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Counteracting Too Much Oxytocin

Many of us hope to increase our output of oxytocin, the brain chemical of love, trust and connectedness. But Jazzy has the opposite problem. She recently commented on one of my posts, and I'm  answering her question here.

Jazzy wrote,

I feel stoned after sex, even after only hugging and eye contact. The experience lasts the entire day and renders me unable to think, function, focus or communicate coherently, therefore it means that I am unable to function in my job and in my studies. It is only cured when I sleep it off and also once when a friend gave me a quarter or a dexamphetamine pill.

It has been a problem in all of my relationships as I can only show affection at a certain time of day which is in the evening before I go to sleep... when I have no more work or study to focus on!! This was the main problem that recently caused me to break up with my fiance. It is so significant that I was forced to choose between our relationship or my career.

However I don't experience this if I masturbate, it only seems to happen when I feel relaxed and share a heart connection with someone. Please help! I don't understand it, its completely absurd and it feels like a curse!!

Dear Jazzy,

That does sound like a huge interference with daily life.

It's interesting that this extreme stonedness does not happen with masturbation; it seems that you are correct in attributing this effect to sharing emotional intimacy during sex. It may be difficult, but consider yourself lucky that you can experience this!

At the same time, you do need to be able to have a satisfying sex life at the same time you enjoy a successful career.

If taking a small dose of amphetamine worked, you could try a shot of espresso. Caffeine triggers your adrenal glands, providing an antidote to all that oxytocin. If you already use caffeinated beverages, this would not work. If you have built up a tolerance to caffeine, it might be worth going off caffeine entirely, except when you really need this jolt -- such as after sex. Caffeine can be a powerful and effective drug when you're not habituated to it.

Another tactic might be to ask your doctor to prescribe buproprion. This is an antidepressant that works by increasing the levels of dopamine in your brain. Most antidepressants work by increasing the levels of serotonin, a calming brain chemical. But dopamine is the chemical of reward and reward-seeking. It tends to be energizing, so buproprion might counteract the extreme calming effects you experience from oxytocin.

If neither of those work, you might ask your doctor for a prescription for Provigil or Adderol; Provigil is a prescription drug used to counteract sleepiness, while Adderol is a prescription form of dextroamphetamine. In this case, you might risk becoming habituated and/or addicted to these drugs. But if you had the self-discipline to only take them when you needed them, they would probably do the trick.

My last piece of advice: Try finding an older boyfriend, one who has his own challenging career to think of. He might be perfectly happy to come home, eat dinner and fall into bed with you for the night.