What’s More Important To You: Great Love Or Great Sex?

Recently this has been a topic among my girlfriends: is it better to have the great love of your life who may be lacking in the sex department of your relationship, or is it better to sacrifice a great love for someone who knows what they’re doing in the sack?

Although I won’t be naming names, I have been hopelessly, all-consuming in love twice in my life. Once in my very early 20′s, then later on and far more recently. The way I felt, and still feel, about these two men is so intense and so selfless that there is no doubt in my mind that I love(d) them with just about every ounce of my being. I can also say that of the handful of men I’ve slept with (and I say “handful” for the sake of my mother who’s probably reading this), neither one of these loves was anything to write home about when it came to the sex end of things.

The first love, we can blame on youth, inexperience and an overall lack of really knowing your body and how to communicate to the other person what gets you off. As an adult, I have since had sex with him again, and I must say it’s pretty much night and day. What a difference several years make! The second love’s bedroom behavior can absolutely be attributed to our lifestyle — it’s hard to have really great sex when your relationship is about drinking, drinking, fucking, then more drinking. But, wow, did he and I have fun.

However, it has been the extremely short-lived flings that stand out as the fellas who not only knew what they were doing, but were willing to take risks when it came to sex. They knew what they wanted, they weren’t afraid to ask for what I wanted and what came of it all were some fantastically hot sexual experiences.

As I type this, an acquaintance of mine is preparing to get married to a man with whom she’s never once had an orgasm. When I say “preparing,” she’s actually somewhere in the city being fitted for a dress at this moment.  A few weeks ago when a bunch of us got together her lack of orgasming with her soon-to-be husband came up, as did the fact that having sex with him was sort of dull. When she tried to bring new things into the mix, he’d give it a try, but so unenthusiastically that she quit trying. Of course someone at the table brought up the Charlotte and Trey situation from Sex and the City and our conversation evolved from there into what is more important:  sex or love? Even the greatest of orgasms only last a few seconds, whereas love, if you find the right person can last forever — or at least this is what I’ve learned from diamond commercials.

While the acquaintance in this scenario will be walking down the aisle before the summer’s end, there were still a couple girlfriends at the table who were adamant about sex being just as important as love. Sure, when you’re in your 90′s you may not want to have it anymore, but at least you’ll have the memory of how great it had been was one argument; while another friend argued that you shouldn’t buy a car that only has three wheels.

In a society that puts so much emphasis on sex and one that uses it to sell just about everything, exactly how important is sex, or rather great sex, to your relationship? Would you jump ship if you couldn’t get both love and sex equally great; or would you sacrifice one for the other?

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    • Liz G

      If someone really loves you, he or she will want to satisfy you in every possible way, and will put in the time and effort to learn how to do that. Ignorance can be overcome, techniques can be taught, exploring and experimenting can and should happen. It’s far more likely to find great sex with someone who is committed to your happiness and welfare, so in my mind Great Love = Great Sex.

      That doesn’t discount scenarios like being asexual, having “issues”, having incompatible preferences, etc – but then the discussion would be “should you marry someone who has these types of sex-ruining issues and is unwilling to address them?” Again, Great Love means willingness to work and invest and address things for the other person’s sake, if not your own.

    • Jamie Peck

      I think it’s different for everyone. Some people just don’t care about sex that much. Personally, I need both great sex and great love in order to be happy with someone. I want everything in my life to be awesome all the time!

    • Lindsey

      I think great love would be the one to choose. Because *my* great love wouldn’t care for monogamy and I could get my great sex elsewhere and return for great love.

      And also, if you can’t be happy without the orgasms, what if they stop? Will you still have a good relationship if he loses interest in sex or gets into an accident?

    • fffffff

      This is a question I’ve been pondering for awhile now. I’m in a long-term relationship with an awesome guy. He’s funny, smart, stable and responsible. I would honestly be very happy to spend the rest of my life with him.
      However, our sex life is pretty vanilla. We’ve been together for about 4 years now, and frankly the sex was not spectacular to begin with. It was never terrible, always sweet and loving, just regular sex.

      Anyway, I don’t know, there’s a certain level of intimacy that is inherent in a long-term relationship that necessarily puts kind of a damper on sex. I’ve also had sex “a handful” of times and I know where I stand sexually. The greatest sex I’ve ever had was with men I knew I would never be in serious relationships with. To me, this is a necessity for what I would consider “great sex.” I understand not everyone is like this, and I’m impressed by people who can balance the checkbook, argue about whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher, and still manage to have anything other than long-term relationship sex, which is good and mostly satisfying but definitely not great.

      So it looks like I’ve come out in favor of Great Love? Yay, love!!!

      • fffffff

        As an addendum, I could never marry someone that had never given me an orgasm. That shit is crazy!

    • Michelle

      Speaking as someone who didn’t have sex with her husband before marriage, love is more important. Also, for us sex has gotten better as the years have gone by. When we were first married at 18 and 20, neither of us had any idea what we were doing. As the years have gone by we’ve gotten to know each other better and find out what works for the other in the bedroom. I have been married eleven years and am having great sex. But, love is what gets you through the rough parts of your relationship. Love is what keeps you connected through months and miles of being apart. Love is what makes you look forward to the next months and years. Great sex is a bonus.

    • veedeeplexagon

      Not speaking from great experience, but long term, isn’t it better to choose love over sex? You can teach someone what pleases you, but you can’t teach them to love you.

    • KeLynn

      Great love is more important, in that if you have great love and alright sex, then I think you could probably have a happy enough relationship (and one that I think would be happier than one filled with great sex but alright love). But that’s not to say great love can overcome *terrible* sex. It’s more important, but it can’t totally make up for a complete lack of awesome in the bedroom.

    • Amy

      I really think the two go together. When you’re in love with someone you really put in the effort in bed because you want the intimacy you share to grow and you want to give pleasure. If the guy you’re with doesn’t make the effort to address your pleasure or if you’re too afraid to bring things up and discuss them then I don’t think the relationship is as loving as it should be.

      Sex is pretty much the most intimate you’ll ever be with another person and if they aren’t putting in the effort or don’t understand your needs (either because they’re clueless, unmotivated or you can’t tell them) then that’s a big flaw.

      I sometimes think people confuse compatability and friendship with romantic love. Sharing the same goals and values is really important but if the sex isn’t fulfilling, exciting and intimate then you’re really just good friends. And marrying a good friend is fine (and often even smart) but you need to be honest and acknowledge that’s what you’re doing.

      • MR

        Interesting that we share the same concept of romantic love.

    • Sam

      I read the title as “Great love oral sex.” That may or may not answer the question.

      • Amanda Chatel

        Breaking news: Sam is thinking of oral sex…

    • Starofthemag

      I also think it’s different for everyone. I had an ex who just wasn’t that into sex. Sex is important to me so I tried my hardest to change that about him but I couldn’t, and the relationship didn’t work out. I wish I’d tried less hard and I wouldn’t have wasted five of my hottest years on him. I did end up introducing him to someone who had an equally low sex-drive and they got married. So there’s that.

    • len132

      Maybe I’m being naive, but I do think that love matters more- to a point. People have different sexual levels, and it can be very frustrating to not match up. But I think that you can differ in the sex you want/how much you want without it blowing up the relationship. And I think society’s expectations of men and women do play into that. I’m pretty sure I’m a more sexual person than my boyfriend- I have more fantasies, watch more porn, etc. Sometimes we don’t match up, and sometimes I get really frustrated. But we work it out, because we love each other.

      Okay, I’m done being a huge sap. :)

    • Karen

      “Even the greatest of orgasms only last a few seconds,”

      Nah bro. Five incredible minutes was my most intense orgasm, but by no means was it the longest. And he was a virgin and we weren’t even having sex and I feel like I’m sharing way too much on the interwebs right now but yup. Roughly five minutes. We timed it.

      Also love is important because of having a soul and all that jazz.