Is Romance Just a Chemical Addiction?

Rose-and-tieIt’s Friday night at the local bar, the countdown is over. You survived another work week.

The music is thumping in the background playing the latest top hits and your smile widens with each verse. Here comes the waitress with the first round of drinks.

There’s always something refreshing about the first sip. The tongue is open to savor the sweet flavors as the burning sensation slides down. Aahhh, there’s the sigh, breathe in deeply and exhale slowly. The monkey is gradually loosening its grip. You look up and lock eyes with an attractive stranger at the bar.

Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome returned your smile and your cheeks flush with fresh blood. Your heart beats, quickly out-pacing the rhythm of music when you notice he’s heading your way.

What’s so special about him? Why not the guy next to him, the one you’ve been avoiding eye contact with since you bumped into him at the entrance, or the other guy to the left with the off-centered grin?

Is it the dirty martini that’s finally working, or the fact that neither men were physically appealing to your senses? Or is it the lack of a neurochemical response your brain refused to release?

The answer is all three, the relief from the stress, your definitions of what’s sexy and finally, the most important, a neurochemical response. Without it there is no sex drive.

Here are three things you should know before Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome gets to your table:

1. Women are Pickier
(From Discovery channel The Science of Sex Appeal)
Men are physically stimulated by what they define as pleasing to their eyes. While women are stimulated by what they see, they tend to require a deeper connection. Sex can be much more costly to women. The potential outcomes from the union could leave women with a lifetime of changes. While men could potentially walk away from the union unchanged.

An interesting analysis, scientists asked women to rate the front faces of vehicles to determine which ones they liked most. Not surprising, they rated the most expensive cars as being reliable, safer and most attractive.

2. Love is the addiction, but sex isn’t
(October 2012 Glamour issue, ‘All About You, Your love life…your work life…your life’s life by Brian Alexander)
Brian Alexander makes an interesting observation. He believes sex addicts are more of an obsessive-compulsive disorder and love is a true addiction. Similar to drug addictions, your body triggers a neurochemical response of euphoria. Your body makes you long to be with your partner.

Just like with drugs, over time the high may not feel as high. Without the drugs there will be a low. In a relationship without your partner you have similar lows, a feeling of loss.

3. Size really matters
Remarkably size matters and as humans, we have grown to fit the desire. When man transitioned from being on all fours to walking and running on two legs, it triggered a cascade of elements to change.

A few of the changes were the widening of women’s hips to support childbirth and bigger breasts for feeding. Perhaps this is why shapely women inspire men? Somewhere in the back of their minds they are sub-consciously saying, “She can bear my children.”

In the spirit of bearing children, for women size also matters. When the standard love position changed to face-to-face a certain penis length was required to ensure that sperm was properly positioned.

In addition, Brian Alexander and co-author, Larry J. Young, Ph.D of The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex and the Science of Attraction, believe that the penis was also built to trigger a release of a neurochemical response called oxytocin through cervical stimulation. Oxytocin is linked to the same neurochemical response found in the sensation of being in love.

So before you venture down the path with a new romance, have a list of requirements you want in your future mate. But also know that since the age of cavemen and cavewomen your body and your concept of love and sex are a huge part of a chemical response the body creates on its own.

On a special note to all of the paranormal lovers who believe that vampires, werewolves, warlocks and witches hold some special enchanting powers, guess what? So do you! It’s in the roundness of your breasts and the curve of your hips. It’s found in the sweetness of moist lips and symmetry of your features. And it can not be forgotten…
Your human scent is to die for.


What do you think? Does science take the fun out of romance?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section.


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Is Rene addicted to Meryt’s love or her blood? Find out. Read ETERNAL TRACES

About shondabrock

I'm a southern in my heart and a northern in my soul. I've had a few bad wines, but for the most part I've enjoyed enough good wines that it makes up for the few bad bottles. I enjoy writing, but more than writing itself, I love telling a good story, taking my reader off on an adventure starting with "What If"…. I'm a sucker for the Paranormal Romance genre. To me, its nice to be released from "What Is Expected" and believe for 250 pages in "What If's". Its like a vacation with out passports, waiting in line and an expensive credit card bill when you return home. An additional note: I've started another blog page for Home Care. I know the two are unrelated, but in my world they are. My paying job is 100% dedicated to Home Care and educating families on their new journey. One of my favorite quotes, I leave with all of my clients. "One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." - by Henry Miller Please Enjoy, but more importantly Stay Inspired…
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4 Responses to Is Romance Just a Chemical Addiction?

  1. Pingback: Fear | Shonda Brock Paranormal Romance Author

  2. Very interesting thoughts. I got married so young that I’ve never experienced the bar scene you describe! As a writer, I’ve created more than a few of them, though. In my science fiction novel, Mindclone, one of my main characters is a digital replica of another human. But this character has no body, just thoughts and memories and sight and hearing. Unfortunately, those memories include the memory of (his human “donor’s”) thrilling meeting with a young woman. Knowing he has no way to physically interact with her (for that matter, he can’t interact with wine, ice cream, steak, the aromas of ocean, fresh-baked bread, etc.,) so he spends a chapter searching the internet for the meaning of happiness, and if it’s something he can experience. He runs through all the hormones you mentioned, and others; he also picks through the various “paths” to a happy, satisfied life from philosophers and religious thinkers and scientists. Over the course of the book, his human counterpart goes through all the ups and downs of his new roller coaster relationship with the same young woman, including all the physical and emotional experiences. The human man and the digital copy are both in love with the same woman–an unusual triangle, I think.

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