Once upon a time, a very long time ago, men knew they couldn’t get into a woman’s pants unless they paid the price (a ring. a marriage certificate). That’s just the way things were, and everyone accepted it. Did that time really exist? Yes, to all my very young readers, yes, that time did exist. I’m not sure when it happened exactly, I’m no history buff here, but women decided they felt sexually empowered- they wanted to sleep with whoever, whenever, regardless of whether or not they got a ring. Maybe they didn’t even want a ring.
If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any amount of time, you already know that I’m a “traditional” dating advice blogger, which is a nice way of saying I believe in Biblical principles as a guide to how to approach relationships. Given, I know not all my readers are Christian so none of that “thus saith the Lord” stuff is going to be relevant. And that’s why I want to share some scientific evidence that all this sleeping around business has its drawbacks. Even if you use protection, unseen stuff happens. There is no protection for your heart. And let me share with you how biology works.
What Happens in Your Brain During Sex
Basically during sex, the brain releases a lot of oxytocin. I’m sure there are other worrisome biologic factors involved, but I think oxytocin is the biggest one. Research has shown that oxytocin has these effects:
- Pair bonding in animals
- Maternal and child bonding
- Increasing trust
- Increasing generosity
- Increasing empathy/cohesion
- Feelings of love
A famous peer-review article from 2005 in Nature journal talked about an experiment where people given oxytocin were more likely to invest money
What Does All This Mean for You?
Science basically says there is an emotional component to oxytocin.
Physical and emotional intimacy cannot be separated.
The Bible talks about it using poetic language, that “two people become one.” And science supports this as sex creates “pair bonding” in animals. Do you want clear evidence of oxytocin’s power?
Oxytocin is also markedly produced during lactation and birthing. You know how mothers get when they have a baby? How it feels actually painful to leave their child with the sitter to go to work? How it just breaks their hearts to be away from their baby? Well, that same chemical oxytocin that bonds people during sex also bonds a child to a mother. It makes mothers who never had baby fever, mothers who actually despise other kids, actually feel totally enamored and clingy to their child. Some mothers never want kids, UNTIL the baby actually arrives and then suddenly they feel they can’t part from their baby. That’s oxytocin at work. So ladies and gents, this is a seriously POWERFUL chemical.
A One Night Stand
Maybe you had a one night stand. Maybe you told yourself it means nothing, that it’s just two consensual people sharing their bodies. Nobody is going to get hurt. There are no feelings involved.
But you’re wrong. Something chemically happened there. You gave a part of yourself to that person, that stranger who you will never see again.
And why would that not skew with your mind? If all these chemicals that produce feelings of trust, empathy, cohesion, love, and bonding happen with someone who you don’t feel that way about, your mind and your body feel like they are in opposition to one another. It’s like your rational mind is thinking one thing, but your actual brain, by producing this chemical, is telling you something else. And wouldn’t this confusion make it harder and harder to choose good partners in the future when all this mind confusion is happening?
Committed Relationships Outside of Marriage
But maybe you don’t have one night stands but you are in a committed relationship, you rationalize. So you have sex with this person. And you do it a lot. But every person you date who is not your future spouse is going to be an ex boyfriend/girlfriend at some point.
And that’s why it’s hard to move on… because with that ex you released oxytocin which made you a bonded unit, which made you trust them more, which made you invest, and give and love that much more.
And that’s why it’s hard to trust the next person… because your brain released those feelings of trust and cohesion before, and it was betrayed, and there will always be pain when cohesion is severed.
Why Breakups Hurt More When There is Sex Involved
Why? Because cohesion means “completeness,” “wholeness.”
If you’re in a sexual relationship and then it ends or you’re sleeping around and you don’t feel a sense of stability, wholeness, totality in your being, it’s because Biblically and scientifically you have bonded yourself to every person you’ve slept with, and they have literally taken away part of your wholeness. How can you really feel a sense of peace in your being when you repeatedly unite yourself, bond yourself with people who are no longer in your life? I mean it’s serious guys.
That’s why death of a loved one feels so wrong. Because at one point they were a part of your life, and then all of a sudden, they are gone. And when they pass, because you had a “bond,” you feel like you lost a part of yourself.
Every time you have sex with someone who will no longer be a part of your life, they take a part of you with them when they leave. How long will you live this life? How many partners will you give a part of yourself to? What will remain of who you are at the end of it?
And that’s why I promote waiting to have sex until marriage. It’s not only a guard for unwanted pregnancy out of wedlock and STDs, but also it comes with a promise that you’re bonding with, investing in, giving to someone who won’t leave, you’re trusting someone who is trustworthy, and you’re creating “feelings of love” that can be backed up by a commitment to love for the duration of your life. Sounds good to me!
Sources: (Thanks Allan!)