The Difference Between Having Sex and Making Love

What's the difference between having sex and making love, and why was 50 Cent so opposed to the latter? Sex denotes a purely physical encounter, even a "don't care" attitude. Making love conjures the idea of commitment, possibly routine sex, that likely involves some strings attached. The difference in the two acts was summed by Woody Allen when he said "sex alleviates tension. Love causes it." There's obviously a much higher degree of emotions at play in making love. Emotions make relationships more complex. Complex relationships demand more from us. What, exactly, are the emotional complexities that result from making love? Here are some possibilities. 

An act of solidarity

Certainly in the case of 50 Cent and other club-goers, having sex is purely selfish, and purely physical. Making love is, according to psychologist Eric Fromm, is “in the experience of solidarity with our fellow creatures.” You make love because you want to show your partner how much you love them. It's something you want to do for them just as much as yourself. That's something you can't rush. 

Possibility of getting attached

Making love results from feeling connected on a deeper level. It's a way of showing appreciation of your partners' mind, manifested physically. Making love conjures a pretty passionate image – longing eye gazes, close bodies, maybe hand-holding (!) It's easier to get attached to someone, and certainly it sends the message that it's ok to get attached, when you're both intimate on that deeper-than-physical level.

Relationship maintenance

Making love is an act of affirming your love / bond / relationship – whatever you want to call it. It's a necessary part of keeping a relationship healthy. In that sense, it's understandable that it  could be interpret it as an "obligatory" or routine part of a relationship. A renewal of commitment is implied ever time a couple makes love. Can two lovers switch back and forth between both in a relationship? Ideally. Making love and having sex just involve a different intents. As living, breathing, active people, the motivation to have sex is different every time. 

Tags: casual sex, Dating, Love, making love, Relationship, romance, sex, what is making love, what is sex

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