Why do we have sex?
There are many activities that human beings are required to do that go along with the essential functions of living and propagating the species. Common examples are eating, drinking and sleeping. But the purpose of today’s article is to explore the motivation and drive behind our sexuality and to ask the question ‘why do we have sex?’ While most of us think the answer is simple, the truth is that our sexuality is a highly complex system.
Of course, the evolutionary reasoning behind the desire to have sex is as simple as the need to propagate the species, as we just mentioned. But that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface as to the complex and complicated physical, mental and emotional factors that also come into play. Humanity is long past the days of mating for the purposes of survival. In today’s world of online dating, serial relationships and the increasingly large amount of baggage people are bringing with them from one encounter to the next, continuing to have a healthy and fulfilling sex life becomes more difficult.
The answers to the question “why do we have sex” can also help us learn how to find a healthy sexual relationship that satisfies the desires of both partners involved. When you understand the various things that you or your partner may be looking to get out of your adult time together, it becomes much easier to embrace them and share them with each other. This can only be done through open and honest communication. Here are a few examples of the many reasons people have sex:
To Satisfy Physical Needs
Sexual curiosity to sexual experimentation to sexual intercourse is usually the natural progression for most people. This often comes during our earlier years and into our adolescence when most sexual activity begins to take place. The driving force here is the physical need for release and satisfaction brought on by the increase in adult hormones, as well as other physiological and biological factors.
The initial motivation for sex is usually physical and it displays itself in both males and females during their adolescent years. Sex tends to stay motivated mainly by pleasure for many people prior to engaging in committed or long-term relationships. After a commitment is entered into, the focus can sometimes shift towards creating a deeper intimacy and connection.
To Satisfy Emotional Needs
While physical gratification and pleasure might be the most common motivating factor (and almost always the first) for having an active sex life for most people, especially unattached individuals, it is certainly not the only one. Emotions and feelings are very intertwined with the physical act of sex. Sex is perhaps the only equally physical and emotional activity in the world.
While it is much more common for the psychological and internal aspects of sexual activity to play a larger role in the relationships of people who are married or living together, it is nonetheless usually a factor in any type of arraignment. It is also very important to understand the difference between a healthy sexual relationship where good emotions are created rather than an unhealthy behavior or routine that fosters bad emotions.
What Positive Emotions Does Sex Fulfill?
A satisfying and nurturing sex life can help to encourage all types of good and healthy emotions. Feeling desired can make one more confident and self-assured. Regular sexual activity helps to reduce stress and anxiety. It also helps to create a closer connection and bond between two partners. A good sex life offers a number of benefits that aid in overall mental health and general wellbeing.
What Negative Emotions Can Sex Fulfill?
Just as it is important to embrace the advantages that go along with having a romantic relationship in your life, it is just as critical to recognize and abandon the pursuit of negative reinforcement which may also accompany sex. There are several possibilities as to why a person might seek to engage in sexual activity for unhealthy psychological reasons.
Perhaps there are unresolved parental issues involved. It may also be a recurring cycle of dependency or co-dependency with a toxic companion. Sex can even be used as a weapon when people are trying to hurt their partner or their partner’s loved ones. Lack of emotional intimacy and closeness can also create the desire to use intercourse as a means for substituting physical gratification for emotional gratification.
Additional Negative or Harmful Sexual Behaviors
There are a number of sexual practices which are triggered or motivated by negative circumstances. This is true not only of the ones which involve strong and misplaced emotions, but also others which may not be rooted in anything other than bad habits or poor decision-making capabilities. These include frequent unprotected sex, drug use and/or needle-sharing during sex, various risk-taking behavior and several others.
Ways to address these types of issues include regular therapy with a sexual or mental health professional. By delving into the emotional and various other factors that motivate this kind of unhealthy behavior, not only sexually, but in any other manifestation as well, a person can take back control of their life and learn to manage these dangerous or attention-seeking behaviors.
To Have a Family
Let us not overlook something that at times can become the overwhelming driving force in why people have sex, and that is to have a child. There is no greater joy or responsibility that raising a newborn baby into a full-grown adult. The evolutionary and biological desire to simply have a child for the purposes of procreation is one thing, but the desire to hold an infant in your arms, feed it, nurture it, and watch it grow is entirely something else altogether.
As time passes and the opportunity becomes right, some couples may have even more sex while trying to conceive than they had at the beginning of their relationship. It can become as serious and scientific as scheduling their lovemaking into appointments that coincide with fertility calculations and other pregnancy data and analytics.
- Patrizia Dantes