What’s the difference between ‘screwing’ and lovemaking?

They’ll both have a place in your sexual repertoire, but grasp the difference and you’ll take your intimate life to new, higher levels – built on trust, understanding, acceptance and, of course, passionately charged L-O-V-E.

Melissa (20): My boyfriend and I have been going out together for about a year now and we are getting really keen on each other. My problem is that whenever we talk about sex he calls it screwing and I think of it as making love. Is there really a difference or are we talking about the same thing using different words?

John (25): This gets me rather confused too. You see, I think Melissa sees sex as being only about love, romance and all that, whereas to me it’s much more of a physical release. She accuses me of being an animal sometimes, but I think I’m just a normal guy for 25. What do you think?

The Lovers’ Guide replies:

As with so many such issues in the bedroom, you’re both right and you’re both wrong! Sex can be both raunchy and ‘animal-like’ and loving, romantic and tender. Couples who have been together for some time and are becoming more intimate find that they have both types of sex at different times.

Every lovemaking occasion is different and we can’t and shouldn’t expect the same thing from every session together. Also, it’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll necessarily both be feeling the same about sex at the same time. One of you may, for example, want raunchy, quickie sex while the other will be feeling more sensual and would happily settle for a cuddle. Sex, after all, doesn’t have to end up with an orgasm for either or both of you. The trouble with younger men is that they usually still see sex as being some sort of performance in which they, their partner, or both have an orgasm. Most men today try to ‘give’ their partner one or more orgasms, but all too often this ends up as yet more pressure to ‘perform’. Unfortunately. Pleasure usually flies out of the window as the guy focuses on what he’s doing rather than what he’s feeling. Is it any surprise, then, that he soon wants more sex? He really hadn’t got much out of the last encounter. And so the cycle repeats itself, sometimes year in, year out.

It is fair to say that there is a difference between ‘having sex’ or ‘screwing’ and ‘making love’. The words tend to be the give-away. When ‘having’ someone, we do just that, whereas when we ‘make’ love we really are making something.

So what are the differences? First of all, we can have sex or copulate with just about anyone. Making love, on the other hand, is a much more individual experience that is personalised to our partner. When we make love, their pleasure is paramount; it is a form of communication and it calls for a degree of commitment. Not only does making love involve our genitals but also our whole personality. In this way, we declare ourselves to our lover and cooperate with them in this highly personalised activity.

Of course, it’s not essential that we or our lover have an orgasm every single time – though this is certainly achievable. If we are making love, we can be sure that we enjoy other sensual or spiritual pleasures and rewards. Such lovemaking improves with time and increases the value of our partner to us. One of the best things about this sort of sex is that it leaves the couple flexible enough to vary things as their needs change – and, because the horizons are limitless, there are no holds barred.

We might suggest that people make love more and have sex less. This usually produces excellent results in their relationships as they discover that lovemaking is tolerant of failure in a way that screwing isn’t. No one’s sex life is one long round of success. We all have our failures. Lovemaking, though, copes well with the occasional failure because there are so many other rewards within the sexual relationship that a lack of performance or even poor quality orgasms simply do not threaten the couple’s bond.

As couples make love rather than ‘screw’ they increase their levels of communication, reveal more about themselves in trust and devote themselves to continuous improvement. All of this makes lovemaking a lifetime’s investment that they can call upon year after year.

Having said this, there are times when one or, perhaps, both partners wants to go for a quickie. The pleasures of this sort of ‘I fancy you and want you now’ sex are obvious and flattering to our partner. However, if this sort of sex becomes the only dish on the sexual menu, it can become boring and will sooner or later threaten the whole relationship. Keep this few thoughts with you – and talk it through.

Posted in Sex, Sex Q&A