The advice commonly given, to women in particular, is to hold off being sexual with someone that they are interested in having a relationship with. The old saying that goes, “why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free” rings in the ears of many young women.
The idea, of course, is that once a man gets what he wants (sex,) and particularly if he gets it too soon, he will lose interest in a woman.
While there are a number of psychological factors to consider which determine the outcome of any union, sexual or otherwise, the idea that sex can actually lead to love is being reported among scientists and it is the physiology, not the psychology that is in play.
Jim Pfaus is a Professor of Psychology at Concordia University in Montreal, and he has focused his research for over a decade on the connection between love and libido. He makes it clear that there is a difference between love and sex and that you can certainly have one without the other, but sex can actually lead to an emotionally connected, loving relationship.
This complicated mix of desire and emotion all takes place in the brain’s insular cortex (or insula) and the striatium. Using MRI scans, researchers mapped out and compared the areas of the brain that were activated both when someone was aroused and when they were experiencing feelings of love. Surprisingly, both of these feelings activate a different part of the striatium. This crossover was also witnessed in the insula.
The conclusion was that sexual desire could convert to feelings of love in many instances. The researchers even went as far as to say that love at first sight is a real possibility and when that that feeling occurs people tend to want to consummate that love.
This research should in no way encourage people to be careless about their sexual choices or to enter into a sexual relationship simply to spark emotional feelings.
Affairs of the heart are much more complicated than any study on physiological reactions. But it can explain why feelings of love may be stimulated by a sexual encounter. While I don’t think this is what the researchers had in mind, in my opinion, their information should help people to understand why feelings of love may be so intense at times, after a sexual encounter, when those feelings may not be actually warranted.
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