The Love Formula

the Love Formula- Oxytocin


Dear Steve,

I’ve been friends with a man for around 2 years. I had a boyfriend until the last couple months, so we haven’t been more than friends (even though I suspected he would be interested in more). We have just recently begun to think about anything else. We know each other well enough to know that we aren’t good long-term partners for each other and yet we like each other a lot. He suggested casual sex, continuing to have fun and hang out, but both of us would still be looking for something more suitable.

Does this seem like a waste of energy that would be better put to use by waiting for Mr. Right and getting on with my life and doing something less emotionally volatile with my time? I don’t really think casual sex is possible in a relationship that lasts for any amount of time, you either decide you don’t really like this person or you decide you do, either way, it isn’t casual anymore. And what about our friendship? That could end up going down in flames. If fooling around with your friends is such a good idea why don’t people do it more often?

Please sign me,


Dear Perplexed,

It is a waste of energy and you should get on with your life, unless

A) You have incredible, mind-blowing, red-hot monkey sex.
B) You have mediocre sex, but you die before you ever get a chance to meet Mr. Right.
C) You are incredibly attractive and your friend is me.

Otherwise, let me tell you why it’s probably a bad idea to fool around with your friend.
If you have sex and he doesn’t give you pleasure, you’ll both feel awkward. If he does give pleasure, lots of pleasure, you’ll end up having an orgasm. If you end up having an orgasm, your body will release a little, chemical thing called oxytocin. Oxytocin makes you feel all warm and cuddly. You begin to think that the person who gave you this warm and cuddly feeling is a warm and cuddly guy, and you start to love him. Oxytocin is why many women date guys they probably shouldn’t. When a woman says, “you don’t know what he’s really like,” she’s actually saying, “you don’t know what he’s like in bed.”

The good thing about all this chemical cookie dough, is that it leads to bonding. The bad thing (if your goal is casual sex) is that it leads to bonding. When sex doesn’t lead to bonding, one of three problems exists; he isn’t good in bed, he isn’t good in life, or you two don’t have chemistry. If he’s good in bed, he’s a good guy, and you have chemistry, then why not have a regular relationship?

(Let’s take a brief moment to acknowledge all those people who keep reminding me that casual sex is frowned upon by many organized religions. Maybe billions of Catholics around the world agree with the Pope’s position on casual sex – if so, you might want to factor in the collective opinion of a billion people. Personally, I think if a billion people agreed with the Pope about casual sex there wouldn’t be a billion people.)

Moving on. You know each other well enough to know you wouldn’t make good long-term partners. Are you sure? Would those reasons overcome great sex with a great friend? If so, maybe they should cancel out casual sex in the first place. If not, why call it casual sex – why not try having some serious sex. If the sex is good, maybe you’ll fall in love. If you both fall in love, no problem. If only one of you falls in love, big problem. If the sex is bad, for both of you, that would be yucky, but not as gruesome as if the sex is bad for just one of you. How do you stay friends with someone who gave you a test-drive for casual sex and decided they didn’t like the ride? Maybe that’s why people don’t have sex with their friends more often.
Nonetheless, some of you are still thinking, “why can’t two people just enjoy each other sexually without being in a serious relationship?”



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Filed under Advice, Love, Philosophy, Sex

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