I have been reminded by a friend not to blog data that is difficult to understand and that the role of a blogger is to take a few simple facts and be free to go wherever the imagination leads. So what could the study (Thienel et al.) possibly mean. Let’s explore.
The first fact is that heterosexual men do not need an oxytocin enhancement to approach smiling women and avoid angry women. The evidence – no increase in activity in the dopamine production and pleasure section of the brain. No surprise there because heterosexual men are always naturally charged to be attracted to and pursue women who show the slightest indication that they may be interested. Moreover, they have learned to channel these urges through their social processing section of the brain and have learned instinctively to avoid angry women when under an oxytocin surge. Smart. This also implies that they already have an oxytocin-dopamine system in place geared strictly to smiling women.
Now let’s have a look at gay men. Enhanced oxytocin increases their attraction to men whether they are smiling or not as evidenced again by increased activity in the dopamine-pleasure center of the brain. On the surface this is as expected. But the question is why do heterosexuals show no increased response to women and yet gay men do show increased response to men. I would suggest that gay men have learned to view all men, whether they smile or not, as potential partners when under an oxytocin surge. This implies they have already felt a positive vibe (increased oxytocin), in other words – contact – vibe – oxytocin enhancement – pursuit. In other words they rely on this vibe sensation because they know that the man will be naturally receptive unlike heterosexual men who must first use the executive processor to see if the woman will respond
The real surprise is in the increased attraction to smiling women. This has several implications. The first is that gay men need oxytocin enhancement to be attracted to women. This has implications for bisexual men. This suggests that the 75% of the bisexuals who are gay orientated may need to experience an oxytocin surge before their sexual pursuit mechanism kicks in. This means that they may have to engage in extensive foreplay with their heterosexual partner (much like a woman) before getting aroused. This of course can be an advantage because the oxytocin surge can be channeled into oxytocin bonding rather than just pursuit. In bisexual couples, this potentially has some encouragement for the woman partner. Her husband may not be showing the aggressiveness that she may be used to when dealing with men. This does not mean that he does not love her or desire her, it simply means that she may need to be understanding and patient and take ownership in pursuing him when she has sexual desires, much like a man pursues a woman, Once his oxytocin levels kick in she will have all she can handle from her man. This gives her an opportunity to develop her own masculine-like aggressive tendencies and enhance her own levels of sexual pleasure. It also means she can control the situation more and bring her man along more slowly and more intensely thus increasing his bonding to her and the relationship. This is a win-win situation. This is what both partners truly desire, extending the pleasure moment to its fullest before giving in to orgasm. It also leads to more post-orgasm time and intense intimacy as they both experience the glow of the sexual sensations they have experienced.