Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Why would sex = love in some people's minds?

Asked by wundayatta (58599points) February 9th, 2010

This is not about how the two are not the same thing, or about arguing with the premise at all. Some people believe this, or experience love this way. Why?

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40 Answers

kevbo's avatar

Some people confuse intensity or intense feeling and love.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Perhaps their sex is so intense and so passionate and they connect to their partner to such an extent (simultaneous orgasms whilst looking into each other’s eyes come to mind) that it feels as only love can – overwhelming and amazing. or what @kevbo said at the same time

SomNinja's avatar

Why do so many people think sex and love are mutually exclusive?

In my opinion they are both the same as each other – but then I’m not into one-night stands or cheating…

life_after_2012's avatar

its one of many ways to show somebody you love them. I refer to it as making love rather then having sex. If im having sex with you that pretty much menas that i don’t love you. yet.

kevbo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, points for using “whilst” in whilst describing a sex act.

poisonedantidote's avatar

maybe some people will only have sex with people they love? as in rather the sex causing love, the love causes sex. chicken and the egg and what not.

Trillian's avatar

@wundayatta are you trying to exhaust me? Because they kiss. Kissing and then the act of sex release chemicals into the brain that feel really good. We mistake that feeling for love because it’s son intense. You can see the same phenomenon in people who are intensely religious. Now I don’t want to diminish anyone’s faith here, and for you people who insist, I should at some point, even be able to find studies and references, though I cannot cite them off the top of my head. What I can tell you is that people who experience the “speaking in tongues” and other spiritual events have what is been termed “rapture” for want of a better term. It is intense and the person believes him/herself to have been “filled with the holy ghost”. In other cultures or religions, such as voodoo, the same phenomenon is expressed but of course with a different paradigm, the possession is by a spirit. Regardless, in all these cases the physical signs are the same, increased breath and heart rate, and a sort of “building up” of energy that is overwhelming at some point and this is where the “religious” experience takes place. You can witness the same phenomenon at concerts where the energy feedback is almost a palpable thing. Particularly susceptible are the teens and early teens.
It is my belief that some people are more susceptible to this sort of thing in other contexts, namely the act of sex. Having something different about their chemical makeup to begin with, they then experience this intensity with sex and from then on equate that with love. Then it becomes a continual loop of self defeating behaviour, yearning towards an ideal that remains unattainable because the feeling itself is unsustainable.
What was the experiment with the monkey and the pleasure button? It kept pressing the button to the exclusion of everything else including food and water. It died, right?

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Personally, I’d never have sex with someone I didn’t love. Never have….never will. That emotional connection has to be there. Sex is too personal & intimate to not feel that. It’s almost a spiritual thing. Two souls connect for something very special. It’s not to be taken lightly.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Sex is so much better when you’re in love.Maybe they just want that feeling in a bad way—either one—;)

poofandmook's avatar

Sex doesn’t equal love… but sex isn’t any good without it. Not sure if that’s what you mean.

No, really… physically, sex sucks for me unless I’m in love.

Blackberry's avatar

It’s a pretty high level of personal vulnerability. Young people, since they have the most sex, usually don’t know what love is anyways.

jackm's avatar

I love sex, does that count?

Cruiser's avatar

Sex is a very intimate act and can provide a powerful connection between the people involved. Add in the chemical reactions taking place in the brain and you have some pretty heady feelings that one may associate with a feeling of “love”. Love is also very subjective…I love sex but I also love chocolate and good blues guitar. I also know what it is to be in love and feel loved. There is nothing better and being in love is IMO what separates making love from sex.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Blackberry plenty of older people don’t either

Trillian's avatar

@jackm NO! Now get back to work and find a way to take over the planet!~

Trillian's avatar

@Cruiser I really miss Stevie Ray

Cruiser's avatar

@Trillian Tell me about it! I was at his last show :(

Blackberry's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Yeah that’s too bad, but this ‘love’ character is pretty elusive it seems.

Trillian's avatar

@Cruiser I think I remember you telling me that before. You couldn’t have known then. How fortunate you are.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Cruiser – Me too! I’ve not been to Alpine Valley since. To think my friends and I saw what was happening from the parking lot and didn’t connect anything until after the fact. :(

It’s chemical. Nature want’s us to mate after all, and in order to do so, it’s pretty much going to have to feel really, really good. Also, as @Blackberry said, young people don’t really know the difference between “Wow! This feels GREAT!” versus what truly being loving and loved is.

Shoot, I think many times, more than enough of us here have been stared in the eyes too, and the next day, when we really needed actual love and a shoulder to lean on, hmpf. Our “lovers” were nowhere to be found. Feelings that weren’t about having an orgasm or a good time and needs for honest connection and communication were too much for them to handle.

Unless they figure it out through experience, they never mature enough to know. And also, we’ve got a media which has a vested interest in selling us things, so they reinforce the message that getting laid = being loved, so if you want to get laid, buy AXE™! Buy Taylor Swift™! Buy Lady Gaga™! Buy Gossip Girl™! Buy this diet pill™! Get this car™!

I wouldn’t be surprised if most people in our mode of civilization bought into anyway when they were young, and then some of them grew up to get jobs in advertising.

phoebusg's avatar

Because there are too many definitions under love, check my answers on that in:

nikipedia's avatar

Oxytocin. Vasopressin. Serotonin dopamine norepinephrine.

Scarlett's avatar

Because you love fucking someone that’s why.

If the sex is really good, and there’s a good physical connection, then some people might confuse that for love…...........but it’s so much more than just sex.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

Well, I don’t have sex with my S/O In my mind it’s making love. I don’t have sex, just to have sex. I love my S/O and would only do that kind of act with someone that I truly love and care for. I don’t know how people can just do that with anybody without really batting an eye… When it happens with my S/O, we both look at each other and know that it is the real thing for us, that we love for real, and the act of making love is a sacred thing for both of us.

wundayatta's avatar

@nikipedia (Oxytocin. Vasopressin. Serotonin dopamine norepinephrine). = love?

Now I know what to advise my kids!

Tenpinmaster's avatar

@wundayatta LOL!! now thats romantic… “Hey baby, you know when i tell you that I “love” you.. all im really saying is that observing your aesthetically pleasing reproductive organs creates a cascade of Oxytocin, Vasopressin, and dopamine overload throughout my nervous system which causes my sex organ to sweet and make ready for producing babies.

Berserker's avatar

My guess is that because sex and love both serve as the driving factors for procreation, and since we are, essentially animals, we exist to survive by making use of the most prominent aspects of our nature.

Of course not everyone agrees or believes this, but I’m of the mind that sex and love are so closely related because to feel the union motivates the couple to remain together and raise children, and that’s basically why we exist right?

Of course there’s so many different situations, but who says those aren’t part of the survival instinct either. At least, in the respect of said question, many people might think sex is love because there is an instinctive need to remain and take care of the potential offspring, as unleashed by the act of sex itself.

On the other hand maybe it’s just me thinking that love itself really isn’t much deeper than sex no pun intended lulz and that it’s all tools and necessity rather than bonding and unification as generally defined.

Wouldn’t be so many divorces otherwise, and marriage wouldn’t owe it’s roots to slavery and the maintenance of royal families and crap if it meant what everyone says it does.
You know, just like animals who, for the most part, “separate” once the mating is done or when the offspring is good enough to look after itself.

nikipedia's avatar

No, love is a word we use to describe a subjective experience. That experience seems to emerge from a combination of those neurotransmitters acting on the right receptors in the right places at the right times. Among other stuff too probably.

I think people confuse sex and love because similar suites of neurotransmitters tend to be active in both circumstances, and there’s some evidence that activating them during sex influences the development of love.

Sorry to science it up. I can tell that’s not what you’re going for here.

kittymr92's avatar

Sex or making love, whatever you want to call it shouldn’t be taken lightly. In my personal opinion, sex should only be experienced by a married couple. If you want to differ from my opinion, that’s fine, you have the right. But to have sex without that foundation of a committed relationship can ruin it. With commitment and knowing that your partner will stay true to you throughout the rest of their lives is to me, a very loving act.

Cruiser's avatar

@aprilsimnel @Trillian I remember seeing this orange glow and emergency lights but only thought is was a bonfire and cops directing traffic in the parking lot, in retrospect I know differently and it just rips my gut out then finding out it was him gone for good. Killer show though…awesome!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Without love, sex is meaningless to me. Sex is a physical act that can be performed in the absence of love, admittedly. Making myself look ridiculous for a fleeting moment of pleasure does not appeal to me unless I am giving pleasure to my lover, in expression of my love. My lover is now in the family cemetary, my desire for sex is buried with her.

wundayatta's avatar

@nikipedia Not at all. That actually provides a more complete understanding of the issue than anything I knew before. Very, very interesting. I think it sheds a lot of light on what other people say, and why they are linked so closely.

Dr_C's avatar

Because to some the act of making love is an extension and physical manifestation of the love between two people.

MrsDufresne's avatar

Its phenylethyamine’s fault. Y’know that tingle in your chest (and maybe other areas) that happens when you see someone that sparks your interest. That’s the brain saying ’‘touch, feel, live’’ Love only exists between people in the essence of bodies and words.

I always considered the term “casual sex” an oxymoron, because if the casual sex felt really good, they would want to have it the same way, with the same person again and again and again, which would, ultimately, build some sort of relationship with them, exclusive or not.

But I digress.

The orgasm is the best physical feeling a human can have. Love is the best emotional feeling a person can have. And, inevitably, one can not separate the body from the mind.

LethalCupcake's avatar

I believe that sex is a form of Love…. You show a person some form of Love when you have sex with them…. I assume there are some people (prostitutes) that can shut down the “love” factor. I think that if you are actually IN love with someone that it makes the Sex amazingly better….. Personal Experience ;)

Violet's avatar

I’m not sure what you’re asking. Are you asking if when two people have sex, that they then believe they are in love?
If that is what you are asking, I think it is because their parents probably told them that people only have sex when they are in love.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Sex is action, it’s proof of interest and proof of basic attraction and that goes along way when coupled with words of love. Some of us don’t believe much in words, we like them and crave them but don’t really trust them for whatever reasons. Action can’t be denied. A sexual act can’t be denied, it’s something very hard to fake.

jonesparker's avatar

humm….... Topic related to me…...... Actually Love creates intense feeling for sex.

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