There are things better than sex and science can prove it.

In a study conducted by Bloom & Wild chocolate, flowers and even booking a holiday were all found to be “better than sex” why? Because they all cause Oxytocin, the “love hormone” to be released into your system.

The study was conducted by scientists at London Metropolitan University by measuring how the brain reacts to receiving certain gifts. The results found were really interesting.

Oxytocin is naturally produced by the body and is found when people are in happy loving relationships and also from when they have sex. The hormone is very powerful and even has an anti-stress effect.

Couples who are in the first 6 to 12 months of their relationship are said to have the highest doses of the hormone in their system, but it can be replicated by a few other activities.

Researchers reported that subjects showed an average increase of 73pg/ml in the hormone oxytocin (in saliva) after receiving chocolate and 62pg/ml after receiving flowers, proving there are other ways to feel loved, according to Bloom and Wild.

So what are the other five activities that produce a sexy level of Oxytocin?



The study shows that even receiving chocolate creates a high increase in oxytocin the same rise in oxytocin comes from sex meaning that if your partner or even you buy a chocolatey treat it can give you the same feeling as a roll in the hay! (73pg/ml increase)


Buying your partner or yourself flowers can also spark the same feeling as love, sex and relationships (our study revealed an increase of 62pg/ml in Oxytocin) and the best bit these are more likely to last longer.


A study by Havas Worldwide revealed 57% of millennials think that food is better than sex the study backs this up by showing chocolate increases oxytocin. This means going for food with your friend won’t ruin your relationship.


Retail therapy is even more apparent, the idea of shopping as entertainment or a hobby is a relatively new one — and a lot of the way in which we think about buying products as a pleasurable experience is rooted in the history of retail. This is rooted in the industrial revolution where shopping became more of an event and entertainment. The neurologist David Linden, in his 2011 book The Compass Of Pleasure, explains that the experience of shopping triggers dopamine circuitry in the brain’s mesolimbic pathway, which is a key part of how we experience entertainment and happiness.

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Booking a Holiday

According to research, 16% of Brits think that booking a holiday is better than sex, meaning everyone who has booked a holiday in the January sales will get that same euphoric feeling as sex itself!

A feeling of wellbeing increases oxytocin after receipt of any gift.

Dr Una Fairbrother, Head of Biosciences at London Metropolitan University said, “Participants in the study were selected randomly and only their age, gender, and date of birth was recorded, in order to maintain anonymity in compliance with data protection and the Human Tissue Authority.

“Interestingly, the results show that there was a significant increase in oxytocin after receipt of any gift. Furthermore, within this small cohort, the effect of the more desirable gifts, such as chocolate and flowers, was more pronounced, with chocolate being marginally on top.

“Chocolate induces feelings of wellbeing, including an oxytocin response when eaten, thus anticipation is likely to provoke a similar response.”


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About the author: Jake Hook
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.