July 31, 2007

Pointy-Heads Who Never Kissed A Girl Solve Riddle of Love: "For years, scientists have known that attraction is more likely to happen when people are aroused"
— Ace

Really?

That quote is completely taken out of context -- they're referring to the old saw about people being more likely to hook up after being excited by fear or the like. Horror movies, roller coasters, lurking menacingly outside windows wearing nothing but clown makeup and a butcher's apron. Classic courtship ploys like that.

But it's characteristic of the piece as a whole, which tells us that science has concluded that love is a mystery, makes people do silly things, creates addiction-like symptoms, and may not be based entirely upon reason.

First comes initial attraction, the spark. If someone's going to pick one person out of the billions of opposite-sex humans out there, it's this step that starts things rolling.

Next comes the wild, dizzying infatuation of romance -- a unique magic between two people who can't stop thinking about each other. The brain uses its chemical arsenal to focus our attention on one person, forsaking all others.

"Everyone knows what that feels like. This is one of the great mysteries. It's the love potion No. 9, the click factor, interpersonal chemistry," says Gian Gonzaga, senior research scientist at eHarmony Labs.

Wow, thanks, Professor Science! Tell me more about this "spark" phenomenon. Is it electrostatic in nature? Piezoelectric? Something else? Spill, man! I'm on the edge of my seat here.

The forces of attraction are in many ways mysterious, but scientists know certain things. Studies have shown that women prefer men with symmetrical faces and that men like a certain waist-to-hip ratio in their mates. One study even found that women, when they sniffed men's T-shirts, were attracted to certain kinds of body odors.

A study even found that. Why, the next thing they'll be telling me is that a heartbroken man might cradle a pillow sniffing the perfume and body odor of his departed lover.

People in the early throes of passionate love, she says, can think of little else. They describe sleeplessness, loss of appetite, feelings of euphoria, and they're willing to take exceptional risks for the loved one.

Brain areas governing reward, craving, obsession, recklessness and habit all play their part in the trickery.

The deuce you say.

Clearly, in the matters of love, the stars were aligned for the [a couple discussed in the story]. When they met, they were ready for each other. But they were also attracted to each other. The chemistry was there. Most relationship researchers think it has to be.

Chemistry? First I've heard of this.

It also turns out that science shows that while love can strike at any age, older people, if you can believe such a thing, tend to be wiser and more in-control due to their experience in such matters.

The free fall of love's first rush can happen at any age, whether people are 20 or 70, says Elaine Hatfield, psychology professor at the University of Hawaii and relationship researcher.

What differs is that the older people get, the more memories they harbor of joy and trust, rejection and disappointment. And as people learn from experience, the front brain, with its logic and reason, probably gets a greater say.

"When you are young, passion and hope are so strong that's it's almost impossible to stop loving someone," Hatfield says. "After you've been kicked around by life, however, you start to have a dual response to handsome con men: 'Wow!' and 'Arrrrrrgh!'

"It takes not will power but painful experience to make us wise."

Dumb, but smart. Because the reporter writing this knew she wasn't telling anyone anything they didn't already know but that her editors would snap it up and people would link it and read it.

Because science has also demonstrated that people have some sort of strange interest in the subjects of love, attraction, and sex.

Thought that is yet only a tentative theory. Further research is required to conclusively establish this proposition.

The LA Times know this exact same story runs every single month in Elle, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, etc., right?

Posted by: Ace at 10:19 AM | Comments (35)
Post contains 713 words, total size 5 kb.

1 That quote is completely taken out of context -- they're referring to
the old saw about people being more likely to hook up after being
excited by fear or the like.


I would think one is more likely to hook up after having a couple of drinks in them.

Posted by: dave at July 31, 2007 10:22 AM (CQYpd)

2

"...lurking menacingly outside windows wearing nothing but clown makeup and a butcher's apron."


Restraining Orders are just another way of saying, "I love you."


Posted by: JeepThang at July 31, 2007 10:23 AM (0411H)

3 Is there no fount of millenia-old common sense that can't be regurgitated thanks to a healthy research grant from Uncle Sugar?

Posted by: VJay at July 31, 2007 10:26 AM (kico6)

4 These scientists will come out anyday now with a study that concludes that human excrement tastes like crap.

Posted by: Tushar D at July 31, 2007 10:27 AM (IlgNp)

5 Can't speak for the rest of the morons here, but in my case the riddle of love is solved by anyone who is:

Adult
Female
Willing to play with my wiener

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at July 31, 2007 10:30 AM (tVbxd)

6 No, no that's not right at all  You whack her on the head with a club, then drag her away by the hair.  The Flintstones can't be wrong.

Posted by: TallDave at July 31, 2007 10:31 AM (oyQH2)

7

Next item in the Congressional Register:


-A $23 million dollar grant to MIT to explore if wet T-shirt contests arouse males, and why.


I can see a grueling research schedule with that one.


Posted by: Sort-of-Mad Max at July 31, 2007 10:33 AM (WTn2v)

8 Can't speak for the rest of the morons here, but in my case the riddle of love is solved by anyone who is:

Adult
Female
Willing to play with my wiener

You just described Cindy Sheehan. She was using the internet to troll hook up sites and fuck guys.

Posted by: dave at July 31, 2007 10:34 AM (CQYpd)

9

The free fall of love's first rush can happen at any age, whether people are 20 or 70


Right.  That's just happy self-talk.  These geeks can't face the fact that they're going to be alone for life.  They'll be just as geeky, only a lot more wrinkled, when they're 70.


Posted by: I'm Not a Crank at July 31, 2007 10:35 AM (nF4Jh)

10

I had my heart broken young by a girl who referred to her genitals as "down there". Since then I cannot be attracted to a woman who does not use the coarsest terms to refer to her vagina.


I guess it takes all kinds, eh?


Posted by: spongeworthy at July 31, 2007 10:35 AM (uSomN)

11

yeah, whatever ace, you fuckin........mmmmmmmmm cock, gobble, gobble, nice, big, juicy cock....


...anyway, as  I was saying..


Posted by: jim bimbo at July 31, 2007 10:36 AM (Tr2b6)

12

Scientists know certain things.



For example, men's "balls" are not round.



One study even found that they are not football-shaped.




Brain areas play a part in this trickery.




Posted by: Science at July 31, 2007 10:38 AM (JLI/R)

13 is that true about cindy sheehan? just curious, i swear.

Posted by: carl carlson at July 31, 2007 10:40 AM (M0ujS)

14

lurking menacingly outside windows wearing nothing but clown makeup and a butcher's apron


Ah. You remember.


Posted by: ace's butter half at July 31, 2007 10:44 AM (6dysq)

15 is that true about cindy sheehan? just curious, i swear.

Yes. Of course, she blamed it on her "grief."

Posted by: dave at July 31, 2007 10:47 AM (CQYpd)

16 BRILLIANT!

Posted by: Paladin at July 31, 2007 10:50 AM (bWB5j)

17

Cindy was in Crawford when a process server found her and handed over the
lawsuit that would end her marriage. Cindy Sheehan had a boyfriend who is a
major anti-war activist, Lew Rockwell. Cindy Sheehan took refuge with a computer
that became her companion day and night. Cindy Sheehan’s former sister-in-law
says “Cindy had become addicted to online chat rooms of a pornographic nature.
She had many men communicating with her. ” When she left her home, she also left
behind evidence of her pornography addictions and her dalliances. The Sheehan
family’s deterioration was punctuated by painful evidence of Cindy’s liaisons in
hundreds of explicit e-mails and instant messages. (pp. 170-172)

http://polipundit.com/wp-comments-popup.php?p=15442&c=1


Posted by: dave at July 31, 2007 10:51 AM (CQYpd)

18 wow

Posted by: carl carlson at July 31, 2007 10:53 AM (M0ujS)

19

Why, the next thing they'll be telling me is that a heartbroken man might cradle a pillow sniffing the perfume and body odor of his departed lover.


This is a curiously specific example.  I detect the unmistakable imprimatur of experience...recent experience.


I'm guessing that when given the ultimatum of choosing between gf and WoW, WoW won.


Posted by: Rocketeer at July 31, 2007 11:00 AM (GFaLW)

20 It's all about cocks and cunts. See? I can be profound too.

Posted by: ricpic at July 31, 2007 11:01 AM (0FRi9)

21

The forces of attraction are in many ways mysterious.


So are the forces of rejection.


Posted by: Dave in Texas at July 31, 2007 11:03 AM (pzen5)

22

I'd rather be a passenger in Lindsay Lohan's car than fall in love again.


Bitter?  Moi?


 


Posted by: ushie at July 31, 2007 11:08 AM (ljcNo)

23

The female of the species can be a mystery wrapped inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped inside an angora sweater. I think it has something to do with pheromones or something, because often the whole male forebrain seems to be bypassed when dealing with comely females:


Male: Ah, yes, I think you see here that the conic constants involved in this particular equation can be simplified by using modified Riemann zeta functions.


Female: You haven't told me how you like my new sweater yet!


Male (looking away from the computer screen): What? Yes, that sweater is very OMG BOOBIES GIMME GIMME


 


Posted by: Monty at July 31, 2007 11:12 AM (UdJCa)

24 Spark smark.  A gram of coke and a handful of ruffies will get you a lot further than any of that shit.

Posted by: Ted Kennedy at July 31, 2007 11:12 AM (8Dgyh)

25 The only people I can't love are ghastly Christianists.  They give me the vapors, and that tends to stop the flow of milky loads.  Heartache!

Posted by: Andrew Sullivan at July 31, 2007 11:20 AM (kFwRi)

26 Have I mentioned that I like to suck cock?  I mean, have I mentioned that I like to suck cock in the last couple of minutes?

Posted by: JimBoobah at July 31, 2007 11:22 AM (kFwRi)

27

spongeworthy:


I had my heart broken young by a girl who referred to her genitals as "down there".


Are you sure she wasn't Australian? All I needed to know about the science of attraction was taught to me by Anthony Michael Hall and Kelly LeBrock.


Posted by: Gordon at July 31, 2007 11:28 AM (+Smov)

28 spongeworthy,

I can't tell if you're serious or not.

Tangentially recommended:  xkcd

Posted by: someone at July 31, 2007 11:34 AM (eCH82)

29 "The LA Times know this exact same story runs every single month in Elle, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, etc., right?"



And Ace knows this... how, exactly?


Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at July 31, 2007 12:43 PM (8F+iI)

30 Science!


Posted by: OregonMuse at July 31, 2007 12:43 PM (WqDqW)

31 Why, the next thing they'll be telling me is that a heartbroken man
might cradle a pillow sniffing the perfume and body odor of his
departed lover.

And weeping; weeping mightily at the anguish of the desolate hole left festering in his god-forsaken soul, the sunshine of passionate memories despoiled by the empty, black,  meaningless future.

Then his friends get him a hooker.

Posted by: HerrMorgenholz at July 31, 2007 01:01 PM (K/lgF)

32 And then "she" turns out to be a she-male.

Posted by: eddy murphy at July 31, 2007 02:18 PM (8/KKy)

33 Spark? WTF?!

I always thought it was whiskey that got things rolling.

Posted by: Amos at July 31, 2007 04:59 PM (gYsFF)

34 Nevertheless, for the purposes of this paper, I will accept this problematic estimate 12 One cannot base sound policy on poor science. ,

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