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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Column: Sexy Science

This isn’t your grandmother’s science. This isn’t your nursery rhyme, “apple a day keeps the doctor away” science. Sure, apples are great for you, no doubt about it, but they’ve got nothing on the ultimate health booster. Food science tells us to eat healthy, exercise science tells us to have good cardio and endurance. Medical science tells us to take aspirin to lessen the risk of heart disease. But there is another science that covers all these bases, and more: Sexy Science.

Did you know that lack of physical contact with other people actually increases the amount of the stress-causing hormone norepinephrine? Other sexy hormones in the brain are testosterone and estrogen, which drive feelings of lust and sexual cravings; dopamine and (low) serotonin, which drive feelings of romance and passion, euphoria and obsessive thinking; and oxytocin and vasopressin, which are responsible for feelings of calm, tranquility, peace and stability.
Every single one of these sexy hormones is released in the brain at different times of physical contact, and the effects they have on body and mind can be profound. The health benefits associated with the release of these hormones are so extensive that a woman in New York has set up a professional cuddling business, based solely on the positive effects of physical contact … and she is successfully charging up to around $100 per hour for her services. One hundred dollars an hour, just for cuddling; no sex, no sexual touching. Her company is called The Snuggery.
How can she possibly run such a successful business without even selling a product?  Well, there is a product, and it is inside you. Customers, or clients, are essentially paying for a method to release natural hormones in their bodies. Not only are people clamoring to fit into her schedule, but many of her clients are repeat clients, so enamored of the benefits of her service that they will return time and again for it.
What kind of world do we live in where people feel the need to pay just for simple physical contact? When we look at our society, it is not all that surprising. Many of The Snuggery’s clients are men (and women) who just do not have time for a real relationship due to job stress, impatience or just because they haven’t found the right person yet. The Snuggery offers all the health benefits of a physical relationship without any of the messy parts, like dinner dates, movies and awkward conversation.
Physical contact feels great. The simple act of holding hands, let alone body-to-body cuddling, releases large amounts of oxytocin. It makes you feel happy, secure and safe, feelings that are often a rarity in college life or high-powered job positions.
Touch makes you feel sexy. In a real relationship, cuddling can lead to sex. The release of dopamine from cuddling causes intense sexual desire, and is great for physical and mental health. Obviously, The Snuggery cannot offer sex as a service, but the sexual desire stemming from their services may give clients the necessary confidence boost to get out there and find someone they can actually progress with.
The release of oxytocin during cuddling and sex is such a good stress reliever that it has been proven to reduce blood pressure, hypertension and the risk of heart disease.
All of these benefits are just from basic physical contact. What happens to these sexy hormones during the throes of passion, sex and orgasm? Sex and orgasm greatly reduce the body’s pain response, increase immune function and have long-lasting, mood-elevating effects.  Studies have even shown that couples in long-lasting, intimate relationships have fewer chronic diseases and live longer.
So guys, stroke her hair, interlace your fingers with hers, give a backrub, kiss her forehead. And remember, winter is coming. Get under those covers and get your cuddle on.HUDSON LOFCHIE can be reached at science@theaggie.org.


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