I'm Addicted To You
By Autumn Morris
Growing up, we are pounded with the idea that we should wait to have sex because once you do it, nothing is the same. We are told that girls get clingy and guys become dismissive. Maybe even some of us can identify with that. Ever hooked up with someone and then couldn’t get them off of your mind? Or maybe you found yourself more emotionally invested in your partner after getting down in the sheets together? Well good news for you, you’re not crazy. There is some clinical reasoning as to why we are more prone to attachment after sex and why women tend to be more attached than men.
If you read last week’s article on sex while on your period, you may remember a hormone mentioned called “oxytocin.” This hormone, oxytocin, plays many roles in our reproductive ecosystem. Oxytocin is instrumental in lactation, childbirth, social bonding, and even orgasm. While oxytocin is great when used to relieve period cramps or induce labor, it can also trigger some involuntary attachment. Oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone,” is produced during sex in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the next door neighbor to the pituitary gland in the brain. The human anatomy is built to enhance the odds of survival of our species. In a survival sense, high levels of oxytocin are released in women to create attachment and increase chances of continued relation with a partner. Continued relation increases the chances of long-term mating and producing offspring. The more offspring created, the less likely it is that humans will go extinct. This means as women, scientifically speaking we are more prone to want to cuddle, touch, and remain intimate with our partner.
You may ask, why aren’t men wired the same way? Men do release oxytocin as well; however, it is considerably less than a cis woman. Historically speaking, this is so the male is more encouraged to sexually engage with other partners, which, again, increases his odds of having offspring and decreases the odds of human extinction.
All of this being said, you are ultimately in control. Science has provided us with an explanation as to why we may feel a little different after sex. Now that we are aware of the chemical exchange occurring, we can override it, we are able to analyze and realize that our increased intrigue in a person, post-sex, is not necessarily because they are a good partner. Clinically speaking, they are just a POTENTIAL partner. If you’re not in the market for a baby daddy, then this complex is not important for you. Our bodies just want to ensure continued existence of our kind. Stay in tune with your authentic feelings and allow your sexual experience to be everything that you want it to be, and nothing more.