Love and sex - is the key just a 'new' brain chemical?

Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

Discovered in the late 90s, this peptide – apparently named after Hershey’s Kisses – was initially linked to growth and fertility.

Now researchers say it’s the biological missing link connecting puberty/fertility and attraction/sexual behaviour.

See, up until now, no one could understand the mechanism that triggered attraction and sexual feelings after puberty set in; the ‘Hey, you’re bleeding! Here is some lust! Now go procreate!’ mechanism.

Kisspeptin is what makes it all come together. Nudge nudge.

Bad double entendres aside, kisspeptin is just the newest addition to the array of chemicals your body produces to get you hooked – and keep you hooked – on your honey.

Read more: Would you learn about sex from Barney the Dinosaur?

You’re probably familiar with some of them…

First, your pheromones find your target and then testosterone and oestrogen give your libido an appetite for them.

Then, adrenalin gives you butterflies so that you’re stressed just enough to make it interesting.

And when you get your shot of dopamine from seeing your beloved and basking in the glow of their awesomeness? Well, Timberlake didn’t call it ‘love stoned’ for nothing.

While these cool kids are whizzing around your system, sunny serotonin is working its magic, blessing you with a happy buzz that slays even the darkest of Monday blues.

But wait! There’s more!

To keep you loved up for longer, your body throws in oxytocin and vasopressin.

Oxytocin or ‘cuddle hormone’ is released during orgasm and breastfeeding to build trust and bonding (which is why you only pillow talk with people who care for you), and vasopressin has been linked to keeping couples monogamous and in long-term commitments.

Like. Seriously.

With your body dosing you with this cocktail of love drugs without your say-so, how the verkakken do you stand a chance?

I don’t even know.

News is that researchers are thinking of ways to make kisspeptin marketable to either dampen or elevate libido in men and women.

I think that’s why we have friends.

There’s always one that’ll smack your face and hold your hair back when you’ve imbibed too much of the good stuff.

And I think the same should apply when it comes to love.

But maybe there’s a solution here with kisspeptin.

News is that researchers are thinking of ways to make kisspeptin marketable to either dampen or elevate libido in men and women. 

Usually I’d be hesitant about this sort of thing.

But considering the number of toxic romances that start because good chemistry goes for the bad, I reckon we should try aim for a kisspeptin-dampening autoinjector.

Read more: Is it ever okay to research your new crush online?

You know: The minute you find your body working its dopamine trip on you because of a loser, you just whack that needle straight into your heart like a scene from Pulp Fiction and sober the hell up.

Hey? I think this is a winning solution.

But until science catches up, keep your eyes open to the voodoo your body do and your friends close.

Follow Dorothy Black on her blog and on Twitter.

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