Sex, meet Stephen Curry. You’re both exceptional but overrated.
When it comes to an intimate relationship, I don’t want a piece of the pie. I want the whole PIE. That’s right; the physical alone will not trip my trigger. I want the intellectual and the emotional too. This is true intimacy and makes a relationship really hum.
Yes, sex matters, but it is such a small piece of the overall PIE. In fact, even within the physical sphere, it is just one of many pieces. There is foreplay, kissing, touch, showers together, and dozens of other things that do not even have to lead to sex. In all of this, I would be so bold as to proclaim that sex is overrated.
Now, before you decide to delete me from your “friends” page on Facebook or begin to question whether I have ever had, or given, good sex, let me explain. Sex, when mixed with undeniable attraction, unselfishness, and energy is the bee’s knees and the wings.
And Stephen Curry is an NBA player that can hit a three-pointer while standing on one leg, kissing a baby, and juggling six bowling balls simultaneously. Heck, after 18-months of exceptional play, he has already been listed as one of the Top-25 professional basketball players of all-time. Now, this guy is no joke, but he may very well be overrated. After all, he wasn’t even the MVP of the NBA Finals that brought his team a championship, and he has defensive lapses. However, because he is such a sight to see and those three pointers are nailed from so many difficult positions and places, it is very hard not to treat him like a demigod. And, we do. Here’s the thing. Stephen does not win that title without Andre Iguadola. Or, Draymond Green. Or, Klay Thompson. Or, Steve Kerr. Until Stephen Curry finds a better defensive rhythm, he will never be in the same stratosphere as Michael Jordan or other two-way players. Sex, meet Stephen Curry. You’re both exceptional but overrated.
Sex without emotional intimacy is just sex. It’s the emotional intimacy that brings two people together in ways that cannot be done through pure intercourse. Emotional intimacy is the culmination of respect, kindness, common experiences, and spiritual energy that two people feel for one another. When this is in the intimacy equation, other things will matter less, including great sex.
Before you say, “yeah, right,” there have been articles written about performance issues that could be a lot less complicated, demoralizing, and embarrassing if the emotional intimacy between two people was strong. Often times, when men focus too much on sex and less on emotional availability and intimacy, women will feel disconnected or see the bedroom as a place to do quick work before they go back to soul searching.
On the other hand, when two people are emotionally intimate, the prominence and experience of their physical connection increases exponentially. I think about the couple in bed that converses and flirts for hours before and after sex because the emotional connection that they have makes it undesirable to simply go and go.
Intellectual intimacy is another area of significance. When I think of intellectual intimacy, the phrase “seduce my mind and you can have my body” comes to mind. If Frank has never been intellectually attractive to Jennie, he either will never have her, or he will never fully have her, and vice versa. I have had several male clients tell me that while they would do the deed with someone, because they could never have an intellectual conversation with her, it would never be more than just sex. We crave connections with people that can meet us at our level; it is a non-negotiable for nearly all of us. On the other hand, we’re willing to have sex with a lot of people simply because we find them physically pleasing to us.
When I break down the word “overrated,” I think about three things—performance, hype, and duration. I’ve talked a little about performance in the context of sex without the intellectual and emotional aspects, but that is from the view of a relationship coach.
Not many people tie sex and performance with intellectual and emotional intimacy. I also have noted that sex is the bee’s knees and the wings and yet that is entirely situational. Some people cannot last and some people cannot figure out what makes their partner tick, and in these scenarios, there will be partners that call the sex overrated. Of course, there are partners that love their sex life and would say that their partners perform admirably, four stars, etc.
The hype of sex is undeniable, especially in comparison to the hype of the other aspects of intimacy. Besides the few progressive romantic movies and some intellectual songs that never get released as singles, there is not a lot of press about intellectual intimacy, for instance. What’s more, sex has ruled the world since, well, the world was born. Sex has created people, scandals, wars, When Harry Met Sally quotes, and a multi-million dollar Kardashian empire. So, in summary, sex has the uneven performance, the hype, and the duration (pun intended.) So yes, it is overrated.
If I were a Stephen Curry fan, I would throw a big fat monkey wrench into this discussion since, theoretically, he may prove one day to be underrated when he refines his defense, wins multiple championships and Finals MVP’s, and breaks the all-time, three-point record by a couple thousand points. Sex, on the other hand, is and will always be just one aspect of intimacy and yet, from a hype perspective, it will always outshine the emotional and intellectual. In this, I don’t see sex ever getting rid of its ‘overrated’ label.