10 December 2012
Just How Important Is Sex, Really?
Humans are sexual beings. Regardless, if we are young or old, female or male, American or Chinese, sex is an integral part of what we do and who we are. Next to sleeping and eating, it seems that it is one of the most important drives we have as humans. It takes up so much of our time in thought and behavior that it sometimes seems that every facet of our life revolves around this to some extent. Let us be realistic, we all want it and we all need it. It provides various health benefits, a boost of confidence, and overall happiness. Unlike animals, sex is so much more than a means of reproduction. Sex is emotional. Sex is communicative. Sex is fun. Sex is natural. With this being said, I believe sex is vital for a person. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs emphasizes the importance of self-actualization. This theory is normally seen as a pyramid broken into five components, the most basic needs being in bottom and the most complex needs being towards the top of the pyramid. The pyramid consists of physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs and finally self-actualization (collegenet.com). One must fulfill the most basic needs before progressing on to meet higher levels of growth. Once these needs have been satisfied, one is able to reach the highest level being self-actualization. Along with the most basic needs such as food, water, and shelter, Maslow included sex. Maslow’s hierarchy theory demonstrates that for a person to become self-actualized, that person must have sex whether it is for procreation or recreation. Aside from the physiological need for sex in the first level of the hierarchy, Maslow also points out the need for sexual intimacy in the third level of the pyramid. Unlike sex, sexually intimacy breaks into much more than the act of having sex. According to the-intimate-couple.com, sexually intimacy consists of communication, caring, commitment, and common values. Communication allows topics to be openly discussed. An example of this would be, one partner having no interest in having sex. Another example would also be, having the freedom to share sexual fantasies with your partner. With communication both partners can openly share what they think about their sex life, as well as every other part of their lives. The-intimate-couple also stated, “Caring for your partner means providing them with the sexual experience that pleases them, on their terms, in their way, in their time frame”, this means one taking the time to consider the needs and desires of their partner instead of focusing on their own. Commitment to sexual intimacy in relationship involves doing what is necessary to achieve that intimacy, and eliminating whatever impedes it. Commitment also translates into time: one must prioritize their time for sex since the busyness of one’s life can get in the way. Common values are also necessary for sexual intimacy. Intimacy cannot be produced when values held by the partners are in conflict. For example, if you and your partner have major differences in deeply held religious convictions, then compatibility reaches an impasse.
Sex provides health benefits such as reduction of stress, minimization of pain, sounder sleep, among many other benefits. People who engage in intercourse responded better to stress than those who engage in other sexual behaviors or abstain. Research from the University of the West of Scotland reveals that “people who had intercourse at least once over two weeks were better able to manage stressful situations “(abcnews.go.com). This means that if a person has a big job interview, a speech, or something that can cause stress the next day, having sex can lower their stress and anxiety which in the end may result with a much better performance. Why take a Tylenol or a Midol, when having sex can reduce that headache or backache? While having sex, one’s...