Are You Having Sex For The Right Reasons?

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slideIllustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.


Sometimes, you're not in the mood. And, sometimes you have sex anyway. A new study from the University of Toronto divides the desire for sex into two broad categories: approach and avoidance. In the approach category, which is defined as engaging in sex to "pursue a positive outcome," there is, for example, a desire to increase intimacy. While, avoidance is about evading negative outcomes and is often connected with guilt. You know the feeling: It's been a long day and you're looking forward to sleep, while your partner, as Missy Elliot would say, wants to get their "freak on."

According to the study, researchers asked 108 heterosexual couples to rate their reasons for — and satisfaction with — sex from one to seven (one being the most "avoidance" reasons and seven being the most "approach" reasons). The conclusion? When both partners are intimate because of "approach" reasons, they're more likely to feel fulfilled (both sexually and emotionally) than if they engage due to "avoidance" reasons. And, it makes sense, right?

Even more interesting, though, when your partner knows you want to have sex, a roll in the sheets is more pleasurable for both of you. Basically: If you're more fulfilled, your partner will be more fulfilled. So, before you hit the sack, take the time to really think about your motives — it just might make for a better romp. (WSJ)