It turns out that love at first sight actually is possible — and so is a long-term relationship that begins with sex on the first date. That’s because “the same regions of the brain that control love also control sex — indicating that sexual desire can actually morph into love,” so says a recent study. Researchers reviewed brain activity of 20 people and found that both love and sexual desire activate a region of the brain called the striatum, showing a “continuum from sexual desire to love.” In another part of the brain called the insula, researchers found another overlap of sexual desire and love, indicating that in many cases “sexual desire transitions into love, and the feelings aren’t separate.”
So there you go: as Lindy West, a writer at Jezebel says, here’s proof that “love can grow out of a sweaty one-night stand.” …But just because lust can turn into love, doesn’t mean it always does or that you necessarily have better odds at achieving a long-lasting relationship if you jump into bed with someone right away. This scientific discovery doesn’t sweep away all the reasons that it may be wise to wait. And there are good reasons — reasons that don’t have everything to do preserving purity or playing by some archaic dating rules, as Jezebel’s West seems to believe. She writes: “If you do want to have sex, and he wants to have sex too, then what the fuck is stopping you? Objectively? What is it? Some made-up rules about the purity of your vagina? Please.”
Well, no, maybe what’s stopping people aren’t some made-up rules about the purity of their vaginas, but the desire to get to know someone before lust and all those chemicals released during sex cloud one’s judgment. Maybe people have religious reasons for waiting to consummate their burning passion. Maybe people want to wait until they’re sober. Or until they’ve stopped dating other people. Or until they know their date’s birthday and middle name. Maybe they want to build a relationship first and feel like the sex is a continuation of their love and not the other way around. Just as it’s perfectly fine to have sex on a first date, there are also perfectly legitimate and reasonable justifications for waiting til the second date or third date or first anniversary to have sex. And the desire to wait doesn’t automatically make one a prude or an anti-feminist. I mean, good lord, does every decision that is a decision your grandmother might approve of have to be some anti-progressive statement? The opposite of moving forward doesn’t equal making decisions that are best for you personally. No, the opposite of moving forward is mocking people’s decisions simply because they aren’t the ones you would make.