Love & Sex

No, Spraying Yourself with Oxytocin Won’t Get You Laid

Pin it

Some things are too good to be true.

Called the "love hormone" or "cuddle drug," oxytocin has been making a lot of waves in the science community lately, with some new studies purporting that the hormone inspires greater trust between people, can protect against addiction, may help couples communicate, and that increased amounts of it lends itself to monogamy. Of course, from all this you'd assume oxytocin was a miracle hormone — let's bottle the stuff and baptize ourselves in its feel-good glory! And many companies have tried to capitalize on just that, packaging it as a love potion and sex booster. Unfortunately, that simply doesn't work.

Someone could rub as many spritzes of Edge trust perfume on their wrists as they wanted, but in order for oxytocin to do its thang, it has to reach the brain or the blood. As Dr. Justin Lehmiller explains on his blog, the most effective ways to take in oxytocin are up the nose or intravenously, "but it’s not really cool to go up to someone at the bar and say, 'Hey! Can I spray this up your nose?' or 'Would you mind if I stick this needle in your arm?'"

So, no, someone can't actually dose themselves or anybody else with love hormones. Just as the science of products laced with sexy-scented pheromones (stockings, really?) remains fuzzy, products that claim to enhance our biological urges are definitely something to be wary of and definitely something you probably shouldn't purchase for outrageous amounts of money on Amazon. Which might be for the best. If oxytocin sprays actually worked, would you really want to risk the chance that just any fedora-wearing, soul-patch-having individual could spray your neck and, instantly, you'd be in their bed?