Borderline Personality Disorder and Relationships

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)(This is the fifth in the series on the relationship between bisexuality and Borderline Personality Disorder [BPD].)

In previous blogs, we have established a link between BPD and bisexuality. We have looked at two symptoms for BPD on the DSM4: symptom 1 –  fear of abandonment, and symptom 3 – identity disturbance or poor self-concept.  Today we want to look at the second symptom which is “a pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation”. The DSM5 describes it as, “Intense, unstable, and conflicted close relationships … alternating between over involvement and withdrawal”.  From my review of the literature, it appears that difficulty in interpersonal relationships may be connected to problems with the mechanisms involved with bonding. This goes back to childhood issues such as abuse or neglect.

The relations between parental bonding and attachment constructs and borderline personality disorder features were examined by Nichol et al in 2002[1].  In a sample of 393 18-year-old’s, low parental bonding and attachment scores were associated with borderline features including insecure, anxious, or ambivalent attachment, and a perception of a relative lack of caring from one’s mother.

So what is happening biologically for people with BPD.  Bartz et al investigated the effects of intranasal oxytocin (OXT) on trust and cooperation in borderline personality disorder (BPD)[2]. Their data suggests that OXT does not facilitate trust and pro-social behavior in BPD’s but may actually impede it. They suggest that this may be due to possible neurochemical differences in the OXT system.

So where does this difference originate and how does it occur? First of all, we have to view OXT not only as a hormone generated by the pituitary gland but also as a neuromodulator. In plain English, that means that OXT affects the functions of the brain. This is usually done through the excitement or suppression of neurotransmitters.  In other words, OXT works differently in people with BPD by suppressing rather than exciting the transfer of messages within the brain and from the brain to the rest of the body.

We know that OXT is involved in bonding and that bonding to one’s mate creates aversion to any other potential sexual partner. When we look at aversion, we can get some clues from the rats and wolves[3].  In the case of wolves, one experience with tainted mutton made them swear off sheep for the rest of their lives. We all have experienced a nauseating sensation after an intense emotional experience and what could be more emotional than feeling rejected by one’s own mother? Could it be that when the outflow of OXT between mother and child during early childhood is accompanied by rejection that it literally leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the child by affecting the digestive system?

So how does this apply to our sexuality? We  know that sexual attraction usually involves a release of OXT. We also know that OXT can result in aversion and even nausea when presented with an opportunity for sex with members of the opposite sex for gays and lesbians and that some heterosexuals experience similar reactions about have same sex experiences. Could this indeed be the workings of OXT?

Gays, lesbians, and heterosexuals usually have no trouble bonding, and it is the work of the bond that creates the sense of aversion, and it is the aversion that creates the emotional reaction. What about bisexuals? Because we have difficulty bonding we also have no aversion mechanisms. Therefore, we can have sex with either men or women without experiencing overpowering negative emotion. We still have the OXT rush but not biologically imprinted restrictions. We have no difficulty devouring the delirious meal set before us.

What I am suggesting is the people with BPD have difficulty forming lasting relationships because we have difficulty bonding. The OXT release has the opposite effect, we simply associate it with rejection and have an aversion to bonding itself. We enjoy sex for the sake of sex but reject the bonding that goes with it. We burn our bridges and walk away from potentially painful experiences.  That does not mean, however, that we cannot have lasting relationships. It just means that we have to work harder to form stronger and more encompassing emotional and mental bonds in spite of the negative flow of OXT.

My five suggestions for bisexuals.

  1. We don’t give up on the bond. We can still  form mental and emotional bonds by creating and repeating feelings of love for our partners .
  2. If we feel emotional aversion, we can accept it, face it, and understand where it is coming from. We can then choose to recreate a feeling of love. Every time we do this, it reinforces our love bond.
  3. We do not let our aversion feelings interfere with our sex life. We focus on the physical and emotional pleasure and use this experience to again reinforce our love bond.
  4. We keep focusing on the positive aspects of our relationship and consciously build our mental-emotional bond.
  5. We do little things to show our partner we love them. Flowers and chocolate works for women and a good back rub does wonders for a man (by the way men like chocolate too, and women like back rubs).



[1] Angela D. Nickell, Carol J. Waudby, Timothy J. Trull, (2002). Attachment, Parental Bonding and Borderline Personality Disorder Features in Young Adults. Journal of Personality Disorders: Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 148-159.


[2] Bartz, Jennifer; Simeon, Daphine; Hamilton, Holly; Kim, Suah; Crystal, Sarah; Braun, Ashley; Vicens, Victor; and Hollander, Eric. Oxytocin can hinder trust and cooperation in borderline personality disorder. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 6, Issue 5, 1 October 2011, Pages 556–563,


[3] Gustavson, Carl R.; Sweeney, Michael; and Garcia,John. Prey-lithium aversions. I: coyotes and wolves 1. Behavior Biology, Vol 17, 1976.

Bisexuality and the Problem with Statistics

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Are you tired of statistics on bisexuality? I am. Yet another survey has shown that bisexuality is on the rise, especially among women[1]. A whopping 17.4% in the current survey have had some bisexual contact compared with 14.2% in the 2006-2010 survey. Higher numbers of both women and men identified as bisexual, 5.5% of women and 2% of men, compared with 3.9% and 1.2% respectively in the last survey. And you can be sure that number is higher for men as most of us to not want to disclose our bisexual tendencies.

So what? Why do we want to know that there are more and more of us? It reminds me of the Matrix Trilogy where Agent Smith keeps reproducing himself by thrusting his hand into someone’s chest. In the case of us bisexuals, we thrust our hand into someone’s pants and avoid the heart. It is time to step back and realize that we are all more than just programs in a worldwide sex-video game. Quite frankly I have no desire to just be another Agent Smith.

It seems that everyone wants to get in on the act. International popular TV series have taken up the torch. Bisexuality needs to be understood, and by god, they are going to show us what it is really like. However, this is not some glamorous Hollywood show where networks are competing with each other to see who can get the most views by depicting yet another example of bisexuality where marriages are broken and people are murdered because of unnatural passion. And quite frankly, I no longer want to compete with other bloggers to see who can get the most views on bisexuality. I do not want my life and my mind and my soul reduced to a statistic or another episode, book, or blog.

Did you know that only one of forty-six chromosomes is dedicated to male or female sexuality, and they cannot even find a half a chromosome, or for that matter, even one of twenty-five thousand genes, that can be nailed down for same seek attraction?  And yet sex, especially bisexual sex, seems to be a preoccupation of our western world, and it seems everyone is now encouraged to experiment with same sex attraction.

Women seem to be more attracted to same sex experimentation. When women engage in sex, their brains lights up like a Christmas tree as the pleasure center, the Nucleus Accumbens, is immediately activated, connecting with the sensory processing lobes, particularly the somatic processor which is associated with touch. Women are lucky, they immediately experience the pleasure. They take a little longer to get wound up which allows for more pleasure and more time for intimacy or attunement with their sex partner. This also allows for a second level of appraisal, and therefore,they are more likely to say “no” even after arousal.  Why do almost one in five women give up on sex with  men as their main source of sexual pleasure? Could it be that they are looking for more than sharing the “rush” provide by men? Could they be looking for something “deeper” (pardon the puns)? Could they be looking for the kind of intimate attunement that is much easier to get with another woman?

For us bisexual men, the pleasure sensation is delayed as the sexual rush is connected with the dopamine drive and the powerful emotions from the Limbic System. We get our pleasure by reaching our goal through orgasm, and only then does the Nucleus Accumbens suddenly connect with all the sensory processors to create a powerful pleasure surge similar to a hit of heroine. There is very little desire for intimacy as it merely delays the rush we so desire, but we do play along with our female partners hoping for the additional rush of mutual orgasm. When we are with men, it is all about the drive. And quite frankly, once another man touches our penis, we are literally driven to seek that hit.  We have our own built in addiction center. Sex is so simple with men. There are no mind games. There is no desire to delay orgasm because our pleasure is not in the play but in the outcome. We can just close our eyes and enjoy the anticipation of the oncoming rush with no thoughts of anyone else. There is no waiting for a partner. No guilt if the partner does not orgasm. It is so reassuring to know that once the game is on  our male sex partners have no intention of saying “wait” or  ”no”.

For many of us bisexual men, especially if we are married or in a relationship with a woman, gay sex becomes guilt and is compounded by addiction withdrawal. Our addiction demands that we do it again. However, our tortured minds are trying desperately to control our drives. The only thing that can stop our addiction is the prefrontal cortex, particularly the orbitofrontal cortex, but quite frankly, once the drive is on, it is very ineffective.  But it is our source of second evaluation, or as Freud would say, our super ego or our conscious. It attempts to employ checks and balances to prevent same-sex arousal, halt addiction, and regain control over our sexual impulses. It employs cultural and religious beliefs that come in the form of layer upon layer of mind sets shaped by past negative experiences that involve shame and guilt. In order to gain control, it has to compartmentalize; it has to put sex back into its Pandora’s Box.  As bisexuals, we have to willingly choose to place our sexual drives in a nice safe compartment that we can access when appropriate so that we are not raping and pillaging or spending all our waking hours in bathhouses.

If we choose to fight the addiction, we may eventually arrive at the conclusion that we are much more than the oxytocin and hormonal impulses coming from our genitals. This realization has the power to bring us to our higher self, our soul, to a deeper level of living. Our spiritual desire and spiritual energy can then be put in control of our impulses so we can generate ideas and thoughts and beliefs to make this world a better place, something a bit more than a worldwide video game where the winner is the one who can screw the most people during a life span.

Sorry for the rant. But for us bisexuals who were born with our bisexual impulses, this is not a game or something to experiment with. This a very powerful part of our mental and physical anatomy. We really do need to control it or it will destroy us. Personally it has literally screwed up my life. I wanted to be a good husband and a good father and, in fact, I was a great husband and a great father for 33 years before everyone I cared about suddenly knew I enjoyed having sex with other men. I lost my marriage and respect from my children which, quite frankly, were more important to me than another same sex orgasm. So let’s not glamorize this thing. Let’s not encourage more and more young people to experiment with bisexuality. If they are bisexual, they will know it because it is so powerful that it will eventually come out into the open. For us, sex is not just another source of pleasure that we can experiment with. So there is no rejoicing here to learn that other men and women are experimenting with bisexuality. Getting involved with bisexual men and women is like playing with fire. We have to take the box of matches away from the juveniles.

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. For those of you who are thinking about experimenting with bisexuality – you don’t have to experiment. If you are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, you will know it without experimenting. Even if you are seriously considering it, it probably means you are bisexual. You still have a choice. The question is do you really want to start a bisexual lifestyle with all the issues it will bring into your life? Think it through. Done the right way, it can be a very powerful and satisfying life choice.; done poorly can lead to a great deal of pain.
  2. For those of us who are truly bisexual my advice is TO BE CAREFUL, and that does not just mean having safe sex.
  3. Care for yourself and have the courage to make the right decisions that will lead to a more conscious and more joyful way of life.
  4. Beware of the addictive powers of casual sex. Avoid porn, sex shops and other places that you can get a quick fix.
  5. Listen to the voice of your higher self. Seek relationship. It can be a man or a woman or both, but it has to involve relationship. Look for love.

[1]. Copen, Casey E Chandra; Anjani; and Febo-Vazquez, Isaedmarie. Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attraction, and Sexual Orientation Among Adults Aged 18–44 in the United States: Data From the 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth Division of Vital Statistics. National Health Statistics Reports Number 88, January 7, 2016



Sex and the Mind

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)I think we would all agree that any problem with sex originates in the mind. Our bodies are just answering nature’s call, and the higher self is only concerned with relationships. When we look at the functioning of the brain, the genetic based sexual impulses seem to work at the autonomic level. It is only when the impulses go to the prefrontal cortex for second appraisal do we begin to second guess what our bodies and old brains are telling us. To understand how this works, we can view sexuality as two separate functions: arousal and desire. Adams et al. in their thorough review of brain and hormone activity defined sexual desire as “the behavioral drive that motivates individuals to fantasize about or seek out sexual activity.” In contrast, sexual arousal is defined as “the autonomic physiological processes that prepare the body for sexual activity.” [1] For the purpose of this blog we will be mainly looking at desire.

[1] Adams, Kristian; Favaloro; Dundas, Brendan; Dillon, Aaron; Nixon, Daniel. The Neuroscience of Sexual Desire. (

But first, let’s take a brief look at the nature of arousal. Arousal is an old brain/body function. The activities of the tests and ovaries are regulated by a complex chain of events known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Sexual arousal is controlled by the autonomic nervous system which interacts with the sex organs creating an increase in steroids, body heat, and heart rate.  Male arousal is largely controlled directly by emotion through the limbic system, particularly the amygdala, with limited interaction with the rest of the brain.  Males on average have a 16% larger cortico-medial which is the area responsible for steroid uptake which, among other effects,  regulates flow of blood to the genitals. The activity of the limbic system precedes and triggers penile erection, sexual feelings, sensations of extreme pleasure, and memories of sexual intercourse. This creates a dopamine rush similar to a shot of heroin.

Female arousal appears to be more of a whole brain activity. A woman’s brain literally lights up when viewed in brain scans during stimulation of the brain via the vagus nerve.  Increased activity was noted in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) (sympathetic nervous system – increasing  the dopamine rush –  and regulating blood flow), midbrain central gray (GABA and increased sexual reception), amygdala (emotion), hippocampus (memory), anterior cingulate (blood pressure, heart rate and reward anticipation), frontal parietal (body sensations), temporal and insular cortices (sensory processing and memory), anterior basal ganglia (psychomotor behavior), and cerebellum (motor movement). This results in a complex interaction between the brain and body. It also results in increased lubrication and enhanced touch sensation.

Through the technology of improved use of brain scans, we see that desire on the other hand increases brain activity in both males and females . The center for sexual desire appears to come from the amygdala; however, it does not function in isolation. The amygdalofugal pathway connects the amygdala with the thalamus, median hypothalamus, brain stem and nucleus accumbens. The nucleus accumbens is a large cluster of dopamine generating neurons which produces extreme feelings of pleasure as well as motivation to pursue sexual behavior. The anterior commisure is also activated connecting the left and right amygdala combining left brain (thought) and right brain (visual imagery) stimulation. One theory states that the anterior commisure may be responsible for gender orientation with gay men having am anterior commisure more similar to a woman’s (left brain dominant); however, this has not yet been established by neuroscience. Oxytocin seems to be a major player in sexual desire serving both as a stimulus to arousal and a neuromodulator to the flow of information through the neurotransmitters in the brain. All this happens in a blink of an eye where arousal and desire seem to interact simultaneously. This creates a yo-yo effect with our sexual drive system with constant interplay between thought, emotion, and hormonal arousal.

A review of the literature on neuro-sexual activity by Carl Zimmer[1] leads to some interesting additional information. One study observed that the medial orbito frontal cortex (OFC) was active in desire-impaired  but quiet in the normal men.  The OFC’s connection with the hippocampus  produces emotional memories which create states of mind. Through the interaction of states on mind, the OFC mediates reward and punishment, creates personal assessment, and manages expectations. It is also responsible for  understanding the thoughts, emotions and intentions of other people. It weighs action and consequences thereby influencing sexual desire. The OFC also connects to the neocortex particularly in the lobes involved in sensory integration including all somatosensory (body sensations) modalities.  The OFC also connects to the anterior insula, which is what we use to reflect on the state of our own body sensations. This interplay between the OFC, the anterior insula, and the neocortex may produce the good or bad feelings we associate with sexual arousal. Another set of studies noted that information not only travels from the visual cortex and the emotional centers to the higher regions of the brain, but also goes from the top down. Therefore, the higher regions may be instructing the eyes on what looks sexually desirable. The brain regions that handle self-awareness and understanding others may also be telling the emotional centers what to feel.

The two main disorders relating to sexual desire are hyposexual desire disorder (HSDD) and hypersexuality. The causes of sexual desire disorders vary, but some may include a decrease in the production of oestrogen in woman or testosterone in both men and women. HSDD is characterized by low levels of sexual desire and fantasy. This may be due to genetic predisposition or brain damage to the medial orbitofrontal cortex or the limbic structures of the amygdala, hypothalamus, or the temporal lobes. Hypersexuality can be considered as increased desire for sex that makes it difficult to meet social commitments and/or personal development. Evidence has been found that hypersexuality occurs‍ more often in the right hemisphere of the brain with far more cases in males. Studies also indicate that genetic predictors of homosexuality are associated with increased “risk taking” behavior (hypersexuality) due to irregularities of the serotonin production gene and over stimulus of the dopamine drive system.

I think we can conclude that sexual desire is the culmination of several different neural mechanisms, neural pathways, and states of mind, each of which is controlled in different areas of the brain and is activated at different stages of the sexual experience. In other words, arousal cannot be separated from desire. It is part of the bottom up process but almost simultaneously meets and meshes with the top town approach from the prefrontal cortex. Emotions, impulses and hormonal activity seem to pinball among various areas of the brain once arousal takes place.

Here are my five applications for bisexuals:

  1. Since sex is a whole brain activity, we can learn to control our mind and then use our mind to control our sexual impulses. We can do this through meditation and dealing with the pain stimuli coming from the ego (OFC). We can restructure our neural circuits through the wisdom of our higher self, affirm our desires as natural sources of pleasure, and rewire our mind with positive feelings of self-acceptance.
  2. Our sexual impulses are, by their nature, healthy. If we are attracted to men or women or both, it is merely part of our arousal system. We are free to indulge. However, before we can truly enjoy our sexuality, we must also heal the feelings coming from the prefrontal cortex (ego). We can do this by repeating step one whenever we experienced negative thoughts about our sexuality.
  3. I do not believe that hypersexuality is a legitimate problem except in rare cases. I do not believe it is due to a damaged limbic system. A strong sexual desire system is a sign of a healthy human body. The so-called addiction problems are a result of   developed mind sets that involve implicit and explicit memories connected to negative emotions. We simply have to change the circuits and remove the unhealthy inhibitions which are usually based on shame induced structures from family and religion.
  4. Hyposexuality is a problem, but it is not usually centered in the physical brain  structures. It is more likely an inhibitor from the orbito frontal cortex. We have to remove those inhibitors in order to enjoy our sexuality so that we can have fuller and more passionate relationships.
  5. Gay and bisexual men often have amazingly powerful sex drives. This is natural. We have to learn to enjoy it without shame or blame. When our sexual behavior involves a significant other, we have to be sure that he/she understands our drive, and we have to work out a general understanding that involves both of our needs and desires. We have to open up the doors of communication to take away the potential shame and blame.

[1] Zimmer, Carl. Discover, 2009. (



The Virtue of Truth vs Reality

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)How does one know and understand reality when all thoughts and decisions are governed by cultural influences? Reality involves the sensations that become perceptions as they are initially processed by the old brain. Then reality becomes a personal interpretation as the messages are sent on to the frontal cortex for second appraisal before action takes place. The old brain functions on instinct, including survival and reproduction. The reality is that every fully intact human being is capable of and tuned into being part of reproduction and the survival of the species. The sex part is biological and in a sense the reality, the gender part is very much what we make it. Therefore, truth is relevant to our perceptions and desires.We each have our own personal version of truth.

Is there a gay gene? Maybe, but probably not. Is there a genetic predisposition to being gay or lesbian? Definitely, but for bisexuals these predispositions seem to involve being more sensitive and vulnerable to circumstances in our environment which in turn leads us to engaging in a variety of sexual practices. We do not seem to bond well and therefore lack the system of controls that most people have.

One of the more fascinating studies on bonding and attraction was a study by Scheele et al[1] in which bonded males tended to avoid contact with attractive females under the influence of a nasal oxytocin spray,  whereas unattached males experienced greater attraction.  So what does this have to do with bisexuality?  It would suggest, at least to me, that bonding,   sexual attraction, and gender choice have to do with the presence of oxytocin. By far the majority of children are born with a oxytocin-based bonding process directed towards a person of the opposite sex so that normal reproduction can take place and the human race can be saved one more time. At some point in human development, perhaps even in the womb, the fetus or child forms a bond with the mother that results in the oxytocin mechanism being formed. So what happens if there is no bond, if the mother is experiencing extreme anxiety and is perhaps under the influence of the anxiety/survival masculine hormone of testosterone? Could this perhaps leave the gay male fetus with the need for a male bond or the lesbian fetus with the need for a female bond? Could it be that the bisexual is left without a definite bond for either male or female, and therefore open to attraction with whomever provides excitement and comfort? This, I believe could be the basis of the gay, lesbian or bisexual predisposition. For gays and lesbians they are seeking bonding with same sex partners but what about the bisexual?

When it comes to making decisions, the administration center of the frontal cortex becomes engaged in trying to sort out this sorry mess, leading to inconsistencies and confusion.  There is no strong definite message about attraction and seeking or preserving the partner bond, because the oxytocin urge defined by predisposition and bonding simply is not there. The bisexual does not have an oxytocin bond with his or her mate so has no inhibition or aversion to sexual contact with another individual.  Because there is no genetic same-sex-aversion oxytocin sensation, the bisexual is open to experiencing sexual pleasure with either males or females without any need or desire to bond.  This usually involves a ego or soul based desire to be faithful in a relationship with a psychological aversion to people of the same sex as the partner, and therefore, a feeling that it is okay to engage with sexual activities with the  sex different from the partner and still maintain a warped sense of being faithful. The drive is strictly pleasure based with a smattering of guilt and shame.  At his point it is simply a choice and the admin center makes the decisions based on the information available including the desire for pleasure from the body and the need for maintaining relationships and positions in society from the ego. Most of the time it is no contest – we choose pleasure.

So what has this got to do with Truthfulness? Simply put, we bisexuals have our own version of truth.  We are not bound by biological aversion controls. We are free to make our decision based on our desire, our need for sexual intimacy, and the cultural desire to please and be faithful to a partner.  The mind and body usually fight over the decisions on what is the greater need and the body often wins this argument with the mind. So where does this leave us in regards to truthfulness?

  1. First and foremost we have to be true to ourselves and recognize that these needs are often overpowering and we have no biological control mechanisms to make the decisions for us.
  2. We have to be conscious of our desires and why we have them. If we are going to be true to ourselves, we have to honor the cravings of our bodies. If our bodies absolutely need the excitement and comfort of these relationships, we have to create a life where these impulses are honored.
  3. If we have a need to create a mentally constructed relationship rather than a bonded relationship with one individual then we should do so. For us bisexuals we have to make a conscious decision on why we want to spend our lives with this person and not just rely on the non-existent bonding biological systems.
  4. We have to realize that our attraction for our partner is not biological bond-based and therefore will vary over time. However, our partner (unless they are bisexual) will have formed a biological oxytocin bond with us and will continue to experience strong sexual attraction for us and will be very uncomfortable with our situation based attraction for them. We have to consciously maintain our levels of attraction for them to accommodate their needs.
  5. We also have to realize that they are bonded to us and have an aversion for relationships with others. They will find it very difficult to understand why we do not respond in like manner.  In other words we have to continuously work on meeting their needs for attraction and security within what is to them a bonded relationship.

[1] Scheele D., Striepens N., Gunturkun O., Deutschlander S., Maier W., Kendrick K., and Hurlemann R.. Oxytocin Modulates Social Distance between Males and Females. Journal of Neuroscience 14 November 2012, 32 (46) 16074-16079; DOI:


Controlling Passion

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

Are bisexuals slaves to their passions?  Before we answer that question, we need to take another look at the nature of passion.  New information seems to be arriving daily, good solid scientific information about human neurology.

We are just beginning to understand the full power of the passion that comes from the old brain which operates on sensations and near instantaneous perceptions. These perceptions are formed by basic circuitry involving the hind brain, mid brain, and the hypothalamus and amygdala in the fore-brain. When a sensation comes in, we have about one tenth of a second to form a perception. Based on this perception, we simply ignore; we engage the Reticular System of fight, flight or freeze, or we enter the Limbic System which is the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification.

So what happens in the Limbic System when it comes to sexual gratification? It takes less than a second to perceive someone as attractive, and to enter into the first phase of arousal.  For most of us, this might mean mild interest, or for others, like us bisexuals with a heightened sexual sensitivity, we may already be engaging our hormones and releasing dopamine for hot pursuit. It is not until this stage that the frontal cortex kicks in.  The administration section simply re-evaluates on the basis of past experience and either gives the red light to cease and desist, or the green light to fully engage. The time for this decision-making is still somewhere in the range of just one to two seconds.

For most people this is an amber light which means proceed with caution, but for bisexuals, especially when in pursuit of a same sex encounter, we are already operating on full green. At this point the whole brain is functioning with full dopamine overload in pursuit of the opiates we feel from our dopamine, and testosterone/estrogen rush. This creates anxiety and the release of  the neuromodulator, cortisone, which prevents a change in the brain chemistry until the goal is achieved. There is no motivation for re-evaluation. We are hell-bent for orgasm.  This is passion at its basic old brain animal level.  But it is very real.

Which brings us to the second level of passion.  How do we build in a runaway lane for our out-of-control, fully-loaded semi on a downhill run?   The way to do that is to re-engage the neuromodulator, oxytocin, which results in increased serotonin and the reduction of dopamine. Wholistic Health Expert, Nancy Lee Bentley, provides us with some insight on how the dopamine/serotonin balance affects passion:

“Serotonin may actually be involved in the “love versus sex” divide. When serotonin is low, (and dopamine is high) researchers say, it also tends to increase sex drive; whereas higher serotonin levels are also associated with an increase in oxytocin, the so-called “love” hormone. This seems to reflect women’s preference for more bonding, cuddling and lovemaking versus men’s noted penchant for straight physical sex. Ample amounts of serotonin make for more “loving” feelings.”[1]

Contrary to popular opinion, men, especially bisexual men, also create the love-making hormone. It brings about a change in our perceptions and refocuses our intent on concern and pleasure for our partners rather than on orgasm itself.  We can start the process through intimate touch like an intense hug. This increases serotonin which in turn produces a sense of well being that reduces the anxiety brought on by cortisone. The administration section of the brain in now able to function again and re-evaluate on the basis of the greater good – the oxytocin/serotonin feeling of intimacy.

Whenever you are in pursuit of sex with a man or a woman learn to see the person as a potential soul mate rather than just a sex object. Seek intimate connection through non-sexual touch and experience the beginnings of a deeper level of passion. Learn to relax and enjoy intimate contact while it happens. If this passion leads to sexual intercourse, we can engage in the glow of oxytocin and serotonin and the endorphin afterglow that follows, free of stress and anxiety. We form neural pathways connecting these experiences to the pleasure mechanism of our brain. We refer to these connections as bonds, human to human bonds, that urge us on to deeper connection rather than just the dopamine rush  and withdrawal that leads to regret and possible shame.

When we learn to control the passion, I believe we begin to enjoy the journey, mutually and fully. We now employ sexual passion to lead us to intimate passion that can become the ultimate reward in our brain systems. This may or may not lead to sexual gratification because the goal is not the passion of the dopamine rush, but the glow of intimacy. This passion involves not only the genitals but also the heart. In other words, we have to use our sexuality to pursue the greater passion of intimacy that can lead to the greater pleasure of making love rather than just having sex.

Can these bonds with lovers exist within a monogamous (marriage or partnership) relationship? That is the question of the ages. More on that next week.


[1] Bentley, Nancy Lee. How Serotonin Affects Your Sex Drive. May 2014.