August 27, 2015

The Feminist Cave-Woman Does Exist.

Flickr/Hans Splinter

Author’s note: This is about how I learned to honor my human instincts, while still honoring feminism.


I am a feminist. I am also, apparently, a cave woman.

Even in today’s modern age, my basic human instincts and hormonal responses still speak loudly—prompting me to lust, claim, mate, partner and procreate.

All of this was news to me. Coming out of a difficult 13-year relationship, I set out to date, for really the first time, as a grown woman. After six months of doing so, I found a really great guy—a feminist, grown-up, intelligent, liberal cave man.

Both back in touch with our most primal instincts—and both of us coming from marriages that’d gone terribly wrong—we found ourselves insanely attracted to each other, physically and emotionally.

I can’t remember ever wanting to kiss someone so much or so hard. I’d never craved anyone’s touch like I did his. I wanted to hear his voice, listen to his stories, meet his eyes and know we were both feeling this. Suddenly, simple eye contact had a real impact on me—my heart actually raced.

And of course, I’d never experienced sex like I did with him—a driving, powerful need to be close to him, connecting at the most animalistic level.

Suddenly, I finally understood what all the fuss was about.

We called this animalistic need our “inner cave-people.” We were awakening from years of repression and unhappiness to find that we’ve both, in fact, still got it.

Long dormant pieces of ourselves were coming alive with each other, and I enjoyed being wanted. I loved that he wanted to kiss me so much, he’d throw me against a brick wall on the street and have at it.

The most enlivening and surprising thing was the cave-people sex we discovered—desire, drive and innate human feelings started to spring up like never before. We felt our natural instincts rousing from the deepest parts of our DNA—claim, mate, procreate.

Though, as 21st-century people, practicality often overrules the procreation instinct—although it does still remains strong. “This is how we have 7 billion people on earth,” I thought. I finally understood. We are hormonal creatures, driven by an inherent hunger to perpetuate the human race through coupling. Our bodies were literally built for this.

The hormone oxytocin is released during physical contact, orgasm and even gazing intently at someone—which helps form a trusting bond between partners.  The flood of oxytocin promotes feelings of calm and certainty. That feeling can be binding, as you look into each other’s eyes in a sexual, hormonal haze. It is said that continued sexual activity can enhance the bond over time. A similar experience occurs in maternal bonding with new babies. That great feeling you have when in love? Oxytocin. That increased self-esteem and positivity? Oxytocin. That feeling you’ve just met the best person ever and want to make a billion babies together? Oxytocin.

But love today isn’t just built upon momentary hormonal surges, and oxytocin’s short-lived effects aren’t the magic bullet for lasting love and attraction. We’re modern people. It takes more than convenience and attraction to sustain a relationship, outside of the cave.

Even with all of our cave-people desires, my partner and I are still 21st-century people, with modern beliefs. Both of us are liberals and feminists. I don’t fantasize about being bonked over the head and dragged back to the cave. While some use man’s instincts as an excuse for rape and female-oppressive practices, that’s not what I’m talking about here. I speak merely of embracing the delightfully natural and hormonal things that happen when love is going right.

And my partner and I laugh at just how “instinctual” we’re feeling. Living in New York City, one can often feel quite distanced from our base mammalian ways.

In our months together, we’ve both had a desire to “claim” the other with affection—to let the world know we’re together. We’ve both had an increased drive to procreate with one another, even after a short period of dating. And we’ve felt an incredibly calming closeness, brought on vividly through physical contact and sex.

After being in marriages that sucked the life out of us, we were unsure if we still had the capacity for attraction, sex and love. We’ve discovered that our natural drives and instincts are alive and well.

As it turns out—one can be both feminist and a little bit cave-woman.

Relationships are hard, and it’s not always rosy hearts and feeling high on life. But let’s enjoy the surge—the hormonal torrent that pushes us to connect.

It’s nature’s message to us that we’re still human.


Sex, Emotions, Self & Reality!


Author: Jennifer Gunn

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/Hans Splinter

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