Sexual activity is a little bit different for everyone, so as we dig into the “reasons to have sex,” there is plenty of ground to cover. In the past, most psychologists and sexologists agreed on three basic reasons: physical pleasure, emotional connection, and procreation.
While these three broad categories are still very much part of the reality of human sexuality, the generally accepted “reasons why” are expanding tremendously. Simply being aware of all of the facets of human sexuality (and all of the conscious and/or subconscious reasons we may want to have sex) can do wonders for the healthy sex life of a marriage. It’s important to go beyond the “big three” reasons and look at sex through a wider lens.
Several studies recently cited by WebMD show a broad range of reported reasons that people may engage in sexual activity. These reasons are not always necessarily admirable, but they do show the breadth of the topic, and in a sense, remind couples to have sex for the right reasons.
Some respondents to the studies reported things like social advancement, peer pressure, power, to evoke jealousy, and a sense of duty as reasons for sex – but these are certainly not “good” reasons, especially for married couples.
On the other end of the spectrum, other responses included showing love, emotional connectivity, relieving stress, giving your partner pleasure, and of course, making a baby.
This second set of reasons is where married couples can put their focus as they study their own sexual habits and get to know one another’s needs. The point of keeping these things in mind is to broaden the way you and your spouse think about sex – maybe it has become routine, or you’re only having sex under certain circumstances or at certain times of the day.
With more “reasons” in your mind, though, whatever hang-ups may be affecting your sex life may start to slip away.
Our bodies are hardwired to seek sex (in a primal sense), but psychological factors can “get in the way” of those basic instincts. When we take a step back and evaluate why we do what we do, or why we want what we want, we can start using those psychological factors to our advantage – in turn leading a more fulfilling sex life!
There are plenty of great reasons to have sex with your spouse, from sharing intimacy to getting a little exercise, all of which will help bring you closer together and relieve some of the pressure that many of us feel regarding our sex lives.
Sex doesn’t have to be quite so mysterious, if we’re willing to read some of the research and do a little self-evaluating. The more we know about ourselves – and the topic in general – the more we will be able to maintain positive sexual relationships based on a combination of the “reasons” we’ve talked about.
It doesn’t have to be ALL about physical pleasure, or ALL about emotional intimacy – you can find a variety of reasons to enjoy the sexual relationship you have with your partner, and even be motivated by more than on reason at a time.
Figure out the reasons you want to have sex, and talk about them with your spouse to keep your sex life moving in a positive direction!