Every queer girl knows that when you come out, you’re instantly handed two things: a plaid shirt and the keys to your very own U-Haul. I’m kidding…but only slightly (you actually have to pay for the U-Haul).
But in all seriousness, why do queer women seem to fall in love with other women so quickly? Are we just enamored by the mere possibility of feline co-ownership? Do our hormones fire without discretion at the first sight of an undercut? Or is there a real biological phenomenon behind this?
According to Dr. Lauren Costine, author of Lesbian Love Addiction, when two women fall in love they emit massive amounts of oxytocin and dopamine. Due to innate differences in biology, men do not release these chemicals in the same way. So, when two women connect with each other romantically, there is an enormous influx of “feel-good” chemicals flowing freely from both parties. This results in something Costine coins as an “oxyfest,” aka the real life version of Amortentia, and it’s literally addictive.
In fact, researchers have found that falling in love has the same effect as cocaine on the human brain and neuroscientists have linked “passionate love with intense changes in emotion and attention.” Assuming the vast majority of us aren’t interested in a strict regimen of hard drugs with a splash of emotional instability, these studies are seriously concerning.
However, since romantic love has been associated with lower levels of serotonin (a key element found in those with obsessive, intrusive thoughts), it’s easy to wonder if queer women are just doomed to repeat this cycle.