Dear People Who Think Sex and Love Are Unrelated

12 Oct

Dear People Who Think Sex and Love Are Unrelated,

Well. I’ve got news for you! They are related!

Yeah, yeah, duh, you think, sex is messy and emotional and intimate, yeah yeah duh.

Let’s talk science. Ok, yes, right now I’m pretending to be a, um, whatchamacallit, a poet. That’s the one. But back in the day, I used to be more generally known as a “student.” This means I took classes on all kinds of things and occasionally retained some of that knowledge. Still retain, to this day. Not nearly as much of it as I would like. I’m not saying I’m old, I’m just saying my memory is shot because I’ve been counting out too many accentual-syllabic meters (sexy).

Let’s get back to the ess-ee-ex. We all know that’s why you’re here. Sex is sexy. Sex sells. Yada yada yada.

This is the meat of the thing: during orgasm, oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is a bonding chemical. To give you an idea of its power, I’m going to mention that it’s also the chemical released during uterine contractions during labor and is one of the chemicals that stimulates the “let down” reflex that produces breast milk.

AKA it’s at least partially responsible for the instant, powerful bond between mother and child, that biology designed to ensure to the survival of offspring. I’m pretty sure animals don’t have it, especially insects, which is why they sometimes eat their kids. Just saying.

SO. This same chemical is released during orgasm, bonding you over and over again to your sexual partner. It’s the looooooooove drug. Also endorphines are released during sex and exercise and, let’s see, pain. Endorphins rush through our bodies, allowing us to respond with greater control and focus during times of emergency or distress. Or excitement. Which maybe accounts for this oft-used expression “falling in love.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

I’ll shut up now. My point is that sex and love are intertwined in not just mushy, emotional, therapy-type ways (which are totally valid and worth paying attention to), but also in science-y, body-produced drug-type ways, and the next person who says, “it’s just sex, I’m not going to get confused” is going to get an earful about oxytocin.

(Or maybe they will have read this, and that will be awesome, because why else do I type these things out if I’m just going to have to repeat myself later? Maybe I’ll just give them a little card with a link that says, “Read this” and like Alice in Wonderland drinks the thing that says “Drink This” (did her parents teach her nothing?), they will read this, and they will grow small or big, or in this case, wise and educated about the ridiculous topics I have absurdly strong feelings about. That I feel the need to share with the internets.)

Because it’s interesting. Also, if How Stuff Works has an article about it titled How Love Works …you know it’s important. And if you were wondering, “What is Love?” they have an answer for that too.

Finally! I’m so glad somebody invented the internet. And science.

Cheers,

MM

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One Response to “Dear People Who Think Sex and Love Are Unrelated”

  1. Alex 13 October 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    pfshh…. 😉 xox.

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