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Anti-Love Drug May Be Ticket to Bliss
January 13, 2009 11:59 AM   Subscribe

“It would be completely unethical to give the drug to someone else,” he said, “but if you’re in a marriage and want to maintain that relationship, you might take a little booster shot yourself every now and then. Even now it’s not such a far-out possibility that you could use drugs in conjunction with marital therapy.”
posted by badego (42 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
We already have love and hate potions. They're called cocktails.
posted by The Whelk at 12:04 PM on January 13, 2009


That was not about the marital aid drug I expected.
posted by exogenous at 12:06 PM on January 13, 2009


arsenic is my anti-love drug.
posted by logicpunk at 12:08 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


...sexual foreplay and intercourse stimulate the same parts of a woman’s body that are involved in giving birth and nursing.

/scribbles down notes

This is great stuff!
posted by DU at 12:10 PM on January 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


...sexual foreplay and intercourse stimulate the same parts of a woman’s body that are involved in giving birth and nursing.

in men it stimulates the same part of the body involved in peeing. The universe has a sense of humor.
posted by jonmc at 12:12 PM on January 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


"Wow, awesome tattoo, where'd you get the idea?"
"NY Times Science section..."
posted by griphus at 12:14 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Love was a problem for our ancestors;
It's not such a problem anymore.
Breeding as a science proved it has no use at all
And it mostly disappeared when we eliminated war.
There's comfort and control. It's safe for you and me.
News for the surface shows how hard life there can be.
Why live in danger? Why live with pain?
People from the surface find it hard to explain.

posted by burnmp3s at 12:14 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


But, love is my anti-drug!
posted by stavrogin at 12:16 PM on January 13, 2009


Is it just me, or does this NYT piece sound a bit too much like Maxim?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:18 PM on January 13, 2009


In a jungle of the senses
Tinkerbell and Jack the ripper
Love has no meaning, not where they come from
But we know pleasure is not that simple
Very little fruit is forbidden
Sometimes we wobble, sometimes we're strong
But you know evil is an exact science
Being carefully correctly wrong

posted by Sailormom at 12:19 PM on January 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hi! I'm a journalist! I interviewed a scientist who had proposed the possibility of creating a veritable Love Potion, a drug that could cause you to experience feelings of love for your partner. Instead of writing about that, though, I immediately decided that I was more interested in fabricating a story about the possibility of an Anti-Love potion, which the scientist begrudgingly agreed might be possible. That was enough for me to completely ignore the entire point of his research and instead engage in pointless speculation! Journalism is fun!
posted by shmegegge at 12:19 PM on January 13, 2009 [40 favorites]


I doubt many people would want to permanently suppress love, but a temporary vaccine could come in handy. Spouses going through midlife crises would not be so quick to elope with their personal trainers; elderly widowers might consult their lawyers before marrying someone resembling Anna Nicole Smith.

Obviously tongue-in-cheek, but the unspoken assumption here seems to be that, since the drug wouldn't render a person immune from building emotional bonds with a particular person, either an emotional bond to your current, long-term partner is unnecessary or by that point absent.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:19 PM on January 13, 2009


Yeah, or what shmegegge said.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:20 PM on January 13, 2009


This is what humans have sought ever since Odysseus ordered his crew to tie him to the mast while sailing past the Sirens.

It... it is?
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 12:22 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

Mark Twain, 1883
posted by kisch mokusch at 12:26 PM on January 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


If only I were blessed with love immunity
I could fuck the whole world with guilt impunity
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:31 PM on January 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


That was enough for me to completely ignore the entire point of his research and instead engage in pointless speculation!

The journalist especially seems to have missed the point that the oxytocin blocker, when given to voles, does not appear to reduce their desire for sex; it only inhibits their natural monogamy. If humans respond in the same way, "spouses going through midlife crises" would be more prone to cheat while on the drug. That they would be unlikely to form a long-term bond with their newfound partner seems of little consolation to me.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:34 PM on January 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


I hate you, science journalism.
posted by clavicle at 12:36 PM on January 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Sex without love? That's like ice cream without embedded diamond chips upon which to split your lips and break your teeth.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:38 PM on January 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Well, back in my day, when a woman wanted to give a man an "anti-love" potion, she just peed on him. Ayuh, just let loose a yellow torrent of anti-love, or as we called it back then, "Jaundice Betty". You kids think your modern chemistry is a match for that? Nope, ol' Jaundice Betty, she caused more breakups than a grizzly bear on a pile of Fabergé eggs. Sweet Jaundice Betty. Yep.

Didn't work all the time, though, no sir. About one in every five hundred men experienced the opposite effect. Not anti-love, but full-on Superlove. Or as we called it, "Jack Hummingbird's Curse." It was a rare man who was affected that way, but the stories say that such a man lived in this very town. Got a taste of Jaundice Betty, and the next thing you know, his heart was a-fluttering like a moth in a bell jar. You kids ever read the Bell Jar? Sylvia Plath, kids. So this man, he feels the touch of the Betty, and he straightaway gathers a dozen roses, surrounds them with baby's breath (for presentation, y'see), and gets down on one quivering knee. The man expresses his undying devotion to the Jaundicer standing before him, and well -- if you can believe it -- he marries that woman.

Anyway, kids, the story doesn't end there. Because that one man? That one man who felt the Curse of ol' Jack Hummingbird at the first drop of Jaundice Betty? That man.... Well, that was your grandfather.

Sure, this ol' yarn may not be as exciting as your modern-day "scientifical" marvels in your "Grey Lady" newsprint, but it's the truth, all right, swear on a three-toed raccoon paw.

And that's what I like to call... The Tale Of Your Grandfather Who Got Peed On.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:38 PM on January 13, 2009 [31 favorites]


"Love", as John Le Carre observed, "is whatever you can still betray. Betrayal can only happen if you love."


shmegegge writes "Journalism is fun!"

Well, yes, but we've all seen the vole studies and the reports on oxytocin many times before, so....
posted by orthogonality at 12:39 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Showing out, showing out, hit and run
Boy meets girl where beat goes on
Stitched up tight, can´t shake free
Love is the drug, got a hook on me
Oh oh catch that buzz
Love is the drug I´m thinking of


Ah, sweet chemical cascade, they name is love:

Dr. Young predicts that it won’t be long before an unscrupulous suitor could sneak a pharmaceutical love potion into your drink.

He's invented E?
posted by mandal at 12:51 PM on January 13, 2009


Amazing that they managed not to mention MDMA once in this article.
posted by mullingitover at 12:54 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


People share with mice, a "propensity for monogamy".

Who else laughed?
posted by sfts2 at 1:26 PM on January 13, 2009


Somebody get Roxy Music on the case!
posted by GuyZero at 1:29 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


DevilsAdvocate If humans respond in the same way, "spouses going through midlife crises" would be more prone to cheat while on the drug.

Yes, but the reasoning goes that the spouse being cheated on wouldn't care.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:32 PM on January 13, 2009


But if someone takes the love drug and their partner takes the anti-love drug, you end up with a total Pepe Le Pew situation on your hands.
posted by rmless at 1:33 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


People share with mice, a "propensity for monogamy".

I don't share a propensity for monogamy with mice.

After you've made it run through the little maze a couple times, you may as well move on, amirite?
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:37 PM on January 13, 2009


Grandad said it was simple, "If you got the cash, you will get the ass. If you don't, you won't."
posted by Senator at 2:06 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Today I met somebody
That I can talk to.
Today I met somebody
I can make love with, not to.
She says love will get you
Through times of no sex
Better than sex will get you
Through times of no love.
We wrote that on the wall,
We wrote that on the wall,
We wrote that on the wall,
And why don't you
Write that on your wall, too.

posted by thivaia at 2:52 PM on January 13, 2009


It seems like we are closer and closer to completely mapping the chemistry of the brain. While there are awesome therapeutic possibilities, I wonder whether a multi-millenial global mind-control dictatorship is also in the wings.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:55 PM on January 13, 2009


I wonder whether a multi-millenial global mind-control dictatorship is also in the wings.

Sure the nerve-stapling is bad but, you'll get a free Defense Perimeter with every base to help protect against the mind worms.
posted by The Whelk at 3:22 PM on January 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Well, back in my day, when a woman wanted to give a man an "anti-love" potion, she just peed on him.

Ah, to be old-timey and innocent again.
posted by DU at 4:42 PM on January 13, 2009


I probably should have said "in the offing" rather than "in the wings" to seem the tiniest bit less like a member of the tinfoil-hat set.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:02 PM on January 13, 2009


"The kiss originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before."
--F. Scott Fitzgerald
posted by gottabefunky at 6:35 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


So if it was the opposite of Ecstasy, would they call it Agony?
posted by gottabefunky at 6:36 PM on January 13, 2009


What a stupid fucking article. John Tierney, you've made my list, asshole.

Also, Tristan and Isolde was a fucking opera. By Wagner. It's not a fucking folk tale or something. You fuckface.
posted by Caduceus at 8:26 PM on January 13, 2009


Uh, actually Tristran and Isolde is a folktale dating to the 12th century.
posted by Upton O'Good at 8:42 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Screw living in a beach house on the Great Barrier Reef. Where do I sign up to be the Vole who casually fucks for a living?
posted by JimmyJames at 12:49 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


So if it was the opposite of Ecstasy, would they call it Agony?

...live together in perfect HAR-MO-NYYYY....
posted by rokusan at 12:58 AM on January 14, 2009


Also, Tristan and Isolde was a fucking opera. By Wagner. It's not a fucking folk tale or something

You're joking, right?
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:39 AM on January 14, 2009


Is there any possible way this could be a targeted effect? If you're shooting up on anti-love in an attempt to keep yourself from going back to your abusive ex, are you also going to accidentally stop loving your mother?
posted by you're a kitty! at 2:41 PM on January 14, 2009


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