love triggers inside of us. We also know that infatuation drives us crazy. The very object of our affection may become a constant subject of misery draining energy and joy out of us. There are certainly many factors to take into account when it comes to relationships and bonding love. Sadly, while knowing how to interact with others (romantically or not) might be one the most important skills, it is not taught at school and we have to figure it out from sheer experience and observed models: our parents to start with, who might not be the ideal couple. But let’s stay simple and come back to our own personal lab, our chemicals.
We are essentially pair bonding animals. Studies found that most of singles were only without a mate because they had not found the suitable partner. Further researches also suggest that as pair bonding mammals, we are more prone to depression, addiction than promiscuous species, such as monkeys. Indeed, unlike our “cousins”, who are cheerfully promiscuous and contented with their usual dopamine surge, mating leaves us with a nagging sense that something is missing. While some of us may seem perfectly happy to mindlessly mate in their twenties – well, for some, it can go much further – with age, most of us are looking for something more fulfilling.
Even if Don Juan thinks he is happy, there is an empty hole at neuro-chemical level. His brain is flashing an uncomfortable “un-satisfaction” signal leading for more conquests, hardly the solution. The fate of Don Juan is I am afraid a tragic one.
Back to chemistry: we mentioned that the solution was to deactivate the dopamine circuit and activate the oxytocin one. If you recall our first blog, dopamine becomes addictive very quickly and generates cravings and withdrawals before and after orgasm during a two-week chemical cycle. So obviously, the solution resides in breaking the cycle and finish with the cravings.
For bonding love: avoid orgasm for a while! Yes that’s right, you just read it and I know what you are thinking! So consider a minute the difference between having a nice body for the coming August month or for all the summers to come. To obtain long lasting results, you may have to change your dieting habits for good and it may require that you may get off the most addictive substance there is: Sugar.
In our love making, we want to reach the true potential of deep intimacy by escaping the neuro-fluctuations built in the 2-week dopamine cycle triggered by sexual satisfaction (orgasm).
I know that most men might be reluctant to the idea to say the least. However you may suggest trying love making in the morning without orgasm (or getting close to it) and see how he feels during the day. Lots of ces messieurs have actually reported a feel good state throughout the day without desperately wanting orgasm. Once a man experiences this, he might be more open to try the “exchanges”.
Never pressure or manipulate a doubting partner into these ideas. If you are in an established relationship, you may want to re-assure him about your existing sex life and explain your wish to experiment something different to make sure your genetic programming is not conspiring against the existing harmony. Go without orgasm for around three weeks and reflect on what you observe, use alternative bonding behaviours instead.
Start touching again. We are quite deprived from touch in our Western world, so re-discover. Use touch in a bonding way. Touch has always a charge to it. It can be healing or greedy and abusive. Hungry touch is about wanting something and can activate in your partner the immediate protective reaction of the amygdala. The goal here is to stimulate our bonding circuit without activating the amygdala.
We are referring to a totally unselfish touch, only motivated by loving and nurturing feelings you may use to comfort a family member. You may want to try to touch each other’s entire body (avoiding breast and genitals to start with). Traditional foreplay is usually based on getting and may be a habit by now. With selfless comforting touch, you get more oxytocin flowing, which produces a more generous state of mind. Touching your lover with intention to comfort does two positive things: it creates a space of security and coziness, a special intimate space and it eases sexual tensions that may derive from the lack of orgasm.
Once both lovers are totally relaxed, they might suggest alternative activities: holding hands, taking a walk, share an activity, snuggling on the sofa or gentle intercourse without orgasm.
Although sexual arousal is parasympathetic, the drive to orgasm is sympathetic and activates the fight and flight response. In this mode (performance), you are doing what you need to survive – passing on your genes. This powerful mode may produce orgasm but no feeling of safety or desire to remain close. Paradoxically, the more stress you have the more appealing hot sex may seem as it may make you feel alive and produce a temporary stress release and sudden drop in dopamine. Yes exactly TEMPORARY and the craving starts again as you are using each other to release pressure. Eventually feelings of depletion and apathy towards your lover appear because we are genetically programmed this way!
With the Exchanges you stay away from the edge of orgasm, remain in the parasympathetic system (relaxation and repair mode) and indulge in mutual pampering using all the bonding cues at your disposal. You may have to come up with entertaining activities that do not result in crankiness and frustration and avoid heating up foreplay such as oral sex. Likewise you may want to avoid intercourse in the first two weeks. If you slip that is ok. Changing your reward circuit is a process to turn habituation into empowering and growing intimacy.
If you want to know about real life experiences from lovers who actually practised the exchanges and what they got out of bonding love, stay tuned with us subscribe for free to get access to surprising discoveries.
Aude is an ex corporate Lawyer with a passion for health, self development and independence which lead her to give up her former career to help others through health.
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