10 August, 2007

Let's Talk About...


Last week this report was released. TAG noted it here and the top 20 reasons for men and women.

Intriguing. Someone actually stopped and dedicated money to study why people have sex.

We all know that Americans have sex but it is something we don't talk about much. Sex, in America, is kind of a subculture. It is everywhere. It underlies everything - and we discuss it with titters, giggles, and in hushed tones.

Sex, to me, was never a big deal. Honestly, I remember the controversy that surrounded it in high school. Friends who took it so seriously that they were hurt when this or that friend did it or wanted to go on the pill.

In college I had friends who did not have sex - kind of like a former President. I had other friends who were experimenting and trying it for the first time. College was about sex.

Living on the European continent was an experience within itself. I don't know whether it is their location, the age of the cultures, or what. How can these, openly sexual people, have colonized the United States?

In Europe, where I was, sex was everywhere. Advertisements, clothing, conversation... it was not a part of a subculture, it was simply a part of the culture itself.

The people were honestly accepting and okay with sex!

With all this in mind, I approached the report with interest. Why do people have sex?

As one might imagine, men and women have sex for different reasons. All of the reasons listed were from a pre-determined list.

And why do I have sex? I mean, this is the question I had to ask myself upon reading the report. It is a question I had never considered.

* Desire to express closeness or emotion
* Chemistry - like "that guy" who I finally messed around with only to say later that I would not do it again. Twice I said I would not do it again and twice again, I did it. I no longer say I won't do it again because, I have a strange feeling that should opportunity present itself... I will do it again.
* Desire to be close - as close as physically possible
* Give or express love
* Feeling playful, creative, experimental
* Curiosity - both curious as to just how good this guy really is and curious to see if the connection is truly there
* And, actually, because there is a free moment in both of our schedules...I might not be in the mood but, the time is here and I don't want to pass it up. (and I don't like this reason, but it is true)
* Lastly, I have done it because it just happens

I have not done it because it is expected. A guy once told me years ago - it was Friday and he was going to have sex. He didn't necessarily want it, might not have been overly in the mood, but hey, he and his girl had sex every Friday. It was just the way it worked - routine.

Determining the motive behind the act is not as easy as it might seem. How many of us actually can separate motive from emotion, physical reaction, side effects/benefits? Is having sex a dependent or an independent variable?

Although this report is interesting, perhaps the better question to study would have been, why don't you have sex (if in a committed love or marriage type relationship)? I think that the answer to such a question would have been quite enlightening.


JustRun said...

That question in your last paragraph, I wonder that all the time. I just don't understand some relationships.

Croaker said...

Relationships are a lot more complicated, and so is the reasons for having sex.

All one can hope for is that the person you are with is having sex with you for the right reasons if not the same reasons.

Scotty said...

I had never thought of exactly *why* either. I dont think I could do the routine thing on Fridays.

Salt N Pepa? Did you just go there?!

Mike said...

I remember talking to this one woman once. She and her husband had schedule Friday night sex. It was right between two TV shows. It didn't matter if you were into it or not it was happening. I remember sitting there with my mouth open. Gotta love romance.

The Exception said...

Just Run - That question intrigues me. There are so many people that just stop - they have "reasons" but I never have understood that aspect of some relationships.

Croaker - Agree. I read once that sex is an important part of a relationship, not having it exactly but each partner placing it as the same level of priority (high, medium, low, not worth my time... ) if the priorities are out of whack...

Scotty - Yes, I did just go there. My brain is just a tad... steamed of late. ;)

I can't do the every Friday or Saturday or any other day because it is "scheduled" kind of thing either.

Mike - Modern romance!! I guess even though you and I just shake our heads, at least they are engaging, which is more than I can say for other couples. ;)

Bre said...

I really just love this post and I absolutely agree that the last question is fascinating. Once upon a time I advised this student, C. She and her boyfriend were both saving themselves for their wedding night and I remember at the time thinking "But what if it's bad! Think of all the things that will go wrong! She'll be hurt! He'll be fast! How will that affect their marriage?!"

But, you know, I never stopped to ask why she was waiting and how that impacted their relationship. Now I wish I would have!

TAG said...

I will probably revisit the subject in another post. Given my background I lean toward the "analyze the data" approach to thinking about this report. But I think you may have hit on a really key point.

What are the reasons people DON'T have sex?

Now there is a really good question. One that, sadly, I know more about from personal experience.

Thank you for the mention and the additional question to ponder.


The Exception said...

Bre - You have such an interesting job.

Human relationships have all these nuances and angles. It is hard to consider each or ask the right questions as we just never know what those questions might be.

The Exception said...

TAG - I was a bit disappointed in the report due to the sample questioned though it does offer a starting point for further research.

Sometimes the question that is not asked is more telling and it is usually more intriguing. Perhaps I should consider why it is I don't have it when I am in a position to engage! Hum, interesting! ;)

Mike said...

Ah then the question asks is bad sex better than no sex? I would say no sex is better. I want a connection with the other person. If there is no connection then I can masturbate and leave the other person completely out of it. What's your view?

The Exception said...

Mike - A friend of mine once suggested that if he couldn't enjoy the real thing then he was okay with going without. I could relate to that. I like the real thing.

There is not a connection with the person in either of the options that you presented. I, like you, like the connection with the other person. If that connection isn't there, and there isn't an attraction/chemistry... then it is not the greatest experience.

At least when you do it on your own you don't have to worry about the feelings of another or the awkwardness that occurs afterward! ;)

cathouse teri said...

I'm sure my reasons to have sex have changed over the years. I have experienced having sex because it was expected of me. I've done it for fun or just because I could or because I just couldn't NOT.

But right now in my life, everything is simplified. I have sex because I like it! Same reason I go out to breakfast on Sundays.

I do what I like. :)

Dan said...

I've been married for 14 years. What's sex?

cathouse teri said...

Damn, Dan! I hope that's a joke! If not, there's plenty of room for a ballroom dance in my bathroom!

Anonymous said...

I agree that sex is way better with connection. I used to wonder why I never enjoyed it or felt close to my husband until later after we divorced and I experienced it with someone whom I really, really like. It is worlds apart. Now I just like it because it helps people who aren't good with words to express their feelings

Princess Banter said...

Unfortunately, just like money, sex does make the world go round -- it's freakin' everywhere and it's what everyone talks about. Like you, I honestly don't know what the big deal is. Okay, it's slapping skin and a helluva lot of intimacy... but does sex have to be blown up to be something so huge? Why isn't kissing a big deal? Why isn't taking a bath a big deal? I mean, they make most of us feel good... so again, what makes sex so much more important? Is it cuz it's "naughty?" Tsk... human nature at work :P

brandy said...

I agree with the commenters who discussed why you DON'T have sex being a bigger issue, or a more interesting one to study. The idea of it becoming a routine based on the day, just seems so... boring. Granted, I realize not every day can be a spur of the moment, on top of the kitchen table kind of day, but a girl can dream can't she?!

The Exception said...

Teri - I expected nothing less than you doing things you like to do! ;) I think our reasons do change with maturity and experience - and perhaps partner.

Dan - I like Teri, hope that you are joking. That said, I know people who stop having sex after a few years of marriage. Yes, I know, marriage is not just about sex - but isn't it an aspect of a loving relationship as a whole?

Doozie - Isn't it amazing how different and great sex can be when that connection is there! It makes a world of difference.

Princess - You pose more interesting questions. Perhaps if sex were just another aspect of life that was widely accepted and "normal" then people wouldn't have false expectations, be afraid of it, find it disgusting or dirty, or many of the other hang ups that some experience.

Brandy - Keep dreaming and hoping... I am! (And yes, I do think such relationships exist)

Ms. Annie D said...

You write an interesting blog! Glad to know you're here.

I was looking at the sex study over the weekend, and was struck by the overlap in the top seven reasons for having sex given by both men and women.

As far as a good reason NOT to have sex?

When our cats won't stop watching.


The Exception said...

Annie D - You write an interesting blog as well. Thanks.

So true about the cats. I have cats. They like to, once in a while, watch. I find it funny while men... well, men aren't overly amused. They are so easily distracted!

Dan said...

Yes, I'm joking! :) I know what sex is ... I see it on the web all the time.

Again, just joking! :)

Philip. said...

We also have sex in the United Kingdom!