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  • For some, it's all they can think about - sex.

  • But one question many people have is...why?

  • Why is sex such an important desire for many people?

  • Why do we actually have sex?

  • Sure, there's the obvious answer - it's necessary for procreation.

  • Everyone knows that when a mommy and daddy love each other very much - well, you know

  • the rest.

  • But for all sexually dimorphic creatures in the animal kingdom, having sex is the primary

  • way to expand the population.

  • Sure, there are some exceptions - some sea creatures reproduce in non-contact ways, with

  • the male fertilizing eggs after the female lays them.

  • And human reproductive science has found ways around medical difficulties in conceiving,

  • using techniques like in vitro fertilization to make babies possible for people without

  • doing it the old-fashioned way.

  • But for the most part, if people want to make a baby - or in the case of rabbits, a lot

  • of babies - they'd better get busy.

  • For humans, having a baby is a pretty involved thing.

  • Nine months of gestation and only one offspring at a time in the vast majority of cases.

  • This is similar for many larger mammals, but for smaller mammals and other types of animal,

  • it's common to have a lot more babies and much quicker.

  • So it's not a surprise that humans take picking a partner for having a baby more seriously

  • - it's a pretty big investment.

  • But there are plenty of other reasons that motivate people to have sex.

  • For one thing, we may be physically wired to have the desire for sex.

  • Our brain patterns are formed from countless generations of evolution, and we're born

  • with certain instincts that lead us to natural behaviors.

  • One of those behaviors is sex, and that influences a lot of the other decisions we make.

  • It's not hard to see why our brains are hard-wired for this purpose - keeping the

  • species going is the ultimate natural instinct, and while there is no shortage of population

  • now, it was a much bigger priority in ages past, when life expectancy was shorter and

  • nature was filled with many more threats.

  • And more offspring means more genetic variety in the population.

  • But humans are complicated creatures, and there are many different things that motivate

  • us.

  • For one thing - sex feels really good!

  • This is called body-centered sex, and it's the most basic reason that drives sexual attraction

  • - and sometimes, sexual addiction.

  • Even without being concerned with the emotions of a partner, the feeling of sexual stimulation

  • can be a powerful driving force.

  • This triggers an effect called an orgasm that can be a powerful rush of pleasure and feel-good

  • chemicals.

  • This is why many people enjoy self-stimulation - it's an easy way to get this pleasure

  • high without having to deal with the complex emotions of sexual relations.

  • For many people, though, those complex emotions are the main selling point.

  • Sex is one of the most powerful connections someone can have with their partner, and having

  • sex is an expression of trust and unity.

  • Whether it's after a long relationship, or after a whirlwind courtship, deciding to

  • have sex with someone is often seen as a major step and a decision to commit to them.

  • Before, during, and after the act, there's a feeling of becoming one and making a decision

  • that'll set the tone for the rest of your time together.

  • Some choose to wait until after marriage or engagement to make this step, but others find

  • their own meaningful moment to take the jump.

  • And that feeling can continue well after the first time.

  • For those in a permanent or recurring relationship, having sex with someone they trust can be

  • a stress reliever.

  • If they've had a hard day at work or are worried about something, they may crave affection

  • and close contact with their partner.

  • Initiating sex may be a way to push the unpleasantness of the day away and instead focus on something

  • familiar and calming.

  • While the actual act of sex is enjoyable as always, these situations are often almost

  • as much about the closeness with a partner.

  • Of course, sometimes the heat cools - but the love doesn't.

  • Sometimes, especially in long-term relationships, sex can be a matter of duty and familiarity.

  • It's common for older couples, parents, and very busy two-career couples to set aside

  • a regular time to have sex - often one day a week, but sometimes more infrequently.

  • This is something to look forward to, but it's also a different kind of commitment.

  • It's a way to reconnect and remind each other of how they feel about each other - even

  • if it's not as often as it used to be.

  • But what about those who haven't experienced it before?

  • One of the most powerful motivators for having sex is, for some people, not having had it

  • before.

  • We've all seen the teen comedies where kids scheme to lose their virginity - or in one

  • case, where a certain forty-year-old virgin does.

  • This is often driven by curiosity and other social factors - all they know is that sex

  • is the greatest thing around and everyone is doing it but them.

  • It's more about getting a prize and answering those questions than anything else.

  • Often time, that first time doesn't live up to the hype and can be confusing and awkward

  • - but what would you expect.

  • When's the last time you did something perfectly on the first try?

  • But there are some less savory reasons that people might have sex.

  • Tied into curiosity, one reason many people want to have sex for the first time is for

  • social status.

  • After all, if all the cool kids are talking about having sex, the nerds are going to want

  • to prove they can do it too.

  • Some might try to lie and join in, but what would be more embarrassing than getting caught

  • in a lie about this?

  • So instead, those looking to join thecool kidsjust seek out every opportunity to

  • have their first time - whether it's going to be a time to remember or a time they wish

  • they could forget.

  • Some reasons for having sex can be downright cruel.

  • Jealousy has been a thing since the early days, and people have gone to extreme lengths

  • over it ever since the first caveman clubbed his neighbor over the head to take his cave.

  • But some people use sex to try to create jealousy.

  • Say a man has a crush on a woman, but she's not interested.

  • Maybe he finds another woman to have a relationship with, and tries to flaunt it around his real

  • obsession to make her jealous.

  • The sex might be enjoyable, but he's never really plugged into it or enjoying being with

  • the woman he's with - it's all about ulterior motives.

  • And some people use sex for cruel intentions.

  • Having sex with someone is considered a sacred bond of trust by most people, and that makes

  • it all the more shocking when someone uses it for revenge.

  • We've all seen this happen on soap operas - usually ending with a dramatic slap to the

  • face.

  • Maybe someone has a fight with a teammate on the football team, so they decide to make

  • him angry by putting the moves on his sister.

  • Or maybe after a nasty breakup, a girl decides to make her ex-boyfriend sorry by sleeping

  • with his best friend.

  • Whatever the motivation, the odds are pretty strong that the sex won't lead to a healthy

  • relationship in these cases.

  • Of course, sometimes a healthy relationship isn't the goal.

  • For some people, sex is just a stepping stone to another kind of success.

  • It's a door into a relationship with someone who has something they want.

  • This is common when someone from a lower socioeconomic status wants to climb the ladder - if they

  • wind up marrying the boss's daughter, they might be in for a plum position at the company.

  • Sometimes this can be combined with genuine attraction and turn into a healthy relationship,

  • but more likely it'll wind up in a televised divorce proceeding on reality TV.

  • Of course, for some people, the sex truly is all that matters.

  • Sex addiction is when the sex drive, or libido, goes haywire and consumes a person's life.

  • This is when the how, who, and why of sex doesn't really matter - only the act does.

  • People who struggle with sex addiction may just tire out their partner, but often it

  • gets out of control and they wind up patronizing prostitutes or getting into casual sexual

  • encounters that potentially expose them to sexually transmitted diseases.

  • When sex addiction gets bad enough, it can ruin relationships and jobs.

  • The good news is, no matter why you're having sex, your body has reasons to celebrate.

  • Did you know that having sex is actually exercise?

  • Maybe this shouldn't be a surprise, given how good it feels to lie down in bed and relax

  • after a vigorous outing with your partner.

  • It feels great, but you're exhausted - and there's a reason for that!

  • Studies show that having sex raises your heart rate around the same level as a quick walk

  • or riding your bike at a regular pace.

  • This means that regular sex could play a role in keeping your body healthy - without the

  • cost of a gym membership.

  • And there are other possible health benefits for why your body craves sex.

  • Having an orgasm creates a surge of hormones in your brain, particularly endorphins and

  • oxytocin.

  • These reduce pain and make it easier to relax, and that means it's a lot easier to fall

  • asleep - especially if you're struggling with chronic pain or have a nagging headache.

  • While this works in both men and women, studies show the effect is more dramatic in men.

  • This means that having sex could be the key to a good night's sleep.

  • But women may have their own unique advantage.

  • Studies show that women who have sex several times a week are less likely to develop heart

  • disease compared to women who only have sex once a month or less.

  • Why this is the case isn't clear - some speculate that healthy women might just be

  • more likely to have sex.

  • But having sex is also heart-healthy exercise, so even if it's a correlation rather than

  • a cause, “the heart knows what it wantsmight have more than one meaning.

  • And having sex regularly might even impact the brain.

  • Studies done on people over fifty who had regular sex showed that they had an improved

  • ability to remember number patterns and better math skills.

  • While this effect was more significant in men, it was true in both genders - and indicated

  • that sex might help to keep the brain fresh.

  • Is sex helping to generate new brain cells?

  • It's known that it's as much a mental activity as it is a physical one, and this

  • seems to indicate that there could be long-term benefits for memory and mental skills.

  • There's even evidence that sex might help to keep you alive.

  • One study on married women showed a minor link between having sex more often and living

  • longer.

  • While there's no way to prove that this is a cause, there are many possible explanations.

  • One might be that having regular sex is an indication that the marriage is healthy, active,

  • and passionate, which could reduce stress and improve mental health.

  • Another possibility could be that more healthy people are simply more likely to have sex.

  • But the odds are this study made a lot of people goHey - it couldn't hurt!”.

  • One thing's for sure - our bodies seem wired to want sex in more ways than one.

  • It's been shown in studies that adults in committed relationships report less incidences

  • of depression or mental health issues if they're having regular sex.

  • This connection with their partner and the regular release of endorphins seems to have

  • a positive effect on mental health.

  • But this only works when a person has someone they trust to share that bond with - the stress

  • of searching out unfamiliar partners may undo that benefit and actually add more stress.

  • One thing seems clear - the reasons people have sex are a complex mix of physical, mental,

  • and emotional issues combined with a hard-wired instinct to seek opportunities to continue

  • the species.

  • I bet those rabbits in the meadows have less on their mind.

  • For more on the process of sex, check outWhat Happens to Your Body While You Are

  • Having Sex?”, or watchWhat Is Sexsomnia (Sleep Sex Disease)” for a look at one of

  • the most bizarre sex disorders.

For some, it's all they can think about - sex.

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Why Do We Actually Have Sex

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    Summer posted on 2021/05/13
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