“What is love-infused sex like?” A 30-year-old male friend asked me this since he had not experienced it yet. He was single, dating and having sex, but there was an emptiness he couldn’t define. He had met a woman who was “a little out of his league”, someone worth being his best self for. His readiness to seek a deeper connection was endearing. 

So, from an over-50 perspective, what is sex based in deep love and where does it come from? 

It starts with emotional intimacy

DH and I communicate easily. That is, most of the time. We’re normal and there are things we have trouble talking about, often involving opinions about the kids. Trust me, we’ve spent hours talking about us–and talking about sex. 

I think this is where love-infused sex starts: emotional intimacy. Letting someone know you fully and knowing them to their core. Can you have good sex, even great sex, without loving someone? Yes, I suppose so. But I also know the best sex I have ever had is with DH. That’s because we have had time to age and ferment together like a stinky blue cheese: a little grody on the outside but oh-so-rich and complex on the inside.  

We are like a complex but stinky blue cheese

When you are a complex but stinky cheese, you have to talk–a lot. Twice in our marriage, we have been at the point of either fixing what was broken or it was broken forever. We’ve seen our share of counselors, even spent time apart. That is how we learned to communicate–we were forced to learn.

This is why I say: “Talk until your ass falls off, and then keep talking.” You pick up that ass and keep working at it. I think of the phrase “fight the good fight” because it can be a painful, difficult struggle, but the result can be rewarding. The prize? Emotional intimacy–knowing one another in a way that no one else does.

What I believe sex “should” be

Listen, sex should feel good for both of you, physically and emotionally. You should be fully present and focused on each other. You should both be vulnerable, be completely yourself, and enjoy yourself. In fact, you should laugh and have fun! You should not feel guilt, shame, under attack, or used, and if that is an issue, please spend some time to figure out what is going on or get help from an outside source. 

Some of our experimentation worked and some absolutely did not

Sex should also be the product of deep communication and experimentation. Our conversation has moved beyond what we like and don’t like. We have explored the fundamentals of what turns us on and why. We have experimented on the sexual spectrum. Some experiments worked and some absolutely did not, and we always learned something. 

Our sex life has mellowed. The quality has increased even though the frequency has decreased. We also talk about that, usually because I want more than I’m getting. But on the other hand, when we do have sex, DH pointed out that he is always giggling when we are done! 

Being transported by physical intimacy

I remember sex with others during which I was just there. Uninterested. Unmoved. It wasn’t love. It may have had fun moments but it wasn’t spiritual in any sense. I remained firmly on this earth. To be fair, there have been those moments with DH where I was thinking, “What is that speck on the ceiling?”

But when the sex is good, ah, the sex. That moment of the closest two people can possibly be physically and emotionally is even more intense because we love. My attraction to DH and the warm feelings of love I have for him are multiplied tenfold. I want to kiss him, touch him, envelop him, literally and metaphorically merge with him.

Losing yourself in someone you love is satisfying and soul-feeding. Safety and trust allow me to lose all inhibitions with DH. I am carried away by the experience, beyond thought into a fusion.

If you argue that sex is not spiritual, I beg to differ

No thought. Only awash with sensation, pleasure and colors. If you argue that sex is not “spiritual”, I beg to differ. There is a reason it is called “making love,” although that is a wholly inadequate term.

Sex makes me happy, very happy. 

The sublime wash of hormones and oxytocin as a result of satisfying sex lasts for hours, sometimes a day or two. I know that neither of us is going anywhere and that this will continue tonight, and tomorrow, and the day afterwards. 

What is love-infused sex like? I’ve struggled to describe what it’s like for me. Because there really are no words to tell another person what it is like for me. But if you are fortunate to be in love with a good person, you will know what I’m trying to describe. If you are looking for that person, love-infused sex is a goal worthy of being your best self for.