Tuesday, July 6, 2010

God, Sex, and Chemicals

I learned something fascinating today.  Apparently scientists are still in the midst of researching neurochemicals--chemicals connected with our brain. Although our amazing brains work generally like a super-computer, they aren't made of silicon and wires, they're made of living cells, which is way more astounding.  But these living cells are susceptible to chemicals which alter the way the brain works, records, and responds to life. Those chemical interactions point to an amazing Design.

For example, today I was reading about four brain chemicals associated with sex.  When someone becomes sexually aroused, DOPAMINE is released in the brain.  This powerful chemical narrows and focuses the mind, tuning the attention to the object of desire.  That narrowed focus blocks out other thoughts, including negative concerns or problems. So Dopamine not only makes you locked-in, it also makes you feel happy, even ecstatic.  In a sexual experience between a husband and wife, this is the drug responsible for those puppy-dog eyes and the feeling that those two people are only people alive in the world. 

As the sexual experience continues, NOREPINEPHRINE kicks in.  This chemical in your brain kicks up your memory, branding small details of the encounter deep into your mind. These may pop up later in flashbacks or vivid recounting of the sexual encounter for years and years.

At the climax of the sexual encounter, OXYTOCIN trickles into the brain. Scientists first discovered this chemical in new mothers holding their child for the first time. It floods their brain, bonding them to their new baby, making them desire to hold it, and conveniently also signalling milk production to begin in earnest.  New fathers also may get a dose when they hold their baby for the first time.  And someone having a sexual climax gets a dose too, bonding them to the object of their desire and increasing the desire to cuddle and hold.  (For that matter, holding hands or kissing may release amounts of oxytocin as well.)

After sex, SERATONIN oozes into the brain's bloodstream.  This better-known chemical relaxes, calms, and gives a sense of satisfaction and well-being.

What's the up-shot?  Well, when we look at a husband and wife, we see written God's good and crafty plan.  At just the right times, chemicals we barely understand are released into our fragile brains. Chemicals to focus us on our mate, to help us remember and cherish every detail, to bond, and to feel satisfied in each other.  In fact, these drugs are powerful enough that some compare them to a cocaine addiction--the husband and wife can literally become somewhat dependent on each other.

But switch the situation. Make it an illicit affair or someone masturbating alone to lifeless pictures.  This person will be obssessed to focus on their desire, these images will be seared into their brain, bonding them together, releasing some of their stress and give them a chemical induced sense of calm.

Insidious.  On one hand, we must admire the good God for his fatherly desire and design for his chilren. On the other we are dismayed at the trap Satan has waiting to snare us.  How little we understand even our own bodies! Praise God and beware Satan.