Here's How To Have 'Love Sex' Without Actually Being In Love

by Zara Barrie
Guille Faingold

So what is love sex, you so kindly ask? Love sex is when sex and love are gorgeously interconnected. It's when you let yourself feel feelings when you're having sex, rather than using sex as a druggy way to numb your feelings.

Some people call love sex "making love," but that term makes me want to crawl out of my skin and run for the hills, skinless. Some creepy older hippy dude with a stench so pungent it could clear a room once creepily whispered, "I want to make love to you" right inside my ear (so close it tickled) when I was having a bad trip at some ecstasy party when I was 15.

Now, whenever I hear the term "make love," I have to fight the urge to vomit all over the floor and am flooded with unpleasant memories of pseudo bohemian boys hiding behind bad poetic cliches as a way to touch young girls who were too high on drugs to realize what's going on. So yeah, love sex will do.

I ran away from love sex for a really long time because it made me feel vulnerable, and I was terrified to feel vulnerable, especially when it came to sex. Some of it is from trauma, some of it is from me being disconnected from my body from my eating disordered youth, some of it is from leftover gay weirdo kid shame and some of it is just from being a girl in this screwed-up world.

But yeah, the moment sex became remotely tender, I pulled back and disconnected. Sometimes I simply stopped it, and other times I just pushed my partner to become aggressive with me so I didn't have to feel the scary feelings. Being in physical pain is a great way to numb emotions that feel too overwhelming and raw and real.

But all that self-destructive stuff works, until it doesn't work anymore. Until someone breaks through and teaches you that connecting sex and love isn't gross and weird, but actually exhilarating. In fact, when you toss feelings into the sex mix, it can be hotter and more exciting than all the handcuffs in the world.

A reader wrote me the other day and asked if I thought it was possible that she could be having "love sex" without being "in love." She was sleeping with a woman she knew she wasn't in love with, but pretty sure she was having love sex with her. She wasn't sure if it was even possible. I told her I think it is.

I mean how often are we ever even really in love? I think that being in real, true love is a holy, but rare event that happens only a few times in a lifetime, if we're lucky. I don't think people who fall in love constantly are really falling in love. They're falling in love with ideas, they're confusing the power of lust with with the power of love and they're falling in love with the fantasy they're projecting on to another human being.

But real, stripped-down, "I've seen you at your breaking point, and I still want to wrap my scrawny arms around you and kiss you into oblivion" love, now that's as rare as a Chanel sample sale open to the general public.

So how can we mess with feelings, when we don't have loving feelings toward the person we're screwing, when we're not actually screwing them?

Two bodies can engage in their own intimate relationship with each other, one that's separate from our brains and minds. It's possible to let your guard down and communicate with your partner through sex, communicate all kinds of vulnerable things without wanting to do it verbally.

The guard can come back up when the clothes come on. You can feel a slew of feels in the bedroom, when your bodies are intertwined and you're passionately breathing into each other's mouths and you can leave those intense feelings in the sweaty, over-sexed cotton sheets.

Sometimes two bodies have an emotional connection, but the brains inside of those bodies are disconnected. If you're a passionate person who is in touch with her body, you can feel a lot of things when you're caught up in the heat of the sexual moment. You don't need to force an emotional connection with a person, just because you have a strong sexual connection with him or her.

There are so many different kinds of relationship dynamics, and sex and love are so wildly complicated that I don't think there are any cold rules to any of it. Every rule I've imposed on myself I've broken.

So I say if you're feeling it and your girl instincts aren't questioning it, it's always real. That's all, kittens. Until next time.