When I first started college, I was looking to get some casual dick. I was a relatively naive freshman and, truth be told, I wasn't particularly confident. I was outspoken, but I was meek when it came to boys. Like most 18-year-old girls, I wanted and sought validation.
I had just moved to New York, I was wildly out of my comfort zone, and I was just trying to have as much fun as possible.
I felt oddly privileged when a hot upperclassman started pursuing me. He was easily the cutest guy who had ever shown interest in me.
He was classically attractive with his dark features and just the right amount of scruff.
He made all the guys I'd dated in high school look gross AF by comparison. So we started hooking up.
The thing was, he was extremely dumb. Painfully so. I was also quite certain the poor kid was mildly autistic. I liked having sex with him because he was hot and provided me with much-needed bragging rights. I HATED having sex with him because he was unbelievably stupid.
I definitely thought he was attractive and that it was a great idea to sleep with him regularly, but my body had other plans. Every single time we had sex, my body gave me a yeast infection.
At first, I chalked it up to the new college environment and stress. But as the connection became more and more apparent, I realized it was my body telling me that it was NOT DTF this dude.
After one too many trips to Duane Reade -- and one too many Monistat applications -- I was finished denying what my vagina was telling me. I stopped f*cking the painfully dumb, super attractive upperclassman so that it would stop f*cking up my life.
This guy was the worst and I needed to move on and get myself some dick that didn't completely eviscerate my pH levels for three days at a time.
This whole situation made me wonder: Can our bodies repel someone who is bad for us? Can our hormones, emotions and feelings join together to form a powerful subconscious army, built to sabotage our attempts to have physical contact with a sh*tty person?
According to Lorrae Bradbury, sexpert and founder of the sex-positive brand Slutty Girl Problems, your body certainly can revolt against another person's body.
What attracts us to another person?
When it comes to our attraction to another person, it's all about genetics. It's about finding the strongest genes to produce the healthiest offspring.
Over times our brains have developed into three distinct parts, which defines how we are attracted to members of the opposite sex.
As biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today:
Humanity has evolved three distinct but overlapping brain systems that enable us to fall in love and form long-term emotional connections: the neural systems for the sex drive, romantic love, and attachment.
These parts of the brain drive our attractions.
As we've covered previously, women are attracted to men who have complementary immune systems. “Mates with distinctly different genetic profiles would produce more genetically varied young,” Fisher says.
Our interest in another human is based on many different factors.
When it comes to attraction, various factors come into play. Bradbury told Elite Daily that these elements are a mix of environmental, social and personal variables:
Sexual arousal or rejection is caused by a combination of internal factors -- like your relationship, connection, and physical and emotional attraction -- and external factors, like your relaxation, stress levels, environment, and past experiences.
If your body isn't into someone, it can and will be the first to let you know.
Your body can turn off or repel if you're not interested in someone physically, emotionally, or mentally - or if your relationship is changing, like you've been arguing with your partner [or] are feeling too comfortable…
When I asked a fellow 20-something writer if she'd every experienced something like this, she told me that she started becoming physically ill when things started to go down the wrong path with her SO:
We had dated for years –– HS into college. Once things got bad, every time I stayed with him or were even in the same area, my stomach would turn violently and I'd throw up. Every single time. At first, I'm thinking, 'Oh sh*t. I'm pregnant.' But once that we confirmed I wasn't, I realized he was literally making me sick.
The same thing happened to a friend who was dating a guy who was a horrible human:
[The] sex and everything was great in the beginning, but then things changed. Emotionally, mentally and physically, everything went wrong. We clashed on all levels. I just felt disgusted every time we got intimate. I couldn't get wet. I couldn't allow him to go down on me and if we had sex I felt sick and gross after. My body just didn't feel right.
Sometimes the body senses what the brain has yet to process.
When we're not turned on, our bodies will do everything they can to stop you from continuing what you're doing -- and to keep you away from that other person.
“Your body might have a hard time getting turned on. You might feel grossed out, on edge, unable to orgasm, or simply not into it.
Your body could go into a 'fight, flight, or freeze' mode if you feel you're in danger, physically or emotionally,” Bradbury told Elite Daily.
This sounds all too familiar. It hit very close to home. It was a drop kick right to the crotch.
I was brought back to few years ago when I was so turned off by my clingy, obsessive boyfriend that I found his touch to be physically repulsive. It made me nauseous to even think about being intimate with him.
Getting wet was downright impossible. Having sex with him was like having sex with a creepy uncle. It felt SO wrong. My body was sending me a message; it just took some time to read it properly and GTFO of that relationship.
If you're disgusted, revolted, repelled or nauseated at the idea of touching your partner… should you make it work or kick him to the curb?
Now, while I absolutely would never in my entire life stick around with a guy whose touch sickened me (sorry to be harsh, but it's true), Bradbury told us that “if your body is repelling/rejecting someone that you feel is a good match, you can absolutely work to get your body back to high arousal.”
You might say, like I did, "how?!"
Bradbury suggests considering the context of the relationship and seeing what it is you can do to change things:
You might need to work on your relationship by going on more date nights, connecting emotionally, talking about your day, or showing physical affection and PDA. Or, you might need to work on some external factors, like separating work from your home life, splitting more chores to lower stress levels.
So, if you really are focused on this relationship and (for some reason) intent on making it work, you can always try.
But, if this person really is sucky and your relationship really is just a sh*t storm, run the f*ck away and never look back. As Bradbury notes, “If your body is rejecting someone because you feel unsafe, if they're not respecting you or your boundaries, or if they're a bad match, then it's worth calling it quits!”