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Some of you may be shocked, but this is a fact confirmed by science in recent years. Not only is sex better with drugs, some drugs will increase the desire for sex, the permanence of the relationship, and the desire to care for their children. Where can you get these drugs? It is really quite easy. In fact, you don’t even have to go to a pharmacist, you can find these in any common household. The three drugs I will focus on are dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin. All three are found in our brain and are produced when an individual is aroused.

You may have heard of the drug dopamine. It is the ‘feel good’ chemical that creates a feeling of excitement or satisfaction when we take a risk. Dopamine can reward us for driving fast, earning an A on a difficult test, taking a ride on a rollercoaster, rescuing a drowning dog in a pond, (something I did once), or having sex.

What is important to point out is that dopamine has no governor. It rewards us regardless of the action. Imagine that you ask your young child to take out the trash, something he has not done before. If he does, you give him a nickel. If he doesn’t, you give him a nickel. Either way, the child is rewarded for doing something new and exciting. One is rewarded for doing what was requested of him and experiencing something new, the other is rewarded for disobeying the parent. The child is rewarded in either case. Dopamine rewards no matter the moral consequences of the action.

Joe McIlhaney and Freda McKissic Bush in their book “Hooked” puts it this way, “Dopamine is values-neutral. This important point must be stressed. Dopamine will reward for healthy and life-enhancing excitement, but it will also send the reward signal for exhilarating but unhealthy and destructive behavior. Examples of excitement that dopamine rewards can include the use of nonprescriptive drugs, nonmarital sexual involvement, excessive drinking, dangerous thrill-seeking, and so on…To reproduce the good feeling, they seek to repeat the behavior. Their desire for the good feeling can overwhelm their accurately calculating the risk behavior, or for that matter, even worrying about it, if they do consider the risk.” 1 It should come as no surprise that sex is one of the strongest activities that produces dopamine, and this is especially true for teens.


What is significant about dopamine is that it peaks in the adolescent years and continues to increase in one particular part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. This is the final portion of the brain to reach mature development and is responsible for making wise, rational, logical, mature decisions in life.

Oxytocin is the second chemical I mentioned above, and can be found in both sexes, but has a much greater influence with females. One example is when a woman is breast feeding, her brain is flooded with oxytocin. Oxytocin creates bonding and trust with another person. When a women breastfeeds, she reinforces her feelings for her child and is willing to sacrifice her own needs for the needs of her own child. The more she breastfeeds, the more oxytocin is produced, which creates a greater bonding between a mother and her children.

Oxytocin is also produced during meaningful touching or hugging, skin to skin contact, (even holding hands), and of course during sex. Oxytocin creates a bonding or connectedness between a woman and her partner that stimulates her with a desire to be with that person again and again. McIlhaney and Bush wrote, “The important thing to recognize is that the desire to connect is not just an emotional feeling. Bonding is real and almost like the adhesive effect of glue-a powerful connection that cannot be undone without great emotional pain. Real brain chemicals act on real brain cells, causing those brain cells to bind individuals together.” 2

Many of us can imagine, and may have seen, the infatuations of a young girl on a particular boy or man. The simple affections of a hand on a shoulder, a lengthy embrace, or intimate touching produces oxytocin in females. As significant as the bonding it creates, oxytocin also produces trust in a woman. A young girl or woman who is bonding to a man or boy also begins to trust him. If she is considering being intimate with him, the feeling of trust oxytocin produces is significant because the female will trust he will:
-Care for her and not use her as a sex object.
-Put her needs above his needs.
-Be faithful to her and not be intimate with other women.
-Take care of her and their baby should she become pregnant.

You can see how some friends, parents, or caring adults can see the truth of a situation between a young man or woman, and she is unable, or unwilling, to listen to advice on how best to proceed with a relationship. It should come as no surprise that 80 percent of unwed fathers don’t marry the teen mother of their baby. 3 I personally have seen this with several former students and their broken relationships. It is also a trend as casual sex is taking our culture by storm. In the 1960’s, 68% of all twenty somethings were married. In 2008, only 26% were married, due in large part to cohabitation. 4

Oxytocin, just like dopamine, is another values-neutral chemical the brain produces. It does not consider boys or men who are just using girls or women as sex objects. Girls who engage in premarital sex fall victim to the effects of oxytocin. They desire the bonding and connectedness while feeling safe and secure because of the trust it produces, while the intentions of the male may be far from honorable.

Finally, there is vasopressin, which also has a bonding effect, but with the male to his mate and his offspring. This chemical is probably the prime cause of men becoming emotionally attached to women who they are intimate with. It may also explain why some men return time and time again to a woman who is insulting, degrading, or emotionally abusive. When a man has sex with a woman, his brain is flooded with vasopressin, and creates the bonding he may feel toward her.

When men move from sex partner to sex partner, they damage their ability to develop long term relationships. McIlhaney and Bush put it this way, “The inability to bond after multiple liaisons is almost like tape that loses its stickyness after being applied and removed multiple times.” 5 Just like dopamine and oxytocin, vasopressin is values-neutral. The male brain flows with vasopressin when having sex with one partner or several over a period of months and years, but unlike becoming ‘attached’ to one partner, the male will lose his ability to bond with someone when he has multiple sexual relationships.

Can people who have multiple partners find someone and enjoy a lasting, life long, healthy relationship? Of course, but my point in this post is that our teens and twenty somethings can fall victim to drug abuse and not even know it. Former president Bill Clinton may define sex as intercourse, but studies on brain activities show that sex is, “Sexual activity is any intimate contact between two individuals that involves arousal, stimulation, and/or a response by at least one of the two partners.” 6

I would tell my former students just because you are not having intercourse, does not mean you are not having sex. Sex comes in many forms, and they all produce powerful drugs that affect your ability to think clearly, rationally, and consider future consequences to your actions. These drugs are so powerful you may even ignore warning signs about an abusive relationship, or the advice of loved ones who have your best interest at heart. And to those that are engaging in sex outside of marriage, like it or not, you are likely to fall into a statistic that will place you in poverty income levels, multiple unsatisfactory relationships, and chronic depression.

The purpose of eating is not for pleasure, it is for survival. Those that eat for strictly for pleasure damage their bodies and are often grossly over weight. The purpose of sex is not for pleasure, it is for procreation. Those that have sex outside the design of marriage damage their relationships and their lives. These drugs were designed for a purpose, and that purpose is for permanent, life-enhancing, procreating relationships.

The world will tell you that when you feel you are ready, you should have sex. The world will tell you that as long as you use condoms, or other birth control methods, you are safe to have sex. The world will tell you that it is your business, and so long as no one gets hurt, it is alright. The world will tell you that as long as it is between two consenting adults, no harm is done. Science facts and Scripture tells us otherwise.

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. 2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.


1. McIlhaney, Joe S. Bush, Freda M. Hooked New Science On How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children. Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 2008. Print
2. Ibid.
3. Maynard, R.A. Kids Having Kids. New York: Robin Hood Foundation, 1996. Print
4. PewResearch Social & Demographic Trends. “The Decline of Marriage And Rise of New Families. PewResearchCenter, 18 Nov. 2010. Web. 1/1/2014
5. Ibid
6. Ibid

*I highly recommend the book Hooked for parents of adolescent children, or teens.

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