Love and sexual desire are different but overlapping entities, and part of the problem in early dating is to recognize the similarities and the differences. Sexual activity without love is possible; love without coitus is possible. With no prior experience and almost universally poor education regarding the nature of intimate relationships, adolescents find sex and love exhilarating but confusing experiences (Duvall, 1960; Nye, 1958; Remmers, 1957; Wolford, 1948; Nixon, 1962, p. 108). Their own sexuality is a mystery to them, and they are even more mystified by love (Sorensen, 1973, p. 58).
The majority (82 percent) recognize that sex is not the most important thing in a love relationship (Sorensen, 1973, p. 108), and many do not want to have sex with someone unless they feel some kind of love (permissiveness-withaffection) (Sorensen, 1973, p. 109). Sorensen concludes that the intensity of love is more important to them than is its duration, and that mutuality and the ability to relate are vital factors in their love (Sorensen, 1973, p. 365).
Love and sex-confusion
By the summer of our junior year in high school, we were becoming very sexually aroused over each other-in fact to the point where she thought we should break up, as she was fearing what might happen.
I began to date only him that summer and no one else, as I believed that I was in love with him. But now I realize that it was only physical. All we did was park.
A confusion of love, sex, and parental disapproval
During confusing times, I was also trying to figure out if I really loved her, or if I just wanted her because my parents didn't want me to have her. I very definitely loved her if love was considered as "personal desire." But this love was basically sexual in nature, and could actually be considered as lust.
Love and sex-the strength of sex
The only time we had serious talks during the summer was over the phone. This was the only time we could discuss something of apparent importance without being overcome by a sex drive. If there was ever any love in this relationship, it was present during these phone calls. I think this was the only time we looked at our relationship with any degree of reality.
It is hard to understand how strong the sexual attraction between two people is until you have experienced it and it has overpowered all other aspects of the relationship.