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Kelly Gonsalves is a sex educator, relationship coach, and journalist. She received her journalism degree from Northwestern University, and her writings on sex, relationships, identity, and wellness have appeared at The Cut, Vice, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and elsewhere. There's a certain connotation when we talk about two people making love as opposed to having sex. But is there any real difference? We asked a sex coach to explain. Making love is another way of saying having sexthough there is usually an implication that making love involves a type of sex that's more intimate, romantic, or even spiritual.
When two people make love, the physical acts are seen as an expression of love between them, explains sex and dating coach Myisha Battle, M. The term likely arose in relation to the idea of traditional courtship, Battle notes, but it has since evolved from its original meaning to have the meaning it has now. Today, the term "making love" is more commonly used among more religious, spiritual, or traditional communities, or it can be a way of talking about sex without saying the word "sex," which some people find to be too crass.
Meanwhile, others have consciously moved away from using the term "making love" because of the way it can create a moral hierarchy around sexuality, implying that sex is most valuable when romantic love is involved—which is not the case for everybody.
The difference between making love and having sex is subjective, as they can look and feel exactly the same and involve exactly the same sexual acts, behaviors, and connection. The biggest difference is in the intention behind the sex: Making love is about using sex to express feelings of romantic love. Importantly, any and all of these things can be present during sex between non-romantic partners, too. Many people emotionally connect with their sexual partners and enjoy being affectionate with their sexual partners, even if they're not in love. Even casual sex can be very passionate, romantic, and filled with mutual care.
The only real way to know if someone is using sex as an expression of love is if they tell you that's how they feel about it. Making love starts way before you get to the bedroom. There needs to be an emotional connection already building between you that you can then lean into during sex. Part of this is about knowing exactly how you feel about this person—when you're confident about your feelings for someone, it's a lot easier to express those feelings through intimacy. What does romance mean to your partner—and to you?
Is it about a lot of kissing and cuddling? Is it about whispering sweet nothings to each other during the act? Is it about a sensual, romantic environment with candles and roses? Talk about it together, and then make it happen! Slow down! When it comes to making love, there's no rush and no finish lines you need to rush toward. Spend more time savoring each moment. Draw out each touch so it lasts even longer and feels even deeper. Genitals aren't everything! Getting away from exclusive focus on the "sexy bits" can particularly make sex better for womenaccording to sex therapist Cyndi Darnell, MHSci, MNT.
Eye gazing is a tantric sex practice where you and your partner sit up straight on your bed or couch and just gaze into each other's eyes for a full several minutes without talking. You see them fully while at the same time letting yourself be seen," writes tantric sex educator Leslie Grace, R. Gazing at your beloved, see the divine spark in their eyes, marveling at the pure life force that is animating them. Feel the sacredness of this simple moment together. Making love is about expressing feelings of love through the act of sex. So if you want to make it clear that you're making love—and not just having sex—the key is to make sex more intimatefocusing on emotional intimacy in addition to the physical.
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Log Out. Your cart is empty. Our online classes and training programs allow you to learn from experts from anywhere in the world. Explore Classes. May 27, What does "making love" mean? Making love vs. s someone is making love to you:. The sex is initiated after an emotionally connective experience or conversation.
There is intense eye contact throughout the sex. There is a lot of kissing before, during, and after sex. They hold you close during and after sex. They're gentle and affectionate with how they touch you. There's a lot of touch beyond just genitals—they put their hand on your cheek, they intertwine their fingers with yours, they kiss your shoulders and thighs, etc. There's no rush; instead, they take their time with each act, making sure each one is special. They take their time making you feel good. They're less concerned with receiving from you; they're more focused on giving pleasure or in mutual pleasure.
The sex is more "romantic" and "emotional" than "sexy" or "dirty. They say they love you during sex. They cuddle with you afterward rather than withdrawing or falling asleep. How to make love passionately:. Connect with your partner prior to sex.
Learn about their intimate needs. Learn what they find romantic. Take your time in bed. Touch different parts of your partner's body. Try eye gazing. The bottom line. Kelly Gonsalves is a multi-certified sex educator and relationship coach based in Brooklyn, as well as the sex and relationships editor at mindbodygreen. She has a degree in journalism More On This Topic Friendships. Stephanie Barnes. Wendie Trubow, M.
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