difference between making love and having sex

What is the Difference Between Making Love and Having Sex?

While being the most extraordinary experience we can have as human beings, the act of making love vs. having sex, doesn’t get enough attention or distinction. True love making, when you’re genuinely making love with another, is an experience of union. Having sex, in general, can create pleasureful moments, but it won’t unite the partners. It’s actually quite individualistic. Having sex is an activity. Making love is an experience

Having sex is much like two bodies using each other to get off, to meet their own sexual needs and desires. It has more of a me focus instead of a we connection. It’s often quite selfish. And, both men and women alike can lean towards having sex vs. making love because it can feel safer – less vulnerable, less intimate, and even less effortful/demanding. In the long run, in a marriage or a partnership, especially a soul partnership, having sex will not be satisfying.

When partners don’t know how to make love to one another, and simply continue having sex, relationship troubles brew. Couples have sex vs. make love because that’s what they know, because that’s what they’ve always done. As a result, commonly and unfortunately, one partner, if not both, often finds themselves in a place of feeling, “I’m not all that interested,” and sex becomes take it or leave it. (In a masculine-feminine relationship, it will often be the feminine partner that loses interest. It’s not the fault of the feminine, but a result of the lack of sexual awareness in both partners, coupled with underlying, and usually unconscious, sexual conditioning again, in both partners.)

Sexual Conditioning and Shame around Making Love

On the flip-side, while what makes a good lover, doesn’t get enough attention, sex and love making gets too much attention in a shaming and condemning kind of way. It’s the undercurrent of judgement in our society that leaves the unifying, healing, restorative, and yes, deeply pleasurable experience of love making just out of reach. It leaves this critical part of any strong and lasting relationship rife with confusion and frustration, separating couples when it’s meant to unite them. 

How to Be a Great Lover

It’s not what you do in bed, it’s not the techniques you know, it’s not how experienced you are, but how you show up in bed that determines the quality of your love making and whether you are a great lover. If you desire true union with another, then there must be union within yourself. And, one of the biggest things standing between you and this kind of union within yourself is the hidden sexual conditioning we talked about above and talk about more below. 

On top of that, our best love making happens not just when two bodies meet in uninhibited passion, but when two bodies arrive at this potential physical and spiritual coupling – united within themselves – united heart, mind, body, and spirit. Sounds simple in concept but it’s not so simple in practice.

4 Problems that Inhibit Making Love (Sacred Sex)

1. The Heart isn’t Fully Available

Genuine love making requires an open heart. A heart willing to penetrate and be penetrated. A heart willing to feel the unending bounds of love. Which means it’s also willing (but not required) to feel the pain, the heartache of love. Knowing the depths of love, requires knowing the aches of love. And, the best lovers know both. Extraordinary love making starts with two wide open hearts.

2. The Mind is Fearing, Judging and even Shaming

Wordless, breathless love making happens because both partners are willing to allow the energy of the physical, emotional and spiritual connection to have its way with them. They are willing to let go and surrender to the expanding pleasure happening each moment of love making. However, again, the stories, beliefs, judgments, and rules that we hold in the unconscious mind will often stop us before the going gets good. They create upper limits on pleasure. Those judgements can look like an unwillingness, and often an embarrassment, to share our truest and deepest desires. It can look like stories of what good, normal, conscious boys and girls do. (Yes, our stories too often have their roots in our childhood or adolescence consciousness, rather than our sovereign adult self-knowing.) Last but not least, our mind can have religious overtones of what’s right and what’s wrong. To have true union with another we must make peace with and align our internal sexual consciousness.

3. The Body isn’t Inhabited

Love making, although it requires the heart, mind, and spirit for heavenly passionate ecstasy, requires being in the body. The body is the vehicle through which we feel pleasure. It’s where the pleasure is given and received. And, if our mind is fearful, if our heart is closed, we’ll often not allow ourselves to enjoy the pleasures of the body. Too often, we ourselves or our partner will “leave the body” becoming the observer of love making vs. being present to and in the experience of physical pleasure. To top that off, It takes a bit of time and practice to learn the subtle sensations of the body, and how to dance with them and enhance them, for ourselves and our beloved. 

4. You Don’t have a Spiritual Connection

In soul partnerships, you know there is something much greater than your individual human selves that drew you together, that make you truly soul mates.Spiritual connection opens the door to unconditional love in human form. It is this opening to unconditional love that allows the beautiful and messy experience of human loving and love making to grow all that more powerful and astonishingly intimate. Additionally, the spiritual union within ourselves awakens the possibility of sacred sexuality where both partners are held as sacred, with reverence. In the simplest terms that means you hold yourself and your partner with the highest regard. You know that sharing your body with another is a privilege – a privilege you are giving them and a privilege you are being given. And you don’t take either privilege lightly.  

Love Making Union

When both partners arrive individually whole, complete, aligned and united within, then what happens between and beyond enters the realm of best evers – the frequent moments that render both lovers speechless, breathless, overcome by the raw human ecstasy that leaves us humbled by its intensity, its power, its sacred union. 

“Making Love” Sounds (Feels) too Far Out / too Nice

At this point, feeling the infinite potential of love making vs. having sex, you might be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, whatever. That might be nice for someone, but I just want some decent sex now.” In that case you might imagine that this is just too much work, too much effort, not passionate enough,or  even boring. 

You would not be alone in thinking those thoughts. Those fears and doubts are spoken over and over at our intimacy retreats, and rest assured, NOT facing these limiting stories of the mind, is exactly what will keep you from knowing the fullest pleasures, intimacies, ecstasies and joys actually available to you. 

It’s also been said many times, “I had no idea this was actually possible. No idea that I, little old me, could create that.” That’s the whole point of best-evers. 

This resistance, this fear, is one of the biggest reasons couples never sustain good love making. Again, it’s why many, many couples – too many couples – quit having sex altogether. It happens because they aren’t willing to discover the real qualities of what makes a great lover. They aren’t willing to get honest with themselves so they can identify and release their individual shame, guilt, and inhibitions. 

And, it’s not about your partner. It’s so common for a man or woman to believe that they themselves are sexually free, sexually uninhibited, sexually liberated and that their partner is the problem. They see their partner’s fears, inhibitions, rules, and shame but don’t recognize their own. These men and women have the greatest opportunities to discover the real truth of love making vs. having sex and how it transforms a relationship, giving it the foundation it needs to actually last – happily

Here’s a simple truth. 

“A great lover will be wild and passionate, but being wild and passionate does not mean you’re a great lover.”

Plenty of men and women can share stories of wild sexual escapades in their past, but their love life still struggles. Great sex doesn’t make a relationship, but a great relationship includes incredible lovemaking. 

Love and love making go hand in hand. They are not two separate and distinct things in a relationship, they are the two things that when united make soul sex and soul partnership a reality. 

*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.

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  1. becca on October 1, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    I would say the guy I was dating for the previous 8 months didn’t have an open heart, the #1 problem stated in this writing, so maybe we weren’t experiencing deep love making and connecting, and probably didn’t have a soulful connection. On the other hand, as this writing pointed out, maybe it wasn’t him? Maybe I wasn’t recognizing my own fears, inhibitions, rules, and shame, maybe I ruined it through fear and rules, and that is what caused his heart to close. sigh. learnings

    • Joanna Shakti on October 30, 2021 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you so much for your honest comments. It’s sometimes sad and yet always empowering when we realize that maybe our challenges are created within us. This is why this work is so important. When we change within, what’s happening in our lives automatically changes. If we can help you on your journey, please let us know. It’s always an honor to watch someone’s life transform from within. Many blessings, Joanna

  2. Scott on March 26, 2022 at 10:59 am

    Sex is just an act. TRUE lovemaking has little to do with just the act. When me and my wife make love, there is emotion, cuddling and physical stroking over the body beforehand and looking into each other’s eyes and kissing while having intercourse. Afterwards we cuddle up to each other and fall asleep. It is an emotional and physical connection that shows how much you love your spouse. It is NOT about just having an orgasm.

  3. Alvin on November 14, 2023 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you so much for the great information,.I have been married for only 5 months now and I few my wifes has really not been fair when it comes to that because I feel we just have sex and not love making.. it has become so boring for me in the early stage of our marriage , I really need help on that..

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