Oxytocin Highs Are Not a Political Issue

What Women Really Think
Aug. 26 2009 9:18 AM

Oxytocin Highs Are Not a Political Issue

Like Alison Gopnik , I think the anti-Roiphe choir is a bit off tune. In "My Newborn Is Like a Narcotic," Katie Roiphe was telling a story-to my mind a fascinating one-about her all-consuming oxytocin high. Absent the subhed, it wasn’t particularly political. I guess you could read Roiphe as demanding that you dump your Yaz and join her in baby-fueled ecstasy, but you could as easily read the piece as a warning that newborns will co-opt your emotional and psychological resources. (If I want to feel like Roiphe, I will indulge in actual narcotics , which are cheaper and have the advantage of being considerably easier to extricate oneself from.)

For now I’m grateful for such an honest rendering of what it's like to radically manipulate one’s hormone levels through child production, and I’d be happy to hear from anyone for whom the experience was different.

Kerry Howley's work has appeared in the Paris Review, Bookforum, and the New York Times Magazine. She is currently finishing a book about consensual violence, ecstatic experience, and the body.