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Helping Families End The Fight

Are You Hooking Up or Lovemaking?

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In the age of “hooking up,” it almost seems alien to be talking about “lovemaking”.

Let’s be straight, the myth is that women are about making love while men are all about hooking up.

The reality is that as human beings, we have drives and desires for both. The fact is that as human beings, we are a combination of animal drive/instinct, emotion, and intellect.

The distinction between hooking up (casual sex, f&**ing, doing it) and making love (expression of appreciation for partner) lies on which of these qualities are engaged. 

Lovemaking in marriage

What is Hooking-up Really?

Hooking up is two or more people getting together to explore their sexual prowess together.

They may like each other, but what’s really important is that they have agreed to engage in a sexual experience as a form of release, exploration of chemistry, following through on an urge, convenience, developing prowess, or any combination of these and any other reason you can imagine.

There may be emotion present, but most likely in a casual hook-up, it does not involve love. Intellect may also be present in the form of tactics:

  • What turning them on? 
  • What are they doing that I like?
  • What’s not working?
  • What’s definitely out?
  • What am I feeling?
  • What feeling am I receiving?

It’s all about the experience you are creating together.

There will certainly be emotion, and it’s kind of a wild card what the emotion is depending on how well you know one another and how much you care.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that hooking up is more about having an experience that might include (but does not have to include) some focus on proficiency.

So Then… What´s Lovemaking About?

Lovemaking may incorporate any and all of the qualities of hooking up AND also involves the emotion of love.

It is a conscious act involving your love for the other person merged with your desire for expressing it in the most intimate way possible for physical beings.

It is not necessarily about sexual proficiency. In fact, it is totally possible and frequently true that couples can make love and not necessarily have earth-shattering sex.

This is because we are channeling our feelings through our instrument/body through/to the other person’s instrument/body to them. There is a translation process.

There is a way that we express and they receive and vice versa. We can express our love through sex and have our partner does not fully receive it.

However, when we love someone, we look for ways to pleasure the other person, we learn what “turns them on”, and hopefully get better at expressing and receiving our love for one another. 

Sex and Feelings

Where we are emotionally will determine what feeling and how it is expressed. 

We all enter the world as narcissists-feed me, burp me, hug me, change my diaper. From that point,  we develop and grow in what motivates our actions in relation to others.

We all live on different points on what we like to call the narcissism scale.

Let’s say Adolf Hitler represents the totally self-serving end of the scale.  Let’s say someone like Mother Theresa is on the other end. The only real difference between Adolf and Theresa is that Theresa has learned that she can get greater fulfillment when she is uplifting those around her by expressing her love for them than when she is focused on her own basic human needs.

In the sexual experience, we can have an awesome time just fulfilling our own needs, but ultimately, we will have a deeper and more meaningful experience when we are expressing ourselves to the other person and receiving their expression of emotion as well.

Any creature can focus on fulfilling its own needs via sex. It is not unusual to be self-focused and have an emotional release, including the release of anger and frustration.

It is only when we seek to express our love, our appreciation for the sanctity of the other person that we enter into higher human functions.

Goal-Oriented Sex vs. Relationally-Oriented Sex

Lovemaking in marriage

Some of us tend to be more goal-oriented, and others tend to be more relational.

The goal-oriented approach shows up as more tactical, how to get here from there, while the relational is more strategic, focused on the big picture.

Goal-oriented folks (often men) tend to act from need, while relationally oriented (often women) tend to operate from a “big-picture” approach.

Goal-oriented people are all about sex, while relationally oriented people are about feeling. It is not unusual for marriages to be made up of both these qualities and it is no accident that what works best is a blend of the two.

If a couple focuses strictly on the emotional, without considering what works for each of them sexually, the experience may be somewhat flat for them.

If they focus exclusively on maximum orgasm, the experience may become hollow. The ideal is to blend the two together.

Lovemaking Is About Intimacy

Intimacy is the basis for sexual joining that fully pleases both partners.

Caring communication, trust, and empathy are the roots of intimacy. Empathy is the quality of seeing the experience from the other person’s eyes. Walking in their shoes so to speak.

Trust is feeling safe in one another’s presence, knowing you can count on the other person to get your back.

Caring communication is both communicating your needs, and exploring theirs in a way that shows you get them. A breakdown in any of these areas will reduce the ability to make love, and can impact sexual proficiency as well.

Breakdown in these areas can also lead to infidelity as well. 

Training One Another In Lovemaking

Goal-Oriented partners often use affection as a means to get to sex rather than truly embracing sex as an expression of feeling.

This is a short-term game.

Inevitably the relational partner figures it out, loses trust and therefore intimacy. With the loss of intimacy, the relational partner is out and it becomes harder and harder for the goal-oriented partner to get what they want. 

Moving from self-serving manipulation is key here to a win/win approach where they are truly interested in emotional expression and appreciation of their partner. 

If you are goal-oriented, try exploring the needs of your partner. How do they like to be romanced? Touched? Where? Etc.

They will need to understand both the why and how of sex for the relational partner. The relationally oriented partner can help by being willing to explore techniques, to enjoy the game of sex, and lovemaking.

For both partners, a clear understanding that no means no is super helpful.

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