By Yael Brender
Condoms, birth control pill, lubricant – knowledgeable, modern women are all over safe sex. We’ve been hearing it since grade school. But what are we doing for us?
During sex, powerful chemicals are released within a woman’s body, designed to cause them to fall in love. It’s a biological response to ensure women stay close to the father or potential of their children for protection – but today, it can be frustrating and confusing for the discerning woman who enjoys sexual encounters with multiple partners.
The chemicals oxytocin, vasopressin and dopamine are released into a woman’s body during sex – and are multiplied during orgasm – they make women feel as if they’re in love, creating a chemically-enhanced emotional bond with your sexual partner. This is what makes booty calling and one night stands especially dangerous for women.
Yes, these chemicals are released in the male body too, but are mediated and hindered by the level of testosterone. Although science has dealt women an unfair hand in this instance, knowledge is power, and women can learn to have emotionally safer sex by using this information to their advantage.
These chemicals are released in the male body too, but are mediated and hindered by the level of testosterone.
Although science has dealt women an unfair hand in this instance, knowledge is power, and women can learn to have emotionally safer sex by using this information to their advantage.
Nikki Ransom-Alfred, Certified Sex Coach and Educator, recommends waiting until a commitment has been established to avoid falling in love prematurely and endangering well-being. Aimee Boyle, writing for EmpowHer, reminds us that feeling emotionally unsafe can also strip away everything that is physically good about sex, so women lose out twice.
Boyle suggests that women take the time to discern what qualities make them feel emotionally safe during sex without being unreasonably demanding. This can help women find partners they will feel safe with and thus lead to a hotter, sexier and more fulfilling sex life.
Wendy Maltz, from the McKinley Health Centre in Illinois, has developed a model for determining an emotionally healthy sexuality – the healthy sex CERTS model; consent, equality, respect, trust and safety – in all aspects of sex from the physical to the emotional.
If you and your partner (by any definition) practice good communication and strengthen trust, then sex can be intimate, safe and empowering.
Sexual dishonesty and secrecy, on the other hand, indicate an emotionally unhealthy sexual relationship. Lying to a partner about sexual activities, experience or feelings, or engaging in sex that ‘no one can know about’ are red flags. Lying to your partner about your sexual history is also a warning sign, as is the old favourite, faking an orgasm.
So evaluate your sex life, your sexual history and partners and make the smart decision to have sex that is safe for your heart, too.
By BB Intern Yael Brender
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