Want some simple ways using diet, exercise, sleep, stress management and sex to revitalize your life now and for the vital years on the horizon? Dr. Roizen has them... in his new book, This Is Your Do-Over, he explains how to reverse your mistakes, optimize your health, and live a life filled with energy and happiness. After all, nobody is too old, too out of shape, or too unhealthy to start their Do-Over today.
Dr. Roizen's Do-Over Tip for the Week: Learn About Your Biggest Sex Organ... Your Brain
Oftentimes middle school health class is where we learn all the basic biology about how our bodies work; specifically, what part goes into what part, with the outcome of extending the survival of our species. I’m not condemning sex-ed classes for doing this dutiful job; but, I also want to point out that too often these classes seem like they’re making the case that sex is about plugs and sockets, in and out, penis and vagina… that sex is about what goes on below the belt.
That, we know, is 100 percent biologically true. Can’t make babies without plugs or sockets.
But, I also think that we take that truism and hold onto it as if this law of biology is the only sexual scientific fact there is. The real truth is -- especially when you grow older and your hormones aren’t the only things that make your primal sexual decisions -- that the more important relationship isn’t groin to groin.
It’s brain to brain.
Perhaps the most potent chemical involved in the matter of love is oxytocin, the bonding hormone that’s stimulated to secrete from your brain when you bond with someone. It, like the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, is a feel-good chemical, so when we’re attracted to another person, when we’re in a healthy relationship with another person, and when we touch another person, the oxytocin flushes through our system. And we feel good. It’s why sex feels good (well, one of the reasons why sex feels good), and it’s why love feels good.
So, ultimately, this is what we’re after as bonding creatures: being in a relationship that continually stimulates the release of oxytocin.
Now, why is this so important? Because those couples with the highest oxytocin levels are the ones with the highest rates of longevity. See? It’s healthier to be happier. This happiness level (the bonding level, in essence) stems only partly from how many times you have sex or whether you know how to experiment in the bedroom with ice cubes, Jell-O, or blindfolds.
Many other shared activities stimulate oxytocin: talking to each other, sharing with each other, hugging, kissing each other hello and good-bye, complimenting each other. Those are all things that happen with your cerebral parts, not your private parts.
Great sex is about putting the pennies in the jar: finding the little yet lasting ways to make your partner feel good, feel wanted, feel satisfied. When you do that, your daily, weekly, yearly, and lifelong returns will turn those pennies into a sexual and soulful jackpot.
- Give your spouse at least one compliment every day, and mean it. Make sure to include not only the things that the person can’t control (such as appearance) but also things that require brain power (like decisions made, problems solved, or projects finished).
- Kiss on the cheek. Often.
- Plan a date. It gets harder and harder to find alone time, and sometimes it’s necessary to carve out that time. After all, it’s not necessarily the date itself that has to be quote-unquote romantic. It’s the fact that you cared enough to want to spend the time together.
- Wash the dishes together. Sounds unromantic, but it gives you some quality talk time.
- Read the same book together and then talk about it, as long as you’re reading at a similar pace. Intellectual stimulation leads to other kinds.
- Take a ten-minute walk together every day. Hold hands. Sometimes it’s easier for men to have difficult discussions when they’re side-by-side rather than face-to-face. This short habit could really improve communication.
Thanks for reading,
Mike Roizen MD, FACP (AKA The Enforcer)