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Sexual Pleasure Enhanced By Love

Update Date: Aug 19, 2014 09:30 PM EDT

Sex is better when love is involved. New research on women reveals that sex is more physically satisfying when love and commitment is involved.

Researchers from the Penn State Abington interviewed straight women between the ages of 20 and 68 from different cultures. The findings revealed that women believed that love was necessary for maximum satisfaction in both sexual intercourse and marriage.

Researchers said the findings suggest that being in love makes sex more emotionally and physically pleasurable.

"Women said that they connected love with sex and that love actually enhanced the physical experience of sex," Beth Montemurro, associate professor of sociology, said in a news release.

For example, women who loved their sexual partners also reported being less inhibited and more willing to explore their sexuality.

"When women feel love, they may feel greater sexual agency because they not only trust their partners but because they feel that it is OK to have sex when love is present," Montemurro said.

Researchers said the findings suggest that women are trained to view sexual intercourse as an expression of love.

"On one hand, the media may seem to show that casual sex is OK, but at the same time, movies and television, especially, tend to portray women who are having sex outside of relationships negatively," said Montemurro.

"For the women I interviewed, they seemed to say you need love in sex and you need sex in marriage," she said.

The findings were presented Aug. 19 at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

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