UPPER EAST SIDE — The Upper East Side's social set sipped wine and listened to the science of love at the luxe penthouse apartment of Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon Thursday night.
Dozens of men and women, including Mellon, Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Dee, Eileen Guggenheim, and Susan Gutfreund gathered to hear from Dr. Mark Solms — a neuropsychoanalyist who lectured about how romance and attachment affect the brain just like a drug dependency.
"Love is a form of addiction," said Solms, who Mellon called a modern day Sigmund Freud.
"I'm sure that none of you have been so naughy as to have done cocaine," Solms said, pausing as the crowd of more than 50 laughed and looked around the outdoor terrace at one another.
"But if you have or know someone who has, that's this system full on," he added, saying that the different phases of love are comparable to cocaine and heroin.
Mellon hosted the panel, dubbed, "The Brain in Love," as a fundraiser at her apartment on Fifth Avenue and East 95th Street to raise funds to support behavioral and pharmaceutical research at Solms' Neuropsychoanalysis Association.
Solms explained that love is a constant conflict between spontaneous passion and affection-based stability — and it's a conflict that plays out in two key cerebral pleasure centers, Solms said.
Those are also the same chemical pathways that are tempted and sated by hard drugs, he said.
Solms also touched on the Freudian theory of the Oedipus and Electra complex, which holds that men and women seek out mates that remind them of their parents.
While it might sound "creepy," early experiences of parental love do impact adult romantic lives, he said.
Statistically speaking, people are likely to date people who look like their parents, siblings, or themselves, he claimed.
Mellon told DNAinfo.com New York that a friend introduced her to Solms' institute's work because "My hobby is psychology."
She plans to host two or three more fundraising galas for his institute this year, she said, she wants to do whatever she can to raise awareness for neuropsychoanalysis, she said.
"I have a big education ahead of me," she said, saying she looks forward to delving into Solms' book.
A few members of the audience put Solms' theories into practice right away. Some joked that they were going to go "seeking" pleasure after the lecture.
At one point during the question-and-answer session, another man whispered loudly to his female companion that Solms' work explained his dislike of commitment.
"It's physical, it's not psychological. So it's not my fault," he laughed, taking her hand.