The Biochemistry of Attraction
When you first start dating, there’s a stream of beautiful biochemicals rushing through your body which feel amazing. These ‘magical’ biochemicals are Vasopressin, Epinephrine (Adrenalin), Norepinephrine, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins. And it’s this cocktail of Neurotransmitters swilling around in our bodies which feels diiiiivine – this is the concoction which creates an unmistakable sense of euphoria. Have you felt this at some point in your life? If not, you have something to look forward to when you meet someone new that you feel ‘chemistry’ with…
But what’s the difference between feeling Butterflies in your tummy and feeling an explosion of Fireworks?
Both feel great, but there is a difference, so let’s break it down. After all, who doesn’t love a bit of Neuroscience to help us understand what motivates us to do what we do?
Butterflies and Fireworks are both a biochemical response in the body – it’s that moment when you feel ‘chemistry’ with someone which feels rather magical. And it’s this ‘magic’ which spurs us on to mate and procreate – this is Mother Nature at her best – ensuring that the human race lives on – by making sure that ‘courting’ and ‘mating’ is pleasurable.
But let’s look at the primary protagonist here – Dopamine. This is the body chemical responsible for ‘reward’ and ‘pleasure’. Unfortunately, Dopamine is also the ‘addictive’ body chemical which drives us to chase experiences and people which may not necessarily be the best choices for us in the long term.
In short, Dopamine works to switch our ‘thinking brain’ off (our prefrontal cortex) as it focuses our attention on the person or experience which our brain sees as our ‘reward’.
This sounds all great in theory – but the problem is – we may not necessarily be choosing the right partner for ourselves in the initial stages of dating if we allow these biochemical reactions to take over. This is because if we allow these lush ‘love’ hormones to govern us completely, our thinking brain then might be taking a back seat… and we don’t really want that…
The thing is, while our bodies are being blitzed with this delicious elixir of chemicals, we are not really thinking straight. Of course, this is all subconscious – we don’t really know why we are attracted to one person over another, and we can’t control these biochemical reactions.
In fact, an fMRI (brain scan) of a brain ‘in love’ is the same as a brain scan on cocaine. Not similar, not kinda, but totally identical. So ‘falling in love’ is quite literally the same feeling as taking cocaine
So even though we feel ‘chemistry’ with someone – which is a signal that there is some attraction – we don’t want that ‘chemistry’ to be the only driving force when we are in the process of choosing a partner.
Because the thing is, physical chemistry can be cultivated with Tantra. Whereas choosing the right partner with our ‘thinking brain’ might mean the difference between choosing a relationship which is harmonious and long lasting, versus a relationship which is turbulent, dysfunctional and which ultimately fizzles out.
Yes, Tantra is the ‘sexual chemistry’ factory. This means that if you are in a relationship with very little, very quiet or very flat chemistry, or in a relationship which has only just started, then Tantra can help to super-charge your connection. Tantra can also help if you have oodles of attraction in your relationship, but you still want to ‘juice up’ your connection and take your chemistry to somewhere off the charts. And who doesn’t want that?
Having said all that, we all want both the butterflies and fireworks, but at different stages of a relationship. Stay with me on this… let me explain…
Butterflies vs Fireworks in Dating
When you’re looking for a new partner, ‘butterflies’ are the feeling you really want to start out with. Butterflies are quieter, softer, calmer, more internal. Butterflies are still a faint rush of Dopamine, but less of a charge. So there is still attraction, but less of your thinking brain has switched off.
Butterflies are nice – they are enough of a Dopamine hit to still enjoy the yummy deliciousness of the excitement of meeting someone new, but they are not so much of a Dopamine overload that your ‘thinking brain’ totally switches off… this means that with butterflies you can better evaluate rationally whether this is the right relationship for you
This is because partners are best chosen for having the same values as you, having some common ground, and where you can build a foundation of trust. The right partner is someone that you can have a friendship with, and where you feel emotional safety and mutuality. This doesn’t mean you have to be into all the same activities – it just means that you see the world in a similar way and that you have the same intentions and outlook on life. With the right partner you can cultivate the type of commitment which can be meaningful and satisfying.
So I say, choose the person with the character qualities that you want, such as loving, warm and kind. As opposed to the person that ticks superficial boxes – such as physical attributes – because we all know that physicality will fade over time anyway.
So why not Fireworks when we are newly dating? The problem with fireworks when you first meet someone is that it’s way too much Dopamine. Fireworks is when there is an explosion of excitement, and you intensely text and talk and meet, and your body and mind are overwhelmed with excitement. This also means that your thinking brain may be switching off way too much, and potentially, your ability to see blind spots and red flags might be diminished. So if you are experiencing Fireworks when you first meet someone, you might miss all the reasons why this may not be the right relationship for you
All the wisest dating advice seems to suggest that we should give the quieter connection a second look – the not-so-obvious spark. In fact, the dating gurus all say to give that ‘I’m not so sure connection’ at least three dates. By seeing this new person in a few different settings, and at different times, it allows you both to relax a little and to discover if there is any common ground, shared values and same intentions – THESE QUALITIES are what a functional and dynamic relationship can be built upon.
This also allows the more shy, and perhaps less practiced, but more genuine, person to show you that they just might be the right partner for you.
This also allows some time to overcome any pre-conceived ideas you may have about the ‘physical tick boxes’ and the ‘sort of partner’ you thought you wanted. And since ‘character traits’ are not on the outside, and not as obvious as someone’s appearance, ‘time’ is needed to uncover someone’s inner strengths, values and weaknesses. This is the ‘getting to know you part’… and this all takes time…
And because the ‘ticks’ are coming in slower, the Dopamine is being drip fed, not rushing in fast, hence why it’s more of a ‘Butterfly effect’ when you are getting to know someone slowly, and not the full ‘Fireworks show’. There’s still a feeling excitement with Butterflies, but it’s gentler, softer and a bit more nuanced.
Thus if you are engulfed in flames upon meeting someone, it may not be a good sign. Even though the ‘moths to a flame’ feeling may ‘feel right’, this is not necessarily the best connection for you. It may or may not be. Because with Fireworks blinding you, you might also become blindsided.
So for dating, try walking slowly towards the person whom you feel the quieter Butterflies with… you might be pleasantly surprised. And run away from the person with whom you feel instant explosive Fireworks
Alternatively, give the Fireworks connection the same treatment as the Butterflies connection – meaning – take it slowly – take your time to vet this person to ensure your values and intentions are a good match. There’s actually nothing technically wrong with Fireworks when we are newly dating! Except that it severely impacts our ability to rationally assess the merits of the connection.
So if you feel a ‘clear yes’ when you first meet someone, and bright lights are flashing, then by all means, explore that connection. However, be mindful that it could also be an overload of Dopamine because this person is ticking alot of your ‘physical tick boxes’ (hence the strong Dopamine rush in your brain to ‘reward’ you for finding this person with so many ticks!) However, this person may not actually be a ‘good fit’ for you… character wise.
Either way, whether you are pursuing the Butterflies or the Fireworks connection…
- Take it slowly – don’t rush when you first start dating – space apart the dates and the texts and the phone calls – you don’t want to burn eachother out in the first few weeks or months – love takes time and we need to take some space to observe and explore eachother. It’s important to find out whether our values and intentions are on the same page
- Lead with ‘energy’ not sex – don’t jump straight into the physical when you first start seeing someone – take your time when it comes to sex because it’s the emotional, mental and energetic connection which will help you to endure the test of time with this new person – not necessarily the physical. It’s thus worth building the friendship up front before jumping into bed together – close intimacy can be created with Tantra once you have decided that it’s the right relationship for you. Because once you are comfortable with the qualities of a person, passion can be cultivated later with Tantra!
Butterflies vs Fireworks in a Relationship
A relationship is a different story. In a relationship we want the fireworks! We want the colliding Supernovas! And so this is where Tantra steps in…
Whether there was wild chemistry between you when you first met and started dating, or not, it doesn’t matter. Chemistry can be cultivated with the steps of Tantra. And it takes time…
Tantra is like a jigsaw puzzle. It’s a series of steps which can be done at any time, in any order, and many can be done in any setting.
Tantra inspires all the beautiful biochemistry to be released in yours and your partner’s body. The steps of Tantra will release the whole lot – Vasopressin, Epinephrine (Adrenalin), Norepinephrine, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins – and it does this in spades.
The steps of Tantra will work to deepen your connection and to propel you both towards mind-blowing, toe-curling sex
Which is what we want, because good sex is medicine.
So if you are looking for the Fireworks, reach out to us at Sparkle Tantra and we’ll help you to ignite and inflame that spark between you.
Tantra can help you experience the passion you’ve always wanted. And at Sparkle Tantra, we can show you how, offering you the trusted wisdom of Tantric Sex in two ways…
- At Home… try our “Tantra for Couples & Singles Beginner’s Webinar” which is suitable for both Couples and Singles with no prior experience necessary. This step-by-step online course allows you to discover the skills and a pathway for more intimacy in the privacy of your own home. This webinar is a series of pre-recorded videos which you can stop and start at any time and watch on your phone, TV or laptop.
- 1-on-1… if you would prefer your own private sessions, work with Francesca 1-on-1 as either a Couple or a Single and she will guide you with customised sessions to suit your own personal needs. These 1-on-1 sessions are available over a video call (Zoom, Teams, Whatsapp) or in person. Reach out to Francesca for a chat about how she can help you at email@example.com
And we look forward to connecting with you at Sparkle Tantra soon
xx Keep Sparkling lovers, Francesca