Love, passion, lust and biology

The newspaper article Love and Human Nature arose from a lead article in the February 2006 edition of the National Geographic. The National Geographic interviewed Helen Fisher, whose research indicates that neurochemicals dictate sexual behaviour - that chemical passion lasts only a few years and is replaced by the bonding chemical oxytocin. Faced with this, the reporter, Christin Geall, felt her romantic spirit begining to wither.
Christin's response to the idea that sexuality is governed by biology is to argue that some of the best relationships are born, not only out of passion, but also out of a deeper connection with nature. That is ducking the issue. Assuming sexuality is governed by biology, what is the role of sex in love?
Helen Fisher comes to the conclusion that our attitudes to sex are opposed to 'doing what comes naturally'. Specically, monogamy is not natural. Starting from there let us set aside our social programming which denies that conclusion and contamplate what that might mean to relationships.
First of all, despite how strong a sexual relationship might me, sexuality alone is not a good basis for a relationship. I'm guessing few people will dispute that statement. Sexuality definitely will bring people together and produce babies but, really, if you are looking for long term social stability that is only the start and may only be a growing situation resolved by separation.
Looking beyond sex it seems likely that long term relationships are based on spirituality (see the Future of Love, by Daphne Kingma)and less obvious connections such as a spiritual pilgrimage, enjoying ‘character’ in an altruistic mission, or jointly pursuing an artistic quest. Future relationships are likely to be a meeting of equals financially, practically in terms of housework, emotionally, and sexually.
The sexuality of these new types of relationships is found in Marnia Robinson’s book, Peace between the Sheets, where sexuality is a ‘giving’. Indeed, that may well be the basis for the ‘new’ relationship – a ‘giving’ of emotional support, a ‘contribution’ to the smooth running of a household and an ‘equal giving’ economically.
Love in the future can be seen as a maturing process where a relationship is a gift to be enjoyed and we move far away from “searching for love in all the wrong places”. The greedy, grasping for love in a relationship as if it were the solution to all our problems becomes a thing of the past. Love is a giving, not a taking.
Forbes Leslie