You know how it is. Some days you feel passionate, ready to make love, and show your lover what a good time can be; but on other days, you’re simply not in the mood. Ever wondered why? The answer can be summed up in a single simple word: hormones. The human body secretes several hormones that govern how we feel and what we do. Here’s a low down on the most essential ones that affect libido.
Often called the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin is important for our social memory, bonding, attachment, and sexual behaviour. This is the hormone that intensifies feelings of intimacy after sexual intercourse, making the partners feel fond of one another. Oxytocin is also the hormone responsible for maternal behaviour and plays a large and important role in assisting childbirth and a mother’s bonding with a newborn child. The hormone is produced in the brain of both men and women. In males, moderate concentration of Oxytocin facilitates penile erection and accelerates ejaculatory behaviour.
Known popularly as the ‘male hormone’, testosterone is the hormone that governs lust and sexual desire. While it is present in both men and women, its concentration is higher in males and is responsible for their sexual drive or libido and their performance in bed. When secreted in women, testosterone causes sexual arousal in women too. Drinking alcohol can reduce the potency of this hormone, and result in lower sex drive.
This is the female hormone that is produced in women’s ovaries, regulates the menstrual cycle, determines a woman’s chances of conceiving a child, and governs her pleasure in a sexual relationship. Oestrogen (sometimes spelt ‘Estrogen’) controls sexual desire and plays a large part in sexual arousal and reaching orgasm in women. It is also present in small quantities in men. Higher concentration of Oestrogen in men can lead to breast enlargement and even erectile dysfunction.
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