Oxytocin- It Never Fails- Why Women Suck at the “Friends with Benefits” Thing!

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This is for all the women out there….who think they can be successful in establishing a “Sex-Buddy relationship with a gent. The scope of this post  includes women who keep alive or seek sexual intimacy with their baby daddy’s, ex-husbands, ex-boyfriends, friends, pursuits and men who are just not ready for any exclusive monogamous relationship.

The Agreement and Understanding:

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So here it goes… The gent is straight up and clear with his intentions and you decode his words accurately. You are aware of the restrictions, there are no pretenses given. You feel that you being the strong, independent woman you are, can handle and keep your emotions intact. “No Strings Attached” , “Let It Flow” ,”Whatever Happens Just Happens”.  He clearly states that he is not looking for anything serious, his focus is his career, buying a house, enjoying life with friends, traveling or anything else but developing a relationship with you. Maybe the person is a good friend where there is like-minded attraction but a relationship is not in either of your focus. This could be a future prospect that is eager in developing a relationship, but maybe you are not interested at this phase in your life in getting too serious and locked down, or vice versa where the gent is all about enjoying his manhood and not ready to put exclusivity on his sexual curiosity to one woman. Or the person is your kids father where the relationship did not work, but the parenting relationship continues and you both are comfortably with each other intimately. (Now that is another blog topic…which has been requested from my fellow followers). Regardless of the situation, a budding monogamous intimate relationship is not listed as an option.

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You agree with the terms of the arrangement. You have every intentions of  maintaining a friendship within the defined parameters. You are okay of not desiring more or if you secretly do, you bury those needs. You think to yourself: Why should you be deprived from sexual intimacy because your focuses in life are not currently in sync?…(especially if you experienced or heard the loving is good). You term your arrangement as a “friendship with benefits”, he is your sex buddy, your sexual fix from your baby daddy….whatever. You view the situation as ideal due to a variety of reasons. It could just be a temporary fix until you find the right person you are looking for in your life. Maybe you are too busy with your career to date and foster a budding relationship with anyone right now. Or secretly you think that maybe the gent will realize what great of a friend you are and will profess his unconditional love for you, or his focus will shift from his career to a long-term partner, hey what better place to look then at you right? You are there the “ride or die” homie chick fulfilling his needs. Who knows…it just works for you at this moment.

The Oxytocin Effect

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Oxytocin, the love hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland, plays an important role in sexual reproduction and intimacy. While the love hormone  are more widely dispersed before and after childbirth positively impacting maternal bonding from the cervix and through nipple stimulation in women, it also impacts women during sexual interaction, where a monogamous pair bond is also formed. As a woman who nursed two children, I can definitely identify with the maternal bonding effect of this hormone in both aspects.

The Catch-22

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During sexual intimacy, the hormone is released in the female’s brain and she forms a monogamous pair bond with her partner. Over time after repeated sexual occurrences that bond grows. This is where the dilemma occurs. The woman’s developed emotions and feelings begin to exceed her practicality. The realism view is impaired. So why the woman’s initial intentions are to keep the sex act occurrences separate from her heart and maintain a platonic friendship,  the sex and feelings begin to intertwine and she becomes attached romantically. Developed unconfined feelings are now expressed to her “Sex Buddy”. All of a sudden the gent is taken aback because the agreed upon “benefit arrangement”, is now backfiring.  The situation is the exact opposite of what he signed up for. It becomes what he was initially avoiding in the first place. The woman is now professing her wants of a monogamy relationship beyond their established friendship,  insecurities are shown, or jealousy appears. Or she herself becomes taken aback on how did her feelings get to this or that intimacy connection is developed, but there are some very important key aspects in her “Homie Lover Friend” that he lacks or characteristics she does not want in her future mate. Or she starts altering her focus from her career, hobbies and friends to wanting that monogamy connection feeling she attains through intimacy. This evolves when she knows deep down she is not ready to be the required woman a man would need in his life. That is not her focus, the reason she was okay with the “Homie Lover Friend” status to begin with.

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Us women are not chemically built like men in many ways, including satisfying our sexual desires. We definitely put our best effort forward in trying to be and do everything that a man can conquer. However, let’s face it ladies, in this area we are not equals. We may become more immune to our own feelings overtime, so the third or fourth blow of coping with developed feelings improves. But, the love hormone effect bites us every time. Screw you Oxytocin, right? It never fails. No matter how much in denial you are. Be real with yourself….don’t settle. Hold out until you are ready and/or find an ideal partner that wants to be more than “friends with benefits”. Or do you, but have the tissue boxes ready when conflicting views of each other wants arise, because the Oxytocin dispersed all over your heart.

Now I am not saying the male counterpart is immune to the hormone and feelings are not developed by them through intimacy. Men can and at times do become attached. But men are able to separate that attachment better and more often than women. They become attached to the sexual act itself and tend not to blend the  monogamy intimacy-like feelings of cuddling as easily as women. When they are ready to seek a monogamous relationship they do. If there are other priorities in life than an intimate relationship, they are not compromising or bending for that…just because of a sexual connection.

The “Friends with Benefits” concept can work, I am not slamming down the concept. However, more than likely, most of the time ends with unfulfilled wants and broken hearts. Given how we as women are more susceptible to the oxytocin hormone, many times us women are the sore losers.

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