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Sex is purely a hormonal act, whereas love, as expressed in a hug, brings true intimacy. I pore over these articles, never quite trusting their advice, but still discussing them with my girlfriends ad infinitum. But is sex really about love, about connecting with your partner in some mysterious, profound way? I think the 20th century made the whole story upand we bought it because it suited us. We went from sex-shame to sex-worship in a few heady years. And just being naked with someone is a real act of trust.

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I think I always knew that, but it was easy for me to conflate the two. In my mid to late twenties, I damn near forgot all about that warning. In reality, it was sexual irresponsibility, and I fell for it. If I described what I wanted some would call it a friends with benefits situation. There will be some common ground and if we get to talking about that, then okay. But again, once some common ground is found, over time something may blossom.

Lust vs. love.

Very rarely if ever do I approach someone with sex in the forefront of my mind. Once my feelings emerge, lust takes over. What was once a communion of two people love becomes a foray into how to get the girl naked lust. The scale gets completely tipped into sexual desire.

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Love involved me seeing qualities that I valued in someone else and wanting to bounce these values back and forth like a good tennis rally. It was about bonding and actually liking and vibing the soul within the body sitting across from you. Love was not immediate.

It was not at first sight. Maybe the reason you spoke to this other person was because of attraction or sexual desire, but that was not the focus. It was just encouragement. Lust was the carnal instinct to have sex.

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It was lust at first sight. Something about the body, the face, and the estrogen levels combined to make my subconscious deem this person as an acceptable sexual partner — not life partner, not friend, not confidante and not business partner.

How to tell if it's love or lust.

The parts of my brain responsible for cooking up a narrative about this sexual partner are too numerous to list. Because love and lust can arrive at the same time and often do, things can get super confusing.

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As a teen, I was driven largely by lust but I was a genius compared to mids me because I could differentiate who was good to sleep with versus who was good to be with. The mids me muddied the waters. Love, inherently, has nothing to do with sex. Think about it. You love your parents, your pet and hopefully yourself, but you cannot sleep with any of those things.

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There is in fact a physiological reaction when you love someone or when you give love, but it is not the same feeling as sexual attraction. It just subsides for a while.

More from medium

Therefore, love may take on a sexual component in a companionship. Or, a sexual relationship may change into a companionship, with the sexual component in tow. Former Edu. Get started. Open in app.

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Jason Henry. in Get started. Get started Open in app. Sex and Love are Not the Same Thing. More from Jason Henry Follow. More From Medium. Wesley Owens in Love. The Magazine. Glow from Within Official. Dayana Sabatin in Hello, Love. Manasi Kudtarkar in Hello, Love. Shannon Ashley.

Kathrine Meraki in Invisible Illness.

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