Have you ever seen The Stepford Wives? Not the atrocious recent release starring Nicole Kidman, but the 1975 version, starring Katharine Ross. The premise of the film (and the book on which the film was based) was that the husbands in the town of Stepford were all involved in a conspiracy to turn their wives into robots: subservient and immaculate—their version of perfect. The movie was more of a feminist take on society, but the point of the story is that there’s something deep down in all of us that wishes for the perfect partner (just to prove that this column isn’t about feminist rights, there was also a made-for-TV sequel called The Stepford Husbands that was based on the same premise, just in reverse).
Recently, researchers announced that they were working on a nasal spray that might be of interest to married couples looking for that Stepford-like quick fix. It’s not a robotic upgrade, but the spray contains a hormone known as oxytocin, also known as the "love hormone". It’s a natural chemical that is produced in our bodies and it’s known to relieve stress, relax muscles and most notably, it’s released into our blood system after orgasm. To cut to the chase, when oxytocin is introduced into our systems, it makes us feel good—really good. HealthDigest reports that scientists are looking to introduce this magic elixir as a solution to those pesky fights that couples seem so prone to fall into.
The study in HealthDigest says that researchers tested the spray on 50 couples and results showed those given the spray had reduced levels of cortisol (the chemical released when we’re stressed). Robotic spouses be damned, one spray and both partners could be enjoying a moment of bliss together.
"Couples could use drugs and nasal sprays to calm them down temporarily, but this will never resolve their conflicts," says Paul Davis, a relationship expert and author of Breakthrough for a Broken Heart. "As soon as the drugs and sprays wear off, the problems and issues still remain. Even worse is such drugs and gimmicks could lessen sex drive."
"We never would consider it," says Susan Tellem. She and her husband have been married for 18 years and she says her tactic to end arguments is “hugs, not slugs”. "It makes you laugh in the heat of an argument," she says.
Like Tellem, Christine Hohlnaum, 37, and her husband Andreas, 39, have different ways of handling their arguments.
"Humor really is the best medicine in relationships," says Christine. She usually manages to make her husband, Andreas laugh during an argument by placing a pair of clean underwear on her head as they argue. "We were getting heated about something I don’t even remember," she says. "Up went the panties on my crown."
"There are no quick fixes in relationships," says Davis. "We should never try to avoid and escape conversations that are most necessary to gain mutual understanding and secure the relationships."
The delightfully orgasmic, argument-ending nasal spray may still be in research phases, but it’s clearly not an attractive option for most couples. Most couple fights probably wouldn’t be solved with just a spray anyway. Plus, you’d miss out on all that great make-up sex and seeing your spouse with panties on their head.