Dr. Sue Johnson, the author of “Love Sense,” presents how the s*xual relationship between a couple functions properly in light of the way it stimulates the brain. Because of the shift in our culture’s definition of love, Johnson explains that it has been manipulated into meaning intercourse—when that isn’t really the case.
“Vaulting s*x to such primacy has, alas, distorted its role in relationships—and with harming consequences. Instead of drawing people closer together, all the emphasis on s*x is instead driving us further and further apart. We’re abandoning living partners for screen s*x,” Johnson explains.
The brain is strongly stimulated by intimate activity. Humans are able to bond because of the neurochemical process that takes place within the brain during intercourse. A chemical, dopamine, is released in the brain and works similarly to a drug. It becomes addicting, requiring a person to seek intercourse again and again.
A secondary chemical is produced called oxytocin, which is the hormone that removes the memory of pain and is primarily released in the female’s brain. When this is released, it stimulates an emotional bond for a woman. The chemical, vasopressin—also known as the monogamy hormone—is released in males. It has the same effect and emotionally bonds the male to the female.
Unfortunately, when a person watches pornography, the same chemicals are being released into the human body. Johnson says that whether it is a person or an image on a screen, intimate stimulation bonds a person to what they are engaging in.
Marriage counselor Dr. Doug Weiss encourages men and women to make eye contact when partaking in intimate moments. He says that this decreases the “neural pathway to pornography and s*xually inappropriate thoughts and beliefs and glue to healthy s*xuality to [their] wife.”
“When your brain thinks s*x, it thinks, ‘Where’s my wife?’ And that is a great way to fight this battle,” adds Weiss.
Pornography, multiple partners, and intercourse before marriage all place a barrier between the intended deeper connection between a husband and wife. In fact, when a person feels shame over watching porn, oxytocin and vasopressin begin to work to dull the guilt. This places an obstacle between man and woman that God never intended.
God has wired the human brain to respond to another human physically and emotionally. The chemical components involved in this process prove that intimacy is meant to be confined to the long-term bonds of marriage.