YOUR SEX DRIVE AND WHERE IT COMES FROM
Your sex drive: Upon asking people why they have sex, you’re most probably going to get one of three responses: “to express my love for my partner”, “to have children”, or most commonly, “to feel good”. These three answers reflect the three major purposes of sex, so it’s not strange to have these be the most common responses. Sex has always been viewed as an act of passion between lovers and is of course, scientifically viewed to be the reason why most species copulate. But when taken from a scientific standpoint, the pleasure of sexual activity is (or was, rather) a human expression.
Of course the physiological explanation of human sexual pleasure has long been found, considering the abundance of sensory receptors found in the human genitalia. However, when taken from an evolutionary perspective, it can be said that copulating for pleasure is a strange phenomenon. But how strange is it? Are humans really the only species to experience pleasure in sex? Or more specifically, are humans the only species to have sex, simply because it feels good?
Over the course of history, the study of mating patterns of animals has been predominantly focused on hormones and reproduction. However, scientists who seek to answer more practical questions that relate all aspects of life into human experience have also sought to determine if man’s tendency to copulate for pleasure is natural.
STUDIES ON ANIMALS
Since the early 2000’s, a number of comprehensive studies on other species such as monkeys, bats and bears have each garnered results that support the idea of mammals engaging in sexual relations for pleasure. It was even observed that some species engage in oral sex. For obvious reasons, no definite conclusions can be drawn about animals having sex for pleasure. However, it was observed that animals may have alternative motives for wanting to copulate. It has even been noted that some species of monkeys mate despite the inability to reproduce (female is already pregnant or has just given birth).
As explained by Sigmund Freud, the libido (sex drive) is an animalistic instinct that exists in humans and is influenced by biological, psychological, and social factors. Focusing on the biological aspect, it can be said that the desire for sex stems further down along the evolutionary chain.
After several longitudinal studies on species such as Japanese macaques, it was concluded that female animals have an orgasm reaction characterized with increased heart rates and vaginal spasms, just as humans do. While the male orgasm is one that is necessary for reproduction, the idea of the female orgasm indicates physical pleasure and gratification. Furthermore, it was observed that these female macaques were more prone to experiencing this response when sexually engaged with more dominant members of their species. This indicates a social influence in copulation, rather than just a physiological one.
While sexual behavior is still predominantly acknowledged to be a survival instinct, it can be said that the factors of pleasure and enjoyment originate from deeper down development and evolution. This explains that the basic human urge for seeking out pleasure and sexual gratification is simply an animalistic response to present stimuli. To simplify, all humans are equipped with animalistic instincts, powerful feelings and urges that have the ability to drive us, making us more likely to seek out what we deem to be pleasurable.