Chapter 4 – Serotonin

The Serotonin Molecule

Serotonin is considered the “happy” neurotransmitter. When your serotonin levels are balanced or even elevated, most people have a sense of well being and happiness. Serotonin is such a powerful neurotransmitter that those prone to depression are often prescribed ‘anti-depressant‘ drugs classified as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) which essentially manipulate the brain to make sure more serotonin is present thus increasing a feeling of well being.

Bodybuilders manipulate their serotonin levels by self medicating with supplements like Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) which suppress the raw material the brain needs to create serotonin. Among other reasons, they do this in part because it makes them more focused and creates a more intense workout.

When serotonin levels are considered high or low, all kinds of kink related things start to happen. If your serotonin levels are high for instance, your ability to handle pain increases. High levels of serotonin can also reduce sexual desire and even cause difficulty ejaculating in some men.

It really gets interesting though when your serotonin levels dip. The most significant change when serotonin is low is in the inducement of obsessive thought. Rumination, compulsion, and a loss of impulse control are just some of the mood changes that can occur.

If going outside, putting your feet on the earth, and smiling deliberately all make one have a better sense of well being…then you can imagine what kinds of activities can induce one to become obsessed: darkness, restriction, and silence.

While bodybuilders take supplements to harvest their focus and intensity, a Dominant can employ the removal of light enforcing a most powerful shift in mood, attitude, and attentiveness.

The removal of light from a subject isn’t just about a blindfold or even a hooded mask. Certainly making a subject unable to see light with his eyes can create the emotional reaction triggering what it is like to be in the dark, without sight, and helpless. But those are emotional responses. To truly impact serotonin, one needs to be completely in the dark. The skin processes light…it senses it.

More significant than a dark room or a blindfold, the body also recognizes the rhythm of light’s presence. This is called circadian rhythm…and it is how insects and wildlife also know the cycles of their day. If the body senses that its environment is not lit for 12 hours and dark for 12 hours serotonin levels will fall.

People in Alaska and other geographies with short days and long nights are known to have low serotonin levels.

Those interested in confinement fantasies may be actually feeding a desire for emotional intensity as much as helplessness. Darkness can be enough to make monotony a most potent experience.

There are many other ways to lower serotonin, some to be covered later, many of them are non-touch methods. Starting slow and being careful I hope goes without saying. If this becomes your kink, and you enjoy this in the long term…I would suggest research and consideration of Vitamin-D supplements, time in the sun as aftercare and others to balance the impact of such play.

If you want your subject to be more reactive, consumed with thoughts of you, and obsessed with pleasing you…serotonin may be just the lever you may wish to tweak.