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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Making Love or Having Sex

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Author Topic: Making Love or Having Sex
MusePen
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I admit it. Saying 'making love' -- to me is incredibly corny, and just downright awkward because I feel the connotation cheesy and makes me feel vulnerable as oppose to the idea of having sex. Granted I'm still a virgin, but I want to know you guys feel is difference between the terms 'making love' and 'having sex'.

So I guess, I want to know what others (you guys) believe the difference is.

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Heather
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When y'all have this discussion, it might be helpful to remember that there are WAY more than just these two two words or phrases people use for describing sex or the kind of sex that they have, and that what one word or phrase means to one person may mean something different to someone else!

Additionally, a couple different words of phrases may be very distinct to one person, while another may use them interchangeably, figuring they mean or describe the same thing.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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MusePen
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Oh yes I understand that. I guess that's why I was asking what it means to others and if there is a difference for them. I'm just curious to know the opinions of everyone else.

Lol, Thank you for your support.

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Saffron Raymie
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I've recently started to say 'doing sex'; it sounds like me having a much more active part in it. As someone on here one said 'sex isn't something you have - like dinner lol', pretty much summed it up for me.

Also like 'playing around' and 'fornicating'. Depsite being in a monogamous relationship at present, I see 'making love' as a little to monogamous, even though it doesn't have to be used that way.

I do like '*******' but I'm not sure of the origin of it, things I've heard seem a bit dodgy. However, I've also heard that it used to be the 'proper' term.

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Yakri
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In my case; 'having sex' is is more like masturbation, in that it's primarily about sexual gratification. 'making love,' on the other hand, to me is more about being close to another person, spending time with them, and expressing your feelings towards them.

It is pretty corny. [Smile]


'doing sex'? Ahhaha, yes that does seem more appropriate. I'll have to refer to it as such the next chance I get.

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MusePen
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Yeah I never thought of it that way. ' Doing sex.'and having that active interaction. Lol.

I have a sister who describes sex as 'doing it'. Haha I find it funny but I respect that what's sex is to her.

I once asked my boyfriend who's not a virgin, what the difference was to him. He said to him 'making love' meant looking at the person in the eyes, taking it slow and expressing to the other person love. That their is an emotional connection.

Versus having sex- he calls it blatant effing someone and it's just that to him.

Okay. LOL. I'd like to hear more responses!! Keep them coming!

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Saffron Raymie
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Well, sex is always partyly emotional, even masturabtion, even for people who say it isn't, because they're expressing themselves sexually.

I'm the same with effing, I like the word, but I prefer 'we were effing', or 'they were effing each other' (although that one's more in an errotic context rather than descriptive) or even better 'we were effing together' rather than 'I effed him', because he was part of it too.

[ 04-15-2011, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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JB
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I know I personally use words all over the map, and they have certain connotations to me. Especially in a university/college environment, effing, banging, etc. are more...impersonal, I guess I'd say. They're also a little more wild-sounding, more energetic.

"Having sex" just sounds frank and factual, like "I was having pizza for dinner". It's more mutable - it can be personal or impersonal.

"Making love" always makes me think of like...1920s or 30s movie stars, although I don't know why. I would say "making love", for me, is slower, less energetic, and very personal.

I think I will start dropping "doing sex" every so often now! Haha, I like it!

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Stephanie_1
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You know, I remember being in college when my friends and I tended to be extremely open and blatant about sex. It wasn't uncommon for others to be around in another room while a couple or even group (not even "sneaking away" because everyone knew and respected the privacy of the people involved)would go off and come back joining back in whatever was happening. And sometimes even just a blatant "We're going to have sex now, but we'll be back later." My friends and I would often just react to the return with "Have fun?" or "Feeling better?" or sometimes the laugh provoking "From all evidence must have been a good experience" and that was that.

But we also used to play with terms. The couple/group was anything from making love to having personal time, doing it, effing, talking about the pain on the walls, having a discussion, having playtime, making-up, and even some odder things like play-dates, offering cooking tips, working, recording life stories, and whatever else happened to pop out of the person's mouth that made the comment soon forgotten for a movie, board game, or talk.

[ 05-21-2011, 08:36 AM: Message edited by: Stephanie_1 ]

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Janet R 1974
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I think everbody is different in how they use the terms however as a mom of two teen daughters I've always explained that "making love" is an intimate moment of sharing with a loving partner and "having sex" is when the hormones take over.
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Heather
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quote:
I think everbody is different in how they use the terms however as a mom of two teen daughters I've always explained that "making love" is an intimate moment of sharing with a loving partner and "having sex" is when the hormones take over.

While the way a lot of people theorize/talk about hormones this way is really problematic (since they can't really "take over" anything, and often are only one of many drivers with sex), I'm curious.

Assuming by "hormones taking over," you're talking about strong physical desires/motives (?), what might you (or anyone else participating) call sex when it is about BOTH intimate moments of sharing with a loving partner AND strong physical desires?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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OpheliaBedelia
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I find it really interesting that most of the impersonal terms describe not only more impersonal sexual activity but sex that's more wild or energetic. Similarly, the more personal ones describe a more slow and careful encounter.

Do these terms imply that personal and loving sexual relations cannot intersect with more energetic/physically compelling actions?

Like... does "succumbing" to physical urges neutralize the personal urges of sex?

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Heather
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OpheliaBedelia: IMO, those are fantastic and really important questions!

(Mind, I think the answers are obvious and point to an obvious problem we often have with the language people use to classify "types" of sex, but sometimes it's important to ask those kinds of questions to illuminate the obvious.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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blush
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To me making love is when you have sex thats very sweet, gentle, and caring. Not that someone having sex can't be caring but I mean more like the type of loving where two people are doing it more in order to get close to eachother and less because of heated passion. So, I put this under something more personal and intimate.

Having sex (to me) is something that can be done with anyone- a one night stand, a long time boyfriend, a hooker, etc. It can be passionate or not depending on the person your doing it with but its more to satisfy a cardinal need. So, having sex would be more wild and can be impersonal.

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Kachina
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blush, do you think you can't have sweet, gentle, and caring sex, with two people who love each other, AND wild, heated passion?

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~Kat
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Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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blush
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quote:
Originally posted by KatWA:
blush, do you think you can't have sweet, gentle, and caring sex, with two people who love each other, AND wild, heated passion?

I know they can but I've always associated making love with sweet and gentle sex. The passion is there but its not wild- its slow and sweet. Having sex to me is more when partners are experimenting and when things are heated, wild, crazy, etc. I'm not saying that IS the way things are or the exact def of the words. I'm saying that that is how /I/ feel when I hear or think of those words. I know that someone can have sweet love while doing something new and interesting but I understood the question as "what pops into your head first with these two" and thats what I think when hearing them. [Smile]
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Thehiddenone
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Personally I feel that when people are 'making love' they're just having sex together but they are both in love with one-another. it can be rough, wild sex or romantic, gentle sex.

Where as to me just 'having sex' is where you're doing just that but with no emotional connection to the person so it can be rough, it can be gentle but there's no love in the act.

I just want to stress this is just MY opinion.

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September
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To me, "having sex" is a very clinical term with no connotations. It simply describes the act in itself*. What it means depends entirely on the context in which it happens and the people that are involved.

"Making love" seems to imply a deep emotional connection. But it, to me, does not have the connotations that I've seen others mention here. I think it's perfectly possible to express deep love and devotion through rough, passionate sex.


(*And I don't just mean intercourse, but all types of sex.)

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Johanna
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Moire O'Searcaigh
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This is a crazy awesome linguistic thing that I believe David Crystal has done an essay/article on. As someone whose first language was not English, things like 'making love' mean something different to me, I used to think it had the same meaning as 'courting' or 'wooing', and could mean any act related to being in love and showing it. 'Having sex' seems to make the most sense to me, that is exactly what is going on, though I will admit when I learned English, I actually said 'doing sex'! But going through a 'coed' middle school in America as I did, I heard so many terms for it. '*******' seems negative, like '**** me' being something people say in pornos only (I know some people would disagree, but that's how I see it). And honestly, '****' is a really overused word in my town! I also heard things like 'petting', or 'making a french fry', which were one offs. Anyone else heard those?
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Saffron Raymie
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Haha yeah, petting used to be split into sections like 'light' petting would be touching a body through clothes, medium would be touching skin, heavy would be like manual sex I think... lol

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Heather
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Actually, historically (covering, if I'm recalling right, somewhere between 1920 and 1960) "heavy petting" was basically the term for "everything-but" sex. In other words, it meant anything and everything but intercourse.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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eryn_smiles
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I didn't know "heavy petting" was that historical! I heard a sexual health nurse use it last year, haha. (she was more mature and senior, rather than someone newly trained- and was still very professional):

Female person: "I think I need the emergency contraceptive pill"
NP: "Did you have sexual intercourse or was it just heavy petting?"

[ 08-11-2011, 10:23 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Heather
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It is. As well, in the 1920s in the west, there was the scandal of "petting parties." In other words, groups of younger, unmarried people basically making space to hang out in groups and be sexual (usually in pairs) together in the same space.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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