Wise Guys – Do Men Differentiate Between Sex and Makin' Love?

photo by geishaboy500

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Do guys differentiate between having sex and makin’ love?

Straight Married Guy (David): A rose by any other name… would still be fucking. Simply a matter of semantics, two sides of the same slippery coin. Actually, bad analogy, since it’s of course more like a spectrum and there are a million shades of (candy apple) gray. There’s going all the way, gettin’ it on, gettin’ down (and dirty), doin’ the dog, humping, slamming, balling, boning, makin’ babies. There’s angry sex, makeup sex, sex-with-the-ex, kinky, quick-&-dirty, long-&-lazy, sleepy, sneaky, secret, public, unexpected, last-minute and loud sex. And of course there’s just plain ol’ hardcore fucking. All of which are better descriptions than “having sex,” as passive, generic, antiseptic and surprisingly popular term as exists for such an awesomely animal act. Even “makin’ love,” despite — or perhaps thanks to — its ironic Barry White implications, is a much better way to talk about it. Not to knock that modus operandi. Always nice to put a little (or a lotta) lovin’ into whatever variation on the carnal theme you happen to be doing that day. But anyone who thinks it’s ever all hearts-&-flowers, even at it’s most hushed and tender, is probably just twelve.

jon_rossGay Married Guy (Jon Ross): Guys definitely differentiate between sex and making love. In my mind the distinction centers on planning and preparation. I like to plan date nights with my husband where we go out to a nice restaurant, reconnect, and go home and make love. We’ll often light candles, play some Sade (he’s a sucker for it), and get it on. It’s usually slow, romantic and hot. Then there’s just sex. Sex usually happens more on the spot, spontaneous gettin it on. It’s usually quicker (though not always), unplanned (though not necessarily) and dirtier (if you’re lucky).

chris_diclericoStraight Single Guy (Chris): I don’t care about what anything is called, but certainly I believe there is a huge difference between wild monkey sex with a stranger and the sweet, sweet lovemaking one might have with their girlfriend. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think I do things differently, more affectionately, and more carefully with a random stranger. No, I’m kidding. Of course I mean with a loving partner. When it comes to which tricks are used during so-called lovemaking or sex, I would say that there are some raunchier things that, while not off-limits to the girlfriend, definitely are not used during the sweet lovemaking. Probably it should be a rule that you can’t always mix the affectionate with the wild. There is a time and a place for everything, and a dive-bar bathroom is not the place for whispering sweat nothings into anyone’s ear, especially if the ear is pressed up against an electric hand dryer.

Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. This week’s Straight Married Guy is David Jacobs, a NYC-based photographer; our Straight Single Guy is Chris DiClerico; and our Gay Married Guy is Jon Ross of Boerum Hill Blog. To ask the guys your own question, click here.


  1. Actually, a sweet nothing whispered in your girlfriend’s ear when you’re fucking her hardcore against a hand dryer would probably make most women feel like a million bucks–because it’s what most of us want: To be thought of as being as sexy as a pornstar and still be someone you can respect and love. So I say pin her hands over her head, have her up against that bathroom wall, look her in the eyes and say “You’re so beautiful” rather than “You’re a dirty slut”–I guarantee she’ll go more pornstar for you with the beautiful comment–because she’ll feel safe enough to do so.

  2. I see a distinction, but it’s not the one that’s normally drawn. For me, it’s dependent on the emotional connection – if there’s love and emotional intimacy, you’re making love (no matter how wild and crazy the sex is)… and if there isn’t, then you’re not.

  3. Hot, kinky, monkey sex sounds like LOVE to me! The stereotype of gentle, romantic sex = making love needs some serious revision!

  4. Maybe I’ve been reading too much Dan Savage, but why is it that gay sex sounds way hotter than straight sex, Gay Married Guy Jon? Hmmm? MY husband doesn’t put on Sade… 🙁

    Straight Single Guy Chris: “a dive-bar bathroom is not the place for whispering sweat nothings into anyone’s ear, especially if the ear is pressed up against an electric hand dryer.”
    ….but at least the hand dryer would take care of the sweat…. Heh.

  5. Making ‘love’ requires planning. There needs to be a nice dinner, some wine, candles and music, maybe sexy lingerie and a clean bed room or nice hotel. I don’t think making love needs to be slow and boring though, it can be crazy sex, but in a nice environment.

  6. I’ve actually “made love” with a random stranger-girl. Something about very intimate, tender lovey-dovey sex with a stranger was as racy and thrilling as any hot fluid-spattered hair-pulling fuck.

    Of course, this came with a certain inherent risk: according to my personal definition, you can not “make love” with a condom on, and, against my better judgement, that’s how we did it. Was it worth the subsequent mental stress while waiting for my test results in the STD clinic? Since my tests came back clean, yes. That long-ago love-make turns me on when I think about it to this day.

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