Researchers find how to add more "love hormone" to your relationships

A study looks at the chemistry of couples engaged in different activities.

Henri Leconte at art class. 2019. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)
  • Leisure activities can help release more oxytocin, say researchers.
  • Oxytocin is a hormone linked to social and sexual interaction.
  • Couples who took art classes and played board games together released oxytocin.
Keep reading Show less

Valentine’s Day in South Korea: A delightful and complicated social game

Understanding how some East Asians celebrate Valentine’s Day can tell us a lot about Western culture and what the East and West have in common.

Thousands of 'locks of love' hang on the wall of a terrace of the N Seoul Tower on the top of Nam mountain in Seoul. Young couples hang their 'locks of love' and throw the key away in the hope for eternal love. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

South Korea is much in the news thanks to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. As a result, all sorts of interesting things about Korean culture are bubbling up. What is really thought-provoking this time of year is how South Koreans celebrate Valentine’s Day. Rather than celebrate a single day of romantic gestures, South Korea extends the holiday over several days and celebrates specific roles for each gender.

Keep reading Show less

Who was Saint Valentine? And why was he beheaded?

Valentine's Day has a surprisingly raunchy history, going back thousands of years.

The supposed skull of St. Valentine as displayed in Rome. Credit: Wikipedia.

Valentine’s Day is named after St. Valentine, who has become known as the patron saint of lovers. He was a rather mercurial figure about whom little is known.

Keep reading Show less

Where did Valentine's Day start? Lupercalia: Rome's most bizarre spring rite

Where does Valentine's Day come from? Let us introduce you to the festival of Lupercalia, a festival when naked young men and women ran around whipping one another with animal hides.

A young man dressed in sheepskin leather whipping a girl for fun, Lupercalia pastoral festival, drawing, Roman civilization, 2nd-1st century BC. (Getty Images)

Valentine’s Day is a weird holiday when you think about it. On a usually cold day—February 14—we eat chocolate, give greeting cards, celebrate romance, and find the need to make a big deal out of it in schools. While the modern holiday is, often correctly, viewed as a “Hallmark Holiday” the origins of the festival go back more than two thousand years to a Pagan ritual with strange customs and festivities that would make a modern romantic blush.

Keep reading Show less