Friday, February 27, 2015

Let's Get Scientifical #20: Is Techno-Love Real Love?

Welcome to Unwritten's February blog event! Of course, this is the month of love, so I wanted to celebrate that theme as I've done in year's past. But this year, I've decided to add a scientific spin to it. All month long, talented authors from several genres will write about some aspect of love from their books as it relates to science. It could be social, psychological, biological, or anything in between. Our blog event is sponsored by "HMC by Kate", a fabulous independent jewelry crafter. Kate's giving away one of her very beautiful necklaces that I think fits our theme perfectly. She's also offering everyone who stops in a 10% discount on any item from her Etsy store. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post and check out her lovely offerings! Without further ado, please welcome our guest author:

Is Techno-Love Real Love?
by Eve Francis

Hi readers! Thank you to Mysti Parker for hosting me on the “Let’s Get Scientifical” blog-hop. My story, released Feb 15 2015, is called Not About Love. It's a lesbian sweet romance story, which deals with an online relationship between two women who meet and fall in love while writing comic book fan fiction. For me, this is a distinctly modern romance, but a not a story everyone is used to seeing yet.

So much of what we know about love, at least from a scientific perspective, has been reduced to chemicals. Mai Nguyen, the main character in the story, is studying to be a pharmacist and her study buddy Nathan reminds her (along with her professors) of this fact. In order to bond with our mates, the body releases happy hormones and chemicals—such as serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. These produce the euphoric feelings of love and make us stick around long after the thrill of sex is gone.

There are evolutionary reasons for this, of course. It's assumed that those we have sex with end up being the ones we raise offspring with, and we function better when there are more people to raise that kid. Because of birth control, however, we don't necessarily need to be in love with the people we have sex with anymore. Most contemporary rom-coms reflect the changing way we’re dismantling love from sex (Friends With Benefits is an example), but we seem to have a harder time thinking of love being present without sex. Is it possible to love someone you’ve never had sex with? And more importantly, is it possible to love someone you’ve never even met?

In this story, Mai struggles to decipher whether her love is "real" because it happened online. She and Kate have known one another for a long time, have seen one another over Skype, and have shared many experiences. And since they write fan fiction together, they've discussed sexuality in vivid terms. But does that mean Mai is in love with Kate—the characters they write—or the screen itself? What about Kate's feelings? In fandoms, where emotions already run quite high, it can be hard to decipher if an “I love you” is a genuine expression of romantic intent, a friendly exchange, or just excitement.

Many researchers are already looking into the new ways in which technology influences our love life and if it's possible to be in love through the technology itself. I'm sure they're doing great research, and that attitudes towards love and sex will change in time. But for now, as an author I'm figuring out these conundrums and attempting to write a very short, but I hope also quite sweet story, about the possibilities of love on the internet.

My conclusion? It's definitely possible, chemicals or not. 
Thank you for having me!

Buy link:
Find more information on my website here:


EVE FRANCIS has appeared in The Fieldstone Review, Hyacinth Noir, Plunge Magazine, and Gay Flash Fiction. She has forthcoming publications with Ylva Publishing and JMS Books. She lives in Canada and can be found at


This beautiful handmade necklace from HMC by KATE

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