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Almost every relationship has some form of sexual activity. Those who deny it are either lying, morally righteous with incredible willpower, or brainwashed. (If you're one of the above, read no further.) Couples kiss, couples make out, couples have sex and many variations thereof. Hell, even people who aren’t in a relationship do this. And if you’re in for just casual sex, then this writeup probably isn’t for you. Unless, of course, random sex isn't fulfilling to you- then you may want to read on.

I won't say that romance novels portray an ideal view of sex. They're usually kinky, unrealistic, and just plain f*cked up. (No pun intended.) There's an outlook on sex that portrays it as a wonderful, intimate thing that brings two people closer and embodies them in a lucious, heart-warming glow. Okay- so that's great. But what is sex in reality? It's when someone's hormones take over, screaming "fuck me! fuck me!" and induce an overwhelming urge to grab the nearest person of desirable nature and perform sexual acts with them until a strong, satisfying orgasm is reached. At which point, both parties will catch their breath, thank each other, and go about their merry way.

So, people in relationships are a bit more subdued with their dealings in sex. To show their deep affection for the person they are with, couple tend to make sex romantic- perhaps with candles and wine, or sometimes achieving this effect simply by taking it slowly, rather than focusing on hormonal drive. After completing the act, they can lie in each others arms and feel fulfilled, having not only released their sexual desire, but done so in a way that strengths or enhances their relationship. Some people mistake this for being in love, which is a totally different node. Whether or not my hypothetical couple is in love in irrelevant in this story.

Back to lust- lust is okay sometimes, in relationships. It can make things fun and interesting. But performing an act that is solely based on need for sexual gratification can leave frustration and/or guilty feelings in one or both partners. Sex is the act of a achieving a goal- pleasuring yourself, pleasuring your partner, creating an intense expression of affection for you partner, even having the most partners in some cases (but we won't touch this one today). When the only goal of sex is self-gratification, guilt can ensue. Now, granted, if you are one of the people described in paragraph two- someone who has sex for the sake of sex and no other incentives whatsoever, then you're probably completely happy and should skip along to another node.

Now, with my hypothetical couple who pursue this sickeningly lovey-dovey state of mind, lust can be a horrible downfall. If the only goal is self-gratification, one partner may remain unsatisfied, and feel unloved (assuming an ideal situation without a median of compromise), and the other partner may thus feel guilty, because he does indeed care for his partner. Also, concerning the same issue with different context- a quickie which pleasures both, but has relatively no affection, for our caring couple may prove to be quite upsetting, as they have expressed their most primitive sexual desires, but not affection for each other. This can be especially disturbing if our hypothetical couple is smart enough (which we'll say they are) to realize that they may perhaps only be pursuing a relationship to fulfill these desires. Our couple is extremely caring and doesn't want to believe this though. They want to pursue affection rather than lust, and thus build a strong, lasting, meaningful relationship. (Disclaimer: Please factor out all variables aside from sex- assume our couple is ideal in their lovey-dovey-bubbly-happy world.)

With continued occurence, lust-induced sexual acts can make our couple's relationship feel meaningless, making them further question their love for one another, and causing significant unhappiness in one or both parties. And eventually, this could lead to such a high amount of distress that the relationship will end. (Remember that our couple doesn't feel that a relationship has worth unless there are intense positive emotions backing it up.) So, questioning these emotions, the couple will inevitably no longer be able to stand the guilt/primal motivations/uncaring acts/dissatisfaction in the relationship.

Acceptance of one's desires is exceptionally important. One cannot honestly say that sex in a relationship is based solely on their affection for the other party. Accept that you want to fulfill your desires, however, do not simply do only that. Showing that you do indeed harbor a great affection for your partner can enforce the loving, caring, selfless side of the relationship- the side that keeps both people satisfied and happy. An equal median is good. Too much lust will eventually weaken a relationship for a couple with values similar to our hypothetical couple. So beware, lovey-dovies. Don't let this happen to you.

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