Sexual attraction is about much more than pheromones.
Sexual attraction is powerful. Books, wars, and movies have all occurred because of sex pheromones — a quickened pulse, flushed faces, and a magnetic pull between your body and theirs.
It feels like a drug, and in a very real way, it is. But that’s not all there is to sexual attraction:
1. Touch creates a physiological reaction inside your brain.
“Our brain is a powerful force when it comes to sexual attraction and response. Aside from the fact that it regulates our emotions, it’s a complex system that’s also responsible for sexual response.
For instance, touch releases oxytocin in our brains, which makes us feel more connected to someone. A kiss releases a cascade of neural messages including dopamine, which makes us feel elated and excited. There’s a lot of science behind chemistry and attraction.” says Andrea Syrtash, relationship expert and author of Cheat On Your Husband (With Your Husband).
2. Chemistry is a drug-like high.
“Chemistry is that feeling of ‘in love.’ As intoxicating and tempting as it may be, the problem with chemistry is that you can be gravitationally pulled to the wrong person,” says dating coach and sex expert Laurel House.
Chemistry triggers the exact same brain reaction as cocaine. It also triggers similar physical reactions to the feeling of angst, sweaty palms, nervousness, a racing heart, and crazy obsessive thoughts.
Wait, how is this a good thing again? “Here’s the other interesting fact: it has been shown that chemistry wears off within 18–36 months,” says House. And we wonder why the divorce rate is so high!
“Most couples are married within the 18–36 month threshold — essentially under the influence of chemistry, and they didn’t take the time to get to know each other on levels deeper than the intoxicating rush before making the ’till death’ vow.”
Then the drugs wear off and these two people suddenly wake up, look at each other, and realize “I don’t know you, and what I do know, I don’t like.”
3. Your sexual pheromones are raging like crazy when you’re menstruating.
You may not be aware that your sexual attraction is sometimes dependent on the female fertility cycle, and this goes for both men and women.
“We have all been in that relationship or dynamic where you only find someone attractive every now and then, or especially after a workout. That is because pheromones are raging; pheromones are the leading culprits in our sex drives and sexual attraction in many instances,” says Dr. Yvonka, clinical sexologist.
Something else to consider is that sexual attraction doesn’t mean you’re in love. Love is something that comes with time and is built around trust and support, not solely dependent on your sexual attraction and chemistry between the sheets.
4. Chemical reactions and intimacy create misplaced feelings of “love.”
Intimacy is “love” and it develops and grows over time; it also endures. It’s formed on a deeply rooted foundation of trust, understanding, honesty, and authenticity.
Intimacy is the commitment to the commitment. That’s not to say that you can’t have both.
The danger of falling for just chemistry is that you’re blinding yourself to the red flags, ignoring the danger signs, and choosing to overlook the fact that this guy isn’t good for you.
5. We’re more attracted to people who look like us.
We’ve all heard that women look for men who resemble their dads, but it’s so much more than that. We may also look for people who are physically similar to us.
6. Men are more attracted to women’s breasts in the winter.
Spring flings and summer hookups aren’t just the thing of movies. Research suggests we may seek a partner more depending on the season.
According to this same study, even the way we’re attracted to someone changes depending to the season, with men specifically.
7. Going on birth control changes who you’re attracted to.
Just as chemistry may be altered by where you are in your menstrual cycle or if you just worked out, it’s apparently also impacted by birth control pills. Birth control pills contain hormones, so it completely makes sense.
It’s all about the scent we give off. How primal.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: 7 Super-Bizarre Things You NEVER Knew About Sexual Attraction