Should You “Just Do It”?

Why do you have sex with your partner?

Is it because you are in the mood? Because you want to feel closer to each other? Or, maybe, because you don’t want to say no and hurt your partner’s feelings?

New research from the University of Toronto has delved into the different reasons that couples have sex. The researchers discovered that the study participants’ replies could be broken into categories—“approach” motives and “avoidance” motives. Approach motives included things like “I want to increase intimacy” and avoidance motives included things like “I don’t want to start a fight” or “I will feel guilty if I say no.”

The reality is that when you are in a long-term relationship, your reasons for having sex will vary, and it might not always be because you are 100% in the mood. Some people have sex because it will make their partner feel good, and others do it because it helps with stress relief or because it keeps them bonded during times of loss and uncertainty.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to pleasure your partner, but it’s important to make sure that you aren’t suppressing your true needs. You are the steward of your body and your sexuality, and you deserve to treat yourself with respect and consideration. If you are really not in the mood, try some exercises to spark some inspiration (such as reading an erotic book or having your partner massage you). If that doesn’t work, allow yourself the right to say no.

At the end of the day, self-care must come before sexual pleasure, because true pleasure cannot exist without.

Learn more on Oprah.com »

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