It was the start of a new week, and LJ left his house early to beat the heat. Running along the Greyhawk trail was his favorite daily exercise. On returning, he ran past the creek, happily gushing water because of the recent heavy rains. He left the trail and turned the corner, increasing his speed as he ran down his street, admiring the cacti in full bloom and petals from the Palo Verde trees floating around him until he reached his walkway. The birds sang their courtship songs as they flew about, building nests for the upcoming season. He stopped near the front door while trying to catch his breath and bent over to remove his shoes. When he raised his head, he noticed a beautiful breakfast through the dining room window. “Wow!” he thought in surprise.
He opened the door and was greeted by the sultry sounds of Bruno Mars:
I ain’t playing no games
Every word that I say is coming straight from the heart
So, if you tryna lay in these arms.
I’ma leave the door open
(I’ma leave the door open)
Leave the door open.
A smiling Annie approached him with a glistening glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. “How was your run?” she said, handing him the glass.
LJ downed the juice and planted a kiss on her. “It was great, but I wish I knew what was in store for me; it’s like I’m living in heaven without dying first. Did I miss something? What’s the special occasion?”
“Well, I’m glad you skipped the dying part because you’re the special occasion,” she said in her sultry voice. “Do you remember mentioning oxytocin to me?”
LJ smiled broadly. “I do! I said
Oxytocin is a hormone produced by the brain’s hypothalamus. It has two primary functions: it travels down the spine or into other parts of the brain, depending on its required purpose. While it’s usually connected to sex, breastfeeding, and childbirth, any contact that fosters social bonding or generates positive physical contact can prompt oxytocin in the body.
Research shows sex encourages the secretion of it, which amplifies that activity. Oxytocin is also intricately connected to serotonin and dopamine —…