Much has been said about the tingles being the driving force behind a female’s attraction to a man. One of the serious questions for a married man is how to keep the tingles coming. What is referred to as ‘the tingles’ is in fact very real, and we need to talk about ocytocin and prolactin and their effect on a woman’s body in order to understand this.
The context in which to understand the biochemistry of the brain is simple: repetitive actions form neural channels in the brain. This is true with both thought and action. Emotionally we can easily see this in feminists who react immediately and with anger to certain trigger words or phrases. These neural channels lead to certain behaviors which can and do result in the release of chemicals in the brain. Oxytocin surges are the primary driving force behind the ‘tingles’ and I posit that women have created neural pathways that govern the release of oxytocin as a result of their attraction to any given man. If the man doesn’t trigger the preconditioned response, there is no attraction. That said, let’s discuss oxytocin.
When a woman has an orgasm her body releases a flood of oxytocin, which produces a powerful experience of pleasure. During intercourse, when her partner ejaculates onto her cervix, prostaglandins in the semen also cause her body to release oxytocin, which results in physical pleasure apart from on orgasm on her part. If they orgasm together, she gets a double-dose of oxytocin at the same time. The uterus will spasm and contract, which causes the sperm entering the cervix to be moved quickly up the fallopian tubes. These contractions are often described as ‘butterflies’ or ‘fluttering’ in the pelvic area. She may experience tingling in the breasts from activity in the alveoli. The endorphins released during orgasm will flood her system causing decreased perception of pain and feelings of euphoria.
However, oxytocin isn’t only released during intimate contact. Physical touch, holding hands, kissing and simple body contact causes a release of oxytocin which results in feelings of pleasure and leads to pair-bonding when a couple is dating. A strong physical attraction to a man can cause a release of oxytocin. The euphoric rush from the release of oxytocin is typically what it being referred to as the ‘tingles’ and it can happen from mere visual stimulation. Women may not like to admit it, but physiological testing proves they are just as likely to become aroused by porn as men.
As has been demonstrated, there tends to be a ‘honeymoon’ phase of marriage which coincides with high average levels of oxytocin levels in the woman. In order to understand why it is important for a husband to regularly stimulate the release of oxytocin, we look at breastfeeding. Numerous studies have shown that the act of breastfeeding causes a significant release of oxytocin, which stimulates the bonding between mother and child.
Next, we examine prolactin, which has a different effect than the euphoric rush of oxytocin. Prolactin modulates her neural state such that the woman begins ‘nesting behavior’ and focuses on house and home. Studies have shown women in a relationship that describe an active and pleasant sex life have higher average levels of prolactin than single women. Sex and breast-play elevates the level of prolactin in the woman’s body along with oxytocin. Higher levels of prolactin also tend to enlarge the breasts because the alveoli stay at a higher state of development. If the husband pays a lot of attention to his wife’s breasts, she’s likely to have further interest in his attention to her breasts because more attention leads to more oxytocin and prolactin in her system. Knowing this, we see that a woman’s emotional state can be enhanced with feelings of pleasure and well-being by her husband’s regular attention to her breasts with particular attention to the nipples. And you guys thought they were just baby feeding devices.
Prolactin is effectively opposed on a hormonal level by estrogen. When the level of one is high, it suppresses the other. Think of a seesaw- when one goes up the other goes down. However, the body doesn’t want to be balanced in the middle, it wants one to be dominant. In a non-pregnant state, we see a balance of high estrogen and low prolactin. Nipple stimulation causes the production of prolactin and enough nipple stimulation can tip the balance over to high prolactin – low estrogen. One result of this, and the best signal the prolactin is now fully dominant, is the cessation of the woman’s monthly menses. This is known as an artificially induced post-partum state, which is what birth control pills do. During pregnancy, the placenta is the source of high hormone levels and the ovaries are in a resting state because the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) has been absent. After childbirth a woman often has a drop in estrogen (this drop in estrogen is the usual culprit in post-partum depression).
With low levels of estrogen following childbirth there is a sensitivity to prolactin. The nipple stimulation associated with breastfeeding causes the production of prolactin, which tips the balance in favor of prolactin against estrogen. If she breastfeeds often enough, FSH will be suppressed, estrogen will stay low, she won’t menstruate and her breasts will produce plenty of milk. When nipple stimulation decreases, the production of prolactin falls, allowing the estrogen – prolactin levels to come into balance and the menstrual cycle returns. Once estrogen becomes dominant again her breasts dry up and milk production ceases, along with the post-partum state.
You might be wondering why I’m talking about this. The reason is simple: Elevated levels of prolactin cause changes in a woman’s emotions, feelings and desires. One way this has been described is ‘nesting behavior.’ The woman wants to stay at home, not explore or roam. She may want to stay in bed and wants to have her husband in bed with her. She wants to cuddle and she feels more serene and calm, with a strong desire to nurture. She wants intimacy. Elevated levels of oxytocin at this time stimulate bonding with her husband and the surges of oxytocin reward their intimate time together.
During the “honeymoon” phase of the marriage when everything is still exciting, the levels of oxytocin released are quite high. As time goes by, the level of oxytocin released tends to drop off. This can be remedied through some creative romancing on one end of the scale and what is known as ‘soft dread game’ on the other. As this research shows, a little anxiety over the relationship can be a good thing. Christians are often of the belief that sex must always be gentle and loving. As the feminist author Diana Bruk points out in a recent essay about Russian men, however: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman wants a man who’s a gentleman at dinner and an animal in bed.”
I believe keeping a wife’s level of oxytocin high during its surges is critical to helping her maintain the ‘tingles’ for the husband. Giving the breasts, and especially the nipples, extended amounts of attention as a part of foreplay and during sex will cause the release of oxytocin and prolactin, resulting in emotional feelings of happiness, euphoria and closeness for her husband. This leads to bonding. Likewise, high levels of prolactin will maintain her nurturing desires and help her focus to stay inward on her family rather than outward toward other things. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise will also stimulate the release of prolactin, as well as other endorphins. A 30 minute aerobics session followed by sex would double-up the release of prolactin and oxytocin. The release of prolactin produced by the exercise would also help put her ‘in the mood’ to have sex. Foreplay that focuses on the breasts causes the release of oxytocin and the sex that follows will produce even more. Do this often enough and her neural pathway to pleasure will be bonded to the guy who’s giving her the pleasure.
To go one step further, we could look at what are known as ‘Adult Nursing Relationships’ (ANR) or ‘Adult Breastfeeding Relationships’ (ABR). I think the better term would be ANR because it includes nursing behavior in which the woman isn’t actually producing milk. (I am not referring to infant-play, in which the man puts on a diaper and acts like a baby- we’re talking about sucking on tits, that’s it.) Married couples who maintain an ANR typically go to great lengths to describe the emotional closeness and pair-bonding that results.
For whatever reason, this is a societal taboo. Practically considered a fetish.
Women in ANR’s report their breasts increased in size as their milk production increased (DUH!), while at the same time find they are losing weight due to their milk production. The commitment required by the partner to be available to nurse on a regular schedule and the pair-bonding that takes place through this very intimate act is remarkable. Most interestingly, almost any woman can induce lactation by nothing more than nipple stimulation, even if she is post-menopause. Pregnancy is not required. Some women choose to induce lactation through a combination of hormones (Yasmin birth control pills, for example) and Domperidone, a drug that has as a side effect the stimulation of or increase in lactation. This can take a woman from dry B-cups to D-cup fountains in six to eight months.
(EDIT: For those women who don’t have a partner but want larger breasts without surgery or milk production, there is evidently
a significant body of some published research demonstrating that women can increase the size of their breasts through hypnosis while at the same time shrinking their waist.)