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partyrock's avatar

Is procreation the need that drives all of our sexual pleasure?

Asked by partyrock (3870points) March 4th, 2012

Is procreation the need that drives all of our sexual pleasure?

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26 Answers

Kardamom's avatar

I don’t think so. I have never wanted to have children. I don’t have the “mommy instinct” although do have the dog and cat/old people nurturing instinct. I still get turned on, but it has nothing to do with wanting to have kids, it has everything to do with wanting to be with a man that I love.

dappled_leaves's avatar

It sure doesn’t drive mine.

amujinx's avatar

For me, talking procreation is a boner killer.

Aethelflaed's avatar


If they were, why do we have so much oral sex and anal sex? What about fetishes – foot jobs and spankings are definitely not getting anyone pregnant. What about sex that isn’t between two members of opposite sexes? What about all the people taking precautions to not have babies, from condoms to oral birth control to IUDs?

janbb's avatar

Not to mention self-pleasuring

funkdaddy's avatar

Is this a follow up to another question I’m missing?

I guess maybe I had a different reading of the question, because I would say yes, especially when you include the tags on the question.

Did we mean for individuals or as a species? If we’re talking about individuals, I’m with you guys.

If we’re talking larger than that, I’d say from an evolutionary perspective for most animals that reproduce sexually there’s something in it for them beyond the chance of offspring. For most of them it feels good and that’s a huge evolutionary advantage.

If sex feels good, you do more of it, you have more babies, they have a higher tendency to find sex pleasurable, they do more of it, they have more babies… and so on.

Contrast that with if sex felt “meh”... like sticking your finger in someone else’s ear and wiggling it around… it might happen occasionally but there’d probably be a lot less kids. There almost certainly wouldn’t be arguments over preference, morality, laws regarding who can stick who’s finger in who’s ear, and an entire economy built up around it.

So I’d say procreation ultimately led to sexual pleasure and then the self-pleasuring, foot jobs, birth control and all those other goodies came in later as a result of the pleasure aspect when things got complicated. (~ either that or when the internet was invented ~)

not saying I’m “right”... honestly curious what I’m missing

Paradox25's avatar

I think it is the other way around: “It is the need of sexual pleasure that drives us to procreate (or not)”.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think it’s natural selection. Who’s going to be more likely to reproduce? The horny all the time people or the don’t you even think of touching me with that thing crowd?

Blackberry's avatar

Not for everyone. There’s nothing wrong with just having fun. If that was the case then people wouldn’t get snipped.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m with @funkdaddy . I think all living things as a species have a need to reproduce. If they didn’t, they would not be around more than one generation. This need can vary tremendously on an individual basis. Birds do it, bees do it, even amoebas and trees do it.

Now considering the act on a species by species basis, there must be some inducement to the participants or else they wouldn’t bother. In my case it feels good so I do it – as often as prudently possible.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I think we are hard-wired to perpetuate the race. I don’t think that is what is on the top of our priority list when we have sex, though.

rojo's avatar

I don’t believe so, Pleasure and Procreation, while not mutually exclusive by any means, are, I think, separate concerns.

JLeslie's avatar

Human beings desire sex even when the female of our species is not ovulating. We desire sex for many many reasons. Sex releases hormones that drive us to bond emotionally. It also feels good in general. Is satisfying.

Some species have sex seemingly solely for procreation. Some insects fight to the death to mate, or die after mating. We are so different. Intercourse is part of our relationship with our SO, not just about procreation. I think nature set it up that way.

Coloma's avatar

Originally yes, hormones are designed to set in motion the “meet, mate, procreate” drive. However, recreational sexuality has had a long and distinguished following for equally as long. lol

dappled_leaves's avatar

@funkdaddy I agree that sexual pleasure is probably an adaptation, but the question as it is phrased asks whether sexual pleasure is “driven” by a “need” to procreate. To me, that implies a kind of will or conscious desire that isn’t occuring during evolution.

mazingerz88's avatar

Maybe originally sex was just about procreation, until sexy lingerie got invented. And oral sex. : )

wundayatta's avatar

Wwe needed some reason to engage in sex, so we evolved a pleasure response. We like to have sex because it feels really good. It is an incentive to have sex and we don’t actually have to understand that sex also creates babies. All we need to do is have a good reason to have sex.

The more sex we have, the more babies. Evolution moves on. People who like sex more will have more babies and their genes will get passed on.

Now we’ve thrown evolution a monkey wrench. We can prevent babies and still have fun having sex. Evolution, I’m sure, will find a way to keep us reproducing. One way is through having certain religious beliefs that forbid contraception. Over time, people with those beliefs will reproduce more, and their genes will be propagated, while others who use contraception will have fewer offspring.

To the extent that beliefs are associated with genes, we will see folks with those beliefs start to become an ever greater majority in the population. However, the association between genes and beliefs is tenuous, it seems to me, so things are going to be more complex, and of course, I can’t think of every possible course of action, so I can’t predict what will be the evolutionarily most successful adaptation the the delinking of pleasure and procreation.

mattbrowne's avatar

A woman can have sex 365 days a year, and on most days it doesn’t make sense from the perspective of procreation. Now compare this to the reality in the animal kingdom. Ever seen a cat that is horny 365 days a year? Ever seen two cats kissing each other every day? Human sex is not just about procreation. It’s about human bonding. So the answer is: no.

wundayatta's avatar

Is bonding not about procreation, too? In most cases, pair bonds have children and the children of successful pairs are more successful. Not always, of course, and many pairs don’t have children, but often enough.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@wundayatta Yet, kids drive marriages apart in other cases. Of course, there are also same-sex acts, which do not have to be about procreation. Or bonding.

wundayatta's avatar

And same sex acts that have to do with bonding and child rearing. Go figure.

LuckyGuy's avatar

<—- Doesn’t have a prostate but still enjoys romping between the sheets.

Berserker's avatar

I personally believe that ultimately, everything we do is is related to the survival instinct, which obviously plays a great part in maintaining our race. However, it sure doesn’t feel that way.

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