She Said: No Strings Attached

Sarah Irby, Editor in Chief~

I’ve discussed friends with benefits previously, but I haven’t discussed a potential consequence of that type of relationship, which is attachment.

Attachment isn’t always a bad thing, even though it is sometimes shone in that light; often people just have a fear of commitment or don’t want things to get more complicated than they have to be.

The stereotype tends to be that women are much more likely to become attached to their partner after sex than a man is. Biologically speaking, this is accurate, but it depends on a variety of circumstances. Large amounts of oxytocin are released in a female’s brain (but only after climax), which can lead to “lovey-dovey” behavior, whereas men have lower levels of dopamine afterward, which can often lead to them hauling tail.

It’s important, however, for men and women to understand that these are uncontrollable side effects. If it weren’t for those meddling neurochemicals! Men often feel weird when women get too clingy after sex, and women sometimes feel hurt when a man leaves immediately. It’s taken personally by both sides, when everyone involved is just acting as a puppet for the chemicals in their brain.

no strings color

Illustration by Genevieve Griffin.

Despite the biological factors, each case varies from person to person. There are plenty of women who are perfectly capable of having casual sex without feeling any attachment, and there are plenty of men who do feel more attached to a woman after they’ve done the deed. Sometimes, the stereotyped “roles” are reversed entirely. And, of course, that varies among partners as well. I might feel closer to one specific guy after sleeping with him, and then I may be completely apathetic about the whole experience with another guy.  C’est la vie.

Sometimes I don’t understand why some people are so weird about attachment. Like, why does it bother you that there is a human being out there who thinks you’re neat and enjoys your company? Obviously it’s a problem if they’re stalking you or trying to marry you and have your baby after a single romp in the hay, but it’s kind of uncool to pretend someone doesn’t exist after you’ve seen all there is to see of them. Unless, of course, that’s what you both want.

I’ve had my own personal experiences where I maybe got slightly too attached to someone and developed expectations that were never a viable option, but once you get your head on straight and come to that conclusion on your own, it makes things easier. I can still interact with people I was once attached to, but now with more of a lackadaisical standpoint.

I’ve also had instances where someone got too attached to me, and in those moments I can see how others find it annoying, but it’s merely a minor inconvenience. It’s not something I’m going to lose my mind over because “Oh no, attachment! It’s obviously the worst thing that could possibly happen!”

Conclusion: Attachment doesn’t always equal complications. Who knows, maybe the love of your life is actually the girl who wouldn’t stop texting you after a one-night-stand. She can dream, right? Just like everything else in life, attachment can be good or it can be bad.

And just like everything else in life, sex is all about what you make of it. So go out there, and you do you (or someone new).