Brief Sexual Encounters


Men Have More Sex on Impulse

Men have a harder time resisting sexual temptation. Married men are more likely than women to have extramarital affairs, as well as to seduce someone else’s partner.

Why do they engage in such behavior? It’s often self-destructive and almost always hurtful to those they love.

The male ability to resist temptation is no stronger nor weaker than that of women. But it gets overridden more often because of the intensity of his desire.

Men experience stronger impulses, not because they exert less intentional control.

This makes sense from an evolutionary psychology perspective. Brief, low-investment sexual encounters could have resulted in greater reproductive success for men than for women in humans’ evolutionary past.

That urge goes back to our beginnings of a species but the ability to use self-control is relatively new, perhaps dating back no more than 50,000 years. If so, it’s not surprising that it is sometimes overridden by the deep-seated desire to mate with anyone who rouses the male libido.

Loitering with Intent

Finding Pleasure

Taking risks or trying something new can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. We’re not just talking about novelty in the bedroom (although that would be a good start). You can get the same effect from sampling a new type of cuisine together or riding the roller coaster at an amusement park.

In a brain that people love to describe as “awash with chemicals,” dopamine stands out. It’s the molecule behind all our most sinful behaviors and secret cravings.

Dopamine is love. Dopamine is lust. Dopamine is adultery. Dopamine is motivation. Dopamine is attention. Dopamine is feminism. Dopamine is addiction.

When people experience lust, their dopamine levels soar. High dopamine causes a number of reactions: exhilaration and difficulty concentrating and sleeping. Your heart pounds. You lose your appetite. And you become obsessed with your object of desire.

As dopamine rises, so does testosterone, the hormone that fuels sexual desire in both men and women. But over time, dopamine levels return to normal and Fourth of July’s fireworks morph into Thanksgiving’s cozy affection.

However, if you tweak your dopamine, longtime couples can enjoy the erotic heat of that first sexual encounter.

How do you boost dopamine? In a word, novelty. Try new sex positions. If that dulls after a while, change partners.

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