What’s Your Motive?

Why do you seek sex? Motivations generally fall into four main categories, according to psychologists at UT-Austin who asked more than 1,500 undergraduate college students about their sexual attitudes and experiences:

  • Physical reasons: Pleasure, stress relief, exercise, sexual curiosity, or attraction to a person
  • Goal-based reasons: To make a baby, improve social status (for example, to become popular), or seek revenge
  • Emotional reasons: Love, commitment, or gratitude
  • Insecurity reasons: To boost self-esteem, keep a partner from seeking sex elsewhere, or feeling a sense of duty or pressure (for example, a partner insists on having sex)
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