Saturday, December 25, 2010

What I Mean When I Say I Love You

Published in Cliterature, APPETITE edition

1. Endorphins are the natural opiates the body produces to protect us from pain. Touching secretes endorphins. We crave the emotional nutrition that comes from touch, just like a vitamin. Without it we develop a form of emotional scurvy.

2. Oxytocin is a peptide that spikes when someone touches you. If you spend time in that person’s presence, oxytocin will surge just at the thought of him or her.

3. Which means I have acute skin hunger for you, like malnutrition.

4. Phenylethylamine (PEA) is a natural form of amphetamine that we produce when we “fall in love”. Conversely, the love-struck soul gets acutely lovesick when romance ends, similar to amphetamine withdrawal.

5. PEA creates the limerance that consumes lovers. Occasionally, high levels of PEA have been found in states of mania and schizophrenia.

6. So when I say I’m crazy about you, I probably am.

7. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) produces the pheromones that emit our scent through the skin. We each have a unique smell print. When we move around we leave a cloud of scent molecules behind.

8. Estrogen governs a woman’s receptive sex drive and makes her acquiescent.

9. So when I arch my back to you it’s called “presenting”, just like a bitch in heat.

10. Seratonin cools your sex drive. At high levels serotonin has a sensitive side, with a peaceful nature. That’s why Prozac makes people feel so good—it boosts your serotonin. It also takes away your sex drive and delays your orgasms. Low serotonin levels make you want it—now. Gotta get happy. Now.

11. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter best known for giving us pleasure. Dopamine is the common denominator of most, if not all, addictions.

12. So when I say I love you, what I mean is that I’m really addicted to the chemical rush I associate with you.

13. When I met you, DHEA increased in my brain and seeped through my skin, sending and receiving signals into the atmosphere. PEA made me feel giddy and high. Oxytocin rushed when you touched my arm. Dopamine pulsed in anticipation of what you might feel like, taste like. When we touched, oxytocin and endorphins soothed me, made me like it. Made me associate you with pleasure. Serotonin dropped. Estrogen made me arch my back. Oxytocin and estrogen demanded penetration. Just before orgasm and ejaculation, oxytocin levels in both our bodies spiked three to five times higher than usual.

14. When it was all over, when I was flooded with PEA and dopamine and you were drunk in your post-coital oxytocin coma, I realized that I loved you.

*Some text incorporated from the book The Alchemy of Love and Lust by Theresa L. Crenshaw

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