The counter-culture movement of the sixties was not the first time that the notion of free love appeared. Contrary to popular culture, sex has been an important aspect of many cultures throughout human history. Indeed, only in the past hundred years or so has the idea of sex become confused by moralistic judgements. In order to come to a healthier understanding of sex and intimacy one first must consider their differences.
Sex vs. Intimacy
Arguably, sex can be defined as enjoyment of the physical self. Sex is raw, passionate, and fevered. It is an act that consumes two people in a strictly carnal act. While intimacy can be those things, and in a healthy relationship often is, that is not intimacy’s starting point. Intimacy is the emotional bonds that grow between people. Intimacy is the foundation to a strong relationship. Unfortunately, in modern culture sex is equated with intimacy and vice versa. This is a subtle form of manipulation that attempts to ignore the genetic differences between the sexes.
Differences Between the Sexes
Humans have a relatively long gestation period. Even after birth, it takes several years for a human to become capable of supporting itself. As a result of the extended duration of the rearing process, women tend to be more maternal in their outlook. They tend to form stronger emotional bonds faster and with more regularity than men. This is a biological imperative programmed into our genetic code that ensures survival of young to independence.
Men tend to be predisposed to risk taking. It would appear that early man was driven by genetics to expose their genetic material to as many different partners as possible. By impregnating the maximum number of females the male ensures that his genetic material passes on to the next generation and that the species has the strongest chance of survival.
Sex is a call to the most basic instincts present in humanities collective genetic code. Sometimes sex is just sex and that’s not only fine but healthy, as well.
Intimacy is something that has a strong sexual component but it’s about much more than sex. Intimacy is the emotional bond between people who are dedicated to building something new together.
The trick is being able to identify when sex is sex and when it’s intimacy. Honesty to oneself is key in determining which of the two it is. One has to be honest to themselves and to the situation to recognize the difference between sex and intimacy. Checkout cityofeve.com for more advice.