image credit: Daniel Sandoval
According to Peace Between the Sheets author Marnia Robinson, most people are severely addicted to the dopamine release that follows an orgasm. The downside to a dopamine release (which feels great), is that it is followed by a release of Prolactin. Prolactin release typically follows dopamine and is associated with the withdrawl/hangover phases of using drugs like alcohol or cocaine. Prolactin release is thought to be associated with lower libido, weight gain, hostility, anxiety, prostrate trouble and a general decline in hormone production.
A scientist, Robinson presents research in her book that suggests that the reason people often feel very disconnected from each other after sexual climax is because of the frequency of orgasm in a relationship as well as the quality of sex leading to the orgasm (furious or uncontrolled sex being associated internally with a drive towards an unhealthy chemical crash). The result is that couples can feel as terrible as a hangover for a few days after every climax. And often enough the negative feelings can be projected onto a person’s partner, causing conflict in other areas of the relationship.
(…) If we, as a society, have religiously idolized sex while placing it on a restricted, Victorian pedestal, and if our backlash has been to make sex compulsive, wild and unrestrained, then the balance might be found in managing our big O’s and finally finding peace between our sheets.