Since ancient times, the reasons people have sex have been assumed to be few and simple.
- To reproduce
- To experience pleasure
- To relieve sexual tension
However, several proposed theories suggest reasons to perform the carnal act may be larger in number and psychologically complex. A study involved collecting data from 203 men and 241 women citing the reasons for having sex. The volunteers ranged in the age group of 17 years to 52 years. It found as many as 237 reasons for a roll in the hay. All these reasons were distributed under four categories and further subcategories:
- Stress reduction
- Physical desirability
- Experience seeking
- Resources (e.g., to get a job in return)
- Social status (e.g., to brag to their friends about their conquests)
- Revenge (e.g., to take revenge from a cheating partner)
- Utilitarian (e.g., to improve sexual skills)
- Self-esteem boost
- Mate guarding (Use of tactics to prevent one’s mate from seeking other mates)
Next, the same list of 237 reasons was given to 1,549 students of psychology, and they were asked to rate how frequently they had sex for those reasons. From this, a list was derived to find out the leading reasons.
Given below are usually the top 30 reasons why people have sex:
- Being attracted to the person
- To experience physical pleasure
- To feel good
- To show affection to the person
- To express love for the person
- To release the sexual arousal
- To have fun
- The realization of love
- To achieve an orgasm
- The heat of the moment
- To please the partner
- Turned on by the person’s physical appearance
- The desire for emotional closeness (i.e., intimacy)
- Pure pleasure
- Excitement and adventure
- The curiosity of the act
- To feel connected to the person
- Because of the romantic setting
- The attractive face of the person
- To keep the partner satisfied
- Because the person was a good kisser
- A mere opportunity
- To intensify one’s relationship
- To try out new sexual techniques or positions
- To feel loved
- Inability to resist the person’s sexiness
- To celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasions
- To explore one’s sexual abilities
- To improve one’s sexual skills
Some infrequent reasons for having sex include:
- To give someone else a sexually transmitted disease (e.g., herpes, AIDS)
- To get drugs in return
- To earn money in return
- To get a raise or promotion
- To punish oneself
- As an initiation rite to join a club or organization
- To break up one’s relationship
- To get a job
- Afraid to say ‘‘no’’ due to the possibility of physical harm
- To hurt/humiliate the person
- To feel closer to God
- To get the feeling of being used or degraded
- Because of a bet
- To gain access to that person’s friend
- To break up a rival’s relationship by having sex with his/her partner
- To get back at one’s unfaithful partner
- Fear of damage to one’s reputation after saying ‘‘no’’
- Feeling sorry for the person
- To become popular
It has been observed that the general reason men have sex is often centered more on physical pleasures, while in women, the sex is centered more on emotions. However, recent times are seeing more women than earlier who have sex for physical pleasures and more men who are likely to do it for emotional reasons.
The reason for having sex differs from individual to individual and even varies between the two genders. While some reasons can be considered as ‘okay,’ others are dangerous. For example, reasons like ‘to break another’s relationship’ is serious. Other reasons like ‘to give someone else an STD, such as herpes or AIDS’ can destroy existing relationships, spread the disease further, and thus, impact many lives.
What are the health benefits of having sex?
Sex offers some health benefits. The following lists 10 benefits of having sex:
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10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/sex-and-health#3
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