7 Reasons Why Love And Sex Go Together
Updated May 04, 2020
Reviewer Natalie Feinblatt
If you talk to a licensed sex therapist about your sexual relationships, they will often tell you that "Love and sex are two different things." However, there are very different opinions in society about how they connect. Some believe that sexual satisfaction, sexual connection, and love are almost interchangeable. When you overhear people talking about love it seems as ifThey assume that if sex is present, love is as well. This can lead to some very rough roads and unwelcome sexual activity. Others believe that there is no relationship between love and sex and thathe 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 making love and falling in love 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 making love and falling in love 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 making love with falling in love. What you are experiencing in your sex life while making love doesn't always mirror your life outside the bedroom. This is why some people struggle to think that they are in love after making love or having 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 with an active sex life. They found that the majority of women believe that when love is present, the sexual experience of making love is better and more fulfilling. These results remained steady regardless of making love within a married or a dating relationship. There are several reasons why it's believed that falling in love enhances the feelings and associations involved in making love and an increased sex drive happens. These reasons are outlined below.
- Love Adds Trust and Comfort to The Mix
This means one-night stands will never be able to stand up to the complete sexual experience that making love in a committed relationship can provide. When love is present, trust is also present. Trust adds a certain level of comfort to the relationship, including in making love and having sex. That means when you are having sex with someone that you love, you aren't worried about being judged (or even that you'll fall in love.)
This connection also means that you can be more open during the sexual experience. Making love becomes less stressful (and more pleasurable) when 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 when you're making love to someone you're in love with. This decreases the likelihood of having bad sex. Knowing you are loved, while you are making love helps you relax at a level that you cannot reach when love is absent during sex.
- Sex is More Meaningful with Love
Sexual desire and making love is just 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. Some people believe they can't have sex without falling in love, while others don't have sex if they feel that love will enter the equation. This is why it's important to have these conversations with your partner before making love. Even if you physically enjoy the act of making love, without a mutual agreement, understanding, or affection, there will be a level of emptiness that comes with making love 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 and treats making love like a sport. 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 from having sex where love is absent short-term. There is no lasting positive impact from making love a one-night stand or having 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. They can enjoy making love with their partner in a healthy committed relationship. 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 couples end up making love once you are married. However, the subject of making love in marriages and committed relationships is no laughing matter. It's a real problem in marriage that leads to all kinds of other issues. In marriage, sex and making love communicates a level of love and desire to your partner. 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 where couples aren't making love, 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 and more empty opportunities for making love. 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 participate in making love more often. When both partners are engaged and have sex regularly, it deepens the feelings of love that they have for each other. This shows up in their sexual expression when the couple is making love. 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.
- Communicate. 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 therapist can 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 step today.