Why are we having sex? 10 common reasons why we have sex

I nature, there’s no doubt about why we are having sex or why sex happens.

Animals are having sex around the clock with the one purpose of procreating. It’s about the basic need of planting your seeds and securing the survival of your species. But what’s the deal with us human beings?

Actually, there are a lot of reasons to why we’re having sex – despite it being a rather enjoyable pastime.

The funny thing is, the differences between men and women’s motives for having sex aren’t as big as what one might think!

Back in 2005, Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss from The University of Texas Austin looked into different reasons to why men and women have sex. They ended up with a 50 point long list based on interviews with about 500 men and roughly 1,000 women.

They gave us an insight into the most common reasons and also to some of the more… uncommon reasons to why we have sex.


We only have sex to…

Why we have sex is an interesting question to ask and my experience tells me, that when your sexuality is playing up, quite often you have a tendency to pretend your partner has all these negatives motives to wanting to have sex with you – or why they don’t want to have sex with you.

These assumptions are often inaccurate and they only create conflict.

It’s never nice to have someone make negative assumptions about you, is it?

Especially not if they’re completely wrong!

Your intention might be as simple as you genuinely just want to be close to your partner again.

When I speak to couples about the many reasons to why we have sex, a whole new (and much more nuanced) world opens up to them.

And they love exploring this!


Why are we having sex


Their world suddenly becomes bigger and so does the understanding of yourself and your partner’s sexuality, sexual development, sexual history and sexual potential.

“Wow! The only reason I had sex with him or her was because…”


“In the end, I only had sex with her because…”

I’ve heard these so many times working with single people who looked back on previous relationships.


The reason for sex can change

In nature, sex is usually about procreating.

However, human beings are slightly more complex.

More often than not, we want sex for other reasons than to procreate and why we want it even sometimes differ from time to time.

Sometimes you have sex for one reason; the next time you’re having sex for an entirely different reason.

Finally, you can go through stages where one or two reasons (from the list of reasons!) are more predominant than others. Again, these reasons are ever changing as we go along this road called life.

You might start to experiment with new sexual experiences, games and discovering your sex life through a new set of eyes.

And a new state of mind – and then it’s the horniness of you that is the main reason for wanting to have sex.

You might feel devoted and enveloped in deep feelings during the months of you guys expecting your first child.

It might be a third thing…

When you start looking at your sex life – and the reasons for sex – through multi-coloured lenses, your sex life becomes all the more easy to understand and relate to.

This is what my experience tells me, anyway.

You suddenly start having talks about your sexuality – outside of the bedroom too – in a whole new way and talking about it like this, will generally help couples be more natural about sex if this is their desire.


Ditch the labeling

It’s a bit of a cheeky thing to say, but men can no longer fit into the ”horny” category, where all they need to do is look at a pair of boobs and they’re good to go; anytime and with anyone.


Maj Wismann explains - why are we having sex


And women can no longer fit into the “love-sex” category where all they need lit candles, sweet nothings whispered in their eyes and a two hours massage before they can even consider having sex.

Ditching this label thinking can be a huge help to any man doubting his own masculinity because for a certain time he hasn’t felt like sex because he hasn’t felt that horny; what he feels like doing is just making his partner feel comfortable.

Just as it can be a huge help to a single woman who’s having sex because she feels horny and suddenly she starts feeling bad about herself because “real women shouldn’t be having sex left, right and center”….

It’s liberating and really wonderful to put those multi-coloured lenses on and see that the world is more than a few labels and set boxes.

I know we all like to label each other and make each other fit into these boxes but give it a go: ditch them!

See how it feels.

Also, so many people will feel a sense of relief knowing that just because they don’t fit into a particular box, doesn’t mean there’s anything at all wrong with them.



If you’d like to explore your own motives for having sex, you need to start becoming aware of what awakens your sex drive in a particular situation.

If you practise this awareness, after a period of time, you’ll get to know yourself better but you’ll always recognise the ”boosters” a lot easier and actually be able to utilise these boosters whenever your sex drive is a bit lower than what it usually is, or anytime you want to feel turned on.


Maj’s tip:

Your partner’s reasons or intentions behind wanting to have sex with you can easily be different to what you might think they are. If you’re feeling curious, simply ask your partner and start a dialogue about this.


10 common reasons why women have sex:

  • I was attracted to this person
  • I wanted to experience physical pleasure
  • It feels great
  • I wanted to show devotion
  • It was an expression of love
  • I was excited and was looking for a release
  • I was horny
  • It was fun
  • I was in love
  • I was caught in the moment

10 common reasons why men have sex:

  • I was attracted to this person
  • It feels great
  • I wanted to experience physical pleasure
  • It was fun
  • I wanted to show my devotion
  • I was aroused and was looking for a release
  • I was horny
  • I wanted to express my love
  • I wanted to orgasm
  • I wanted to please my partner

What do you think about the lists?

Can you see yourself or your partner in any of the points?

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about it in the comments below.

Maj Wismann - why are we having sex

Maj Wismann – Clinical sexologist and relationthip therapist with own clinic since 2006




*** Please do remember that sexuality is a very vulnerable topic, so please keep your words positive and loving. Thank you. Please remember to keep a nice tone. ALL negative comments will be deleted immediately. I wish to create a positive and supporting space where we can support each other, and I therefore have a zero-tolerance policy towards rudeness, condescension, negative inputs and disrespect.

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1 Comment

  1. Henrik V Blunck

    I love such lists, and especially that you always think outside boxes. We don’t need any labels – and boy you are so right! 🙂

    Much of the problem with masculinity is that in the (good) old days, we were expected to want to have sex at any and all times. As we grew into better understanding of emotions, some of us also enjoy cuddling occasions. Back in the day when everybody watched BH 90210 – a favorite for some, and a series many loved to hate – Brandon had an occasion where he only slept next to a good friend. He made a statement which many men didn’t pay much attention to. He said: “Sometimes, sleeping tight is more intimate than sex”

    There was an important point there. Men aren’t ‘only’ and ‘always’ focused on penetrative sex. Sometimes you actually want to get to know that special person – and that aspect of a relationship is sometimes overlooked in a culture where ads on tv play on the sexual aspect more than the emotional side of things.

    Many marketing people would kill me for saying this, but sometimes you need to break barriers to become a more mature person – and tv ads are not Shakespeare!

    So, as I said to begin with, I love these lists, and I love diversity – and that we dare to become more complete people… 🙂


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