The Oxford dictionary defines love as “A strong feeling of affection and sexual attraction for someone.” Sexologists, meanwhile, find a greater complication when it comes to defining it.
Sex without affection can be a rewarding experience as the most, but many say that the practice is enriched when there is love. In any case, the link between bed and feelings is still quite strong in our brains. And, in this context, the question must be asked from the other side: is love better when there is sex? Popularly it is considered that sex can be more pleasant if there is love involved. To test this theory, a group of scientists from the University of Bonn, Germany, seems to have found the answer. The hormone oxytocin (which is partly responsible for falling in love), increases their levels in our body when they have sex, enhancing the relationship, the attraction to the couple and strengthening bonds. In general, the data showed that oxytocin activates the reward system, thus maintaining the bond between the lovers and promoting monogamy. This biological mechanism in a relationship is very similar to a drug but oxytocin is not the only hormone involved in affection and sexuality. “Orgasm produces the massive secretion of three neurotransmitters: oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine; that are: bond, euthymia (improvement of the state of mind) and joy”-explains the sexologist Joserra Landarroitajauregi.
It must be clarified that sex is not reduced only to penetration. This is a big mistake, since pleasure and orgasms, both in men and women, can be achieved in multiple ways and penetration is just one of them. Oral sex, masturbation, anal sex, petting, kissing and any practice where pleasure is obtained, is a way of having sex.
For the “millennial” generation, sporadic sex without a stable partner is a popularized practice that leads us to ask ourselves if they carry out these practices because they show off all the sexual relations they maintain or because it is really fun and enjoyable. A study of the University Camilo José Cela concluded “young people prefer to have random sex avoiding the costs, both material and emotional, of having a stable romantic partner.” 87% of young people surveyed said they had sex with someone who was not their romantic and stable partner. From this same sample, 77% answered that they did it for “physical gratification” and the small remaining percentage answered that the reasons were because “almost everyone did it”, “by social pressure” or “emotional gratification”. Choosing to have sex without commitment can also be enhanced because the ways of creating new dating relationships are changing. Nowadays, a relationship between a person and a ‘night of sex’ can perfectly arise. The initial intention is only to have sex, but one thing can lead to the other, more congenial than you believed with that person and you end up liking not only in bed but also in other aspects. In addition, it is another way that, since consent, people without a partner enjoy their sexuality, since many times we assume that single people do not have sexual relations.
It is curious to see results from the surveys that in the XXI century affirm “men are more interested in having casual sex than women”. Could not this be due to the fact that women continue to carry a social stigma that dictates that what is expected of them is that they adopt the role of being wanted and not of the person that want? That is, a girl, being aware of the social penalty that exists, does not show an interest in sleeping with someone occasionally, even though she does. People are owners of their own sexuality and if you want to have relationships to experiment or simply to obtain sexual satisfaction, everyone is free to decide if they embark on a relationship of sex without commitment; the reasons why they do it and free of enjoy it. Social prejudices and stereotypes do a lot of damage and repress sexuality. Today we have much more freedom than our ancestors to choose our way of life. The society has evolved and is no longer badly seen to spend one night stand with someone. It is up to each of us to decide if we prefer to share our sex life with a romantic partner or with different people.All options are acceptable and it’s never too late to try the other side!
Ana Fernández Hernández
Book: Pere Estupinyà S=EX² La Ciencia del Sexo (Debolsillo, 2014)