Head’s Up: This article does contain sexual language. But don’t worry, it’s educational, not erotica.
First, let me put something to rest immediately: Sex is multifaceted and the church by and large has done a poor job with the subject in the past. Sex is not just for procreation, but is primarily for unification. Within that, God designed sex to be incredibly pleasurable for both men and women and, as I’m about to show you, He had a very important reason to design it that way.
Let’s begin by understanding what that design is, and no, I’m not talking about anatomy; I’m talking about biology and chemistry.
Sex is extremely vulnerable and in women this causes one of two hormonal reactions within her body. The first potential reaction is a release of adrenaline, which is a stress hormone that prepares our body for our fight or flight instinct. It can be scary to be vulnerable. If a woman feels fear when approaching sex, the chemical response in her body is to release adrenaline. If adrenaline is released in a women’s body, it reduces arousal and makes sex painful. This can now become a troublesome place for any woman who finds herself there, because now her experience of sex is negative, which can mean that the next time she is even more afraid to have sex. You can see the downward spiral that can begin here, and it’s especially complicated if a woman has been abused in the past yet is now trying to give herself fully to her husband.
However, the second potential reaction in a woman’s body is the release of oxytocin, which is a stress-relieving hormone. More than that, oxytocin tells a woman’s body how much sex hormone to release, and oxytocin can be produced in any measure without limit. What that means is that her sex hormone can be released without limit, which means there is potentially no limit to how much a woman can enjoy sex. In fact, a woman’s body is made to enjoy sex at a much higher and deeper level than a man’s body is.
How safe a woman feels will determine which of these two hormones releases in her body as she prepares for sex. Perhaps some women don’t notice they already feel safe because they’ve moved beyond that experience to simply desiring their husband, but you can easily imagine how little desire you would feel if you didn’t feel safe first.
This is why a husband’s leadership is so important in creating an environment within the marriage that feels safe. As a husband lays down his life for his wife in the way I described in Part 2 and Part 3, it cultivates an atmosphere within which his wife can feel safe, become vulnerable, and give herself wholly to her husband’s love while his affection causes her body to release ever-increasing levels of oxytocin, leading to incredible levels of enjoyment.
The pleasure a woman has from this kind of sexual climax releases endorphins that create bonds in her brain with the man who gave it to her, making her want to come back to that same man again and again because of the experience she had.
In a man’s body, something similar takes place. A husband’s sexuality is designed to be connected to his wife’s, not independent from it. His chief joy in sex is not his own climax, but his wife’s and he takes great joy in it. This releases the chemical vasopressin in his brain in connection with her oxytocin release. In other words, women bond with men through their female climax, and men bond with women the same way, through their wife’s climax.
Because of dopamine and endorphins, this bond becomes stronger each time a husband brings his wife to climax. God’s design is that this emotional and sexual bond becomes addictive in a sense, regularly causing a husband and wife to join together sexually and aiding them to live in a way that protects the safety that enabled their pleasure.
This brings us full circle back to what caused me to write this series in the first place: the universal desire in humankind to give ourselves wholly to another person. Simply put, you cannot give yourself wholly in the fullest sense unless you give yourself—wholeheartedly—sexually. The sexual bond is what deepens, enriches, and completes the gift of ourselves we unreservedly give in marriage.
I must point out this bond does not come by just having sex. Yes, some measure of bonding—incredibly deep bonding—takes place anytime we give ourselves to another to have sex with them. But this is why I had to write a contrast to Christian Grey and Ana’s relationship, because I know the world is full of people who desperately want to fulfill their longing to give themselves fully to another and if they see bondage, pain, manipulation, and torture as a means to fulfill it then they may just dive headfirst into pain and disappointment.
But if a voice would speak up to point out the true path to fulfilling that desire, I pray it sets people free to find it.
“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me. Come, my beloved, let us go out into the fields…There I will give you my love.”—Song of Solomon 7:10-12