So much changes when you’re in love, especially sex. This isn’t one-night stand kind of sex. It isn’t even dating-for-a-while kind of sex. This is in-sickness-and-in-health, ups-and-downs, stick-with-you, I-really-love-you kind of sex.
- It’s more about service. While feeling good is definitely important in any sexual relationship, when you’re in love, it’s a little less about you—and that’s not a bad thing! You don’t have to worry about protecting your own needs as much during sex because your partner is trying to serve you in the same way. It becomes a way for you to express your love for each other rather than a way to get love from them.
- There’s a feeling of complete safety. You know that feeling when you’re fooling around in public? The fear of being discovered can be excited but can also make you feel exposed. I’m not saying you can’t have risky sex when you’re in love, but I am saying you shouldn’t have to feel unprotected. When you’re in love, so much of your relationship is about making the other person feel like they can be totally themselves. It’s hard to be completely yourself when you don’t feel safe.
- It reinforces your relationship. When you’re in love, almost every aspect of your lives overlap. Sex is no longer separate from everything else. It carries the same vulnerability and trust you practice in the kitchen, at the park, and at the end of a hard day. As you work on communicating well during sex, your communication outside the bedroom improves and vice versa. Who knew sex could be such a good relationship skill?
- It’s a way to deal with your insecurities. Just being naked with someone can be hard, especially for those of us who feel like we carry too much around the waist or wish we were sexier. All of your insecurities about your body and your sex appeal rise to the surface during sex. Most of the time, you just have to fake it ’til you make it, but when you’re in love, things are different. You can deal with your insecurities and know that your partner loves you like crazy no matter what.
- It’s not always romantic. While sex when you’re in love is usually healthier and more personal, it’s easy to feel like the grass is greener on the other side. When your girlfriends are bragging about all the hot steamy flings they had, you’re stuck popping your partner’s pimples. It can be hard to be romantic with someone you’ve seen on the toilet. As with all comparisons, though, I’m sure your girlfriends wish they had the kind of committed and loving relationship you do.
- It’s OK when things go wrong. This is inevitable. Maybe you’re preoccupied with work. Maybe he’s feeling tired. Your bodies don’t move together like they usually do. Someone accidentally knees someone else in the crotch. It’s just not happening. While this might stop a Tinder date in its tracks, it doesn’t have to faze people who are in love. They know that even when sex feels awkward, they’ll try again later. In the meantime, there are a hundred other ways to say “I love you.”
- Getting pregnant doesn’t (usually) seem as bad. I don’t want to shoot down couples that choose not to conceive. That is a super valid choice and long-term relationships should not be all about having kids. Still, there is something about being in love that makes pregnancy seem less scary. When you think about having a Tiner baby daddy, you probably want to puke. When you have someone you know will love your baby as much as you though, the idea doesn’t seem so bad.
- It can get old. When you have sex with the same person for a long time, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. You develop a routine. First the shirt, then the pants, in bed, and we’re done. When something has worked for so long, it can be hard to try new things. Change can be awkward and scary. You have to push to keep the passion alive but it’s certainly doable.
- You learn new things (if you try). The good news is you don’t have to stay stuck. You’re both probably waiting for the other one to try something first. If you can just have a conversation and agree to learn something new together, your sex can become the best you’ve ever had.