A Girl’s Pocket Guide to Protecting Her Heart

by Chantelle Tibbs

I don’t believe in “love at first sight,” but I do believe in “high at first sight.” I don’t believe that women get attached faster, I think we get high faster. And I think there is a way to date in the world that does not run our hearts through the ringer. How do we as women make the way we are wired work for us, and not against us, in an ever-changing dating climate more geared toward men coming out ahead? Out a head. Get it?

But enough of my childish quotes and lofty claims, let’s talk about the Bible. In 2020 my father died suddenly. We aren’t sure how exactly, but it was January 23rd of 2020 in Los Angeles, California. He had a mysterious virus and died of underlying conditions. Less than two months later, we were under a “two week” quarantine for COVID 19. I’ll let you connect the dots or not. I was feeling lost and decided to hang out with a neighbor who posed as a possible new friend offering their condolences. I made the mistake of driving this neighbor to and from where we planned to go. It turns out he was a foaming at the mouth Christian (not the real kind, the victim of politicized religion kind). He was so rabid, he would have punched Jesus in the face for disagreeing with him. The car ride lasted for what seemed hours, as his head turned 360 degrees on his shoulders, and he spouted off every scripture he had ever memorized. 

Ironically, one line of a scripture stuck with me though. So much so that I asked him to repeat it three times. I don’t remember the whole scripture, but I remember the part I asked him to repeat. 

“Guard your heart with vigilance.” 

I live by this code. I’m not saying close your heart. I’m not saying to hurt and use others and pretend it’s self-preservation. I am not into being savage or trying to hurt anyone, for that matter. But I do believe in treating our hearts like treasures and guarding them with vigilance. And I do believe that as resilient as we are as humans, the human heart can only take enough. 

But what if you – a fun loving woman in this world – just want to have some fun and hook up a little? Great. I recommend using protection, making sure you really want to do it and that you’re not being persuaded. And if you are resistant to sex in general, I recommend making sure again, you are not being persuaded. But let’s walk into this battlefield armed with facts. Recent studies done on One Night Stands (dailymail.co.uk) show that only 40% of women will have an orgasm during a one night stand whereas a man will reach an orgasm 80% of the time. And, yes, as a queer woman I can say that this pocket guide still applies. Our chances of having an orgasm are higher, though, if that helps soften the blow – because the percentages change for lesbians. It jumps to over a 60% chance of reaching an orgasm. But if you’re still looking for some 40% fun, or for that percentage to rise ever so slightly after a few encounters, I can’t say I blame you. 

This “high at first site” has much to do with oxytocin – a hormone from the pituitary gland, often called “the love hormone.” But remember, oxytocin is not your friend. Most women mistake an oxytocin rush for what they believe to be true love feelings. A lot of research has been done on this. One of my favorite takes on what has come up, is that in general women don’t need men in the way men need women so nature has to trick us into attaching ourselves to a man long enough in order for a child to be conceived. Whatever the reason, the oxytocin rush of meeting someone new for a woman, is a high like no other. And that high may have us crying for days, keying cars, confessing our love from mountain tops. 

So what goes about bringing on that high and what can be done about it? The answer is simple. Smell. Human beings are capable of sniffing-out certain parts of our potential partners’ DNA that make up their immune system, called major histocompatibility genes, to determine whom we’re compatible with.

We are often drawn to people whose MHC compositions are different from our own so that the immune system of our offspring covers as many diseases as possible. The reaction to this scent causes an oxytocin rush that has you believing you are attached to the person you are smelling. But it’s not them. It’s their scent. 

So here’s what I wish someone told me when I was eighteen. To guard your heart with vigilance, I recommend you try to avoid situations where you smell new lovers often, like cuddling too much or sleeping over. Take a shower immediately after any sexual encounter. You can also go to the gym after seeing a person you are intimate with so your body isn’t sure where the oxytocin came from, the workout or the hookup. 

Another option is to take herbs such as wood betony to help with any withdrawals you may feel when you separate from a lover. Wood betony is an herb used to treat withdrawals in folks recovering from drug addiction. 

The truth is, it takes a lot more than sniffing out what will keep our offspring’s immune systems popping. Armed with the right kind of tools we can set our dating life up so we get to take time to get to know someone. We can find out if they are kind or if we really even want to see them again. We can discover what their love language is. We can figure out if we ever even want offspring. Or we can choose to pick our partner with the very heart we intend to protect.

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One Response to “A Girl’s Pocket Guide to Protecting Her Heart”

  1. Francesca Alicea Says:

    Very important to guard your heart. I love this quote, “Follow Your Heart But Take Your Brain With You”. This guide explains how quickly an attraction can turn into distruction, if someone fails to always guard their heart.

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