When Does Sex Become Making Love?
By Laura Gilbert

December 2001

What’s the difference between just doing it and “I love you”-ing it? Men and women weigh in on when and how-and how often-they make the switch.

What are you doing when you get between the sheets-having down-and-dirty sex or making memorably sweet love? Listen to the conventional wisdom: . “If you’re just enjoying a primarily physical connection with your partner; maybe by doing it in six different positions, you’re having sex,” says Ava Cadell, Ph.D., author of Confessions to a Sexologist (Peters). “But making love involves a higher level of connection and an emotional attachment. It’s about caring, consideration and passion.”

Still, one-night stands can be tender and sweet, and just because you’ve been with the same person for five years doesn’t mean you can’t still rock the bed. “All couples define having sex and making love differently,” admits Dr. Cadell. “Sometimes even the man and the woman in the same couple feel completely differently about what they’re doing in bed.” “Making love makes an emotional imprint, which is why you remember lovemaking long after you forget the details of plain old sex.”