Sexual Chemistry

There is a sound biological basis for the phenomenon of sexual chemistry. When we are sexually aroused, or when we meet someone who interests us intensely, when we experience that moment of understanding, our sympathetic nervous system begins to create the hormone norepinephrine in our nerve endings and in our adrenal glands.

Love depends on powerful perturbations of our normal brain chemicals. There are more than thirty neurotransmitters that bridge the synapses in our nerve cells.

Two of these, norepinephrine and dopamine, affect the pleasure center in the brain and are directly responsible for what we feel when we fall in love. Our breath comes faster, and there is a feeling of euphoria, a rapid pulse, a compulsion to talk, and a type of comfortable aggression that allows us to make advances we would ordinarily be too shy to consider. We feel excited, happy, and full of anticipation. Sexual chemistry has occurred!

The pleasure center, where all this takes place, was discovered by Dr. Jose Delgado, a neurophysiologist at Yale University, in his research with rhesus monkeys.

The stimuli that excite the limbic region in humans are the two neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. In a manner not yet fully understand, they work on a naturally occurring amphetamine-like substance in the brain called phenylethylamine, and the triggering agent is that moment of sudden awakening, that emotional reaction, that starts it all.

There is, then, a chemical reaction within our bodies, produced by our own excitement, that begins at the level of our neuroreceptors. This reaction, in turn, by stimulating our nervous system even further, intensifies that unique and excited feeling of “sexual” chemistry. We are “tuned in and turned on” in the true, chemical sense of the phrase.

For sexual chemistry to work, it must be mutual; it must occur in both people. If only one person feels that instant attraction, then there is no chemistry involved.

Usually, although not always, there is a dominant-submissive element in sexual chemistry. The passive person rarely attracts others, rarely projects that exciting quality. But the submissive partner in a relationship can be energetic, enthusiastic, and, paradoxically, strong. Very often there is a strength in submission.

We tend, erroneously, to think of submission as a female trait – the dominant man, the submissive woman. The reverse, a submissive man and a dominant woman, has just as often resulted in profound and lasting sexual chemistry.

Sexual chemistry is an interaction between two active partners who perceive in each other a mutual desire to fulfill an undefined, and perhaps primitive, need.

It is, in essence, a combination of many things: the way you look, the image you project, the way you talk, and even the way you think, the gestures you use – the total impact of your self. It is also the energy and enthusiasm you feel, and your strength – and sometimes weakness.

It can occur between lovers, or between people who aren’t and will never be in love. It can occur between the sexes or within the same sex. It can be used to move masses, influence audiences, or get you what you want in a business situation. It is political and personal, and while it may work on one person, it may leave another cold!

Our eyes may or may not be the windows of our souls, but they are certainly our most eloquent instruments of communication, and in sexual chemistry they are the most important. That first spark is struck through the eyes. There is an instant of recognition, a moment that tells you that what you see is good, that here is someone very special, someone you would like to know, or someone who arouses you sexually – perhaps someone you could understand and who, in turn, could understand you.

If one person ignores the initial eye contact, nothing will happen, but if that person accepts the challenge – and it is a challenge – for any reason at all, there is a chance that sexual chemistry will take place.

Now the same two people who in one situation may react very strongly may in another, with nothing changed except that initial moment of contact, never react at all.

eye contact, general body language, clothes, the image we project, metacommunication, power, vulnerability, and many others.

the ubiquitous smile
feedback

Body language is unconscious and should, therefore, be more honest, more direct than the spoken language.

In sexual chemistry, touch has an invaluable place. It is one of the elements that can change your entire perception of someone else – or that person’s perception of you.

Touching is a comfort to the sensory nerves in the skin. “People want to be touched, and it triggers a good emotional response.”

Accidental touch
Deliberate touch
Healing touch

Semyon Davidovich Kirlian, a Russian, discovered this phenomenon in 1939. Under certain photographic conditions Kirlian was able to take pictures of an ordinarily invisible field, or aura, around any living object, plant or animal.

the chemistry of the voice
breathing

The speed at which we speak sends another message. A fast talker can be persuasive; too fast and he becomes irritating. At the other end of the scale, a slow talker can signal conviction, thoughtfulness, and sincerity; too slow and he signals indifference. Our initial impression of another person is heavily influenced by the way he or she talks, the speed, and the pacing.

Register and resonance in speech make another strong impression on the listener.

In addition to the usual eccrine glands, which secrete colorless sweat, the armpit has apocrine glands, which usually occur where there is hair. These glands secrete sebum that spreads out along the hairs. The hairs form a bigger area for evaporation, and the bacteria of the skin break the sebum down into a substance that gives off a musky odor.

Other body areas with the same type of glands are the scrotum and the base of the penis in men, and the skin around the vagina in women. In men and women the area around the nipples contains apocrine glands. The foreskin of the penis and the folds around the clitoris also produce secretions with a heavy odor, but these areas – the breasts, the ano-genital area, and the sexual organs – are usually protected by clothes. The armpits, not as closely covered, also sweat most easily, and the sweat accentuates that musky underarm odor.

In less deodorized cultures than ours the sexual attraction of the armpit odor is duly recognized. In Greece and some of the Balkan countries, men carry handkerchiefs in their armpits during folk dances, and in the course of the dance they will offer these handkerchiefs to women to attract them as partners.

Perhaps the Victorian lady who dropped her handkerchief to an attractive male was aware of this sexually provocative glandular odor, for she often kept her handkerchief in her bodice.

Primitive animals have a large area, the forebrain, devoted to the sense of smell. Our own cerebral cortex developed from this area. The limbic system of the brain has been traced back, in evolutionary terms, to the primitive forebrain, the area that responds to pheromones.

The limbic system in humans is the area responsible for pleasure, the area that contains the pleasure center and regulates sex drives and the reproductive cycle. Some of the nerves from the olfactory center in the nose go to the limbic system to stimulate its emotional and sexual center when the proper smell is released. Consider that this is also the center where norepinephrine works its magic and you can begin to see a close tie between odor and sexual chemistry.

The human sense of smell is inextricably linked to memory. There is growing evidence that we remember what we smell longer than what we see or hear.

Our culture has taught is that body odors are offensive, and cautions us to remove them all. But, because advertisers recognize the tremendous strength of smell in arousing sexual chemistry, we are prodded into replacing the natural body odors with artificial scents.

Scented oils arouse [massage] patients

Phenylethylamine acts in much the same way amphetamines do. Phenylethylamine, norepinephrine, and dopamine all have similar roles.

They cause our hearts to beat faster. They increase our energy and heighten our emotional outlook. They make us feel more optimistic, give us a better sense of ourselves – and make us more capable of falling in love.

Infatuation
Selfish passion
Perverted love, perverted attraction, morbid fascination

Sexual anorexia is someone who doesn’t feel the sexual urge. Infrequently it’s due to a hormonal problem, but far more often it’s rooted in a deep psychological conflict about love and sex.

projecting a fantasy
beautiful people
There is a genuine prejudice in favor of attractive people.
seen as more sexually warm and responsive, more sensitive, kinder, stronger, more interesting, poised, modest, social, and outgoing.

Heavy Heartbreak Technique:
1) Treat them almost with contempt. Be rude. Never flatter them, act indifferent, no matter what they’re like
2) Next time be nicer
3) The third time, fall all over them
When you change from nasty to nice the sexual chemistry was much better than when people were nice to begin with.

Turn-ons and turn-offs

Women react to men’s clothes
They like men in jeans with sports jackets and sweaters, NOT “the corporate look”
Shoes are a real give away
Most were turned on by a gym bag.

While there is a great deal of agreement among men and women, old and young, rich and poor as to what is attractive in someone else, there is very little agreement about what is attractive in ourselves. We do not see ourselves as others see us. We gloss over our faults just as we gloss over our good points. The problem is we know ourselves too well, and we allow that self-knowledge to influence our judgment.

If you wish to strengthen your own self-image, you can imitate the body language of a self-confident person.

labeling
changing the labels
mind tapes
getting all the facts
the spice of danger

Keeping sexual chemistry alive:
Love in the afternoon
Fast but fabulous
The imbalance factor
Changing the context
Maintaining the priorities
Laying the groundwork

Love is like a good wine. You should enjoy it, but you shouldn’t overindulge!

Our Western morality is based on our Western attitude about religion. We have accepted a concept of one God, and we also, for good or bad, accept a concept of one love. We consider it immoral to be in love with more than one person at the same time, but it can happen; it happens quite often.

[John Alan Lee] three primary types of love, just as there are three primary colors.

The most intense, which he likens to red in the spectrum, he calls Eros (from the Greek word for love), and it’s a love that is predominantly sexual. It involves an immediate and powerful sexual chemistry. There is a strong sexual element to it, and it has an all-or-nothing quality. Strangely enough, there is not a great deal of jealousy in this type of love. Eros lovers are not possessive as much as they are exclusive. Infidelity would end the relationship, because the relationship is based upon trust.

The second type of love Dr. Lee call Ludus, from a Latin term for play or sport. This type of love sees the whole thing as a game, with promiscuity allowed and with a lack of commitment.

Ludus is a freewheeling. easy sort of love, and in Dr. Lee’s color wheel it is likened to blue, a cool color.

The third primary type of love is labeled Storge (pronounced stor-gay), from a Greek word for natural affection. It describes an affection that is close, but more like a deep friendship than a true love.

And friendship is at the bottom of this type of love. In storge love you are not preoccupied with your lover. You are relaxed and like to do things together, to share interests and avoid manipulating each other’s feelings. It’s a relaxed kind of love, and Dr. Lee likens it to yellow, a bright, clear color ad the third color in the wheel – red, blue, yellow.

As with colors, there are secondary types of love in Dr. Lee’s listing. The secondary colors are green, purple, and orange. One of the secondary loves is called Mania (from the Greek, meaning “to be mad”), the possessive, jealous, obsessive love, between Ludus and Eros; Dr. Lee gives it the color purple, but we would see it as green. The love he labels green, he puts between Ludus and Storge; it is Pragma (from the Greek word for deed), a pragmatic sort of love, realistic. Where orange occurs in the wheel, between red Eros and yellow Storge, Dr. Lee puts Agape, the Greek word for charity and love used by Saint Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. This is dutiful, unselfish, and self-sacrificing – and oh so rare!

He lists three more types, which are simply combinations of the three primary types, and of course there are other combinations possible.

ludic-eros
storgic-ludis
storgic-eros

red: eros
orange: agape
yellow: storge
green: pragma
blue: ludus
purple: mania

Breaking up is a very serious aspect of sexual chemistry.

Eros: A basically sexual type of love. You are eager to see a lot of your partner. You are verbal, tactile, open, and sincere. You enjoy sex and intense emotions.

Ludus: You like a variety of types. You do not “fall in love” but continue as you were, with no intention of including your lover in your future. You maintain your privacy, see love as a game, and refuse to be too intense. It’s a casual, mutually enjoyable state.

Storge: Your love is like a deep friendship. Although you want to share with your partner, you are not preoccupied with the affair. You are relaxed, with no strong emotions, and you are shy about sex.

Mania: This love involves intense preoccupation with your lover. You want to see him or her constantly, cannot break off the relationship, and become possessive, jealous, obsessive, and altogether miserable — which you consider a true state of love.

Pragma: You know what kind of lover you want, and you go on with life as usual when you meet her/him. You are sensible about dates, sex, and involvement, and you avoid scenes. Oh yes – you believe no one is worth sacrificing for.

Agape: This is dutiful, unselfish love which you offer regardless of the difficulties involved. You give your love without any regard for personal gain – and you must probably be something of a saint for this to work!

Some men are turned on by virginal white, but others are tuned off.

To be sexy, black must be revealing, or it must hold a promise of revealing, such as a dress cut low with a touch of lace to hide the cleavage.

A black turtleneck on a man is very sexy. Black leather is sexy with a hint of violence, and of course, black evening clothes gives the impression of a man of the world.

Red is daring. The fallen woman would wear red, the experienced woman, the woman who knows her way around. Red is your experience lover.

Blue is a cool color, laid-back. It signals someone who has it all under control. Blue-eyed people favor blue, of course, and blue-eyed people are easier to read in terms of sexual chemistry. You can tell when they’re turned on.

Large pupils mean someone is interested in you, and with blue eyes you can distinguish the pupils very easily. Small pupils signify coldness, disinterest. You can’t read the language of pupils in black-eyed or brown-eyed women. The merge into the iris, but in a blue-eyed woman they’re very distinct. That’s why blue-eyed blondes are often considered cold. And just as often considered sexy.

Yellow is bright, cheerful, sunny, and light, and a yellow dress or blouse conveys that.

You can send almost any signal you want by the color of your clothes.

The reluctant lover is most desirable. The reasoning goes, if I must put myself out to get him, he must really be worth something.

The Courtship Dance:

    The Attention Stage
    The Recognition Stage
    The Interaction Stage
    The Sexual-Chemistry Stage
    The Resolution Stage