Love, Sex

BOOOO! Sex Does NOT Bring You Closer To Your Partner (Says Science)

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Sexy Couple

You feel ready for a lasting relationship. You are tired of guys disappearing after you become intimate. You have the vague idea that waiting to have sex may be the key, but you’re told that withholding sex is manipulative, old fashioned, and not very romantic.

Listen up, girlfriend, because science is on your side when you wait.

Here are a few facts to help you commit to saying no until you are sure Prince Charming is all that he seems:

1. Dopamine brings you from CRUSH to CRASH in no time.

Chemicals like dopamine feed the buzz of infatuation in our brains. When you daydream about your crush, the anticipation of being together produces TONS of it, which further increases your feeling of infatuation. When two people feel a connection, this buzz can be amplified through non-sexual contact such as locking eyes, touching hands, and even simple physical nearness.

But guess what shuts OFF the production of dopamine — and therefore that “in love” feeling — in men? SEX.

That’s right: having sex can temporarily shut off your man’s seemingly obsessive interest in you. If he is not already emotionally bonded (unlikely by date three), then this sugar crash will leave him empty and ready to move on — in search of a woman who can give him a longer and more sustained hit of happiness. (Interestingly, researchers have found that men with high self-esteem are even more likely to experience this post-sex emotional detachment than their less-secure brothers.)

2. Oxytocin is WONDERFUL ... unless you're a guy.

Oxytocin is known as the “love” hormone, and it's TRUE that in women, the release of oxytocin during sex can increase our emotional attachment to a sex partner. 

We also know that oxytocin is released in men during sex, as well as through other forms of physical affection and pleasurable experiences. However, unless a man is already emotionally bonded with his partner — a process that requires time and a healthy stock of shared experiences — the effects of oxytocin release in men is unclear.

There is NO scientific evidence that oxytocin released during casual sex — where an emotional attachment has not yet developed — will result in a man becoming further bonded with his partner. In fact, oxytocin’s effect on male behavior is downright confusing and not necessarily loving ... if you’ve ever seduced a man in the hope of making him more attached to you, understand that that approach simply doesn’t work.

So which would you rather experience with your dream guy: the slow build-up of desire, or the letdown of simply reaching the finish line?

Although they probably won’t broadcast it among their casual buddies (because it’s nobody’s business and is maybe a little "unmanly"-sounding), men who really dig you will wait. They will wait until YOU are ready. And in the midst of that dopamine-fueled sugar high, they won’t really mind waiting, either.

Robyn Wahlgast is a Rules Certified Dating and Relationship Coach for Women. If you're online dating (or thinking about it) read How To Have An Awesome First Date With An Online Guy for road-tested tips and advice, and subscribe to our FREE newsletter
Special thanks to Dr. David M. Buss and his lab at the University of Texas for all primary research. 

This article was originally published at Robyn's Blog @ Digital Romance Inc.. Reprinted with permission from the author.