What’s the meaning of sex? Men are often encouraged to see there is more to sex than the mere physical expression, and rightly so. However, we are then told sex is primarily about intimacy, which is often translated in practice as being more romantic and affectionate.

While romance and affection are good things, they don’t seem resonate with many men. And I wonder if it is because these are often behaviors imposed on men rather than meaning they discover. 

How can men discover meaningful sex that is not limited to a feminine style of expression?

I believe there are three ways  – by what we give, what we receive, and by the stand we take in face of the mystery of it all.

Said another way, meaning can be discovered in terms of what we create, what we encounter and experience, and through the posture and attitude we take toward the profound mystery of sex.


Discovering meaning in sex can come through what we give to each encounter and to our sexual life as a whole.

Meaning here requires our active engagement – creating, building, and intentionally offering the fullness of our sexuality for others.

To be sure, sexual energy has creative potential, and this is not limited to making babies. God has granted us the ability to bring more life and goodness into the world.

This might involve creating moments that open us to more ecstasy, joy, and hope, in the bedroom and beyond.


Meaning can also be found in sex through what we receive through encounters and experiences.

While intimacy is not the only path for meaningful sexual encounters, it is a significant one. Intimate sex is more meaningful than casual hookups.

However, the meaning of intimacy is not limited romance and affection per se, but in truly allowing ourselves to be known in the presence of another.

In addition to intimacy, meaning can also be discovered through the beauty of sex.

Similar to the pleasure of watching the sunset or listening to good music, the beauty of sex affects us.

We are changed and stand in awe of the experience, unable to do anything to make it happen, only receive what is. And even when we can’t fully explain it, we still know we’ve experienced something profoundly meaningful.

Opening to the intimacy and beauty available are ways in which we can experience the deeper meaning of sex.  


Sex is always more than mere sex and our posture toward it, therefore, can always be meaningful.

For instance, the Apostle Paul reminds us there are spiritual realities playing out in every sexual encounter whether or not we intend it or even conscious of it – a mysterious bonding which has profound implications (1 Corinthians 6:16).

As such, even if we’ve exhausted all our creativity and there’s nothing left to give, and we’ve maxed out all the intimacy and beauty available, meaning remains.

This is incredibly freeing.

Despite all our efforts to create or even in what we might experience, choosing an attitude that still acknowledges the weight and significance of sex can fulfill its meaning.

We stand on the truth there is more here than what meets the eye!

When we search for the deeper meaning of sex it becomes more than a fun way to rub our bodies together and make babies, it becomes a vehicle of love.

What meaning does sex have for you? How can you be more creative? Are there ways in which you can open more to the intimacy and beauty available? What might it look like to always choose a meaningful attitude toward sex?

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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