In this fun story on MSNBC's Sexual Health Channel, Brian Alexander mostly talks about the future of techno-sex. But he alludes to the ways that our increasing reliance on drugs and other external methods of managing our emotional lives may change relationships as we know them.
As I wrote in an earlier Sexploration column about the science of love, researchers are beginning to understand how human emotions like bonding and love are influenced by the body’s chemicals. Drugs to increase levels of these will eventually be created. Synthetic oxytocin, the chemical thought to help create human bonding, already exists.
This raises the possibility that marriage doldrums could be treated with something more effective than a new Ferrari or fling with the UPS guy.
The question is, would an oxytocin treatment really be more effective than a real-world experience that created the same effect. (Alexander is being facetious, but it's a serious question.)
I think that, just as whole food is more nutritious than a handful of supplements because it contains inumerable traces of diverse chemicals, the human body's natural biochemcial responses will always be more rewarding, engaging and healthy than those that are chemically induced.
While it's a social tragedy that many of us grow up without our brains learning the oxytocin response, we'd do better to keep practicing until we can do it naturally.