By Adriana Sommer da Costa
Psychologist and Sexologist
Love and sex, two extremely different words - as well as fundamental themes for the female sexuality - that carry within the essence of a so-called trigger happy relationship.
Among many definitions of love, the main idea generally leads us to the gap between love and sex. But is love so distant from sex? What makes them so different?
There is a strong feeling of well-being, coziness and tranquility about love that comes from being in company of someone else, which has no connection with the reasons that make both lovers get together. It’s almost impossible to define love because, in order to comprehend and feel such a feeling, it is necessary to know some particular aspects of human biology.
Love is experienced by men and women in completely different manners, once boys and girls are raised to play different parts concerning love. So, each individual feels and comprehends love according to their cultural and educational experiences. Later, in the adult stage, men and women will define and feel love based on their own experiences, according to three very important aspects: biological, social and cultural.
Nowadays men and women face intimacy differently, although it is not a matter of stating that one of the genders loves in a more complete way than the other. The fact is that this distinction is many times a cause for future love disappointments. But, how about Sex? Why is it experienced in such a different way between men and women?
To understand a little bit more about such difference between the way men and women face Sex, under a female point of view it would be useful to go back to the 60’s when the “Sexual Revolution” took place. Back then, women threw themselves into a world until then ruled by men. For women the advent of the contraceptive pill guaranteed the possibility to keep working with no need to interrupt their activities because of an undesired pregnancy as well as it gave them the opportunity to experience pleasure in a much different way, not restricting the female sexuality to a merely reproduction function. They began to question their role in society more firmly, claiming for the right to be free. All these movements increased this new woman’s self-respect, which modified the male domination role, until then unquestionable. In the past days, women were taught that sex was dirty and sinful. Such prejudices were hard to get rid of, since they were taught in their childhood. Since the “Sexual Revolution” though, women, little by little, have been managing to break free from them. Nowadays women are free to express their sexual desires. They are financially self-sufficient and more open, as well as conscious of their sexual life and desires, working out their conflicts in a much more independent way. In summary, the “Sexual Revolution” was the turning point of the female sexuality.
These days women are aware that they’re free to choose whatever is more convenient to them. In other words, aware of their free will, with no need to keep a relationship with a partner for no other reason than will itself. There is no need to seek pleasure in someone else.
Affective relationships have been undergoing deep changes lately, causing disarray in the definition of love. Currently, love is about individuality, respect, joy, happiness for being together and no longer about dependence on someone else for happiness. It is all a matter of personal development according to the physical and the emotional demands of each person. There is a new approach in facing love, which includes individuality, but not egoism. People are granting the time spent with themselves, which may result in self-knowledge. once people realize they have their own integrity - in the sense of completeness, wholeness - by working on their self-esteem and improving the knowledge about their own desires and emotions, more prepared they’ll be to share an affective relationship in a healthy way, since a steady relationship is also a fecund source for a rich sexual life.
Sex and love, different by nature, but equally important in terms of female sexuality, are essential for their historical magnitude and ingrained in human beings as a way to achieve complete happiness and self-complacency.