Anyone who believes that they can have “casual s*x” is lying to themselves.
That’s according to a s*x expert who says that a biological switch is flicked during s*x, that attachment, s*x and romance are entwined.
Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, whose 1992 book Anatomy of Love is hailed as an expert opinion on the subject, says: “There’s no such thing as casual s*x. Unless you’re so drunk that you can’t remember it, something happens in the brain.”
Helen says that we have evolved three different brain systems for mating, each with links to its own specific hormone.
“The sex drive is linked to testosterone in both men and women. When you feel the elation and obsessive thinking of romantic love, you’re driving up the dopamine system in the brain,” Helen told Tech Insider .
The natural stimulant gives you the energy, focus and motivation that you often associate with new partnerships.
“Five of the 12 cranial nerves become activated when you have sex with somebody. Any stimulation of the genitals will drive up the dopamine system and sometimes push you over the threshold into falling in love.”
The bottom line, she says, is “sex, romantic love and feelings of attachment can trigger each other.”
She says she asks people if they have ever had a one-night stand that has developed into a long-term committed relationship, and every year betwene 25 and 35% of adult men and women says yes.
“Casual s*x is not casual,” she concludes.
For Anatomy of Love, Helen conducted pioneering brain research on lust, romantic love, and attachment, as well as gathering data on more than 80,000 people to explain why you love who you love.
She also collected information on more than 30,000 men and women on sexting, hooking up, friends with benefits, and other current trends in courtship and marriage.
She’s also spoken at many TED events on how the brain acts when we’re in love and why we cheat on those we love.