Why We Have Sex
Psychologists Cindy Meston and David Buss of the University of Texas, Austin, asked nearly 2,000 people why they had sex and assembled a list of 237 reasons.
Strangely, a few had sex “to get rid of a headache.” It’s No. 173. Aren’t headaches an excuse to avoid sex?
Other reasons include exercise, revenge, a sense of duty, adventure, an ego boost, desiring a gift, drunkenness, to keep warm, so my partner won’t have an affair, wanting a child… the list goes on, ranging from, “So my husband will put out the trash” to “It’s the closest thing to God” (perhaps explaining shrieks of “Oh God!”).
While evolutionary psychology claims women are more likely to have sex to get resources, men were actually more likely to do this. Men were also more likely to have sex to gain status. But then, women often lose status when they have sex, becoming “loose” sluts, whores or skanks…
This one’s interesting: Men were more likely to have sex because “the person demanded it.” Is that because men are more inclined to have sex for any reason, anyway?
Regardless of the reason, the researchers found that men were more likely to cite it, except for “expressing love” or “realizing I was in love.” I suspect women were also more likely to have sex to avoid taking out the rubbish. Consider that 84% of women admitted they’d had sex so her guy would do household chores or to put an end to sex-nagging. Older women were especially likely to have sex from a sense of duty. It’s what a wife does, they felt.
The good news? Men and women ranked the same reason most often: being attracted to the person. Actually, most of the top 10 were the same for each gender, including expressing love, being sexually aroused and having fun.
The psychologists placed the motivations into four general categories, as laid out in the New York Times:
- Physical: “The person had beautiful eyes” or “a desirable body,” or “was a good kisser” or “too physically attractive to resist.” Or “I wanted to achieve an orgasm.”
- Goal Attainment: “I wanted to even the score with a cheating partner” or “break up a rival’s relationship” or “make money” or “be popular.” Or “because of a bet.”
- Insecurity: “I felt like it was my duty” or “I wanted to boost my self-esteem” or “It was the only way my partner would spend time with me.”
- Emotional: “I wanted to communicate at a deeper level” or “lift my partner’s spirits” or “say ‘Thank you.’ ” Or just because “the person was intelligent.”
It is remarkable to see how often the motivations for sex lie outside of the pleasure of sex, itself.