The latest report about how oxytocin makes people more willing to trust after betrayal really struck a nerve. People really really want to get their hands on this stuff: For everyone who is afraid of being hurt, there are five people who are dying to open up.
Someone wrote to me asking where to get oxytocin; he and his wife are having problems. I wrote about my experience taking oxytocin in 2006, here. This is how I answered:
I performed this experiment on myself a couple of years ago, when it was quite easy to purchase oxytocin over the internet. At the time, searching for oxytocin brought up several paid ads from reputable companies that supply chemicals to researchers, and I was able to purchase with a credit card. I notice that these ads no longer appear, probably because these companies realized that many people ordering the product were consumers.
In any case, when you buy oxytocin this way, it's difficult to handle. It degrades quickly when it's mixed with water, and it's a minuscule amount. I was guided by the blog of a guy who made all sorts of wild experiments with such chemicals that he ordered online.
I don't think it's ethical or wise for me to provide any more details about where or how to buy oxytocin. I believe -- but don't know for sure -- that it's not a controlled substance in the United States; I don't know about in other countries.
Someone wrote me that he had tried the oxytocin spray that had been prescribed for his lactating wife. And a psychiatrist in Canada sometimes prescribes this inhalant for kids with autism. These are called off-label uses: the doctor obtains the drug legally and prescribes it legally, but for a condition that the drug hasn't been approved for.
Several drug companies are working to develop oxytocin-based drugs to treat social phobia and some trials have begun.
All that said, let me propose an alternative: Oxytocin is usually released naturally when we are with another person in a situation where we feel safe. Also when we're stroked, make love and orgasm. However, this brain response seems to be learned after we're born, in the first few years of life -- although the brain continues to grow and change throughout our lives. If you and your wife have "normal" oxytocin responses, it could be a matter of simply making love, making sure that you move very slowly through her arousal to orgasm. Often, when couples have problems, sex is the first thing to go. But I think that a lack of happy satisfying sex also can lead to relationship problems. I experience this myself in my relationship. Oxytocin makes us calmer and more easy-going, so the partner's bad habits don't bother us as much.
Other things you can try are massaging each other, if you're both able to do so in a soothing way that feels good; getting massages together at a spa or weekend retreat; taking some kind of workshop that has exercises which allow you to go into "limbic resonance," the state in which your bodies are attuned. Attunement likely invokes the oxytocin response.
Update Dec. 6 2008: Because so many people come to my site looking for a place to buy oxytocin, I have decided to post the affiliate ad you see at the top of this post. I am not endorsing this product. However, if, after reading this and others of my posts, you want to buy it, if you buy by clicking on this ad, I'll get paid by the advertiser.