Thursday, June 10, 2010
Oxytocin, affection, sex
Oxytocin has been called the hormone of love. It is released during arousal and orgasm in both men and women. It makes us bond to our partners, and makes mothers bond to new-born babies.
I thought the pic rather interesting. These two guys are porn actors, right? This is just a job. But look at their emotional closeness. Their heads pressed together, the genuine smiles on their faces, the affection and liking in their expressions, their hands: all suggest they like each other, they're fond of each other. It's long been known that human sex within marriage is only peripherally concerned about producing offspring. It's much more concerned with maintaining the pair bond, because children are (or perhaps were when we lived in caves or on the savanna, and the genes for it are still there) more likely to survive and prosper if their parents are together.
Clearly the bonding from sex even works if you're just two porn actors. And I think that is a clue to why gayness, which otherwise might appear as a major evolutionary disadvantage, is nevertheless so common. Our savanna-dwelling ancestors fought and hunted in bands of males. They needed to fight as a team, and sometimes someone had to die or suffer for the good of the tribe. Bonding together was essential to the survival of any individual band. Every sportsman in a team, everybody who's been in the army, talks of the emotional closeness of the experience. I believe that primitive man probably added sex to the armoury of bonding tools.
Who knows? But the closeness of these two blokes shows that love can be found in some very unlikely places. In a world full of sorrows and horrors, we should cherish genuine selfless love and affection when we find it. No matter what the Bible or the Koran says.