Let’s Make Love
You laugh, but “make love” beats “have sex” any day.
I’ve recently discussed this with a young person I know. I won’t say why. (Maybe Granny is getting some.)
Here’s the deal. I have a real issue with “having sex.”
“Let’s have sex.” “Should we have sex?” “Wow that sex was the best I ever had.”
Like it’s on the menu at a restaurant.
“Hmm, this looks good. Yes. I’ll have the sex, with a side of broccoli and dauphine potatoes. And the pavlova after.”
“Have sex” commodifies. And makes it standardized. It’s the same “sex” for you to “have” as for me. Standard order. And if you don’t want it, the next guy will, just the same, delivered without us cooking it. Cooking is up to the chef, who always makes it the same and doesn’t care whether it’s me or you or Seth Rogen ordering it. Until then, the sex waits there in the fluorescent kitchen, its dead fish eyes clouding and its long wet tail flopping sadly over the edge of the counter.
To “have,” like, “I have a skin condition.” A bad cold, the flu. A mortgage, an overdrawn bank account, hammertoe.
All states of being. Conditions. And weirdly not part of you. There’s you and what you “have,” like halitosis, or a tax audit.
“Making love” on the other hand is something that’s being created. To “make love” is to conjure something right now that didn’t exist twenty minutes ago over that second glass of wine. “I made love” is an accomplishment. Something you’ve “made.” It’s a painting, a sand castle on sunny day, a great Indian meal prepared by a foodie.
It’s a cake, a home — you can even “make” whoopee.
“Making love” also means you’re not alone. In its usual form, it takes two. The two of you come together to create a dance, a moment that’s unforgettable. It’s art when it’s very very good. You’ve “made love” as a duo, which you can’t do alone. You lay there after in that glow from that mystical thing you’ve designed. There’s a magic in performing that coupling performance that “making love” so evocatively describes.
“Making love” is bespoke. “Having sex” is something from the drive-through.
As a straight woman, I would also much rather say that a man made love with me than we “had sex.” Because one, I’m not going to mention it at all if it wasn’t great, and “We had sex” sure sounds like it was underwhelming. I mean, IMHO, maybe rethink the whole relationship thing if “We had sex” is the very best you can say about what happened.
Two, isn’t that truly the glorious act itself, no matter the specific anatomical activity? The two of you approaching, merging, and coming apart in a dance that has created something? Something ancient. Something primitive and yes sacred that stands apart from you, that’s so huge it depletes you.
Afterwards, did I “have” it? Nah. Never. I was not the passive receiver of a plate of fish, served just the same ten minutes later to the next table over. Rather, I was an active participant. My being there made it unique. It was different for him, for me, than it would have been for anyone else. Isn’t that always true? What we did was for us, and only in that moment. Next time, even for the same two people, it will be different. “Making love” is beautiful but ephemeral, and will never come again.
“So, madame, will you both be having the sex tonight? There’s a two-for-one special.”
“No, thanks. We’ll have the bouillabaisse but we’re going home to make love.”