7 Reasons Why Love And Sex Go Together
Updated July 22, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Natalie Feinblatt
Love and sex are two different things. However, there are very different opinions in society about how they connect. Some believe that the two are almost interchangeable. They assume that if sex is present, then love is as well. This can lead down some very rough roads. Others believe that the two aren't connected at all. They believe that you can easily have one without the other without any lasting effects. However, there are many reasons why love and sex go together, including the following:
- Love and Sexual Desire Come from The Same Place
If you want to leave emotion and opinion out of the debate about if love and sex go together, science has proven that they are connected. Canadian researchers conducted a study in 2012 that found the part of your brain that handles emotions is where sexual desire comes from. Both emotional love and sexual desire are from the insular cortex. These findings lead people to believe that the two are connected to a level that removes our choice from it. We can choose to have sex when love is not present, but it can be difficult for emotions to handle.
Sexual desire and love lead to some of the same reactions in your brain. That means it can be easy to confuse what you are experiencing. This is why some people struggle to think that they are in love after they have sex when the other person doesn't. Science also explains that this makes sex even better when you are in love because you are getting a double dose of the chemicals that make you feel good. We'll explain these later in the article.
- Love Makes Sex More Fulfilling
Penn State researchers did a study where they questioned 98 women. They found that the majority of women believe that when love is present, the sexual experience is better and more fulfilling. These results were regardless of it being in a marriage or a dating relationship. There are several reasons why it's believed that this happens, and they are included below.
- Love Adds Trust and Comfort to The Mix
This could be counted as two different reasons. However, they are closely related. You can't trust someone that you don't know. That means one-night stands will never be able to stand up to the complete sexual experience that love can provide. When love is present, trust is also present. Trust adds a certain level of comfort to the relationship, including in sex. That means when you are having sex with someone that you love, you aren't worried about being judged.
This connection also means that you can be more open during the sexual experience. You can easily share the things that you like and what you don't like. You won't be afraid to ask for the things that you want. And, you know you are loved, and therefore you can relax at a level that you cannot reach when love is absent during sex.
- Sex is More Meaningful with Love
Sexual desire is one way to show love to another person. You can have sex without love being present, but then sex is just sex. There is nothing more to it. Even if you physically enjoy it, there will be a level of emptiness that comes with sex when love is absent. There is no real meaning to it. You know that it leads to nothing else. However, when you love the person that you are with, it takes the sexual experience to a deeper level. Emotional needs are being met as well as physical needs.
- People Try Unsuccessfully to Fill the Void of Love with Sex
You probably know someone that is constantly on the lookout for one-night stands. They aren't even looking for a relationship they are just looking to hook up. There is no love involved in these types of connections; it is purely sexual. The reason this person has to keep searching for the next experience is that sexual fulfillment is short-term. There is no lasting positive impact from a one-night stand or empty sex. However, if this person starts to experience a loving relationship, they don't have to go out hunting for the next hook up. Whether they want to admit it or not, they are filling the void of love in their life with sex.
- Marriages Without Sex Struggle or Fail
There are plenty of jokes in society about how seldom sex is had once you are married. However, the subject is no laughing matter. It's a real problem in marriage that leads to all kinds of other issues. In marriage, sex communicates a level of love and desire. You want to be wanted by your spouse. Therefore, if your spouse refuses to have sex with you, the message you are communicating is that you don't desire them physically, which makes them feel that you do not love them either.
When a marriage continues in this way, there are a few things that tend to happen. The first is that the partner that feels unloved and unwanted will begin to seek that fulfillment from other sources. This can quickly lead to extra-marital affairs. Even if this doesn't happen, that partner can begin to withdraw from the relationship, which then leaves the other person feeling unloved as well. This causes distances, arguments, and hurt feelings throughout the marriage.
- Sex in A Loving Relationship Deepens the Feelings of Love
Couples that love each other tend to have sex more often. When both partners are engaged and have sex regularly, it deepens the feelings of love that they have for each other. This goes back to the first reason listed and the way that your brain works. It's also why the feelings of love begin to die in sexless marriages.
Love and Sex Are Connected
No matter how hard society tries to remove love from the sexual experience, it is impossible to do. Love and sex are connected. You can have sex without being in love, but it does not lead to any positive long-term situations. Instead, sex without love opens up the door for many difficulties and emotional confusion. In the same way, if you are in a long-term romantic relationship, eventually sex comes into play. One without the other will not work for you long-term.
Problems That Can Arise When You Try to Disconnect the Two
- Emotional emptiness - When you are having sex without being in love you will always be looking for more because the sexual experience is not meeting the full need of what you are looking for, even if you don't realize it at the time. You are left with an empty feeling and believe the only way to fill it is with more sex. In reality, a deeper relationship where love is involved in the solution you are looking for.
- Misunderstood experiences - If you believe that love and sex are the same things, and not just connected, you will be led into sexual experiences because you are seeking love and believe you will find it by having sex. This is only setting yourself up to be hurt. Love and sex are connected, but they are not the same. Many people will have sex with you to try to meet their needs, even if they have no feelings of love for you.
- You either use people or get used by people - When you are in a loving relationship, you both want the same thing. Your sexual experiences are deepening your relationship and you want to please the other both in and out of bed. However, when love is removed from a sexual experience, it is purely selfish. You are either looking for love or looking to have your sexual needs fulfilled. There is a lack of care about what the other person needs. Your focus is on yourself.
- You lose your relationship - It's hard to maintain a romantic relationship long-term without sex. If you've been married for years and think that sex isn't necessary to your relationship anymore, you are wrong. You might feel this way, but chances are that your spouse doesn't.
- Bring back date night.Getting back in touch with your spouse can renew your sex life and your love for one another. Make time for the two of you and your relationship will flourish.
- Start a new hobby together.Making new, fun memories together can renew a lost spark. Find something you will both enjoy and dive in.
- Your partner won't have a chance to work on the relationship if they don't know there's a problem with it. Communicate your issues, big and small, to protect the love and sex in your relationship.
- Seek professional help. Troubles that arise in life around love and sex are some of the hardest that there are to work through. Both sex and love are incredibly complex issues that have many variables in play. If you're struggling with situations in your life because of relationships, talking to a therapistcan be one of the most effective ways to work through the situation. While both love and sex are deeply personal experiences, sometimes talking to an outside party that is not connected in any way can be the most effective at helping you see what's happening.
Before you jump into another meaningless sexual relationship or before you lose your marriage due to lack of sex, seek help. Love and sex are undoubtedly connected. Understanding how they are connected and how that impacts your life is the key to finding the balance you desire. Below you can read some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people who have been helped with similar relationship and intimacy issues.
"Stephanie is a gem! She's very thoughtful, thorough, honest, insightful but most of all helpful. This is coming from a person that never wanted to do counseling and just "knew" I didn't need it. She's been key in helping my wife and I find our better place. She made us grow as a couple and individually. Thanks Steph!"
"Absolutely brilliant! He helped me out of a pretty dark place and was nothing but helpful! For men who are looking for a counselor who understands what it is like to be a man in today's world with a family, with kids and responsibilities, job, etc, I was extremely impressed with his ability to get down to it and understand what I was talking about. He's great at getting to the root of the issue too. No need to slog through 8,000 words to find out what point he's trying to make. He has a knack for asking exactly the right question in about 2-3 sentences. If you're looking for a counselor who isn't the typical counselor, he's your guy!"
Love and sex go together for a variety of reasons. If your relationship is suffering or if you feel like you might be beginning to drift apart, taking extra special care can help. It's always worth investing in your relationship. Whether you need to rekindle the spark or just want to add some wood to the fire, all you need are the right tools. Take the first steptoday.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Why does sex feel so good with someone you love?
Sex feels amazing with someone that you love because it has much more meaning. When you’re making love with your significant other, it’s not just some physical act between two people. It’s a physical expression of your love for each other. When you fall in love with someone, it’s about much more than just sex. You love that person for who they are and everything that they mean to you. It’s even possible to fall in love with someone without ever having sex with them.
Once you finally start to build your sexual connection with your partner, it’s going to be even more exciting. Sex has the potential to be a very big part of your life that brings you happiness. Both men and women note that sex feels great when it’s with someone that you love. Sex can be pretty nice with people that you aren’t in love with, too, but it’s more satisfying when it has some type of meaning.
Is sex important in love?
The topic of whether sex is important in love might be more controversial than you would assume. Many people would answer “yes” to this question and move on, but there are people with different viewpoints. Some people live their lives without ever having sex and still say that they have love. Sex might not be the most important aspect of love, but most people would say that it is an important pillar in a loving relationship. Don’t have sex because you feel pressured to, though. Sex isn’t something that you owe anyone and you don’t have sex with people out of obligation. Your sex life is yours and you get to decide what you want to do with your body. You might not even want to have sex right now due to social distancing measures being in place. You can’t adhere to social distancing while having sex, so that does make sense. It’s just up to you to determine what you’re comfortable with.
That said, sexual decision making can play a role in your relationship. Some people will value sex quite a bit and will want to seek it out fairly early in relationships. Other people take sexual decision making very seriously and will want to wait until they know they’re in love with someone before even attempting sex. Your sexual decision making practices will be up to you entirely and you get to decide what is best. Men tend to want sex a bit more often than women, but both agree that it is an important part of a relationship on average. Work with your partner to develop a satisfying relationship and let your sexual connection grow naturally.
Does sex strengthen a relationship?
Yes, sex does have the potential to strengthen a relationship in several ways. Having a strong sexual bond with your partner could make your relationship that much more satisfying. It has the potential to bring your closer together and this could make you even happier with your relationship. Couples with strong sexual connections can walk hand in hand while feeling very comfortable with each other. Having an intimate relationship with someone that you love makes you feel like you can conquer anything together. That being said, it’s important to note that sex isn’t the only important part of a healthy relationship.
Sex is a piece of the puzzle, but it isn’t the whole puzzle. You can walk hand in hand with your partner even if you aren’t ready to have sex. You don’t have to feel pressured into decision making by someone who wants you to have sex before you’re ready. Sex is great, but it can also wait until you’re comfortable. Not everyone wants to enter a sexual relationship too soon and it can be beneficial to get to know your partner well before you start being intimate. Consider walking hand in hand with your significant other for a while and then having sex when you’re both comfortable with it. Your sex life is something that can be great overall. Having great sex with your partner will make you happy, but your sex life isn’t the only thing that you need to focus on.
Does sex make you fall in love?
It can be tough to answer the question of whether having sex makes you fall in love. People have different opinions about the meaning of love and what types of actions can make someone fall in love. Sex love and sex might be two different things, after all. You can love someone without having sex and it isn’t necessary to build a sexual connection to start growing attached to someone. You can get closer to someone after having sex with them, but does that make sex love and sex one and the same? Not necessarily.
The feelings that you feel while having sex with someone could very well be love, but those feelings aren’t necessarily entirely derived from the sex that you’re having. The act of sex can be seen as an expression of your love. Most people would say that they love their partners for reasons outside of the bedroom. If you simply fell in love with your significant other because of having sex with them, then that might seem a bit shallow. Can a shallow reason such as enjoying someone’s body be true love? That will be up to you to decide at the end of the day. Women tend to think of love connections as something beyond just a sexual connection. Many people tend to think of sex as an extension of their love rather than the cause of their love.
Is it OK to have sex every day?
If you feel like you want to have sex every single day, then that’s perfectly fine. It just has to be something that your sexual partner is also comfortable with. No one should ever feel forced to have sex in any way. Sometimes you might encounter a situation where you can’t have sex due to being too busy or your partner not feeling up to it. Sex isn’t something that is procedural and you can’t always plan it out. Often, you’ll find that the best sex is very spontaneous. Some people do have high sex drives and want to have as much sex as they can. This can sometimes be problematic, though, and it could even prompt you to want to find a therapist.
There are people who struggle with what is known as sex addiction. This is an issue where someone wants to seek out sexual activity constantly and they can’t stop thinking about sex. Some people even go so far as to seek out unsafe sex with strangers to satiate their sexual appetites. This can definitely be a big problem, but not everyone who wants sex every single day is a sex addict. You don’t necessarily need to find a therapist if you just have a healthy sex drive. It’s just important to be able to recognize if you have unhealthy urges that will lead you to make bad choices in life.
Many men would prefer to have sex every single day if possible. It isn’t unusual for women to have strong sex drives either and some of them might want to seek that out. When you’re in a marriage and family issues pop up, it can be tough to have sex as often as you’d like. Just understand that sex isn’t always going to be your main focus. It is a great part of your life that you should enjoy, but you won’t always be able to prioritize it. Life can get in the way sometimes. Try to maintain a strong sexual connection, but don’t be too disappointed if you can’t have sex every night.
Is sex before marriage okay?
Most adults will want to seek out sex before they get married. However, many religions specifically state that sex before marriage is frowned upon. That doesn’t mean that most people adhere to those principles, though. It’s up to you to decide whether you find sex before marriage to be morally right. Other people can’t tell you what to do with your body. This is a personal question that cannot be answered for you. It comes down to what you want to do and what you’re comfortable sharing with your partner.
Some would say that having sex before marriage is very practical. You might want to know that you will be able to have a good sexual connection with your partner before you decide to get married. If you’re religious and this just doesn’t mesh with your world views, then you can decide to abstain from sex until you’re married to your significant other. Some couples struggle with issues like this. It can be helpful to find a therapist and talk through things if you can’t get on the same page. You might wish to find a therapist that understands both sides of the situation.
How much sex is normal?
Determining how much sex is normal in your relationship simply isn’t possible. Some couples have sex every single night and others try to have sex once per week. There are also couples in healthy marriages that only get to have sex on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. The frequency of your sexual encounters doesn’t necessarily determine the health of your relationship. Sometimes people get busy and it isn’t easy to find the time to have sex. This can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to harm your relationship. You can find a therapist to talk about things if you’re struggling to connect due to a lack of time together. It isn’t good to go for a long time without sex if you can help it.
Some couples have issues with having sex regularly enough due to certain factors. One person could be struggling with mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder. Even eating disorders can play a role in your sex life. Luckily, you can find a therapist to help with bipolar disorder and eating disorders. When you find a therapist to help you with your love life, it makes things a lot easier. Couples will sometimes have issues connecting that can be solved by simply talking things out. When you find a therapist that understands this and helps to facilitate communication, it makes your life that much better.
Is too much sex bad?
Too much sex is only bad in a couple of circumstances. It can be bad if you have some type of sex addiction and you’re making poor life choices because of it. If you have a sex addiction, then you will want to see a sex therapist to try to get your urges under control. There are even support groups for sex addicts that can make a difference. Another situation where too much sex is bad is when you’re putting your partner in an uncomfortable position. You shouldn’t try to force your partner to have sex if they aren’t comfortable with it. Your partner might want to have sex only when they’re in the mood for it. If you can be understanding of this, then it’ll be much better for your relationship.
Otherwise, having frequent sex can be very good for your mental health and relationship. It makes you feel happier and it can help you to feel closer to your partner. Sex is something that can be very good for you so long as you’re experiencing it with a committed partner. If you both want to have a lot of sex and it isn’t getting in the way of your life responsibilities, then it’s not something to worry about.
Why do we need sex?
Simply put, humans desire sex because they have natural urges. Everyone is wired to want to sex and each person is going to have some type of sex drive. There are people who say that they don’t desire sex at all, but these individuals are certainly in the minority. Even so, it might be a stretch to say that people need sex in their lives. Sex isn’t so much a need as it is a desire. It’s possible to live a happy life without having a sexual partner, but having sex can enrich your life as well. Having a good sex life is something that could make an already happy life even more positive.
Knowing this, it’s certainly worthwhile to seek out a sexual connection with someone nice. Having a good sex life can even help to improve your mental health. You know that sex is a healthy part of a normal relationship and it makes sense that it would have a positive impact on your mental health. It’s up to you to decide whether you need sex, though. Sex love isn’t a 100% requirement for happiness, but it can add a lot to your life if you do find a partner to have great sex with.