Conventional wisdom would tell you that having sex on the first date probably isn’t the best decision if you’re looking for more than a casual hookup. However, a new study suggests the complete opposite could be true. Huh?
It sounds crazy but there’s solid evidence to back this up. Performed by psychologists at Israeli-based Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and the University of Rochester’s Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, the study determined that getting intimate early on in the dating game could lead to a relationship particularly because sexual attraction is such a vital part of our romantic connections.
Attraction encourages attachment. Not only does sexual attraction make us more likely to want to be with someone outside the bedroom too but it also encourages attachment due to the release of feel-good endorphins we give off in bed, making a relationship way more likely.
Why does this happen? As lead study author Gurit Birnbaum explains, “Sex may set the stage for deepening the emotional connection between strangers. This holds true for both men and women. Sex motivates human beings to connect, regardless of gender… Sexual desire may play a causally important role in the development of relationships. It’s the magnetism that holds partners together long enough for an attachment bond to form.”
The study was somewhat limited, to be fair. The study was strictly between straight people, which means this theory hasn’t been tested in gay and lesbian dating. Both heterosexual men and women were more likely to want to connect with a partner they found sexually attractive, and while it makes sense that this would apply to homosexual dating as well, that hasn’t been confirmed.
Maybe it’s down to evolution. Birnbaum says there’s historical context to their findings and it kind of makes sense. “Throughout human history, parents’ bonding greatly increased the children’s survival chances,” he said. While I don’t think the study is suggesting you go out sleeping with every person you go on a date with, I suppose there’s no real harm in it if that’s what feels right.
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