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3 min read

The Six Types of Sex: Which are you having?

Sexual health is an important topic, though it is often avoided because of its intimate nature. There are both mental, physical, and, for many, even spiritual aspects to sexual activity. In this article, we'll discuss the main three varieties of sexual closeness, as well as the three main physical forms of sexual intimacy and how they relate to sexual relationships.

How Many Different Types of Sex Are There?

There can be numerous types of sex, depending on whether you are interested in the purely physical aspects of sexual intercourse (for example, vaginal sex, oral sex, or anal sex) or the psychological or emotional forms of sex. In this article, we'll look at two different theories on the psychological forms of sexual intercourse.

Depending on the source, there are three types of sex--one is referred to the three R's, the other is the three S's. We'll take a look at both sets.

3 R Types of Sex

Relational Sex

Relational sex is sexual intercourse that is engaged in to feel closer to your sexual partner. This can be doing fun activities together or just a simple need to feel close. Sexual pleasure may be a part of this type of sex, but it is mainly done to feel physical closeness. A release of oxytocin can also create a feedback loop that keeps you wanting further encounters.

Reproductive Sex

Reproductive sex is sex simply for the sake of reproduction. This type of sex is often engaged in for religious reasons and does not have anything to do with sexual pleasure; the main purpose is to have children. Not that sexual pleasure is never a part of it, but it is not a thought or requirement.

Recreational Sex

Recreation sex is sexual activity for the sake of sexual pleasure and no other reason. Psychologist Alfred Kinsey was a pioneer in bringing the idea of recreational sex into the public arena, although people have been practicing it since sexual intercourse began. Types of recreational sex include oral and anal sex, mutual masturbation, same sex sexual practices, use of sex toys, and a variety of other types of sexual intercourse. This type of sex is not for procreation, but for fun.

3 S Types of Sex

Solace Sex

Solace sex is somewhat similar to relational sex, but with more negative connotations. Someone engaging in solace sex is doing so to feel closer to their sexual partners, but in a way that is seeking reassurance rather than an expression of closeness.

Often, people who engage in this type of sexual intercourse are anxious and have low self esteem. They feel that they need positive reinforcement from their partner in the form of sexual activity. Unfortunately, with this type of sex, a person will often feel hurt. If their partner isn't interested in sex or doesn't have an orgasm, they may feel rejected or that they did something wrong.

Sealed Off Sex

Sealed off sex is often practiced by people who try to remain emotionally unattached to others. To them, sexual activity is a performance in which they must succeed by achieving orgasm for themselves and their partner. During this type of sex, they remain aloof and will avoid forms of cuddling or affection, focusing only on the sexual act itself. This type of sex can quickly begin to feel mechanical.

Synchrony Sex

Synchrony sex is practiced between people who feel safe and affectionate toward one another. They are responsive and in-tune with each other's needs. This doesn't mean that sex is perfect for them or that they don't have occasional awkward missteps (we all do), but that on the whole they remain relaxed, curious, and playful toward sexual intercourse and toward each other.

People who practice synchrony sex are typically able to be open and honest in their communication with each other and to easily vocalize their needs. They are both typically emotionally secure and are in-sync both in and out of the bedroom.

Marriage and Relationships

In marriage and long term relationships, you may want to consider not only the types of sexual activity you're engaging in but also the emotional types of sex. For example, sometimes a partner may crave relational sex to feel close. Or maybe morning sex of a recreational variety is needed for a fun pick me up that offers a reinforcement of sexual attraction. Communicate openly in marriage to understand the ways in which you come together, both physically and emotionally.

The Bottom Line on Types of Sex

What sexual practices you enjoy will depend on different factors such as sexual orientation, upbringing, and personal preferences. The types of sex used in your sex life can all be great, assuming that you listen to your partner's body and words, keep an eye on sexual health through safe sex practices, and keep things fun.

If you’d like to work on your sex life with your partner, a licensed couples therapist in Brooklyn may be able to help.

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