Your motivation for anything that you do in life doesn’t ever come from one sole source. Perhaps there’s a dominant reason, but because you are beautifully diverse there are often several motivations that lead us to do something, like have sex with your partner. In the previous post: 12 Common Motivations for Sex (Part 1) we got to dive into the first six of the 12 common motivations for having sex and here we will continue to explore the remaining six.
Motivation 7: Trying to Conceive
The “Let’s make a baby!” approach to sex is pretty straight forward. This motivation is the mega driver to have sex for those that want to start a family or add a new kiddo into the mix. Although other motivations may overlap with this motivation, such as trying to have a baby can be fun and playful and it also can feel like an obligation at times. Keep in mind that when baby-making is a big focus that you don’t let the baby fever overshadow the connection between you and your partner. It is vital to keep intimacy alive if you're pregnant or trying to conceive because when you bring baby into the world you want that little munchkin to have parents that are close, connected and loving toward each other rather than experiencing a big divide like the Grand Canyon.
Motivation 8: To Connect with Your Partner
This is a wonderful means for being motivated to have sex because it falls right in line with being intentional in your relationship. Accessing your desire to connect as your motivation means that you are not waiting for the big boost of spontaneous sexual energy to run the show, which is a good thing because that isn’t reliable after the newness of the relationship has worn off. Instead, this motivational boost comes from a thought or desire for wanting to connect and you are choosing to express that connection through sexual action. This means both the emotional and the sexual side of the relationship get attended to.
Because the sexual side of the relationship is important, choosing to connect through this avenue, along with other means like the Five Love Languages, adds into the weave of a hammock supporting your relationship. This strengthens it for when any hardships happen. Because they will happen. And in those moments you may also choose to connect via sex after a recent fight because it brings you back together. Just keep in mind that this isn’t your only way for resolving conflict. You also need to have a vulnerable conversation to resolve what caused the divide in the first place so that it isn’t left to fester.
Motivation 9: For Sexual Satisfaction
For many of us, sex feels good, although some women don’t feel good during sex because of blocks to desire and arousal like Pain During Sex. For a sexual satisfaction motivator, you may be seeking to have that satisfaction with your partner. I want to point out, here that many women I’ve worked with tend to believe that this is the primary reason their partner wants to have sex with them. They may think their husband just wants to have sex with them because “they are a guy” and they just “want to get off”. Here you are assuming he is seeking sex just from a body-centered approach where he is concerned with how his body feels and not the emotions of you or the relationship. This results in a total eye-roll and often a resistance to having sex with their partner because they either think their partner just wants to “get off” and that’s it, or that think they too have to have this same motivation for wanting sex and then inner guilt or feeling broken inside ensues if that desire for sexual satisfaction isn’t there.
Instead, sexual satisfaction is practically never the sole reason for having sex but rather a nice part of the experience. Yes, even for your partner. Think about it, if they just wanted to get off they have two hands, don’t they? They can most certainly take care of themselves on a pure sexual satisfaction and release standpoint through masturbation. So it’s more than just the sexual release. Sure that’s a part of it and yes it’s nice. Rather there’s another component of what’s called a person-centered approach to sex, where you are motivated because it’s happening between the two of you, there’s more meaning in the sexual experience because there is a connection with you, the person your partner loves. This motivation then has you or your partner feel connected to you and, as we talked about above in motivation 8, this strengthens the relationship.
Motivation 10: To Manage Stress
This motivation for sex is one that we want to be careful of, like with the obligation motivation for sex. This reason for sex means that you are turning to the sexual side of the relationship to help you manage the stress that is happening in your life. You may be seeking sex with your partner as a way to avoid and ignore the stress that’s going on outside the bedroom. You may also be motivated to have sex because the sexual release helps give you a boost in hormones that have you feeling more relaxed, temporarily relieving the negative stress you felt prior. Perhaps that connection with your partner is what helps you feel that at least one thing is OK in the world in the midst of work stress, family stress, etc. It may feel like an anchor to your ship amidst a storm. Although it’s OK to turn sexual connection with your partner as one piece of stress relief, if you put all your eggs in one basket and seek sex as the only source for addressing your stress, you are putting your relationship under HUGE pressure and you are also not dealing with the stress in a sustainable way.
Motivation 11: To Boost Confidence
Similar to the motivation above of managing stress, this motivation comes from a place where something doesn’t feel good and you want to make it better. More specifically you are feeling insecure and you want to feel confident. This is similar to the motivation for calming your anxiety about the relationship but instead, your anxiety is outside of the relationship (although there can be overlap). This motivation stems from an inner desire to feed the part of you that is feeling less-than in the world overall. Down at the core is this either temporary feeling of inadequacy, like perhaps you are not doing too hot at work right now and you are worried that your job is on the line.
Or maybe it’s a part of you that has always felt a sense of being inadequate and not being enough for the longest time before you can even remember. So you seek sex with your partner. You may do this to avoid that feeling of inadequacy. Or perhaps you seek sex because that part of you that feels less than has a line of reasoning that “if my partner has sex with me than that doesn’t make me a total loser”. Another line of reasoning may be “if my partner has sex with me than other’s won’t see me as inadequate”, even if other’s don’t know, it still satisfies the inner inadequate part of you and gives a temporary feeling of confidence. Just like the stress motivation, this puts a ton of pressure on the relationship and that part of you that gets a boost of confidence will never be satisfied and keep coming back for more. Again, we don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket so you want to attend to that insecure side through additional means, like inner work and reaching out to your partner with vulnerability to establish more inner security.
Motivation 12: To Have a Love That Lasts
You are in a committed relationship and because of this, you aren’t messing around. Meaning, you are not seeing others and you are all in with your partner. This isn’t just for funsies. Whether you are married or not, you are in the mindset that this is your man and you want to keep the relationship going. This means you are being intentional with intimacy to make sure that you are taking the action steps for a sustainable connection for a love that lasts. You are motivated to be sexually intimate with your partner through things like your erotic date night because you know depending on spontaneity will kill your relationship.
This motivation for sex is also what gives the boost to many of the other motivations. It’s like the meta-motivation for sex. At the core, you want a love that lasts, and to do that you know you need to be intentional. So with this core motivation fuels you to say yes to gifts of sexual connection, to say yes to being playful and have fun. It also motivates you to to take action steps to know your inner 'Miss Desire', like what motivates her to have sex. You are an active participant in your desire and understand that your dominant desire type is likely responsive desire. You also explore what helps you to transition into sexual intimacy and what blocks you from wanting to connect sexually with your partner. You, girl, want a love that lasts and sitting back on autopilot is not an option for you. You are committed to your partner and so you are committed to being intentional.
So there you have it, 12 of the common motivations for sex. The first six you can find in Part One of this series. Yes, of course, there are more, like being motivated for sex because you are bored, jealous, or maybe you are caught in a negative cycle of addiction (or Out Of Control Sexual Behavior depending on who you talk to). Despite your motivation(s) keep in mind they may change from week to week or depending on a certain phase in your relationship, like if you are trying to have a baby or work is particularly stressful. And maybe you notice a mix of several motivations at one time, like wanting to be intentional, wanting to connect with your partner, and also to give a gift into the relationship, and because you’ve been a bit stressed recently.
I also want you to make sure you embody the motivations that feel good for you and the relationship. The key is that you stop, check-in with yourself and ask what is your motivation for saying yes to sex. If it is good for you and the relationship, keep doing it. If it feels negative for you or is causing stress in the relationship, it’s time to ditch that motivation (while being curious why that motivation was there in the first place) and embrace another. I’m here to help you in this process so you don’t have to try and figure it out on your own.
I would love to hear from you!
Comment below with the motivations you see occur for you in your relationship.