“How you doin’?”
Did you use the right voice? Do you know who made this line famous?
That’s right! Sitcom character Joey Tribbiani from the 90s hit Friends.
Innocent, loveable, yet completely aloof Joey had women swooning over his leather jacket and one raised eyebrow; he was a ladies’ man. Regularly seen having women leave his bedroom, it was assumed Joey often had late night guests.
It was implied that Joey was having a lot of sex.
And why shouldn’t he?
I mean, it’s just sex, isn’t it?
That’s what the world has been telling us for quite a while now, anyways. Movies, books, TV shows and crude lyrics bombard us with the idea that sex is cheap and meaningless, aside from personal pleasure, of course, and that everyone should experience as much of it as they want.
So what’s wrong with this idea?
Sex is so much more than just sex.
Yep, Joey had it wrong.
So how is sex more than just sex?
Reason #1 why sex can wait: Connection.
Did you know your BRAIN is a vital sex organ?
During sex, the brain releases neurochemicals that all play vital roles in forming a deep connection between the two individuals.
- Dopamine: The “feel-good” chemical! It’s the neurochemical that rewards us for doing something that feels good. When we do something like eat, enjoy a hobby, or have sex, dopamine floods our brains with a sense of excitement and satisfaction. It also creates a state of intense concentration. Dopamine tells our bodies “yes, we like this, do this again.” BAM! You’re hooked! Dopamine is responsible for a person’s desire to repeat behavior (It’s also the neurochemical at play when becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, or other addictive behaviors). So, when you have sex with someone, your brain releases dopamine, hooking you to the feeling that individual just gave you; hooking you to that individual.1
- Oxytocin: The bonding chemical! Oxytocin is released during moments of touching. Primarily found in women, oxytocin floods the brain when doing things like holding hands for a long period of time, hugging, kissing, and having sex (which includes a lot more than just intercourse). Oxytocin creates a desire to repeat the contact that just took place with the same person because she has now chemically bonded to that individual. It’s the same chemical released when a mother nurses her baby, bonding mom and baby and creating that motherly attachment. Don’t downplay how powerful oxytocin is!1
- Vasopressin: The male’s bonding chemical! Very similar to the effects of oxytocin, vasopressin bonds men to each sexual partner, every.single.time.1
Combined, these neurochemicals pack a punch when two people have sex. There’s no doubt that our brains can easily become “hooked” after “hooking up.”
Ultimately, some may say it’s just sex but, in reality, biology works against that claim as the brain releases chemicals bonding the two individuals, whether they realize it or not.
So what’s the problem with this sense of connection sex creates?
Ask yourself this: How many high school relationships last?
Statistically, only 2% of high school relationships in America lead to marriage.
So if these individuals don’t end up making the lifelong commitment of marriage, then the relationship will end at some point.
How much more heartache and sense of loss await those individuals who have experienced a biologically-driven connection?
How much more devastating will that breakup be vs a breakup between individuals who abstained from sex?
“Bonding is real and almost like the adhesive effect of glue—a powerful connection that cannot be undone without great emotional pain.”1
From the mental and emotional angle, sex before the commitment of marriage leads to broken hearts.
But that’s not all.
Are you up to date on your STD facts and figures? Look for Reason #2 coming soon! We’ll talk about another big reason why delaying sex until marriage is the healthiest option for everyone!
- McIlhaney, Joe S., and Freda McKissic Bush. Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children. Northfield Publishing, 2008.