Though many women, at one time or another have claimed to enjoy straight up, no fuss and no-strings-attached sex with someone where the idea of 'love' is so far outside the realm of possibility it's almost laughable, a new study suggests that it's the one key ingredient required when it comes to reaching our sexual peak.?
While we can certainly achieve a decent level of sexual satisfaction in dalliances entirely devoid of the L-bomb, perhaps, if this study's to be believed, it's only when we feel so wrapped up in love that we reach such hedonistic heights.
As per those (heterosexual women ranging in age from 20 to 68 who represented a whole variety of backgrounds) included in the study, which was carried out in Montemurro, it was concluded that love was quite necessary if you wanted to achieve maximum satisfaction in both our sexual relationships and in marriage.?
Of course, the latter makes perfect sense - who could feel contented in a loveless marriage? - but is it really necessary to be in love for a roll in the hay or a spot of 'how's your father'?
We disagree, and we'd like to know a little more about these women's backgrounds before taking their word for it or accepting that they're really representative of women everywhere. Surely, there are times when sex is in fact more enjoyable because there's no emotional connection, because it's about just that: sex?
Granted, when you reach the apex of your sexual relationship with the one that you love, you'll be just short of literal fireworks as your emotional satisfaction dovetails with your very physical climax, but isn't there something distinctly pleasurable about the idea of raw, unadulterated, Sex and the City-style sex with a partner for whom you have no romantic aspirations whatsoever?
Isn't the very idea of it being purely physical enough to allow your mind to focus on nothing more than the motion in your ocean?
This study also suggests that being comfortable and in love allows for women to be less inhibited, therefore more adventurous. Now this is probably true for the most part, but again, there'll be scenarios in which the less you're involved with someone, and the less emotional pressures are placed on the act, the more likely you'll be to throw caution to the wind and experiment.
While interesting, the worrying thing about studies like this is that they may only serve to perpetuate the sexist notion that women will always want to be loved, not to mention held, post-coitally, while men are more collectively satisfied with the 'wham, bam, thank you, ma'am' approach.?
We're going to hazard a guess that there's probably scarce an individual who has either enjoyed unemotional but really great sex themselves or has learned of their friend's earth-shattering experience with someone who came and went (I did not mean that as a pun, you filthy-minded readers!) like an Irish summer.?
Just as there will be many women who agree that a loving relationship allows for greater physical pleasure, there will be women who prefer when emotions are kept out of the picture. Equally, though it's not often discussed, there will be men who - perhaps only when they compare having sex with someone they're now blissfully in love with to someone whose name they now forget - agree that sex can be all the more enjoyable when the big L has bowled them over. And, of course, there'll never be a shortage of men who are content with getting to know women only in the biblical sense.
Over to you, what's your take?
Caroline Foran @CarolineForan