What’s Love got to Do With It?

In this week’s round of TMI Tuesday one of the questions was;

“Agree or Disagree. Sex without love is meaningless”

My answer went on a tangent about the sexual activities of Bonobo Apes. A species that is famous for using sexual interactions a social strategy. The key to the question is really the definition of love. Dictionary.com gives no less than 14 definitions of love as a noun, and a further six as a verb. I won’t bore you with them all but the spectrum ranged from A word formerly used in communications to represent the letter L to a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. Sexual passion also made an appearance in more than one of the definitions.

This variety of ideas relating to love is reflected in human ideas about sexual relationships. One of the things that frustrated me early in my marriage with Mr Jones was his often repeated statement that he felt unloved if we weren’t having enough sex. This was confusing to me as I also knew that he, and most other humans, is capable of having sex with people that he DOESN’T love. Fast forward about fifteen years and both of us have had sex with any number of people who we have had various levels of attachment with.

I can confirm that you can have some amazing sex without even knowing the name of the person you are with. You can have some pretty ordinary sex with people who you would call very good friends. You can even have some pretty ordinary sex with your spouse, given the right situation. Perhaps a better question to ask than the one above is; “Does sex have to have some deep meaning to be good?”

My answer is no.

In my world there are two distinct categories of sex. Married sex, and Gemma sex. They can both be amazing and also very bad; it is a question of management. Married sex is about love, connection and affection. It also is accommodating, tolerant and ignores some things that may be a turn off. Things like; having held the person’s head while they threw up, that yesterday you were angry because they went out and left the dishes in the sink and that there is still some deep seated resentment that a life decision made fifteen years ago had a profound effect on a career that you loved.

Married sex is about keeping a level of intimacy that is needed for two people to be able to be in the same room together, alone, without killing each other. As Mr Jones and I prepare to spend six months on a boat together without the buffer of our children this kind of intimacy is important. Otherwise we could be experiencing a Dead Calm kind of situation. Married sex doesn’t have to swing off the rafters but sometimes it does help the situation if you do make that effort.

Gemma sex is a whole different ball game. It is purely about fun, pleasure and there are no compromises. It is not about maintaining a relationship. It is about exploring boundaries and just being a sexual person. It is easier to take risks, consensual of course, because if it doesn’t work out you don’t have to face the person tomorrow. You also don’t have to deal with domestic or relationship kinds of issues. There is no co-habitation. While you may listen with a sympathetic ear to their problems, at the end of the day they are THEIR problems and you don’t have to worry about them.

Does this kind of sex have no meaning? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It generally has no ROMANTIC meaning but there is often a connection and if you continue to see the person a friendship can form. Pushing past boundaries is significant to some people and can change you as a person. Having a random stranger with no need to maintain a relationship worshipping you can definitely improve your confidence.

At the end of the day sex is a bodily function like eating and sleeping. These things can also have deep, abiding meaning or just be something we did yesterday. Why should sex be any different?

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