There are six women in my office right now. All of us are single. The estrogen levels are threatening to pour over our seventh floor balcony, but its still quite fun. We’re all in our early twenties, we’re all pretty adept in the promiscuity department and we’re all looking out for love. And there’s the rub. We’ve all played the ‘don’t worry even I’m in it for the sex’ lines on men and we’ve all realized we’re hopelessly in love by the end of the week.
Honestly, what is it with the female sex? Why are we all evolved and detached in the beginning and groveling towards the end of a relationship? I’d read somewhere that it was ‘oxytocin’ or the ‘trust hormone’, released during orgasm in both the sexes that is the culprit. The hormone makes a couple grow to love and trust each other and thereby ensure procreation. On the Darwinian level, since the human child has one of the longest gestation periods among mammals and probably the longest nesting period, it is cardinal that the parents stay together. Oxytocin is therefore dubiously dubbed ‘the love hormone’. Research shows that people with higher levels of oxytocin are more susceptible to committed relationships than others. ‘Susceptible’ yes, that was the operative word.
I re-saw 'Before Sunrise' and 'Before Sunset' – Richard Linklaters’ cult romantic films starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy back to back last night and the films have left me in an emotional tizzy. Love is never something I can safely define. It’s like taking Foucault’s pendulum off the shelf, reading it for the 14th time and putting it back up where it seems best – looking wise and collecting dust. But it’s a feeling you can always recollect. Almost all love save for maternal is in retrospect. There is probably only one person I can hesitantly say I was in love with. If love means he left a gaping hole in my sternum when he left. Either that, or my oxytocin levels were off the richter at the time. I’m not too sure.
But, answer me this… if both the male and the female release the same hormone, why aren’t their reactions to the relationship the same? I’m obviously not talking about cases where the guy is a philandering prick or where the woman calls mummy to buy the mangalsutra in the midst of a post coital cuddle. I’m talking about when everything’s there – when there’s attraction and chemistry and conversation and great sex. Why do most men still run away? Why do they rarely fall in love? Why are they just not that into you? Why do men have sex like ….Men??!! Is there some other esoteric endocrinal secretion that counteracts the effects of Oxytocin? Or is it simply like Samantha put it to Carrie –
“Why do dogs lick their balls and men cheat?
“Because they can!!”