One of my guy friends told me that the reason girls can’t have casual sex like guys do is because girls fall in love after sex and guys don’t. Is this really true? Do girls really get attached to guys after having sex? And if so, why don’t guys?
Your guy friend is partly right. Thanks to a little hormone called oxytocin, girls do tend to feel attached to a person that they have had sex with. However, this doesn’t mean that they fall in love, or that they can’t have casual sex like guys do. It’s a little bit more complicated than that.
Oxytocin is a hormone that both men and women have. It is released in our bodies when we orgasm, and also during childbirth. Oxytocin is sometimes called the “love” hormone or the “cuddle” hormone, and that’s because it increases our levels of trust and can make us feel more connected to that other person. Oxytocin is also one of the hormones that helps a mother bond with her baby, which sort of explains a lot if you think about it.
Does oxytocin make you fall in love? Not exactly. This hormone will more than likely make you feel something for that other person – but it doesn’t cause you to immediately fall head over heels. A lot of women will report feeling a connection with someone after sex, even if they don’t quite understand that connection. A lot of women will also say that they feel closer to their partners right after having sex. Both of these things are results of oxytocin. So while the hormone can make you feel some sort of connection to the person you just slept with, it’s not some sort of weird, binding love contract.
Does it make it a little difficult to have casual sex or one-night stands? Sure, for some women it does. Personally, I have never been able to have completely casual sex with no feelings involved, even when I don’t get where those feelings are coming from. However, it’s different for everyone. There are plenty of ladies out there who have no problem with casual sex – and there’s nothing wrong with that. That doesn’t mean oxytocin isn’t being released in their bodies, it just means they’re dealing with those feelings differently.
So the next question is: if both men and women experience the release of the hormone, then why is that guys don’t feel that same attachment after sex? While scientists don’t know everything there is to know about oxytocin, they have found that estrogen seems to increase the effects of oxytocin, while testosterone kind of shuts down those effects. So, since women have more estrogen, and men have more testosterone, women feel the effects of oxytocin way more.
Basically, yes, oxytocin does make girl feel attached to a guy after sex. But this isn’t something you should obsess over or think about too much – it’s something happening in our bodies that we have no control over. Also, oxytocin has tons of side effects (like this study saying it keeps men from cheating). It’s actually a pretty cool hormone, so don’t let it get you down.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org