Why Do You REALLY Have Sex?

One of the About Me questions that OK Cupid asks is:

True or False: Orgasms are the most important part of sex.

My answer would be False.

Someone once asked me why I don’t seem to apply any rules or guidelines as to when I have sex with someone when I had admitted that I, like most women, don’t orgasm via intercourse. They didn’t understand the point of having sex if that was the case. I explained that people have sex for different reasons. For the most part, I think, men have sex to release the poison, as they say. But I honestly believe women have sex for a variety of reasons, and only some of them actually have to do with gratification or pleasure.

I was listening to a woman talk recently and she was going on about how some of her male friends all like to describe her as a gay man with a vagina. Because, like, she’s soooooooooo like a guy when it comes to sex and she’s omigod super sexual blah blah. Frankly, admissions like that just make me sigh and roll my eyes. I tend to think in the majority of those situations, where the woman believes she is all super hyper sexual “like a guy”, she’s basing that assumption not on how men actually are, but how she thinks they are. There are obviously men who will sleep with anything with a pulse and don’t care if they actually like the person or not and don’t get attached, etc. But only a few of those men are actually proud of that. And those men would be either be emotionally damaged assholes or average douchebags. So I’m not getting why having a similar sex drive to a man like that is something to brag about. Most men, especially those who bed women they wouldn’t be seen with in the light of day (and we’ve all done that), keep that information to them selves. For whatever reason, some women absolutely lose all ability to filter their thoughts and determine what should be said aloud and what should be kept to themselves.  When women say things like how they’re so like a guy and can have sex indiscriminately, they’re actually telling people more about themselves than they realize. With that one statement alone, they’re letting people know that their opinions and ideas of men are based upon the fact that they have abysmal taste in guys and have been pumped and dumped more times than they care to remember.

Back to the original topic…why we have sex. Like I said, I think men do it mostly to get off. But since it’s far more difficult for a woman to orgasm through intercourse alone, I have to believe that there’s something else in it for them. For men, an orgasm is pretty much guaranteed. That’s not the case for women. Which leads me to wonder what, other than an orgasm, is a woman’s pay off for having sex. My belief is that the main benefit for many (but certainly not all) women to having sex is attention and affection. The sex is a means to an end. Which would make sense since I think the women who go on about how they are so “like men” when it comes to sex are actually seeking attention when that say such things.  They think it makes them sound more attractive somehow. And it does, only that attraction doesn’t last after the guy climaxes. Then he’s likely to look at the woman as rather lonely and sad, because he knows why she said what she said: to get his attention.

Now, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have sex when what you really want is attention or affection. Sometimes we eat when we’re depressed, but convince ourselves that we’re doing it out of hunger. The problem, in my eyes, is when people don’t know why they’re having sex.  We’ve thrown around the term “self-actualized” here a few times. Being self-actualized means having a cognitive understanding of what motivates us to do and say the things we do. There is nothing more dangerous, to me anyway, than someone who doesn’t understand what truly motivates them. They’re a liability to themselves and to other people. It’s difficult if not impossible to reason with them.

Not knowing why you’re having sex is what most often leads to inordinate expectations, hurt feelings and defensiveness.  In the moment, we ladies like to believe that we’re there with that man because we want to get off. But, and let’s be honest here, how often does that actually occur?

I guess what I don’t understand is why it’s apparently so shameful for some women to admit that we have sex for any other reason other than an orgasm. Sometimes we want to be touched, or we don’t want to feel alone, or we want to be dominated. And sometimes we just want to  feel connected to another human being. Something about the experience of being penetrated, like the initial rush of pain that we might feel upon that first tentative thrust, awakens something inside of us.

Or is it really just all about the orgasm?

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11 Responses to “Why Do You REALLY Have Sex?”

  1. Trouble Says:

    I think it’s actually harder to figure this stuff out when you aren’t in a relationship. When you are in a relationship, sex is a way of strengthening and maintaining the connection between the two of you. I mean, I don’t have an orgasm every time I have sex with my partner. Sometimes, sex is just me giving him a blowjob before he leaves town for reserve weekend…it’s a “forget me not” or a “make sure you think of me while we’re apart.” Often, I think it’s as much about giving him pleasure as it is about getting pleasure myself. And, I think sometimes, my husband gets as much gratification out of pleasing me as he does out of having an orgasm. I mean, I love an orgasm, but even sex without an orgasm can be pretty great, particularly when you’re naked with a person you love.

    But, when i wasn’t in a relationship, I think it was a lot more challenging for me to figure out my reasons for having sex. I always said I was a woman who fucked like a man, but truthfully, I think I sometimes had sex because I felt lonely and just wanted to feel a connection with another human being. A couple of times, I hooked up post break-up of a serious relationship, and the hook-up actually made me feel lonelier and kind of hopeless. I literally could not wait for the guy to leave so I could just be alone.

    In other cases, I had sex because I felt pressure to. One guy told me, after I rejected his advances, that if I didn’t have sex by the third date, most guys would “next” me. He told me that I needed to figure out who I was and what I wanted, but that most guys weren’t going to wait for me to figure this stuff out.

    That experience really pissed me off, and ultimately I wound up thinking a lot about my reasons for having/not having sex. It probably was something I’d needed to think about since my college years, when I had a lot of sex, sometimes sex I didn’t really want to have, and my reasons for that. I do think there is a lot of pressure on both women and men to perform sexually, on a “standard” timeline. If a guy doesn’t have sex within a set amount of dates, women will start speculating about his heterosexuality (see thread below). And, in a dating environment where there is a perception of a limited number of highly in-demand men, I think women (jncluding me, at times) have felt like they have to surrender the booty in order to compete. I also think I had sex a lot out of insecurity, because I felt like sex was all I had to offer to get a guy to connect with me emotionally. I think I’ve had a lot of sex in my life for really piss poor reasons, and not really from a place of strength and confidence. I don’t regret much of what I’ve done, but I do regret that.

    • Marshmallow Says:

      I agree with everything you wrote Trouble! I’m a person who can’t take sex lightly – I’m letting another person into my body for crying out loud! – but like you said, men don’t have to wait around for a woman to get ready so they’ll just “next” you if they don’t. So I wind up getting too attached to someone who is still on the fence about me and it all goes downhill from there.
      The conventional wisdom is if he is the right guy (or girl as the case may be), he’ll wait for me to be ready. But even that is seen as a form of manipulation. I’m not looking for a wedding ring. I just want to get to the point where I feel like I know the person well enough and we have a good connection – I trust him not to give me a disease and not to mess around. This doesn’t happen after three dates, Is it too much to ask?

      • Eliza Says:

        Unfortunately, Marshmallow, for some men it’s a lifetime…but then again, if the man doesn’t have intentions of sticking around, and he really is not into you, for more than your body, he will eventually leave….and next you, even after waiting a while, until you both get intimate. It’s the sad truth. Not sure what makes a man stick around after sex? It’s very puzzling to me at times. I don’t feel a woman is being manipulative, by not giving into sex, until she feels comfortable to get that close. It’s a very vulnerable position, and we all have that right to reserve ourselves for someone we can fully trust enough to do that. I agree with Trouble fully–that sex between a couple in a committed relationship can strengthen that bond. I also feel that men and women experience sex so differently in terms of emotionally. Most women want to feel that connection with another human being and if what some women say is true, that all they are looking for is some intense orgasm, and they want to have sex like a man, (since they perceive men to be disconnected emotionally), why not simply invest in a great vibrator, and use that for your physical needs? I don’t think it’s shameful to admit that we, as women, crave that closeness with another human being, and may have sex for other reasons than an orgasm. This may be used as a question for another time, but I once dated a man that would be very upset if I didn’t climax. Why? if I was fully satisfied, and verbalized that to him? He claimed he couldn’t reach orgasm himself at times, and just wanted to satisfy me, and if I didn’t reach that point, he would be disappointed. Odd man. Meanwhile, I was very content. Didn’t need to have orgasm every time. And as was pointed out above, not every woman can reach orgasm through intercourse alone.

        • Howard Says:

          It’s a fine line. It’s not about a woman giving in. It’s ultimalely a balance about value being established, him getting some reciprocated endorsement and you feeling like actually doing it. I may be wrong, but I believe there are many times women feel like doing it but hold back, because the guy may not have demonstrated he values her enough in a way she desires (for some that could be emotionally, or materially, or commitment wise).

          Men also have their thing about value too. They also want to feel valued. In our crazy world, as men, we give commitment when we have a very high level of value for a woman, and feel a woman has a very high level of value for us. I feel women do somewhat of the same when it comes to deciding sex. Unfortunately, too many women decide sex based on only one side of that value equation. And which side, seems to vary.

          Exploring further about this thing men have about being valued, how long a woman takes to decide sex also counts. And it’s a sliding scale. Ladies, you create your own standard. Yes, you may think a guy never finds out, but he eventually does. If you make a guy wait a long time, while you actually felt like doing it, and he finds out that is not your typical pattern, he will harbor resentment.

          And I know that doesn’t make sense, because when women see long term with a guy, they tend to want to make sex really special by having everything just right when the sex happens. However, they may do it quickly if they don’t see long term with a guy but just handling their sexual needs. In the end it’s really no different for a woman finding out a guy sends flowers and does expensive dates with women he only wants to bed, but him not doing the same with her because he wants to really prove to himself she likes him for who he is.

    • Howard Says:

      And he is not a villain for his three date rule. If a woman is disconnected from that, she just moves on, and gives him and herself the opportunity to use time better. To play a man along, knowing his stupid rules, actually puts a woman in as much an unenviable position.

      The damage to men and women happened a long time ago. Much of it had to do with biology and how societies dealt with the realities of biology. With modern pregnancy prevention we have circumvented some of the realities of biology. With modern health care, we no longer need to hedge our bets with offspring surviving, or offspring to take care of us when we get old.

      This endless cycle of Villains vs Victims needs be expunged from the dynamics of modern dating and relationships. If a woman wants to be pumped and dumped, it’s her right to do so without being pop-pysychology analyzed on dating forums.

      Some men with their stupid societal standards may indeed not want people to know who they slept with. Any imagining that all men fit that mold is continued thinking that men operate like women. The prime reason that men may keep this hidden is to not harm their future chances with other women. They ain’t ashamed or sorry.

      Getting to the reasons a woman may want sex, I don’t care what they are, she shouldn’t be ashamed. Get over the programming and societal standards. They are just a product of male domination for thousands of years, and brainwash where women will be trying to shame other women for their actions.

  2. LT Says:

    I think I have sex for many reasons…to feel a connection; to feel desired; to get off and to please someone else. I don’t think I have sex just for the orgasm but it’s very important and if a guy knows how to please me then I’m definitely going to feel closer to him. I know I’m not going to get off everytime but if I’m in a relationship with someone who doesn’t try to please me then obviously that’s not going to work. I know when I was in my 20’s I had no idea what to expect from my first boyfriend so although I felt connected to him when having sex, I didn’t know what great orgasms I was missing until I met the next boyfriend!

  3. Tati Says:

    Sometimes, I think women like to brag about having sex because they think this is what men want. I’m not sure if you’re watching the web series “Burning Love” on Yahoo. It’s a spoof on the bachelor and it’s dead on. One of the girls comes in with her lower half naked, and obviously it’s satirical, but there are women out there who blog about this stuff, and you have to wonder why they are doing it. Case in point: onlinedatingjournal.wordpress.com (talk about entering a room half naked). However, if you point this out, you’re a hater. Though I’d argue that I wouldn’t switch places with anyone in the world, so that’s a not a possibility.

  4. WildJoeCool Says:

    I don’t see one set answer to this question.
    The truth can be different every time you could ask it.
    Why do you eat? Just to consume calories? Because you’re hungry? Because it’s your favorite? Because it’s lunch time? Because it’s Thanksgiving and your at your Mom’s house? Because it’s midnight and you have a terrible but well established late night bowl of Captain Crunch snacking habit? Because you’re bored? Because it’s chocolate? Because? because? because….

    I’ve had sex because I was crazy about the woman and I’ve had sex when I felt nothing for her.

    I’m even a guy who’s had sex WITHOUT ORGASM on more than one occasion. Sometimes it is about my orgasm, sometimes it’s about hers. Sometimes it is about the woman. Sometimes it is about the moment, the mix of circumstances and timing.

    I’ve gone as long as 10 years without sex, in a dead marriage. And I’ve managed as much as three times a day for several weeks.

    Why do we have sex? ALL THE ABOVE… and NONE of the above. I should quote something from a ZEN master here but… this will do:

    Taoist Proverb
    We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

  5. Jeanne-Marie Says:

    It is all about connecting with someone for me. We all want to feel loved and cherished and sex is a way to bond and get closer to that person. Also, if you care about the other person at all you want them to feel good and for men it is very much about the sex act and their orgasm. As a woman I love it when a man finds me sexually attractive. The kissing, hugging, foreplay and intimacy are what are most important to me but I do love the sex act because of the way it makes me feel and not for the orgasm if that even happens.. That said sex for me must be with someone for whom I care for at least a little and hopefully more than that. One night stands and sex for its own sake do not work well for me.

  6. Bree Says:

    I know men who have faked orgasms just like women…..not as much and not as many times but they have. I agree that women seek much more than a physical orgasm from sex.
    I guess I’m different because I get horny and can absolutely have an orgasm from intercourse. I think the more a woman knows her body and is comfortable with her sexuality and can freely explore it the better sex she will have.
    If I want affection and attention I can get hugs and kisses for affection. I can hug and kiss and love on babies and friends and family for affection. Granted some folks don’t come from an affectionate family but I do. Affection is no stranger to me. I can get attention having conversations with people and just having a man flirt with me and stare or look or whatever. But I have sex when I’m attracted to the man and he turns me on and got skillz in the bedroom and I’m horny.

  7. EnTAOwed Says:

    Most woman do not orgasm from intercourse ALONE, & that does not seem to spring from our well established great degree of pathology & repression related to sex. For years in relationships & fantasy I have derived more pleasure from sex by not only relishing the hard core stuff, but the adoring, kissing, cuddling, mutual desire & build up-a man who takes combines the more ‘feminine’ aspect of relishing the experience more than the release will go much longer & have more erotic pleasure, let alone more bonding, playful whimsy, & Tantric-like skills.

    If you can adore the feminine characteristics of her movements, voice, hands, feel, back, neck,collarbone etc…you will generally give ‘em more of the girly attention & relish all else in a greater way. And feel more, without having to take courses in worshiping the Feminine divine.

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