What's Going on Under the Skin: What Touch Can Trigger

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What's Going on Under the Skin

What Touch Can Trigger

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Is it real love, or are you just feeling powerful brain chemicals stoked by the touch of that special someone? Neurologists have studied the biological and chemical changes that can be brought about by sexual desire, infatuation or love—all of which can be intensified by touch. Touching, hugging and kissing help fire up "nature's" love cocktail—a powerful chemical concoction that drastically and dramatically changes our brain chemistry. This puts a person under the influence and works marvelously when handled correctly—depressingly if not.

Dr. Pat Love writes about these neurobiological effects:

"We don't need a slew of studies to convince us that sexual energy runs high in the infatuated state, but neurologists report that the sexual euphoria accompanying infatuation is a direct result of the love cocktail.

"PEA (phenylethylamine, a naturally occurring, amphetamine-like neuro-transmitter) stimulates the libido, raising interest in sex. Dopamine makes us more sexually receptive by increasing our enjoyment of sex and making us want it again. Norepinephrine, which is largely responsible for that 'swept away' feeling of infatuation, acts like a shot of sexual speed as it hurls us into action.

"The one-two-three punch from the love potion explains why many times lovers go along for a while claiming, 'We're just friends' and then wham!—They fall into the sexual abyss. The delightful influence of infatuation makes us dangerously inclined to make decisions we may later regret. It is important to realize that infatuation is merely the earliest stage of love. Do not mistake this temporary power surge for a permanent condition, or confuse it with true love" (The Truth About Love, 2001, pp. 30-31, emphasis added).

Touching, hugging and kissing can have powerful effects. If young people understand how the body works under these potent conditions, it can help them set boundaries to avoid triggering premarital temptations, thereby respecting their future mates and honoring God. VT