Are love and sex one and the same?
No. Love is not sex, and sex is not love.
Sex evolved in living creatures 500 million years ago. Love evolved in living creature only 150 million years ago. Love is much younger than sex. Fish know sex; they lay eggs, and males fertilize them. Fish know no love.
Love evolved with the evolution of birds.
The sex circuitry in the brain has persisted with the same biological structure in all species, including humans. So love have an effect on sex, and sex has an effect on love. This is like a doctor and his nurse. He has an effect on her and she has an effect on him. However, the doctor is not the nurse and vice versa.
Sex comes from the effect of sex hormones on the brain. The sex hormones effects on the rest of the body has no effect on sex drive or sex behavior. Giving sex hormones increases the sex drive but have no effect at all on love. No man ever loved his wife more because he is taking testosterone. We have in the brain a satiety center. It tells you to stop certain behaviors. After a large meal, the satiety center tells you to stop eating. No matter how delicious the desert looks, you feel that you cannot eat it. The same satiety center also works for sex. After sex, you feel that you do not want more sex. The same does not happen with love. Nobody ever felt that I had enough love for today; let us wait for another day.
There are many stories of people falling madly in love with someone with whom they never had sex. The story of Anna and the King is a well-know example. Some people have sex with mates whom they do not love. Sex drive is expressed over a range of mates. Love is expressed to a one specific person only.
However, love chemicals help increases the sex drive and makes sex feel more enjoyable. Sex releases love chemicals that enhance the loving feeling. So sex enhances love, and love enhances sex. Still love and sex are two separate things.
Love does not start by lust! Love starts by love and makes sex more enjoyable.