Happiness hormones FTW!
I had the pleasure to make a recording for a Danish radio program, along with a lovely and inspiring sexologist, Lene Alexander. Lene told me how she had gotten herself out of a depression by having three-hour sex session with herself inspired by the "Mother of Masturbation," Betty Dodson.
Lene had literally touched and masturbated herself out of depression.
We discussed how interesting it is that neuroscience has identified several "happiness hormones" in connection with sexual activity, including the "connectedness hormone" oxytocin, and the hormone serotonin, which is used in antidepressant medicine. The questions ran wild in my mind.
- What if the doctor could prescribe a workshop in self-pleasure and long-lasting orgasms instead of year long intake of Prozac?
- What if it were more legitimate to physically touch each other among friends and family, without fearing the misconception that you're flirting or sexually harassing the other?
- What if we perceived self-touch and masturbation as an integrated part of our general health?
- What impact would it have on our relationships, to ourselves and to others, if we held hands more often with the people we hang out with, or gave long hugs instead of handshakes?
- What influence does long kissing and caressing with a partner have on mental health?
One thing is certain: The more we touch each other, the more "happy hormones" we produce. And the more profound pleasure that we experience — whether with ourselves or others — the more we produce the same hormones that are in antidepressant medication.
In 2008, antidepressants became the third most common prescription drug taken in America. Prozac, in particular, is a drug that's infamous for its dampening effect on the libido. Is that really what we want?
What do you prefer: Medication or masturbation? Perhaps it's time that we open our minds altogether and embrace sexual activity with ourselves and others, together with the human touch, as an essential part of our health that we must give as much priority to as exercise, diet and sleep.