Episode 90: Susan Kuchinskas: The Chemistry of Love

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Meet Susan Kuchinskas, journalist. Susan has become an authoritative expert on the biological basis of love and commitment. Our ability to love this way, and to feel loved in return, is primarily based on oxytocin, a chemical produced in the brain in response to positive social interactions. Oxytocin, sometimes called the cuddle chemical, is responsible for life's most fulfilling emotions: love, trust and commitment.

According to Susan: "Our brains develop the oxytocin response after we're born, in response to the kind of mothering we get. If your mother is depressed, angry or ill, you may not grow up with the ability to bond in healthy relationships."

Join us for a fascinating glimpse into the "Chemistry of Connection". And make sure you hear Susan's suggestions for you to try at home.

Transcript

Chip August: Welcome to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m your host Chip August, and today on the show we are talking about love. Not just the emotional feeling of love, but more importantly, or importantly today, the chemistry of love, the actual biochemistry of what’s going on inside you. We’re talking with Susan Kuchinskas, and Susan has written an amazing book called The Chemistry of Connection. Susan is a journalist with 15 years experience and thousands of published articles on science, technology, culture. She writes regularly for Web MD and her work has appeared in a whole wide variety of technology, business and consumer publications from Art and Antiques to Time to Wired. While researching a magazine article, she got fascinated by a certain physiological response that we have that’s related to love, and we’re going to talk about what that is, and part of what helped her was that it explained so much about our own life and relationships, and so she decided to write a book. She wrote a book, tracked research and news about it, start, has a blog, Hug the Monkey, and she’s now recognized as one of the most authoritative sources for information on Oxytocin, which is what we’re going to be talking about on the web. So welcome to the show Susan.

Susan Kuchinskas: Thanks so much, Chip. I’m really glad to be here.

Chip August: I’m really glad we could make this work.

Susan Kuchinskas: Yeah.

Chip August: So, okay, Oxytocin, Oxytocin, we, many of my listeners have hard about because other authors have talked about a little bit, but some don’t actually know what in the world we’re talking about. What are we talking about?

Susan Kuchinskas: Okay, Oxytocin is a chemical produced in the body in the hypothalamis, which is an area in the brain. Now it acts in the body as a hormone to do a lot of great things, like promoting healing, helping you relax, it’s sort of the anti stress chemical. You’re probably really familiar with Cortisol, which we hear about all the time, the stress chemical. Well Oxytocin actually reduces stress and allows us to come back into a calmer state when we can and when we are done responding to that stress. But it also acts in the brain, and when it acts in the brain we call it a neuro-chemical. It does various things, helps nerves carry impulses, and it especially seems to work with the areas of the brain that handle social interaction.

Chip August: Okay, social interaction. You’re talking about friendships, work relationships, how we talk to other people, how we are with other people, yeah?

Susan Kuchinskas: Exactly, every kind of positive social interaction is probably produced or handled by the Oxytocin response…

Chip August: And is this automatic inside it, like, you know, if I get afraid my body floods with adrenaline, I want to fight or flight. Is the Oxytocin response also just kind of automatic, it just happens?

Susan Kuchinskas: Well you know, that’s a really interesting question. It seems likely that both the stress response and the Oxytocin response are to some extent learned. Definitely the Oxytocin response is learned. When we come out of the womb our brains are not fully developed, and one of the things we can’t do is produce Oxytocin in response to intimacy. In a sense really, you know, we’re not born knowing how to love. We, yeah. Yeah, yeah. This is, this really important stuff. So we, you know, we can digest our food, we can breathe, we can poop, but we can’t love. So this Oxytocin response is a learned response that develops in response to our mothering. Now I want to say that when I say mothering I don’t necessarily mean the biological mother, I don’t necessarily mean a woman, but babies seem to need one primary caregiver, one person that is their whole world to them at first because a baby’s undeveloped brain and sense can’t really take in or comprehend people. There’s that one person which is their source of sustenance and care and comfort and life. So ideally what happens is as the mother cares for this baby, feeds her, you know, comforts her, strokes her, keeps her clean and carries her with her next to her heart all the time, the baby learns to release Oxytocin in response to that. This is the baby’s understanding of intimacy, and this is what creates the bond between the baby and her mother. At the same time the mother’s body is also releasing Oxytocin.  She got a… Go ahead.

Chip August: So I want to make sure I understand this, ‘cause yeah, ‘cause I want to make sure I understand it. So it’s like we’re wired to do this, we’re set up so that if the circumstances are correct we, our body will begin to develop this habit of when we get a certain kind of caring, loving attention, we’ll fire off, our body will start to flood with Oxytocin, but…

Susan Kuchinskas: Exactly.

Chip August: So I’m assuming that means if I am, if I am with an actual caregiving parent who perhaps is mentally ill or perhaps is caught up in their own stress or I’m, or I’m abandoned at a hospital or I’m an orphan, it’s possible that if I don’t get that kind of loving connection right from the start, then I don’t get that Oxytocin, then my body doesn’t really know how to do that Oxytocin response?

Susan Kuchinskas: Yes, it’s more than possible, it’s very likely, and we’re seeing that a lot with kids adopted out of foreign orphanages, especially places like Romania where they did not have much care or human contact, and they may develop what’s known as attachment disorder. They really cannot bond, and one study of some Romanian orphans who had been with their parents for three years in the states found that their Oxytocin levels were lower when they were sitting on their mothers laps than the control group, who had been raised from birth with their parents.

Chip August: Is it ever correctable or is this sort of like…

Susan Kuchinskas: Yes. Yes, it’s absolutely correctable. People used to think that our brains were sort of just formed, you know, after a few years and, you know, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and all that happens is your brain cells are going to die. But that’s not actually true, they found out that there’s this thing called neuroplasticity, which means that our brains continue to grow new neurons and make new connections throughout our lives. So you can, just as you can learn to play the piano, you can learn to love, you can retrain your Oxytocin response, but it takes special kinds of experiential work in order to do that, and that’s why sometimes therapy works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Chip August: Right. Well as a person who always gets his dogs from the shelter and so frequently gets what’s older dogs, I know you can teach an old dog new tricks, you know. I do. I do all the time. So yeah, I get it, okay. Alright, so you were saying what starts this process is, I know, I kind of interrupted the flow of it, but I just want to make sure I understood…What starts this process is I’m born and I have a caregiver who is hugging me, tickling me, holding me, treating me with love and kindness, and in that contact I begin to, my brain creates this Oxytocin, which begins to flood me with these hormones, which make me feel good I assume and…

Susan Kuchinskas: Yes.

Chip August: And at the same time as, it’s kind of a back and forth relationship, as that happens for me, my caregiver is also beginning to feel good and her body is beginning to flood with Oxytocin, and so we have this mother cocoon thing.

Susan Kuchinskas: Exactly. It’s a virtuous cycle where each person, you know, encourages the other person to release more Oxytocin, which just kind of deepens the feel good and the bond as well. Now we talked about attachment disorder, which is, you know, a severe inability to experience this, but you know, many of us might have something that’s not so severe that we maybe don’t even realize as a disorder, but we just have trouble bonding with people. It, you know, the Oxytocin response can explain that tendency that sometimes people will only like, only fall in love with people who reject them or only fall in love with people who are cruel or who are cold or who, well hot and cold, because this is the kind of experience they learned from their mothers, so this is the kind of love they’re sort of impelled to recreate. You know, Freud talked about the repetition compulsion. Well that is the compulsion that’s sort of wired into the brain.

Chip August: Alright, this is good stuff. I want to pause, I want to take a little break, and then I want to come back because I think a lot of us listening have had the experience of no only do I pick the wrong person, but I repeatedly pick the wrong person…

Susan Kuchinskas: Uh huh, me too, me too.

Chip August: So I want to, I want to come back and talk about that, but first lets take a break. Audience we’re about to pause for, to give a short break to support our sponsors. I really appreciate it when you listen to these ads. The ads are created by my sponsors for my show. They help me bring my work to you, and if you can support them, it supports me. If you go onto the episode page, if you got to personallifemedia.com and look under Sex, Love and Intimacy, many of my sponsors offer special offers, that you can get a free book from Audible, you can save 20 percent on ice.com jewelry. I believe we have almost everything at Adam and Eve Adult Products is 50 percent off. There’s just a lot of good deals, ways that you can get a good deal and ways that I can keep the program growing. So please listen to the, listen to the sponsors. We’re going to take a short break and we will be right back.

Chip August: Welcome back to Sex, Love and Intimacy. We’re talking to Susan Kuchinskas, and we’re talking about love and Oxytocin, and just as we went to break you were, you were talking about sort of how we can train ourselves to actually choose the wrong partners again and again and again.

Susan Kuchinskas: Yeah.

Chip August: Yeah. So, so is it that I’m just not used to having Oxytocin, so I create situations where I won’t get the Oxytocin response?

Susan Kuchinskas: That’s possible. I want to say one thing, I don’t think we train ourselves. I mean, you know, it’s really, we love to like blame our parents for everything, but, you know, honestly this is something that, you know, does go back to our nurture, so… So, this is some, this is training that we got before we were, we could even use words, this is preverbal. So that’s why it can be very, very hard to understand and fix. We have been trained to perhaps, to choose the kind of love that we got from our mother, however much love that is. Now, for example, in my family it was kind of dangerous to get too close, because there’s a lot of anger. So I think that for a lot of my life I, when I felt that Oxytocin feeling, that opening up, it scared me, and I backed away from it, and instead chose people who sort of didn’t want me to open up and wouldn’t open up to me because that felt safer. Another person might get that Oxytocin feeling and feel really stressed or they might go the other way and just glom onto it so hard, “Ah, I felt that, I need you. You’re mine.” So there’s a lot of different ways this can play out in our lives, all of which can keep us from getting that, you know, really genuine deep caring connection that we all crave.

Chip August: Mm hmm. Now, now, but when you started describing this, you said, “Look, most of us have a primary caregiver and it’s kind of our body’s trained through this nurturing process.” Does this imply that we are meant to be monogamous? That there’s like sort of, we learn it from one partner so now we’re going to look for another partner in the world for life who we can have this, I mean is there an implication here somehow that humans are meant to be monogamous?

Susan Kuchinskas: You know, that’s an interesting question. I don’t think that that comes from mothering. However, there is very, very strong evidence that in fact humans are meant to be monogamous. There’s, scientists think there are about three percent of mammals that are socially monogamous, and this seems to be related to receptors in the brain for both Oxytocin and Dopamine, which is another neuro-chemical, the neuro chemical of reward, reward seeking satisfaction. So in the monogamous mammals, there seem to be a lot of receptors for both Dopamine and Oxytocin in the social areas of the brain. Whereas in non monogamous mammals, the don’t have that same kind of receptor placements, and this seems to be what causes the impetus to be monogamous. It’s a sort of a learning, combining the reward of Dopamine with the social memory of Oxytocin, so that, “Ah, I had sex with you, it felt wonderful. I want to do it with you again”, rather than, “Ah, sex felt good. I want to do that again.”

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Susan Kuchinskas: This is, this is controversial to some people, but…

Chip August: Yeah, yeah.

Susan Kuchinskas: the science does support that.

Chip August: So, so in a way the science, there’s, so… This is a subject because obviously about half my guests, are promoting some form, I don’t know if half but a significant number of my guests are supporting some form of polyamory as our natural state…

Susan Kuchinskas: Mm hmm.

Chip August: And some, and some percentage of our guests are, are saying, “No, no, no, monogamy is our natural state”, and, you know, it depends, obviously it depends on the measure, right. The mongamists argue that given that men have been in charge for, you know, millennia, if they wanted a polyamorous, you know, like the, the argument is men want a, men are programmed to go plant their seed, they want to be with as many women as possible. But if they really wanted that, why wouldn’t they make societies that let them do that. Why isn’t…

Susan Kuchinskas: Exactly. That’s a really good point…

Chip August: You know, why is the guy in charge, why wouldn’t he make it the way he wants it to be, right?

Susan Kuchinskas: Huh, that’s really interesting, yeah. But this is, you know, if we’re just talking about the science, the physiology, there’s two, there are different strategies for propagating the species. One strategy for the male is to spread his seed as wide as he wants, but the other strategy is to make sure that the seed he does plant, you know, the baby lives, so, yeah, exactly. Now, but there is kind of a, of an easy resolution to this question, which is that we’re talking about social monogamy, which means living in a family unit with one mate, you know, a couple, in nature it’s male and female, although in, with humans it’ll, well we won’t even go there because in humans….

Chip August: Yeah, I was, I would like to say…

Susan Kuchinskas: it’s just not, and actually in animals it’s not always, but at any rate…

Chip August: Yeah, I was about to say, in nature it frequently is one male and one female…

Susan Kuchinskas: Yes, yes.

Chip August: And it turns out, it’s not so infrequent that it isn’t one male and one male or one female and one female, you know, the, right, yeah….

Susan Kuchinskas: Exactly, exactly. But, okay Chip, where was I going with this?

Chip August: Okay, so we’re talking about love and monogamy, and I’m going to lead you into a whole question about lust, so that’s, that’s…

Susan Kuchinskas: I know, lets, can we stay with monogamy though?

Chip August: We certainly can, but where we were was you were saying about how it seems like only three percent of species are…

Susan Kuchinskas: Yes.

Chip August: designed to be monogamous, and we’re in that three percent.

Susan Kuchinskas: Yes. Okay, but here’s an easy resolution to the question of why are we not so monogamous in our daily lives then. Scientists talk about social monogamy, which means living in a family unit with a mate, often with offspring as well, for most of your life. But that does not mean that you can’t have copulation outside of what they call the parabonds and even, we think of animals as being very instinctual and hard wired, but even in monogamous mammals that lived, that couple and live together and raise offspring season after season, there’s a large amount of extra peer copulation. So having sex outside the unit is different from living…

Chip August: Got it.

Susan Kuchinskas: in a family unit.

Chip August: Got it. The argument, the argument that there’s always been cheating is not an argument that says we’re not socially monogamous. It just says we’re socially monogamous and some percentage of us cheat…

Susan Kuchinskas: Exactly, exactly.

Chip August: and some percentage of us, right. Got it, yeah.

Susan Kuchinskas: And, you know, you don’t necessarily to think of it as cheating. I mean I’m not sure the prairie wolf thinks of it as cheating. They probably think of it as an opportunity…

Chip August: I think I was just being, revealing something about myself, wasn’t I? Sorry. Sorry about that.

Susan Kuchinskas: And the other thing, you know, in terms of polyandry, obviously people with their very large thinking prefrontal cortexes are able to have a lot more flexibility in our behavior. And just as, you know, you can love your children, you can love your mate, you can love your friends, you can love your mother and father, we have the ability to love more than one person, so if that love finds its expression of sexuality, that’s not such a far field thing to do.

Chip August: Right, right, right. Although, I notice that, well we don’t have to get lost in this… There, I’m amazed at some of the taboos which seem to just extend, no matter what you believe, they’re, you know, certainly the taboos about incest are way, way, way stronger than some other things, and, anyway… But we don’t have to go into that. I’m curious about love and lust. That’s what I’m curious about, because being I think in some regards a fairly typical male, those two things can often get really confused for me, love and lust…

Susan Kuchinskas: Yes, yes.

Chip August: You definitely write that romance, love, lust are distinct from each other. Can you talk a little bit about how they’re different from each other and why you think it’s important that we make this distinction?

Susan Kuchinskas: Sure. I think this is a very important distinction because our culture mixes them up a lot, and that makes it really confusing. So lust is physical desire, which can come, you know, from inside ourselves in response to any queue in the environments at all, or it can fix itself to another person, and this is sort of the first step in mating. You find somebody that you’re sexually attracted to, and probably, you know, in prehistoric times we had to be very, very careful not to, not to approach strangers because they might eat us, they might kill us, they might, you know, steal our children. So we had to have something that would get us over that fear, and lust seems to be that. Lust is so strong that it will make us, you know, approach somebody in a bar that we’ve never seen before, it will make us, you know, call somebody over and over, it will make us want to be with them. So once we have gotten reciprocation, we often move into the romantic state, which is the very excited obsessive, “Oh, I just can’t bear to be away with you”, wonderful, wonderful state. Now this state, romance, we often call love; “I fell in love”, “I’m in love.” However this is a temporary state. It typically lasts maybe up to two years. And there has been some research showing that this is, how this changes, and the neuro-chemicals of romance are very different from the neuro chemical of true love, which is Oxytocin. In romance, it’s all about Norepinephrine, which makes you excited, it’s about Dopamine, which makes you focused on going after that reward of your love, it’s lower serotonin so that you are really, really focused on that person to the exclusion of everything else. You know, this is designed to get us to mate with that person and cleave together. And this intense romantic state, you know, lasts long enough to, for a woman to get pregnant and bear a child, and have it, you know, nurse it for a couple months, you know, a couple years. And after that, those neuro-chemicals kind of go back to normal, but by that time all the sex you’re having should have created a deep Oxytocin bond. Now the problem is in our culture, often when we lose all those exciting neuro-chemicals of romance, we go, “Oh, I fell out of love.” So this could be a, so this is a huge problem because in fact it’s a different kind of love that’s more sedate, it’s steadier, it’s rewarding and satisfying, but it’s not exciting.

Chip August: Right. And of course, and of course I as a coach working with couples will often invite them to introduce back in behavior that may bring back some of that lust, some of that romance without threatening that Oxytocin and that sort of…

Susan Kuchinskas: That’s a terrific idea, yeah.

Chip August: that’s the balance, that’s the balance we’re searching for.

Susan Kuchinskas: Yes, yes, yes.

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Kuchinskas: And of course…

Chip August: We have to pause again.

Susan Kuchinskas: Okay.

Chip August: Hold that thought. Hold the of course thought ‘cause we have to pause again. You’re listening to Susan Kuchinskas. We’re talking about love and chemicals and how our brain works. We’re talking about The Chemistry of Connection, which is her book, and we’re going to be right back. Listeners, I just want to remind you that I love hearing from you, so if you want to send me comments or suggestions for future shows, I am easily reachable, [email protected], and I do read everything that people send me. If you just heard Susan say something or I say something that you think, “Ah, I just, I got to cut that out, you know, I got to cut and paste that onto a big piece of paper and put it on my wall”, well we transcribe almost every episode of Sex, Love and Intimacy, so if you want to print it, read it, cut and forward, copy, make a poster for yourself about something that you want to remind yourself every day, just go to the episode pages at personallifemedia.com, look for Sex, Love and Intimacy and you can look at the transcript. I often find that going back and reading the transcript helps me kind of hang on to stuff, which I kind of half remember I heard, but I really need to see it in print to help me remember, so you might want to go check. And then finally, if you’re liking what you’re hearing, please let your friends know. The way this, really, the way this show will continue is if I can keep growing the audience. It’s been doing very well, and I’d really like to reach more people. So if you like what you’re hearing, send a link to people and invite them to listen to. We’re going to take a short break, and we will be right back.

Chip August: Welcome back to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m your host Chip August. We’re talking to Susan Kuchinskas. She’s a journalist. She’s written a book called The Chemistry of Connection. She, we’ve been talking about love and the brain chemistry that’s involved with love and, I don’t about you, but I’m really loving this conversation. I, I like the emotions of love, but I think the chemistry of love is equally fascinating, and you’ve just been a great teacher here. When we went to break we were talking about that relationship from romance to lust to love and kind of, sort of how it all works, and earlier in the interview I recall that you were saying something about that depending how you were brought up in your childhood, it’s possible that that Oxytocin response isn’t happening in a way that serves you, what happens to those people in this love/lust/romance thing?

Susan Kuchinskas: That’s a good question. Well we can get stuck in sort of a romantic treadmill where, you know, we go, we can through the lust and the romance, but we never get to that committed love based on Oxytocin. Now what’s supposed to be happening behind the scenes when you’re in the romantic state, whether or not you’re actually having sex is that this Oxytocin bond of trust and intimacy and connection keeps growing. If you do have sex, every time you orgasm your body will release Oxytocin, and that’s supposed to deepen the bond. However if your Oxytocin response is weak as your exciting romantic neuro-chemicals start to ebb, you may, there may be nothing left, and you really may not love this person anymore and you may need to move on to somebody else who can provide at least the romantic excitement. You know, and we think, “Oh, I just can’t find the right person”, but in reality we just have not been able to get over that hump into committed love.

Chip August: Got it, got it. So this is the, those are the people that, and I’m sure there’s some of us listening, you know, you’re having this cycle, your relationship lasts three years or 18 months or whatever it is, and then it just always seems to end, and then you always, and then you find another and, you know, it’s that, sort of that pattern, huh?

Susan Kuchinskas: Yeah, yeah.

Chip August: Yeah. Now just out of curiosity, this stuff isn’t really taught in sex ed, is it? This is…

Susan Kuchinskas: No, it’s not, and it’s so important. You know, especially what should be taught in sex ed is the fact that sex bonds us. Whether we want it to, whether we intend it to, whether we like the person or not, it creates a bond.

Chip August: Yes, yeah. It’s just funny, I teach this to high school,  I go teach sex ed in a couple of private high schools near me, and it’s one of the things I talk about that, that no matter how much you think, “Oh yeah, no, no, I’m just, we’re just doing it”, that the actual, the actual connection of sex creates a bond. What you choose to do about that bond is, you know, some choice about, but the illusion that there’s no bond there is just illusion.

Susan Kuchinskas: Yeah, exactly. Well I’m glad you’re telling kids that.

Chip August: Yeah, well it’s just only, only, only a few. I wish I could reach more. Listen, I’m sure my listeners would love to find out about your blog and how to reach you and how they can learn more about this, so how could they?

Susan Kuchinskas: Well great. Well thank you. I do write a blog called Hug the Monkey, it’s at www.hugthemonkey.com, where I track news articles, features, as well as research on Oxytocin and its effects on our life and love. You can buy my book at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com, as well as physical bookstores. And I do have a website for it, chemistryofconnection.com, but if you didn’t have a pencil, I understand you can just go to Chip’s show and he’ll have all those links ready for you.

Chip August: Yeah, you saved me some words, yeah. Go visit, go visit Sex, Love and Intimacy at personallifemedia.com, and you’ll find Susan’s name and then you’ll find links to go to exactly the things she said. Susan this is really, I’ve really been enjoying talking to you, and there’s just so much more I, I kind of want to know. I like my listeners, I really like my listeners to walk away from these things, not just with knowledge, but with something that they can do at home to improve the love, intimacy and sexuality in their life, and you had a whole chapter sort of at the back of the book about things you can do based on what you know about the Oxytocin response and the other chemicals. Can you, do you have a suggestion, maybe two suggestions, something for people who have a partner at home and maybe something for people who don’t have a partner at home, about ways that they could knowing about their neuro-chemistry, they could improve the sex, love and intimacy in their life?

Susan Kuchinskas: Absolutely. Well if you do have a partner at home, sex actually does make love if it’s good sex, if it’s desired sex and if it leads to orgasm, your brain will release Oxytocin, which will make you feel more loving towards your mate. Now if you’re angry, that can be really hard to want to make love with them, but it really works. And the other thing to, for people to remember is that in order to really enjoy sex and feel close and intimate, it should probably take some time. Start slowly, foreplay, really set aside an hour and spend some time at first just kind of connecting by looking into each others eyes, rather than just getting busy. Now if you don’t have a partner, there are many things you can do to give yourself and Oxytocin boost. If you’re feeling that you really can’t connect with people and that’s the problem, try doing things that are not so scary. For example, if you like animals, petting a dog can help your release Oxytocin or probably, dogs, science has shown that this happens with dogs, but probably any fuzzy cuddly pet, this will work. If you don’t have a dog, that’s no problem. Go see a friend who has a dog, go to the dog park, recognize that that little boost of feel good is actually Oxytocin and the more we experience that, the more we’re open to it in the future.

Chip August: And I want to say, couples, that advice about having sex, you’ve all heard me say this before, we have this odd idea I think mostly from the media that sex needs to flow from first romance, then lust, then love or whatever, and it is my experience in a loving relationship, even though you don’t think you’re in the mood, if you will just set aside time to get naked, to be in a private environment, to hold each other and time to talk for a little bit, you will find your bodies respond…

Susan Kuchinskas: Yes.

Chip August: And I just noticed this, that people say, “Well I don’t want to have sex.” Yeah, I understand that, you probably don’t. And my belief is if your naked body is up against your partners naked body and you’re holding each other and you’re talking quietly, you’d be amazed at how fast your body will change its mind about whether or not it wants to have sex. Without, without, totally unbidden, your body will just do it for, not always, I understand, but for many of you, please just make time for it and hold each other.

Susan Kuchinskas: Absolutely, and Chip I think what you say is really important, especially for women. The Oxytocin response happens in times of safety, intimacy and trust, so that spending that period of time holding and talking and looking into each others eyes creates that feeling of intimacy and trust that allows us, and especially those of us who are female, to open up.

Chip August: Yup. And then I also want to say that there are, as Susan said, there are chemicals, we sometimes are overwhelmed with lust. I have nothing against quickies, you know, I say this to couples all the time. They say, “Well we don’t have an hour.” I say, “Well if you’re horny and he’s horny, you know, great. Take five minutes, ten minutes, go be lustfull teenagers.” A certain amount of that in relationship I believe also helps all the chemistry. That, you know, it’s okay sometimes to just have sex and it’s okay to make love, and it’s okay when it’s about a long-term beautiful hour of letting down your guard and, you know, real connection, and sometimes it’s just really lovely to have a lustfull moment and remember what it felt like when you were a teenager…

Susan Kuchinskas: Oh, absolutely.

Chip August: It’s all good. It’s all good. We’re coming to the end of our time together, Susan, you’ve been a great guest, and I’ve really, I enjoyed your book and I really enjoy talking to you. Listeners I hope you do check out her blog ‘cause I just, I think this is really good stuff to know about. Thank you so much for being here on the show.

Susan Kuchinskas: Well thank you Chip, it was really fun.

Chip August: And listeners thank you so much for joining me again. I really do appreciate your support, I really do appreciate the way that the show is growing and I really enjoy doing it. So thanks for helping me do this. This brings us to the end of another episode of Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m your host Chip August, and I hope you’ll join me again next time.