More on the science of love: it's all in your hormones
In the November  Ecphorizer1, Fish described the phenomenon of sexual decay in H. Sapiens quite accurately. However, as Fish only discussed the phenomenon from
its biological perspective, a consideration of the neurochemistry and socio-psychological modifiers thereto may help explain some readers' empirical observations that the Lust Extinction Factor (LEF) may vary considerably from the expected 193 days and 58 minutes with respect to different lust objects.
[quoteright]Horney has demonstrated that when an individual is exposed to a lust object that elicits interest above a certain superficial level, a specific hormonal combination, lustorphin, is released by the anterior hypothalamus glands. This substance is neurochemically related to only one particular lust object2. This neurochemical basis for the LEF explains why it is possible to have relationships with more than one lust object, all decaying from different initiation dates. The half-life decay of lustorphin is the chemical basis for the timing of the LEF, which, as Fish points out, is directly related to gestation period. Examination of the amino acid chains indicates that it is theoretically possible for an individual to maintain different LEFs for 4.2 X 105 lust objects at any given time. This neurochemical process is also the basis for interactions between individuals colloquially referred to as "chemistry" (good or bad).
In point of fact, completely unrequited lust is not subject to the LEF. The phenomenon of "Courtly Love" from the 16th century serves as adequate proof of this. This is because the LEF timing sequence is not initiated until an exchange of the lustorphin hormone occurs between the parties to the lust exchange. This exchange is generally accomplished through mucous membrane contact.
LEF times do not precisely fit standard Poisson distribution curves. Empirical studies have shown a clustering of LEF's at both the low (less than two days) and high (several years) levels. The rest of the data fit within the expected time of 193 days and 58 minutes at a rate that correlates .9 (r2 linear regression analysis with the variations in gestation periods for Homo Sapiens3. These LEFs clustered at the high and low end of the time scales are explained by socio-psychological factors that are discontinuous in nature, and, upon occasion, by rare matches or mis-matches of the lustorphin hormone between individuals.
Gallo4 has demonstrated that alcohol tends to amplify the effect that psychological influences have on LEF times. This explains an unusually high number of LEF times found at the less than five hour level; the parties were engaging in a non-involved, intended short-term relationship with a lust object of opportunity. The presence of alcohol as a social lubricant in such circumstances results in a magnification of the psychological impact of the underlying feelings of unease felt with relationships that are perceived as meaningless. In this state of psychological unease, the Lustorphin Releasing Factor (LORF) is released. The alcohol present causes the quantity of LORF released to be adequate to cause a highly accelerated breakdown of Lustorphin, resulting in the observed LEF of hours.
Similarly, the clustering of LEF times at the high end of the range is explained by the rare circumstances where the amino acid sequences in lustorphin formed after mucous membrane contact have matching base pairs. This results in an inhibition to the initiation of the Lustorphin decay sequence. Two individuals in such circumstances may sustain lust for periods as long as twenty years. While such "good chemistry" is only statistically expected once in 106 occurences, this is adequate to produce the observed distortion to the Poisson distribution at the high LEF times.
Those individuals who have achieved the one in 10 occurence of matched Lustorphin amino acid sequences report a high degree of subjective pleasure, often described as "true and everlasting love (lust)." The seemingly Brownian sexual motion observed in H. Sapiens (frequent changing of partners earlier than might be expected due to LEF times) is explained by a seemingly hopeless search for an individual with whom such congruence of Lustorphin might be found.
1. Fish, A., "Sexual Decay in H. Sapiens," in THE ECPHORIZER, 3:8 (Nov 8l).
2. Horney, I.M., "Process of Lustorphin Release," Journal of Organic Sexual Chemistry 24:67-72 (July 1980).
3. Alden, J., and Mullens, P., "Further Observations on the Goodbye Syndrome," Sexual Abstracts 138:43-56 (Aug. 1978).4. Gallo, J., The Effect of Alcohol on the Lustorphin Releasing Factor," Sonoma Journal of Medicine 15:34-39 (Feb. 1981).
This contributor is also known in local Mensa circles as Barry Leff. The famous San Francisco Mensa parties have provided him with a wealth of data for his studies of sexual chemistry.
More Articles by A. Nother, Ph.D.
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