Tagged: sex

Science Tuesday: Lust Before Love

By Sanah Faroke

More often, we notice people holding hands as they walk down Newbury Street or sneak kisses while waiting for the T. Either you’re disgusted by it or you’re the one snogging up a storm. We didn’t see it coming, but Valentine’s Day is nearly here, and just like that, love sneaked up on us.

It was that spark that started it all, right? Both of your favorite foods are sandwiches? He saw your blue eyes and it reminded him of the ocean. The list goes on and on

I hate to break it to you sweetheart, but love doesn’t just happen out of nowhere, and it actually has more to do with your brain than your heart.

Those feelings of fluttering butterflies in your belly could be love (or that you ate too many cookies). It’s a little depressing, I know – especially for me because I really like those Girl Scout cookies – but the science behind love works in our favor. According to Helen Fisher, a researcher at Rutgers University, there are three stages of falling in love: lust, attraction and attachment.

I’m not gonna lie, one of the best parts of the Super Bowl was the ad where David Beckham takes off his shirt and runs around. Why is he running? Who knows? But let me tell you – no one is complaining. Sex hormones aren’t limited to just men. These hormones are a main component for a woman’s sex drive, which create our lust factor for David Beckham and his sculpted figure.

Then comes the phase where you can eat, sleep, think and talk about involving this other significantly amazing person. This is also the phase where your roommates will probably want to tape your mouth closed. In other words you’re on basically cloud nine.

Well, come back to reality for a bit because neuro-transmitters called ‘monoamines’ are the reason why you’re on this high. They’re practically like drugs that your brain produces. Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are all chemicals that create the whole love-stuck experience. Dopamine is also activated by cocaine or nicotine. Norepinephrine is basically adrenalin which causes our hearts to race and serotonin is one of the most important chemicals in love — it’s the one that drives you bonkers.

After you’ve both decided that you like one another, it’s time to have “the talk.”

Let’s talk about ‘us.’ What are we doing? Can I change my Facebook status? Actually, don’t ask that one even though you want to define the relationship because, well, you’re finally attached. You want the commitment of the other person for fear that they’ll find someone else. It’s all because of two hormones released by the nervous system.

Oxytocin creates the strong bond and also is released when two people have sex, which is why people swear that the more sex you have, the deeper the relationship is (but remember, it’s just a theory)! Vasopressin, another chemical, is released after sex and is said to create a bond. A word to the wise, don’t go around sharing your Oxytocin with just anyone!

While you’re in your 20s, don’t feel too ashamed to still be in that awkward phase of coffee dates and not knowing what your “type” is.

So how much chemistry do you really have with that gorgeous person you see around campus? Did you look at him by accident? Did he stare back? Did you both smile at each other but nothing happened? Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so step it up! Who knows when the next straight one is going to come along.

And just in case things don’t go as planned, there’s always Ben and Jerry’s.

But, on a positive note, always remember — love never goes as planned. Just look at Amy and Sheldon’s relationship on “The Big Bang Theory.” There’s a weird (lack of) sexual tension from misguided dirty talk, yet, I’m in love with them. As soon as you find your lust factor, there are only two steps left to love anyways, right? Go get ‘em tiger.


Spotlight: Condom Couture

By Heather Hamacek, Staff Writer

What is one to expect from an event called Condom Couture?  Well, condoms for one, and fashion for another.  Boston University’s chapter of Face Aids, an organization that helps fight HIV/AIDs in Africa and advocates for safe sex held the university’s first Condom Couture last Thursday night.

The event worked to de-stigmatize condoms and safe sex culture as much as it worked to raise money for Face AIDS.

Dresses, skirts and a jacket made of condoms were strutted down the makeshift runway constructed in the Jacob Sleeper Auditorium while two drag queens, Liza Lott and Ms. Kris Knievil, provided crude-humored commentary and kept the audience involved and laughing.

The judges, including some professors from BU, gave advice to the crowd before the models walked.

“Don’t ever use a condom without lube,” said Sophie Godley, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences.

Alfredo Hernandez, another judge, said, “do not stop having sex, by yourselves or with some else. Don’t stop. Do it safely.”

Jeremy Meltzer, one of the co-founders of BU’s Face Aids chapter said condoms do not even faze him anymore.

“The condoms are fun,” he said as he washed the lubrication off one in his sink. “You can make many condom jokes.  12,000 condoms, I’m always safe.  Silly stuff like that.”

Meredith Hoobler, one of the designers and the winner of the fashion show said she has been walking around with condoms falling out of her bag since she got her first allotment of 600 condoms.

“I think it’s a really interesting conversation starter and topic,” said Hoober. “You never know, it tends to come out, something will just fall out of my bag. It tends to make life more interesting I guess during the day because people will be like ‘how’s the condom dress’ and others will do like six double takes.  So I think that’s fun.”

Condom Couture is planning to become an annual event. It is definitely one worth going to.

On hook-up culture

By Hilary Ribons, Staff Writer

“Well, I can’t get mad at him/her. We were just hooking up…”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this phrase from my peers over the past few years. It always comes as we sit down and try to untangle the mess of confusing actions that resulted from what was supposed to be a casual encounter.

It appears my friends are not the only ones trying to understand the codes and rules behind hooking up. There has been considerable focus on hook-up culture among college students. Whether it’s universally participated in or not, the term “hook-up” is familiar to most young adults. Its deliberate ambiguity allows people to describe their exploits and adventures without revealing too much about what they are actually doing behind closed doors.

In a recent article for The Atlantic, Emily Esfahani Smith outlined the pros and cons of the college “dating” norm. She concluded that hooking up leaves participants dissatisfied, and she questioned why students don’t require more out of each other in order to put an end to the confusing and hurtful concept.

Hook up


I met up with one of my old friends from my previous college, and without thinking, we started to try to talk through it. This girl is a successful senior at a small college out in the countryside of Massachusetts. She holds two jobs, an internship and makes great grades. She admitted to participating in hook-up culture. She made some solid points about hook-up culture I hadn’t thought of.

Young people are still trying to make sense of a traditionally unconventional behavior. There seems to be a code that balances on the verge of non-commitment and insensitivity. Those who are most successful at surviving the gauntlet of hook-up encounters are the ones who are able to balance on that line. But where is that line?

“I know I don’t want a relationship,” my friend said. “If there was a guy to stay around for years, I’d keep them—friends with benefits, that’s fine. It’s not like I’m looking for multiple guys, but when they find someone else I have to, too. I’d be fine having one or two people and switching off…”

Her answer reflects the attitudes of many peers I’ve spoken to over the past few years. Most ideally want the benefits of casual, stress-free play without worrying about hurt feelings or being constrained by a relationship. But they want monogamy, or casual sex with only one person at at time, too. Because monogamy brings with it a certain level of commitment, the relationship-wary  often shy away from it in order to keep their options open.

With the constant upheaval of the college school year, the endless commitments to stay competitive and the realization that a lot of change is bound to happen in at least the next five years. Before the majority of today’s college-aged students start to think about marriage, a good portion of students—65 to 75 percent, according to figures stated in Smith’s article—are or have in the past turned to hooking up to satisfy their immediate needs without any long-term machinations.

Vinny and Snooki

A still of Snooki and Vinny from MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” one of the many television programs that depicts hooking up as a normal part of going out

Hook-up culture is criticized for causing emotional fallout without responsibility. But many people who participate in it feel that if it is approached by both parties for what it is, without the hope of anything more, and that the risk is minimized. My friend continued and said,

“Hooking up is a power thing. It’s the power of suggestion. If they see that you can be with other people, then they know that you could be with other people. It makes them want to be with you more. You want what you can’t have, and when you have it, you don’t want it. That’s when girls get attached. That’s why I want at least two people, so when you start liking someone, you can take a break.”

Though this may come off as calloused, it’s basic self-preservation in a culture that places an emphasis on maintaining the freedom not to be responsible for someone else’s emotions (as that seems to be reserved for a relationship).

Hooking up—in all its different meanings and forms—seems to be a response of young people who have realized that the serious commitment of an adult relationship is not, at the time, for them. It seems to be the response of those who expect themselves to change in the coming years, and who can’t promise their time, energy and emotions to someone else. It also seems to be a substitute for filling the desire that people have for closeness, even when they can’t promise something long term.

Then again, what do I know? These are merely the thoughts of one of those college-aged girls backed with a little bit of research and observation.