Sex as an expression of love
‘Sex as an expression of love’ is potentially an abusive concept. If sex is an expression of love, it can become a duty. Sex is better seen, not as an expression of love, but as a fun thing to do with someone you love.
Our erotic thoughts and preferences are not random, they’re meaningful to each of us. They relate to our early experiences. Our erotic choices are a way of working through, and treating, the difficulties in the emotional landscapes we experienced when we were younger. This explains why our fantasises don’t substantially change during adulthood: they’re doing an ongoing therapeutic job for us.
So, in a couple, two sexual agendas meet: each is meaningful to each, but they are not automatically congruent. Looked at in this way, we should stop using the ‘co-created experience’ model of couple sex, and start thinking about the pleasures and problems of exploring our differences.
This is, of course, no different to the fun of acknowledging two tastes in music, art, food – or anything else. We are only wedded to the ‘co-created experience’ model because we want to romanticise sex as an expression of love.
Sex with Someone you Love
The purpose of going to an art gallery is to look at art. Going to an art gallery with someone you love is likely to be more fun than going with a random person, because you know something about each other’s tastes in art: and afterwards, if the experience is good, you feel ‘loved-up’.
The purpose of sex is erotic pleasure. Having sex with someone you love is likely to be more fun than doing it with a random person, because you know something about each other’s erotic sensibilities: and afterwards, if the experience is good, you feel ‘loved-up’.
So sex and love are intertwined: but our sexual identity is our own.