Abstract: Orgasms & Bonding

I wrote an academic paper titled: Orgasms and Bonding for a college course called Human Sexuality.

Here’s the Abstract.


My interest in the inquiry into whether orgasm was sufficient to create an emotional bond was sparked during a lecture in which it was declared there was a ‘predictable bond’ between the two events.  As I have not observed this to be the case, particularly within the context of sexual relations outside the parameters of a monogamous relationship, e.g., sex with prostitutes, hook-ups or casual sex (regardless of its duration or frequency), not to mention the frequency with which adultery has been reported to occur, up to 76% for both men and women (Symons, 1979), I began my research.  My aim to substantiate the claim of this predictable bond led me to the neurotransmitter oxytocin.  As I first read the literature, I surprised myself by conceding that the simple answer may well be yes: the release of oxytocin during orgasm showed considerable evidence for creating emotional or pair bonding.  But these claims were primarily deduced from experiments with animals; humans are far more complex creatures, and thus a simple answer of “yes” to this question cannot suffice.  (Though, alas, such simplicity would save some from a lifetime of either yearning for secure attachment or avoiding the possibility thereof.)  This paper looks to examine to what extent the physiological functioning of the human body affects the nature of an emotional bond or attachment, given that there are extenuating factors in play, in particular those of Ainsworth’s (1972) patterns of attachment: secure, anxious-ambivalent, and avoidant.


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Filed under Essay, From My Archives, Human Sexuality, Men, Relationship, Women, Writers

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