Sex is…a bodily act…

Romance is another thing entirely…

So what’s the difference and why does it matter?

This is where I start to veer all over the place with this topic. We have the following random observations:

  1. Some people really like sex
  2. Some people really like romance
  3. Some people think romance is love
  4. Romance is often seen as the conduit to getting someone else have sex with you
  5. Romance is often associated with love
  6. People assume that if one person is romancing another, it means that they are in love
  7. People wrongly assume that if one person is romancing another, it means that they are in love
  8. Sometimes people romance another not because they are in love, but because they want to have sex
  9. Not everyone is romantic
  10. Everyone’s idea of romance is different

I could probably twist the words around a bit more, but you get the gist. Sex and romance are not the same but there are people who do not see the distinction. Or maybe they don’t want to see the distinction. I’m going to take a guess and say that people who want to be in love are going to take signs of romance as a sign of love.

Big mistake.

And I think this is where the problems start.

As I’ve been binge watching “The Big Bang Theory”, I came across an episode where Howard is planning something for the anniversary of his first date with his wife. Howard is known as being slightly oversexed. The Penny character (really attractive) begins to think that she never does anything romantic for her boyfriend. Her boyfriend (unsure about his attractiveness, but wants sex) does tend to do romantic things. The Sheldon character (not sexual at all) doesn’t do anything romantic, and his girlfriend complains about it. Raj, the character who desperately wants to be in love is clearly the most classically romantic of them all, and even romances all his friends in a friendship sort of way(and oddly, the only main character who ends up unmarried on the show)

Two male characters use romance as a way to show love and get sex

One male character doesn’t care about sex or common displays of love, so does nothing to romance his partner

One male character is innately romantic, yet, that seems to push women away

Is this a good correlation to actual life?

Could we start with a hypothesis that 50% of people use romance to get what they want, 25% don’t care one way or another, and 25% can’t find someone to love them the way they want to be loved? Would you say that out of the 50% who use romance to get sex, maybe only half of them are actually “in love”?

I am totally spitballing.

I have absolutely no idea about any of this, I’m just throwing our random observations and waiting for at least one of you (Deb) to make some sense of what I’ve said.

For Write my Blog Thursday, give me any observations about the correlation between romance and sex and love.

Why is this such a hard topic to think or write about? Is it impossible to define, or do we just not want to look behind the curtain of what this all actually means? Do we want to cling to any illusions that we harbor about sex or romance or love?

Discuss

https://anchor.fm/laover50

129 thoughts on “Sex is not Romance

    1. You stated the other day that there were only right and wrong answers. In this case that axiom was right and your answer is wrong. If you want to provoke an agenda that states otherwise this is not the forum to do that.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. I’m not trying to provoke an agenda, I’m trying to provoke a chuckle.
        Are you old enough to remember that dinosaurs were all grey? I do, even the ones on the first two seasons of the Flintstones. When did they become colorful?
        How is my answer wrong? Do I not remember that?
        Since you seem to be humorless, I’ll just stop commenting on your posts.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I have a great deal of humor. I don’t like anyone commenting that sex is only acceptable between men and women. I find no humor in that.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Well apparently you woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.
        And you must be the world’s oldest Snowflake.
        I’ll unfollow you so I don’t offend your humorless sensitivities.
        PS – Why do YOU get to define humor and I do not?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. It’s my blog. I have the right to define humor any way I want. In your blog you can define humor any way you want. I will not enable homophobia. Ever.

        Liked by 5 people

      5. Really? Define homophobia. Bet you can’t.
        Apparently, you do allow hate because you hate me.
        So, you are a humorless hypocrite.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. I never said I hate you. In fact I kept your comments up on the post. You have a right to say what you want and I’ll keep it up. I have a right to determine what I find humorous.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. No. You hate but are too chicken to admit it, so you virtue signal by leaving my comments up.
        And why do you get to decide what is funny and I don’t?
        Sure your blog, you choice, but you are telling me my humor is wrong even if it isn’t in your blog’s comments.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Don’t tell me what I remember. I wasn’t making a value judgement I was making a joke.
        And unacceptable things of all sorts hasn’t changed, just the percentages on each side.
        Again, don’t make an ass of yourself by assuming which side I am on.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your opinion. Thank you for sharing.
        But you just did tell me what I remember. You apparently forgot what you wrote. Are you suffering from early-onset memory loss?

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I see sex as what happens after monogamous marriage. For those who’ve messed that up and regret doing so may God’s forgiveness create in us a clean heart as I believe he did for David in Psalm 51, who really messed that up and suffered severely for it. Romance for a man would be the way he treats women after he takes Matthew 5:27-28 seriously and literally about committing adultery in his heart. For a woman it would be not thinking he’s gay when he does that.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Your last line is interesting because I thought the same thing when I was watching the bbt episode. Everyone always think the Raj character is gay because he’s very romantic at heart? So how can we want a romantic man, yet at the same time think there is something “wrong”with a romantic man?

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I think that real love can arise in a relationship, usually towards the beginning. When the relationship moves on towards the long term, then “work” becomes necessary to keep the relationship going. This is when the manipulative behaviors that you mention come into play. In a “good”relationship, or even a bad one, the real love goes underground and is buried, only to pop up periodically and unexpectedly.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Probably, because I think romance is undefinable. Personally, I’m not a romantic sort of person. I buy myself flowers cause I like them. I’m not sentimental. And I don’t like being buttered up with expectations.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. In the past two years I have learned more than I ever thought about this topic and its related subjects to the point where I could write a book. 🙂 I have a completely different view today than I did a few years ago. And I like it, my new view. But I’ll have to ponder my answer here because it could be too long and convoluted for a comment. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m biased on this topic because the two (sex versus romance) were used as tools during my marriage. Two varied definitions of romance: “a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love” and “…a state of connection between two people that is brought about by thoughtful sentimental gestures that mean something to one or both parties”. The first seems to imply that love and romance go hand in hand. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. People can work the romance angles to get to a specific end, rather that is sex or something else. However romance can, and perhaps should be about truly meaningful gestures designed to bring happiness. In simple terms, romance is showing someone that you care, that you’re thinking about them. If those actions are mutual then perhaps love is involved, however I’m not sure there should ever be an EXPECTATION for those actions to be returned.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Ahhh…expectations. That’s one of those thoughts that seem to get people stymied. If we do X, can we expect Y. That’s a great way to look at it….what are the expectations….I knew you would come through

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I never really thought about it. My husband isnt really.romantic. I didnt want to be swept off of my feet. I wanted to be loved. I dont need to be dotted on with flowers and expensive things. I want someone who I can work together with outside in the yard. Does this make sense? I feel like I’m getting off.course.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. This is such a touchy subject for me as I’ve seen how romance is definitely used as a lever to get sex and in such negative ways. My personal history is rife with experiences that have left their mark on me in this regard. WAY too many people use romance in a weaponized fashion to get sex when the reality is that they aren’t actually romantic at all and it is all just a facade. I would be completely sour on the concept if my Hubby hadn’t shown me the difference between romance to get something and romance just because. I’ve always been a romantic person, so having romance used in a way that isn’t based on genuine care for another person is a huge problem for me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The fake Romantic is definitely a problem. And yes, doing something strictly for the pay off is also a big issue. Which makes me wonder how much romance is just for show? It’s very easy to become skeptical

      Liked by 3 people

  7. “Could we start with a hypothesis that 50% of people use romance to get what they want..” Clearly the people we are talking about are the 50% of people who are men..right? 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I agree that romance and sex are different. But sex without romance I think would be empty – hot chocolate without the whipping cream.
    I think many couples especially as they age, have sex less but the romance is greater. Perhaps the thought I am having is which brings a couple closer? Sex or Romance – imo it’s the romance, the inside jokes, the winks and cute names. I don’t think sex by itself is a relationship, it’s all the other stuff.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Romance is really hard to define, and I write romance novels! I think people mix up romance (or love) with sex. Not even the same thing!
    My husband is not romantic, but sometimes he accidentally does something romantic, and I adore him for it!

    Liked by 5 people

  10. I have been fortunate to have the romantic love and not just to have sex because I still get the romance and since we are both older and he has some medical issues, the actual sex part has definitely slowed. When we were first together he said, “I not only love you, I am IN love with you,” which are two different things. I didn’t realize it then but as time goes on I see that the “IN love with” is the romantic part. I can see that more clearly every year we are together and in the way we work out our differences. Great post, LA. Love the way you handle your comments.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. PS. I loved that episode of BBT. Leonard pointed out to Penny that she was romantic because she saved all the mementos of their relationship, including the first negative pregnancy test – LOL.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Your ability to tease out the story behind the story is amazing. And it’s so interesting too because that’s when we get to see the depth of a story!

    I think both sex and romance are actions that tie to authenticity and vulnerability. If you have sex, it tends to be vulnerable, even if a person is just saying that they want sex because it opens them for rejection. If you try romance, it is most effective if you are authentic. But when you have vulnerability and authenticity from both parties together, that’s when you have the full throttle power of connection and maybe even the ability to feel the pulse of life at it’s best.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Perhaps authenticity and vulnerability are two behaviors/conditions that happen in a loving relationship. Or perhaps romance, and romantic gestures, are more common at the beginning of a relationship. At that point they can lead to love or sex or both. Same can apply later in the relationship, too, of both parties are still willing and able to look at said gestures that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Real romance is not all hearts and flowers it is finding that your partner saw you needed gas in your car and filled it up without being asked, it is leaving the bedroom door open even if you want it closed because your partner say it makes him feel claustrophobic, it is a simple text telling someone you love them and are thinking about them. Sex is well just sex.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Well this was a surprise in my daily Reader and LA talking about sex that must be a first!

    Conceptually so much to think and I agree with all 10, and as an aside I’ve worked with young men who’ll chat women up just to get them in bed with definitely no intention of romancing them. Sex is neither love or romantic, sex is animalistic gratification, a gorgeous bodily function and I can tell you after many sexual encounters with women I hardly know, hours after going our separate ways emotionally I’m an empty shell of a man, yes I’ve enjoyed an incredible physical experience but deep down I know all I wished for was a friendly connection with possibilities, romance is knowing you’ve met a kindred spirit, perhaps even your soul mate and then the hard work begins………….now I’ll read what everyone else has to say…..gonna enjoy this one.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Well, you really got me thinking on this one. So much so, I had to look up”love” and “romance” in the dictionary. I was most disappointed because the definitions are much too “objective,” especially with love as we are trying to describe a feeling. Although I think some confuse all of these terms. Perhaps I do too. For me, the hopeless romantic, romance and love go together. Described differently, while others may fake romance or use romance as a tool to get sex, if I were romancing someone it would be because I genuinely cared about that person and hoped it would lead to a deeper relationship on all levels. And romance would be exhibited throughout the relationship, not just a step or phase of securing a relationship. I was taught, and believe, that you have sex with someone whom you are in love with. That depth of a relationship is truly sacred. And by “sacred” I mean regarded with great respect and reverence – no specific religious connotations. Sex was not to be a frivolous act. And I also don’t go so far as some religious teachings that sex can only be reserved for procreation. I’ve known people who use romance to get sex. I’ve known people who have sex for no other purpose than finding the other person to be physically attractive. That can be mutual. Neither placed any weight or value in having sex. It was something to do to enjoy yourself, like getting drunk. They were only concerned with the physical sensation – the temporary physical gratification. I’ve known people who use sex to get money or secure a lifestyle. I’ve seen lots of crazy mixed up shit out here in “society.” It would be nice to see more true love.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. My husband is snoring in the chair right next to me as I’m reading and responding to posts, as you can see I’m behind! I came in here to be alone, to think, consider my words, but he prefers to sleep right next to me, that’s sort of romantic? C

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Great topic and one I think a lot of romance authors should think about. I am a big fan of romance leading to friendship, love, and sex. I think this is why I invariably give a poorer rating to an author who has hard core sex in the first scene. Where is the romance, where is the story! This does need more reflection for sure!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I don’t think when I was dating I ever tried to use romance for sex. I wasn’t very sexually active. I was always under the impression that you had sex with someone you loved. I am and have always been an atypical male. I’ve also loved and been in love with both men and women (again though not sexually), I’ve found both sexes attractive but have only ever hooked up sexually with women. My wife finds me most romantic when I listen to her, pamper her and cook her amazing meals..not because I am persuing sex but because I enjoy being giving.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I love your line “I am totally spitballing.” Yes, you are and that description is perfect. The topic can take so many directions. Especially when Hollywood is involved. I think there are too many writers who think romance is the same thing as sex.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I think, in this country anyway, one of the reasons people conflate the three is that education across these topics is slim in most places and very average everywhere else. We can complain all we like, that parents should teach their kids about sex, love, and romance. However, what if they were not taught? Then what? It’s a great question, LA. Where do I land? They are all nice in their own way. I don’t have to have all three, yet sex is very important to a long-term loving relationship.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All three are important in there way. I wonder if we were to Venn diagram it how it shakes out? Can these concepts be taught? Or do kids need to be exposed to fiction so that they learn?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Agreed. Mmm. An interesting notion to ponder. I think they can be taught, yet will obviously need to be experienced practically for the teaching to make sense. Just like anything. I don’t think they need to be exposed to fiction to learn. People have learned to care for one another for millenia without “fiction.” I do wonder, how do we break the cycle of parents inability to teach their children and youth about these important concepts? Hmmm. Reflecting. Have a great day, LA.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I’ve always been a sucker for romance – the flowers, the thoughtful little gifts (not expensive), the thoughtful cup of tea placed by my elbow when I was so preoccupied with my writing I was unaware it was there until I was literally physically nudged. It saddens me that romance can be used to get someone into bed. That is not romance, it is manipulation.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Romance is outdated these days.. people have become materialistic.. they just want sensual satisfaction.. but I belong to the pGeneration when a candle light dinner or walking hand in hand in the moonlight was considered romantic..I guess social media is doling out wrong ideas of romance and sex and the young generation just laps it up.. even platonic relations can be romantic !

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Fascinating subject. This is how I see it, and I can only deduct it from my own experiences. The use of romance doesn’t end on the day of marriage! It is at our disposal anytime, anywhere. It has specific rules though. When used all the time, it feels purposeful and always comes with an agenda, and that is our alarm bell. When used seldom, is genuine and honest, then it is a strong relationship builder and is really invigorating. This cannot be taught but can be conveyed to minors by example.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think romance is an integral part of a process called courtship or in other words choosing a partner. It usually starts with eye contact, continues with flirt, than comes romance. And this stage is when it can end up as love or only sex. When it becomes love all of the above steps have to be maintained for a lasting relationship. If it becomes sex the components are not important and lasts only as long as sex is satisfying for both partners. So romance is, in my opinion, decisive.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. I would define it as a set of words, gestures, affections and promiscuous behavior suitable for achieving the expected results. It has individuality in that some of us are more or less successful at it. We judge everything by their results. If there are no results it stays just an illusion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. But I think romance is different per person. The most romantic thing my husband can do for me is clean the bathroom…😉

      Like

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