Chapter 2 – Dopamine!

“without dopamine, human aspirations remain frozen….”

neuroscientist – psychobiologist

Lure…Lust…Desire…Dopamine…

Schiele image: The author died in 1918, so this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 95 years or less. Astronaut – https://www.pexels.com/photo/space-research-science-astronaut-41162/
Pyramid/Sphinx – https://pixabay.com/en/egypt-sphinx-pyramid-cairo-giving-2133951/

Our brain is a vessel of chemicals swimming through an intricate web of neurons. These chemicals excite and inhibit activity across a network of cells influencing the body’s behavior in response to its experiences, how to feel, what memories to draw upon, all while burning our experiences into grey matter for future use. Certain neurons, when encountering specific enzymes, play the role of mixologist … combining and recombining molecules to produce a most coveted juice: Dopamine. 

dopamine molecule

The dopamine molecule, with its hexagon carbon body, oxygen legs in hydrogen heels, and nitrogen crown, is the key to pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation. This tiny molecule is so powerful and has such force, it has driven humans to spawn pyramids, visit the moon, mutilate their own earlobe in the expression of love, and to express the internal furnace of lure. All that we achieve has dopamine as its driver.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Reuptake_both.png?uselang=en-gb

As discussed in chapter 1, dopamine neurons pump and store this powerful concoction into vesicles at the tip of the axon terminal ready for use when triggered by another neuron’s message to do so. These plump, balloon-like vessels float around at the tips of axons just waiting for a signal to pop and release their goo. When they pop, dopamine molecules flood into the synaptic cleft exciting dendrites across the clef just waiting for a fix. As these pop and release events increase the dopamine level in key parts of your brain: voila! … you experience the pleasure of Kings and Queens.

Understanding Dopamine

– Two Types: Tonic & Phasic

There are two different types of dopamine release in the

1) Tonic Release – which is an irregular yet constant ‘pulse’ of dopamine that may reflect our general motivational mood.

2) Phasic Release – are bursts of rapid fire transmissions from axons to dendrites usually in response to acute stimulation.

Various possible states of Tonic & Phasic dopamine levels in the brain

Tonic DA Level – represented by the horizontal line in the graphs above, is the standing level of dopamine that fluctuates in small amounts up and down to motivate, demotivate, and induce learning.

Phasic Burst – represented by the spikes in the graphs above, are episodic releases of dopamine that yield pleasure. Subjects will experience a rush of pleasure when presented with rewards, promises of rewards and while consuming rewards.

Suppressed Tonic DA Level – when the Tonic DA Level is suppressed, the pleasure intensity range of phasic bursts is greater and pleasure is thus intensified.

Elevated Tonic DA Level – when the Tonic DA Level is elevated, pleasure intensity declines from phasic bursts but motivation to consume rewards is high.

The pleasure and motivational aspects of your subject are directly related to the activity and level of dopamine released to these two different types of receptors in the brain. Different activities and how your subject feels about them govern the amount of tonic vs. phasic releases and thus create various types of experiences.

The intensity of pleasure is impacted by a wide variety of factors of course. To speak in simplistic terms regarding dopamine’s influence; you can imagine edging a subject who has been in chastity for a week would experience a more intense hedonistic pleasure of finally being touched compared with a subject who has been edged for hours non-stop.

Pleasure is different than desire however. Desire is wanting. Pleasure is getting.

Anytime desire exceeds pleasure, you have suffering. A chaste slave suffers from the want and experience more intense pleasure when he gets. An edged but denied slave suffers dangling on the closeness to orgasm and sustained arousal can become exhausting after a certain threshold.

A Dominant can thus choose what kind of suffering their subjects experience.

Regardless of the method, periods of chastity vs. prolonged edging without release, without orgasms, they both will create elevated tonic levels that maintain high motivation and desire. These are the subjects who are always ripe with a desire to please their Dominant.

Having an orgasm of course, wipes out these nuances, at least for a period of time after the release. We will learn more about that when we discuss the refractory period and prolactin.

Beyond dopamine, there are many other neurotransmitters and hormones whose levels and timing of release impact our experiences. An orgasm ultimately is a massive exchange of neurotransmitters inside the brain.