hugToday’s Hormonology Tip is for readers who are in a romantic relationship or plan to be. However, if you’re not in a relationship and have no plans to be, don’t stop reading.

That’s because before I get to today’s tip (below), I need to provide a little bit of a refresher on your libido in case you forgot or you’re new to Hormonology and haven’t read about this yet. So, this first part of today’s Hormonology Tip will apply to everyone.

Okay, so to start off, here’s a super-quick summary of what you can expect from your desire for sex week to week in your cycle:

Your interest in sexual fun warms up in your Week 1 (your period week), gets hot hot hot in your Week 2 (the week leading up to and including ovulation), it cools way down in your Week 3 (the week right after ovulation) and then it warms up again in your Week 4 (your premenstrual week).

Why all the amorous up-and-downs? Hormones! Well, mostly hormones:

Your libido rises in the first half of your cycle because of estrogen that climbs throughout your Week 1 and Week 2 and a bump in testosterone you get at ovulation. These two hormones fan the flames of physical desire by improving blood flow to your nether regions and prompting more sparks and tingles from sensual touch, sights, scents, sounds, tastes and thoughts.

During your Week 3, things cool way back down because estrogen and testosterone dip, reversing the effects they had when on the rise. And, on top of that, progesterone climbs throughout this entire week–and this hormone has a libido-quashing effect.

And, finally, your desire for sex increases again in your premenstrual Week 4–though not because of hormones (estrogen actually plunges in this cycle week). Instead, nerve endings in your genitals get stimulated as your body prepares for menstruation.

Okay, so that was your Hormonology libido primer. Now, here’s today’s Hormonology Tip:

As you read above, your desire for physical intimacy bottoms-out right after ovulation during your Week 3. So, unlike the previous week of your cycle–your Week 2–you won’t be chasing down your partner and enticing him or her into bed every free moment you get.

However, there’s no reason for your sweetie to feel sad or lonely on these days. That’s because research shows you’re actually more committed to your relationship during your Week 3 and feel emotionally closer to your honey.

The theory why: During this week of your cycle, rising progesterone tricks your body into thinking you might be pregnant. So, even though you may not be conscious you’re doing it, you form a closer bond with your mate in case you need help and support during a pregnancy and childrearing.

So, what can you do with this info? During your Week 3 when your sugarpie notices you’re not as amorous as you recently were–and he or she will notice–first reassure your sweetie that it’s just hormones putting a temporary damper on your physical desire. Then, with a big hug–that probably won’t lead to anything more–explain that these same hormones are also making you feel stronger about your relationship, so there’s that to enjoy!

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[Photo: RayMorris1]