Is attraction all about the potential for steamy sex? Despite the fact that seeing a naked body is a turn on, science is now telling us that love is all in our heads! More precisely there are a dozen discrete areas of the brain that get involved in lust and relationships, the complex process of falling in and remaining in love. Think of falling in love as being a combination of lust, specific attraction to an individual, and a yearning for emotional attachment. To a degree the process starts from the inside and works its way out to the surface. Remember that the primitive brain is the center of basic emotions and the relay center as well. The outer brain, added later in evolution, is the area of higher reasoning, awareness, perception and judgment. To achieve a long term, satisfying relationship the process often needs to start with lust and sweaty sex and works its way to the surface and a sense of comfort and satisfaction with each other. Also, the process tends to repeat itself in mutually satisfying relationships when happily married couples routinely make “bedroom eyes” at each other and repeat the inside to outside process that combines lust and relationships.
When the Process of Lust and Relationships Works
You look across the room and at the mere sight of a man or woman you become sexually aroused. You manage to contain yourself sufficiently to think of a pickup line, go and deliver it, and spend a spectacular evening with the object of your sexual desire. This obviously works best if the two of you are attracted to each other. The deeper centers of our brains are so wired that we tend to repeat those things that we find pleasing. If the two of you had great sex, the two of you will likely do it again, and again. Along the way the mere presence of the other person becomes pleasing, their looks, their voice, what they wear, and more. Over time just being with that person becomes a goal in life and we tend to settle into long term relationships and marriage sharing the things of life together. Along the way we repeat and reinforce the process that brought us together, hot steamy sex. Such is the way of lust and relationships.
When the Process of Lust and Relationships Gets Derailed
Things that get in the way of how lust and relationships relate include problems in the lower centers of the brain. For example, a part of the brain called the thalamus not only processes feelings of love but also impulses of fear and depressive thoughts. If somewhere in your life, or that of that special someone, love and sex and that very satisfying and steamy relationship were experienced along with danger, fear, or injury people can spend their lives seeking fulfillment through sex and never progress beyond momentary sexual satisfaction. When that is the case it is often helpful to talk with a professional about life events and, basically, practice pairing happy thoughts with the sexual act in order to readjust the thalamus and the proper mix of lust and relationships.