Let’s talk about Dopamine. That wonderful little hormone that is released when we accomplish pleasurable goals such as eating chocolate, sex, or even drugs. Dopamine is why people get addicted to drugs and habits that make them feel good even if it only last a minute. But dopamine is not just about addiction.
Dopamine is, first, a chemical neurotransmitter firing signals between neurons (nerve cells). It is why we seek rewards, thus, it is associated with motivation, concentration, pleasure, euphoria, focus, and other positive feelings (University Health News, 2018). Dopamine is also associated with motor function. Too little dopamine in our systems often leads to depression, ADHD, or Parkinson’s. Too much can cause a psychotic breakdown. Dopamine levels are usually well regulated within the nervous system.
In a study conducted in 2015, scientists found that dopamine is crucial to pain control (Practical Pain Management). And that is the connection to intimacy and dopamine. Pleasure goals that you strive to achieve can increase your dopamine levels. Scientists also found that chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, burning mouth syndrome, and atypical facial pain have altered levels of dopamine (2015). So, chronic pain conditions could benefit from higher dopamine levels.
To maintain healthy dopamine levels eat foods rich in tyrosine. In order to make dopamine, your body needs tyrosine which can be found in almonds, bananas, avocados, eggs, beans, fish, and chicken. Gentil self-care is also a great way to boost your dopamine levels such as meditation, masterbation, getting a massage, exercising and listening to music.
If you are working on increasing your dopamine levels through intimacy, remember you need to surrender. Stress does not help in the release of dopamine. If sex is difficult because of pain or disability, pleasure yourself to keep it low stress. Eventually, those happy little neurotransmitters will be flooding your body.
I am not a doctor. Please discuss all diet and supplement changes with your doctor.