Why Did God Make Men So Sexual?

The following was written by our friend Bonny Logsdon Burns, who writes at the OysterBed7 and is part of the podcast, Sex Chat for Christian Wives. This was written for The Marriage Bed website, but it’s so good, and so in line with what I try to do here I just had to post it here. 


I like to know, “Why?”

And I lean toward the scientific side.

When my libido did a Houdini and disappeared, I questioned why a libido was necessary? I went as far as to question why sex was even necessary. My husband and I were done pro-creating by mutual agreement. Sex was important to him, but was it necessary? Why is it so important to most men?

Yes, the Bible counsels it to be so:

“…Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote  yourselves to prayer. Then come back together again so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command,” 1 Corinthians 7:5&6.

But, WHY??

Why is pornography such a lucrative business?

Why do most men have this innate need?
“Their brains are wired differently,” you may answer.

Yes, but HOW??

Thus began my quest in understanding a few why’s about sex.


Male/female brains share the same structure and chemicals. However, male brains contain a different ratio of chemicals and different sizes of structure. These differences, in large part, explain the basic natures in men and women; why men like hunting, sports and military video games and why women nurture young and enjoy conversation.

For example: The Corpus callosum connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The Corpus callosum helps the two hemispheres ‘talk’ with one another. Women have 6 or 7 language centers in both hemispheres to process and verbalize. The male Corpus callosum is 25% smaller than the female’s. He also only does language in the left hemisphere, in part because the smaller Corpus callosum doesn’t communicate as effectively.

The amygdale is larger in men. Part of the amygdala’s function involves aggression.

The hippocampus is smaller in men. Part of the hippocampus’ function involves retaining new memories and their emotional responses.

It was in the chemical arena that I found my answers!

Male brains are bathed in less serotonin and oxytocin, calming and bonding chemicals. Oxytocin is divine, drenching us in feelings of calm, happy and connected. It is because of the lower oxytocin level that it takes a man longer to form emotional bonds.

Women have 10 times more oxytocin bathing their brains than men. For women, conversation is a key distributor of oxytocin. If she talks out her troubles to a friend, her brain releases oxytocin.

Guess when the level of oxytocin in men is equal to that of women?  At the time of male orgasm, oxytocin is released by the bucket fulls.  At the time of orgasm, our men feel complete bonding with us. At the time of orgasm, their brains are happy as clams!

That’s all I needed to know. Libido and sex are important because that’s how Mr. Muscle bonds with me.

This epiphany was another confirmation to me of how our Lord knows us and loves us. He gives us mandates for our benefit.

Praise the Lord, my soul, all my inmost being praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desire with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s,” Psalm 103:1-5.

I desired for my husband and I to feel connected on a deep level. Neither of us felt safe, secure, or significant to the other. It was like we were two people residing in the same house, yet living separate lives.

With this new information, God was healing our marriage and at the same time satisfying my desire. He was helping me understand a little secret. It is through sexual intimacy my husband feels connected to me. Sexual intimacy is the mystery Paul was explaining in Ephesians 5:32. Isn’t Christ connected to his church? That’s the kind of connection sexual intimacy creates between husband and wife.

Yes, having this biological understanding of sex made me a better person. I became more empathetic to the aching need my husband, Mr. Muscle’s, brain had for higher levels of oxytocin. I held less disdain and became more empathetic to male sexual need (but not condoning acts outside of God’s guidelines).

Sex is more than a physical union, there is a spiritual and emotional aspect. But, it helped me immensely to understand the underlying physical processes.

This may all sound very clinical, but it screamed romance to me! At the time my libido disappeared, I felt disconnected emotionally from Mr. Muscle. He felt disconnected from me, too, because he was getting limited amounts of his ‘oxytocin fix.’

Thus began my libido resuscitation…..

Good resource: Read more about the marvelous male brain, “What Can He Be Thinking?” by Michael Gurian.


~ Paul – I’m XY, and Lori and I had a lovely dinner with Bonnie and “Mr. Muscle” during which we totally shocked our waiter.

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71 Comments on “Why Did God Make Men So Sexual?

  1. Then why can men have so much casual sex with seemingly little to no emotional consequence?

    • @libl – I think the key there is the word “seemingly”. I’ve talked to men past 40 who have had sex with more women than they can count, and it’s no longer working for them. They have had plenty of sex, but they have never built intimacy. When the sexual push of youth fades they are left feeling empty and alone.

      This is also why men who are all about just sex move from woman to woman. If they stay with one woman too long they start to feel a connection that scares them.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: Is The Pill Killing Her Sex Drive?My Profile

      • Paul, that fits 100% with what my husband told me. He has had roughly 100 partners, but was constantly having flings (including cheating on girlfriends). One of the reasons he asked me out was because he was getting older (38 at the time) and wanted to settle down and be stable and not alone.

        • To the question about men and casual sex: one of my brothers was a real dog for many years but married at 56 and has had a wonderful marriage with a wonderful woman for 20 years. He says frankly, including in front of his wife: he was getting too old to keep attracting women of his standard and thought he’d settle down. I thought she was a brave woman to take him on. They have a very happy marriage.

  2. libl, that’s a good question, but for me, I can’t. If I have sex with a woman I just met, I still want to be her boyfriend afterwards. She might not, but I usually do.

  3. Wow, I didn’t know all of this info. I knew a lot of it, but not all. Thanks. What happens to women during sex though – don’t they get an oxytocin bath when they orgasm too?

      • Wow – it sounds like women have a much better life experience than us guys, if they’re getting oxytocin rushes all over the place, making orgasm a bit boring because they’re already getting a good deal of oxytocin the rest of their day.

  4. So if we need to have sex so we can have greater intimacy, don’t we also need intimate conversation for the same reason? Why should I have to talk my troubles out with a friend? It’s better than nothing, but I really desire this connection with my husband.

    • Anon, your husband should be your best friend as well. There’s an issue with your marriage, I would say.

      • So I should have married my best friend? Sounds great, but I’m not sure that’s practical advice. I married a good man I loved and was compatible with. I guess if I had wanted deeper conversation TOO, I could have kept looking, but I was in my early 40’s when we married and was feeling more practical than romantic. Also he was more willing to indulge me conversationally back then (I think? hard to remember now).

        Or maybe he could work on enjoying intimate conversation like I work on enjoying sex? Is that fair? I really would like to know if I’m being unreasonable in this.

        • Yes, exactly what Paul states. Your husband should strive to work on intimate conversation with you, too. It’s a two-way street. I didn’t mean this post to ignore women’s needs. I only meant it to help women understand their men a bit better.

          Sex is only a part of the total of ‘marital intimacy.’ However, consistent sexual intimacy will at least help (or not go against) him seeing you as an ally.

          I suggest working through The Generous Wife’s conversation starters. Also, Dr. Doug Weiss has a great book that helped Dave and I build intimacy. It’s called Intimacy: 100 Day Guide to Lasting Relationships. My Dave was not a big talker for a while. He has made strides and I think your husband can, too. Plus, I had to learn to adjust to his way of talking. He takes time to mull hard questions which are usually intimate questions. It’s not that he doesn’t want to answer them, he just processes slower than me. I have to give him a few beats and not talk over him. Silence in a female conversation usually doesn’t happen. But, silence does happen in the midst of my conversations with Dave. I had to learn to slow my pace down and not just march on because of the silence. Does that make sense?

          Yeah, and I don’t quite agree that my husband is my best friend. He’s more than my best friend. But, he does not relate to me like a female best friend.
          Bonny Logsdon Burns recently posted…Virgin Bride, Flip Your Mental Switch About Sex From No To YesMy Profile

          • Thanks, Bonny. Yes, I see what you mean about processing slower. I’m guilty of being too impatient here. Making a note of your resources, although conversation starters (The UnGame, etc.) have not worked great for us – but again, perhaps I’ve been too impatient. I end up answering all the questions, feeling at least I get to talk, but unconvinced that he cares about my answers. Lots of work to be done by both of us here.

            • Anon, these are all great questions and great points. I, too, get frustrated with mine and my husbands differing conversation styles. I’ve always wondered, how can a man who is SO smart, take sooooooo loooong to answer the simplest question? I obviously have work to do on patience as well.

              @Bonny, thanks for the intimacy resources. As a much higher drive wife with a husband who claims to love me, I have been looking for resources to work on our intimacy outside of the bedroom. I’m going to look into that book.

            • When you don’t allow him to give his answers, he probably (justifiably) doesn’t listen to your answers. He’s probably upset, too. Women talk their way to their answers. Men think their way there. His first answer will be his fully-thought-out answer, and probably his only answer. You will often give several answers along the way to the fully-processed one. If you interrupt him in a certain way, he has to begin thinking through his answer all over again. You are destroying conversation first and then intimacy. You NEED to leave to be QUIET and give him a chance to give you HIS answer. Anything else wastes both of your time and frustrates both man and woman. Alison Armstrong explains this difference in conversation/thinking styles well.

              • @Charlie – Oh, that is so, so true of us. Thanks for the reminder. It kills him when I “think out loud”. He starts protesting my first thought and I have to say – “I was GETTING there!!!”

                And yes, I need to remember to give him time to process. I have learned somewhat to do that with ideas I have. He usually shoots down my first idea (he’s a rebel/questioner on Gretchen Rubin’s 4 tendencies framework if you’re familiar with that), but I’ve learned I usually need to give him time so he can ponder it, realize it WAS a good idea – and then come back and pretend it was his idea all along. Haha, but some truth in there.

                I’ll have to look up Alison Armstrong. Linguist Deborah Tannen is good on this, too.

                It IS hard to “allow” him to give his answers, when I feel he really doesn’t want to share them, anyway. He gives every indication of not wanting to share, in general. Am I to 1-believe he really in his heart of hearts does want to share and then 2-give him time to do it on his own? MAN, this takes patience and strategizing!!!

                • In the same way that women need to learn to realize and respect a man’s way of thinking/answering, men need to do the same with their wives. He probably thinks that your un-formed first answer is your final answer–as his would be. You will probably get to a good answer, men just have a tough time listening to the process. If you could read his thoughts, his THINKING would probably be somewhat similar to your SPEAKING.

      • Thank you, Paul, that is what I suspected (both are necessary). I’ll have to go seek out those links at … The Generous Husband??.

        Agree – broken people, broken world, lots of heartache and longing for heaven from this pilgrim.

  5. Great article…but…
    Where does that leave those of us who have a higher sex drive than our husband? Is there something wrong with MY brain? I imagine there very well could be. I am very feminine looking, but I am tall and I do like sports, and I love sex with my husband . I’ve often wondered if I wasn’t “girly” enough.

    My husband is incredibly manly, strong, handsome, aggressive, and a leader. But his sex drive has always been less than mine. At least towards me. I think it may have more to do with the whole preferences thing from the other day.

    In fact, not long ago he shared he thought we should be intimate more often. I was SO happy! I’d been saying that for years. But alas, he must have been just talking to hear himself talk because our frequency has not increased at all. He still prefers work and sleep.

    I’d love to know what the problem is. My body or his brain. So sad, all this.

    • B – “Where does that leave those of us who have a higher sex drive than our husband? Is there something wrong with MY brain?”

      You may be on the edge of the curve, but I doubt there is anything wrong with you.

      The other thing is high and low are relative. If a woman wants sex 3 times a week is she high or low drive? If she is married to a guy who is happy with once a week, she is high drive. If she is married to a guy who wants it daily and twice on the weekends, she is low drive.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: Is The Pill Killing Her Sex Drive?My Profile

  6. I sent my husband a link to that article when I first read it. He said, “So you have sex with me to turn me into a woman?”

    • Say what now? That one helluva leap to make, to go from, “let’s have sex more often so we can form a deeper emotional bond and improve our relationship with SCIENCE!” to, “let have more sex so we can magically TRANSFORM you into a WOMAN!!” I can’t even begin to fathom the man’s logic. Just . . . HUH? Was he joking when he said that, or was he being serious? So confused.

      • He was joking but I could see where he got that from the article. Plus I had read some other research that suggests that being in a happy relationship does lessen some traits that we unfortunately label ‘manly’, like aggression and risk-taking. And what’s wrong with being more like a woman, huh? Start with the bathroom cleaning ability! :-)

        • Oh, OK. Thank goodness. If he wasn’t joking, I’d be seriously questioning the man’s sanity right about now, lol.

          I’m with you on that. What IS so bad about being more like a woman, anyway? What’s up with that? Just a tiny smidge misogynistic, if you ask me (which I realize you didn’t, but whatever).

          Also, I think we, as a society, need to take traits such as aggression and risk-taking out of the “Manly” box, and put them in a box more properly labeled “Dangerous and Needlessly Stupid. Handle with Extreme Caution!”

          • I think aggression and risk taking have their place.

            A few months back, when leaving an NFL game, a fight broke out between some large men who had been drinking too much. With so many people packed so tightly in the stadium corridors, there was no way to avoid them. They were not paying attention to or caring about who they crashed into. If not for my husband being aggressive and a risk taker, I’d have been crushed under them. I was amazed at his strength and so grateful for his willingness to jump in and protect us. I’ve always thought he could and might protect me, but to see him in action was something. It was a scary few minutes and I’m so grateful he was right there.

            I’ve always considered myself aggressive, and I did try to push back and protect myself, but I simply didn’t have the strength. If my husband hadn’t been there I’d have more than likely woken up in the ER.

            Anyhow, although I agree it would be nice if aggression wasn’t a thing, sometimes it does have its place.

            • That’s a nice memory to hold on to, B. My husband is one of those big, quiet guys but I heard from a family member about a time when he subdued a much younger guy to protect his daughter. Sexy!

            • Yeah, they do have their uses, it’s true. However, I would not classify your husband’s behavior as “aggressive,” but rather “protective.” He wasn’t the one instigating a fight and taking needless risks, it was those two drunk guys who were fighting while you and he were merely bystanders that had to try and defend yourselves. They were the aggressors, not your husband. Merely reacting defensively when one is danger doesn’t count as being aggressive in my book. But I am glad he was there to help protect you, though, and that you weren’t seriously hurt! Jeez, I bet that was scary. Yikes.

              Actually, now that I think about it, if I had my druthers, I’d take all the stuff in the “Manly” box, and all the stuff in the “Womanly” box, and pour it all out into one gigantic box marked “Human.” There not one single character trait in the man box that a woman can’t also have in spades, and no trait in the woman box that men can’t have either. Woman can be just as aggressive, competitive, strong, stoic, etc, as much as any man. And men can be just as emotional, empathetic, communicative, nurturing, etc, as any woman. These are all just human traits, that anyone can have, regardless of sex or gender. So I think it’s a mistake to try to classify them as “masculine” and “feminine” and pigeonhole people accordingly.

  7. Interesting article. It does make sense.

    I wonder, though, what might explain someone like me, a dude who simply isn’t interested in sex? I don’t disdain it – and I am most certainly NOT gay – but there are things so much more interesting, and fulfilling.

    The sensations of sex…touch, smell, sound…are far outweighed, for me, by the smell of gunpowder and burned LSA (lubricant, small arms), the smell of burned kerosene and the sound of rotor blades, and the hammering kick of an M60 at full chat. And most of all the sense of mission, of standing in harm’s way by choice.

    Once you’ve been there, you really can’t come back.

    A part of my humanity got spoiled, and yes, before I became too ill for it to matter, my wife and I went to counseling to see if it could be ‘fixed’. Didn’t work.

    The therapist said I should be kept in a box marked ‘To Be Opened Only In Case Of War’. It’s OK, I’m cool with that, but a part of me wonders how it all happened, and if it could have been different.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 315 – Victory {FMF}My Profile

    • You might be asexual if . . . you’re simply not interested in sex.
      You might be asexual if . . . you definitely aren’t gay, but there is little to no evidence of you being straight, either.
      You might be asexual if . . . you went to counselling to “fix” your lack of interest, but it didn’t work, because a “lack of interest” in sex doesn’t automatically mean that something is “broken” that can be fixed.
      You might be asexual if . . . you’re way more interested in guns, or gardening, or carpentry, or literally ANYTHING else, than you are in sex.

      You, my friend, might be asexual. I can’t say for sure, that’s something only you can determine for yourself, but it’s a definite possibility. You would do well, I think, to do some research into the subject. It helped me figure myself out, it might help you as well. Even if you aren’t completely asexual, you might still fall somewhere on the ace spectrum, the grey area between asexual and sexual, and it’s helpful to know.

      • What about women who have gone through menopause and have completely lost all interest in sex? Would they be considered asexual?

        • Very possibly, yeah. “Asexual” literally means not interested in having sex or being aroused.

          • Not being able to be aroused is something like anhedonia. Not necessarily asexual.

        • Yeah, could be! If their experiences match the commonly accepted definition of asexuality (aka not experiencing sexual attraction or desire to or for anyone regardless of sex or gender), then yes, they would be considered asexual. Some asexuals are born that way, others become so later in life, and their asexuality is just as valid. The only thing you can’t do is choose to become asexual. You can choose to be celibate. And you can choose to identify as asexual if your experiences match the definition. But being asexual itself is not a choice, it’s something you either are or aren’t. Its not defined by any sexual behavior or arousal (or lack thereof of either), but rather by a lack of sexual attraction. Nothing more, nothing less!

          • So, if a person was once sexual but changed and no longer had sexual thoughts, desires, or needs….basically they could live the rest of their lives without sex, they might be considered asexual? I guess I’m confused on your definition of sexual attraction. Sorry, only curious.

            • ” . . . could live the rest of their lives without sex . . . ” hey, that’s ME you just described! Yes, that’s the gist of it, basically. Such a person might be asexual. You’ve hit the nail on the head!

              As to my definition of sexual attraction, remember that I have no first hand knowledge of it. I don’t really know what it’s like, only that I’ve never felt it. So my definition is based entirely on how people who have experienced it have described it (it should be noted also that other aces might define it differently than me, we don’t share a hive mind, lol). If it is inaccurate or confusing, please understand that I am somewhat limited in my ability to clarify. I barely understand any of it myself, you see. While I do my best to try to understand, it still confuses me a great deal.

              So anyway, here’s my personal definition of sexual attraction (let me know if it makes sense or not, if you will). Sexual attraction is a feeling, a kind of magnetic (and seemingly spontaneously triggered) emotional pull that draws one towards a certain person, that can make one desire sexual contact with that person in some form, and that is felt, however momentarily, whether one chooses to act on that impulse or ignore it.

              • Thank you for the very descriptive definition.
                It now makes sense.

  8. So what about husbands who just aren’t very interested in sex? How do you explain their lack of interest if it is not due to porn? My husband can go several weeks without any thought or interest in sex. He says he doesn’t think about it very much. If he does think about it, it’s usually just a fleeting thought. Then, all of a sudden, he decides he’s ready for sex. To answer a few of the obvious questions for reference.
    He has used porn in the past, but not for a few years.
    He has masturbated in the past, but says he is not doing this now.
    He is not cheating.
    He is not gay.
    He is not asexual.

    • I’ve had this question, too. My husband has very little interest in having sex with me (since I quit initiating a couple of years ago, we typically go 2 or 3 weeks between having sex and as long as 8 weeks, routinely). We’ve only been married 3 1/2 years. He doesn’t have low T (tests ruled that out, both about 4 years ago and last year when we went through fertility treatments). He did watch porn twice a week (that mostly stopped about a year ago) and he does masturbate (I’m assuming twice a week there, but I don’t know for certain).

      However, there are other issues that also lessen libido: he drinks (beer and wine both have plant sterols similar to estrogen which decrease libido, aside from the depressive effects of alcohol itself), he has seasonal allergies (exacerbated by the drinking), and he is constantly stressed about work and sleeping poorly.

      Any of those, particularly over a long period, can kill sex drive.

      And I’m sure there are other reasons going on, too, that I’m not even aware of.

      • Thanks for the reminder sunny-dee. Mine doesn’t have low-t either. He does have work and other stress and I know that contributes. Frankly, I’m tired of that excuse. At some point, you have to choose your priorities.

        • Fear of getting a wife pregnant, and misplaced grudge holding hampers a man’s sex drive as well.

    • @anonymous – I talked to one guy who said the hardline abstinence he got as teen caused him to push away anything sexual. When he got married it didn’t just come back. Other men are so busy or stressed they don’t feel their drive. And some men have relatively low drives.
      It sounds like your husband’s drive builds without him being aware of it until it reaches critical mass. The why for this could be any of the things above, or something else.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Maximise Your Marriage GrowthMy Profile

  9. I dont know if i should be angry or happy about this. I have recently been writing in another posts that i hate my sex drive. That it is like the ring on Lord of the rings. i dont want it because i dont see what purpose it has and then you put this post. This means i cant get rid of my sex drive because i need oxytocin. Why does it have to be like this? Why?! Shouldnt anyone work on oxytocin pills? Imagine how muchthat would help if all men would have a pill with oxytocin they could take everyday and if and when theire wife would ever want to have sex they could tell them to not take the pill. Should have studied to become scientist.

    • @ad – I would say it’s like this because God created us to need sex. It is good for us and our marriages, so He made it difficult to avoid it.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Are You Tone Deaf?My Profile

  10. I was under the impression that the drive to be sexual was under the influence of testosterone and other sex hormones. Oxytocin is released at ejaculation, thus the calm, happy, connected feelings post coitus. That’s why men feel closer to their wives through sex.
    But, you raise an interesting question:
    If men were given oxytocin supplements, would that decrease their sex drive?
    If they were already calm, happy, and connected would they still need sex?
    Of course, that’s not reality but an interesting thought.

    • Ah ok. I may have misunderstood the whole thing. I thought the question to why men need sex was the lack of oxytocin. But maybe the oxytocin isn’t the problem but the testosteron as you say. But is is an interesting question. If I have all the oxytocin I need would I want sex as often as I want now or would that lessen the desire to have sex? I hope there is someone working on a pill like that.

      • I don’t know if anyone is working on that (how would one even market such a drug? Most people want to INCREASE their sex drive, not lessen it), but there are ways to increase your oxytocin levels regardless. Non-sexual physical contact can also boost your oxytocin. Holding hands, hugging, and cuddling can all help in that area, even when it doesn’t lead to sex. Perhaps that could help you. It’s worth trying, anyway. If nothing else, it will make you a little happier and more relaxed.

        • Do you know if there are any other ways to increase ones oxytocin levels? I wonder because if the article is right, biologically, we need sex because we get low oxytocin. I know that men want sex for more than a oxytocin kick but if other ways of getting oxytocin was possible that didnt involve physical touch then maybe the struggle of living pure or the possibility to line up with a wifes sex drive would be easier. I dont know much about oxytocin but it would be interesting. I am not saying that it could be a super fix for sexual purity but it would be nice to somehow beat the biological part. The soul and spirit part can only be won with the fear of God and grace but it would be nice to beat the biological part. Specially when you dont know if you will have sex in the coming 24 hours or the coming 3 months.

          • Here a link to an article that has many excellent suggestions for things you can do to help increase your oxytocin levels, both with and without physical contact. Obviously, ignore the third section of the article, that’s only for pregnant women (and so not applicable to you) and focus only on the first two sections. Hope it helps!


            • Wow, thank you! So many everyday activities can boost my oxytocin level. I love playing guitar and piano. I need to do it more and i really think it could work. Right now i try to learn different songs on piano buti dont have a piano all the time but i need to get one if this can help me cause focusing on that could really help i believe. Thank you!

    • @Jolie – There have been some studies which indicate increasing oxytocin makes orgasms better, so I think the result would be a greater desire for sex.
      The thing about oxytocin is it bounds us to the one we are with when we get it. This is why sex bonds people together. A pill would have to be done carefully to get the same result.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Are You Tone Deaf?My Profile

  11. While I commend Bonnie for taking the time to really learn how her husband’s body and brain, LOL, work during sex, I would like to offer a more detailed explanation of how oxytocin works since many in the comments don’t seem to understand it.

    I’ve been a childbirth instructor since 1993 and have taught extensively about oxytocin and it’s function most specifically in the female body during labor and breastfeeding. But oxytocin is also released in both male and female during sexual activity and cuddling etc.

    In my years of teaching and researching oxytocin I must say, I’ve never in that time run across the notion that women have more oxytocin overall than men. What actually happens is that estrogen, the primary hormone of a female, synergizes with oxytocin, therefore causing a woman to feel the effects of oxytocin more greatly than a man would even if they both have exactly the same levels. So it isn’t that women somehow have this abundance of oxytocin coursing through their bodies and men have lower levels.

    So how does oxytocin work? It’s a hormone produced in the hypothalamus within the brain and released by the pituitary gland, acting as a neurotransmitter which basically transmits information between our brain and body.
    So let’s take a pregnant woman — when her body signals her brain that it’s time for labor to begin, the hypothalamus produces oxytocin and sends it to the pituitary gland which releases it into her body causing uterine contractions. It continues to be released into her body throughout labor which is what keeps the uterus contracting until the baby is born. During breastfeeding (nipple stimulation signals the release of oxytocin) oxytocin is also released into the woman’s body causing the letdown reflex which allows milk to be produced and also causing the uterus to continue contracting after birth to prevent hemorrhage and get back to it’s pre-pregnancy size.
    Consequently, levels of oxytocin are extremely high during childbirth and breastfeeding, which also aid in bonding with her child.

    Oxytocin is released in both men and women during feel good moments like holding hands, hugging, cuddling, even seeing a picture of a loved one, doing an activity that makes them happy, and of course, during sex and orgasm. It is a bonding hormone which helps a person feel happy, serene and less stressed.
    So yes, there are ways to increase levels of oxytocin without just having sex or an orgasm.

    And while oxytocin is an important hormone during sex, there is another hormone which greatly affects men after sex — vasopressin. Vasopressin is also a hormone formed in the hypothalamus and released from the pituitary gland. It’s present in both men and women, and it’s role is to maintain the body’s internal temperature, control blood volume and the proper flow of urine from the kidneys. In men, it can create feelings of dominance causing him to feel territorial of his partner and increasing the feelings for monogamy.

    Men often feel the effects of vasopressin more strongly because testosterone synergizes with it, much like estrogen in women synergizes with oxytocin. So even if men and women have equal amounts of vasopressin, the man will experience stronger feelings from it.
    An interesting thing I’ve run across is how after orgasm a man will actually experience a drop in oxytocin and a sudden rise in vasopressin, which creates feelings of protectiveness of their mate.

    The fact is, men do not necessarily produce more oxytocin than women during sex and women do not walk around with 10 times more oxytocin than men, although they may feel stronger effects from it due to estrogen.

    When I read this post I could see where it was going to play into several different dynamics — first, you’ve got the men applauding it because after all they want more sex and here’s a reason for it and second, you’ve got lower drive wives rolling their eyes at yet another article about men needing sex all the time to bond with them, and third, the higher drive wives asking why they are so abnormal because sex is needed for her to feel connected to her husband but he doesn’t seem to want sex very often.

    The fact is, God mad sex to bond a man and woman together within the structure of a marriage and while oxytocin plays a wonderful role in that bonding process, it is not just the husbands who benefit, not that Bonnie was trying to imply that, but I think some took it that way. Women too get added benefits from regular sex and orgasms.

    I think the real disconnect simply comes when a husband and wife are not cultivating the sexuality in their marriage, because ultimately that is what keeps us bonded together through the good and bad. And how God designed our bodies is pretty awesome!
    Amy recently posted…What a joyous day!My Profile

    • Thank you for your insight and gentle instruction. I am grateful for your professional expertise. I took my information from a book called, “What Could He Be Thinking?” by Dr. Michael Gurian which states on page 109, “Male oxytocin (bonding chemical) levels are lower than in females. In many men, they can be ten times lower. Just as testosterone levels are much higher in males, oxytocin levels are generally higher in females.” Dr. Gurian references several books for this chapter, but I do not know which book he is using for this specific information. He does not list any scholarly studies for this section aside from Daniel Amen’s work on gender differences in brain scans.
      Bonny Logsdon Burns recently posted…Virgin Bride, Flip Your Mental Switch About Sex From No To YesMy Profile

      • Thanks, Bonnie, for the reply. And please note, my response was not meant to refute the article you wrote, it was just to help clarify how oxytocin works in the body…at least from my limited knowledge. ;)

        I don’t know anything about Dr. Michael Gurian or the book you referred to, will have to look it up and see if I can find out where he got this information from.

        This statement, “Just as testosterone levels are much higher in males, oxytocin levels are generally higher in females.”, just doesn’t make sense because oxytocin is a hormone unlike typical male and female hormones, testosterone and estrogen, which are always present in the body. Oxytocin is released in both male and female at certain times, such as physical contact, social interactions, sex, etc., as we’ve already stated.

        Again, thank you for responding. I tried explaining about oxytocin on another blog but was shut down because I don’t have any medical credentials as the blogger told me, although he used the information I shared in other posts. LOL
        Amy recently posted…What a joyous day!My Profile

  12. Paul, I don’t see online evidence for this: “Women have 10 times more oxytocin bathing their brains than men.”

    • Tom,
      No, women do not have 10 times more oxytocin than men. But because estrogen (the primary female hormone) synergizes with oxytocin women tend to react more strongly to the effects of it.
      If you read my long reply, LOL, and you’ll understand how oxytocin works.
      In all my years of teaching about this hormone, and my recent research to see if I missed something regarding women having more in their bodies, I too could find nothing to support that claim.
      Amy recently posted…What a joyous day!My Profile

      • Amy, yes, I eagerly await Paul’s response to us.

  13. Men and women produce different amounts of oxytocin in response to certain things, and they react to oxytocin differently. This is because of how it interacts with the other hormones in the body, differences in male and female brains, and other factors.
    Paul Byerly recently posted…Be The Change: Another Crazy Idea – Tell HerMy Profile

  14. I’d like to know the answer to this question. Why did God make MOST men so sexual? Why not all of them? Why did God pair my husband (who has a very low drive – at least for me) with a woman with such a high drive (myself)? Why didn’t God give my husband one of the lower drive wives who isn’t all that interested in sex?

    I understand that God knows best, and we shouldn’t question Him. And I feel guilty about feeling this way. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wonder what the reasons were. It seems like my husband would be much happier with a wife who could take sex or leave it, depending on HIS mood.

    • B,
      God made BOTH men and women sexual. Period.

      If a man or woman has a supposed lower sexual drive there are reasons for it, NOT that they weren’t born with much sexual desire.

      My husband’s drive is not as high as mine and it’s very simple to pin point why — work hours that often hit 70 per week. He once said to me when I made the comment one night how I wish he felt up to sex that he wishes he wasn’t so tired. Now many will say, then cut back on his work hours, but as a log truck driver that isn’t how it works. These are typical hours for what he does and he’s been doing it for over 40 years of his life.

      So did your husband never, ever have a higher drive or has his drive been lower since you married? Has your drive always been so high?

      From all you have written in comments I would say you are craving affection and love from your husband, and don’t maybe feel those things because he isn’t wanting sex like you do. And that’s another thing — does he KNOW what your sexual desire is? Have you very frankly told him in no uncertain terms? Or have you beat around the bush or given subtle hints that he’s not picking up on?

      And if you are carrying the attitude around that you are not his type, you are not attractive enough, etc he surely has picked up on that and it could be killing his desire.

      There are many different reasons for a man or woman to have what appears as a lower sexual drive, but I do not believe God sits around picking out this lower drive person to be with this other lower drive person, or putting mismatched people together to cause such turmoil.

      Just my thoughts ;)
      Amy recently posted…What a joyous day!My Profile

    • Good questions: B. I don’t know the answer to them. Things that tend to go through my head whenever I see them come up:

      1) Before the “why did God make most men this way?”, I sometimes want to ask “Did God make most men this way?”. Perhaps it is too much secular instruction in biology cosmology, but I am not quite settled in my own mind if God is intimately involved in the details of everyday “creation” (present at ovulation and conception choosing the egg and sperm that will be joined to make me and manipulating the meiotic processes that created those gametes and so on), or if God is more aloof. More of a “God spoke the universe and its natural laws into existence, and then allowed it to develop with minimal divine intervention” kind of cosmology. If the latter, the answer to “why” might be as simple as “no real reason other than I allowed natural variation in libido in populations”. If the former, then the reasons for “why” could be so individually specific that there is no way to know unless God chooses to tell you. These sorts of thoughts then tend to spill over into broader questions of sexual orientation, gender identity, and many of those other modern issues.

      2) If the stereotypes that inform Bonnie’s essay represent God’s “manufacturing specs” for men, then it seems to me that God’s manufacturing tolerances leave much to be desired. Now, I don’t believe that God makes this kind of mistake, so that suggests to me that these stereotypes do not really reflect all of the truth around how God made us. These stereotypes did not rise out of a vacuum, so there is something to them, but the exceptions to the stereotypes are common enough that I don’t think we can infer God’s whole truth from the stereotype. I have not yet seen a good synthesis of the implications of the stereotypes and the counter-stereotypes (if that is a word) that really help me grasp the answers to these kinds of questions.

      Sometimes I wonder if, when all is said and done, the secular therapist Dr. Schnarch hasn’t really got the essence of God’s purposes when he calls “marriage a people growing machine”. Perhaps God’s purpose in all of these variations and frustrations is to somehow make us grow?

      • Mrshorty “If the stereotypes that inform Bonnie’s essay represent God’s “manufacturing specs” for men, then it seems to me that God’s manufacturing tolerances leave much to be desired. ”

        We could say the same for birth defects. Or, we can say they are a result of living in a fallen world. I would say the latter and would argue this is a huge factor in most things, including sex drive. I think God intended a high drive for all men (and all women, but in a different way) other than those with the gift of celibacy. There would be natural variations, but they would not be huge. However, living in a fallen world makes the variations much, much greater. Some are suppressed, others are hyped up. So rather than a “normal” range of say 50 to 80, we have 0 to 100.
        Paul Byerly recently posted…Y’all’s Sex LifeMy Profile

        • Certainly the effects of the fall go beyond sexuality, but I’m not sure it really answers the question of “Why?”. Naturally this can get pretty deep into Christian cosmology and all of the ways that we have tried to explain creation and the problem of good and bad, and I don’t know how far you want to go down this rabbit hole, and my own cosmology is not well enough developed to really go very far down this rabbit hole, and…yeah.
          God created a perfect creation, which seems to have included a tree of knowledge of good and evil, then commanded not to eat the fruit of this one tree. Then, when Adam and Eve rebelled, He doled out (created) the punishments that became our fallen world (recognizing that I am assuming that God is the only creator and ignoring the possibility of another creative force that creates the conditions of the fall). We can make a distinction between the “stereotypes” that are part of the original, perfect creation, and the fallen counter-stereotypes if we want, but (again, assuming God is the creator of the fallen conditions, too) it doesn’t really answer the question of why God would have created (or allowed to be created) these counter-stereotypes.

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