Sex is something that is unique in meaning to every individual. No matter what race, culture or religion, sex is subjective and a person will understand sex as something that has been informed by their own experiences and life lessons. Ultimately, your understanding of sex and what it means to you should be positive.

Depending on the context, sex holds different meanings for different people. Sex on a wedding night may mean something far more intimate for one person than sex on a one-night stand. There are infinite meanings to the word sex, the connotations of sex and sex as an action. Most people associate the meaning of sex with the words passion, trust and intimacy. Trusting a partner, and trusting in your own sexual ability is often at the core of a healthy and stable sexual relationship, yet trust may not give full meaning to your understanding of sex. For some people, a sexual experience may not encompass all of these elements. When you have a sexual experience – be it flirting, foreplay, intercourse, or even ‘sexting, the experience happens at a personal and emotional level, affecting all the people involved in different ways. Therefore, each person may have a different understanding of that sexual experience, and may take away a different sexual meaning. Often people feel pressured to meet social norms regarding sex. If your friend tells you that they are having sex “at least once a day”, you may feel that you are not sexually adequate, yet this may be their own understanding of sex and sex may mean something very different to them than it does to you. Don’t let others influence your meaning of sex. Be independent and own what sex means to you rather than letting others dictate what it should mean.

When it comes to the importance of sex, it really comes down to ‘different strokes for different folks’. Sex can hold a different type of importance at different stages of the relationship. If you’re in a relationship where no sex before marriage is something you’ve agreed upon, then sex isn’t important to you now as a couple. If you’re in a relationship where sex is a daily occurrence and then suddenly stops, then sex is an important part of your relationship and something to talk about with your partner. At the beginning of many relationships, sex is generally a passionate, exciting new experience, and the two of you cannot keep your hands off one another. Just remember to be responsible and upfront with each other. Sex in the early stages of a relationship can help form foundations of trust, as well as a physical and emotional bonds. In a long-term relationship, it’s important to remember that sex can sometimes feel like a chore, or that it has become routine and boring. If sex is still something you or your partner value as important, then you need to address it. Maybe try new things with your partner, like sensual massage or cooking a romantic dinner. If you do feel that you have become detached from your partner sexually and sex is something way down on your list of priorities, then it’s important to evaluate your relationship and where the problems lie. Is it stress, or is there something deeper going on at a sexual level?

Ultimately, the importance of sex and its’ meaning are completely unique to every man and woman and understanding and owning how you feel sexually is important for healthy, happy and satisfying sexual experiences and relationships.