What is the difference between having sex and making love?

Making love. Having sex. To many, these are just two different expressions for the same act.

One is even tempted to ask, aren’t both of these things supposed to mean the same thing? After all, the bottom line is that in both situations, bodies connect and sexual sparks are sent flying.

So what could possibly be the distinguishing factor between these two?

Apparently there is a difference between the act of making love and having sex.

And the singular distinction is in the state of mind of both people engaging in the act; the level of connection and all the situations surrounding and leading up to the act itself.

Sex is in itself primal; a basic need that is just as instinctive and naturally occurring as the hunger for food.

The need to satisfy the urge for sex and to feel the gratification that comes from humping is not on the same level as love-making.

Chimps, rabbits, bulls, Zebras… they all have sex. That’s exactly the category to which that need belongs.

It is a thing devoid of the emotional dimension that sex often comes with.

As Christina Antonyan of Thought Catalogue writes in 2016:

“It’s very easy and ordinary to just have sex, but to know how to connect… on a deeper level, and win over heart, mind, and soul takes a little bit of commitment.

“Sex without love is not lovemaking.”

This is not to say that sex as painted in the context above is not a great thing. People have had mind-blowing one-night stands that they could never replicate with people they ‘have a connection with’ and supposedly ‘make love with.’

Despite the moral campaigns against it, people have sex with random strangers all the time. Several forms of casual sex are indeed a thing that society brims with. People have been known to explore this anti-social aspect of their humanity to a mind-blowing effect.

And it’s just fine so far as these are consenting adults who recognise all the things that could go wrong and decide to still engage in the act – with or without adequate precautions.

On the flip side, love-making is what people aspire to when they get into relationships and marriages. It is that longing for something deeper, a deep-rooted intimacy that surpasses the passionate nights and morning quickies.

“The best part about lovemaking is that it becomes effortless, because you are not thinking about what Olympic – style performance you should put on.

“You become your authentic self at that moment,” adds Christina Antonyan.

Lovemaking is a summation of the affection you feel towards the person even when they are fully clothed, sharing their dreams with you and you with them.

It is the concern for them and their well-being; it is the connection on a greater pedestal that continues even when the adrenaline rush of sex has dissipated.

It is the days shared, memories created, problems solved together, losses suffered together, emotions shared, pain together borne, hurdles together crossed and triumphs together won.

And all these things combined make for a closeness so intimate, and this understanding beyond the visceral is what makes for the best sex ever. The type you would call love-making

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