Why Humans Have Sex, a study published by University of Texas psychologists Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss in the August Issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior, allows us to peek into the current psychology, physiology, culture and bedrooms of America. The study lists 237 categories, which constitute a great vehicle for a provocative Spanish mini-course.
Twelve Obvious Responses for Sex
- I felt attracted to the person = me sentí atraído/a la persona (atraído for men, atraída for women).
- It feels good = es rico.
- Demonstrate love = demostrar amor.
- I wanted to have a child = quería tener un hijo.
- I wanted to communicate at a deeper level = Quería comunicarme en un nivel más profundo.
- I wanted to say thank you = quería darle las gracias.
- I was sexually aroused and wanted the release = estaba excitada y quería el alivio.
- The person was intelligent = la persona era inteligente.
- My hormones were out of control = mis hormonas estaban fuera de control.
- To make money = para ganar dinero.
- I thought it was my obligation = pensé que era mi obligación.
- I am addicted to sex = soy adicto/a al sexo.
Twelve Less Obvious Reasons for Sex
- Sentirme más cerca de Dios.
- Curar el dolor de cabeza.
- Vengarme de un enemigo.
- Por compasión.
- Para hacerle sentir poderosa a mi pareja.
- Para ascender mi estatus social o económico.
- Estaba cansada de ser virgen.
- Porque ella/él tenía un cuerpo escultural.
- Bebí demasiado.
- Es un buen ejercicio aeróbico.
- Para cambiar la conversación.
- Pasarle a otra persona mi enfermedad venérea (por ejemplo: herpes, SIDA = Aids)
Sentirme = to feel. A reflexive verb. Yo me siento, tu te sientes. ¿Cómo te sientes? = How do you feel?
Cerca = close. Más cerca = closer. Menos cerca = Less close. The art expression circa 1900 has the same etymology. It means around 1900, close to 1900.
Dios = God. ¡Dios mío! = My God, gee wee, Holly Molly.
Dolor de cabeza = headache. Dolor = pain, ache.
Vengarme = to get revenge, to avenge. Venganza = revenge. Me vengo = I get revenge. Me vengo, from the verb venir, to come, coincidentally also means I’m coming (the sexual euphemism.)
Por y para = for and by. The preposition por is used for motive, a reason, as in por compasión = because I felt sorry. Para connotes obejective and destination, as in para María = is for María. Para llegar muy lejos en esta compañía = to get far in this corporation.
Cansada = to feel tired.
Estar and ser = to be. Present tense of estar (a temporary state, a mood): Yo estoy = I am. Past tense: Yo estaba = I was. Present tense of ser (used for permanent characteristics and to for physical descriptions): Yo soy = I am. Past tense: Yo era = I was. In this case, cansada de ser virgen = tired of being a virgin.
Tener = to have. Present tense: yo tengo, tu tienes, el/ella tiene = I have, you have, he/she has. Past tense: yo tenía, tú tenías, el/ella tenía = I had, I was having, I used to have.
Cuerpo = body. ¡Qué cuerpo! What a body!
Beber = drink, imbibe. Present tense: yo bebo = I drink. Past tense: Yo bebí = I drank.
Demasiado = too much.
Cambiar = to change.
Pasar = to pass on, to transmit.
Enfermedad = disease. Enfermedad de contagio sexual = STD.
Five Necessary Verbs for Sex
- Hacer = to make, to do. Used in the euphemism hacer el amor = to make love. One of the reasons respondents in the study gave for having sex was to demostrate love = demostrar amor. Present tense of hacer: Yo hago, tu haces, el/ella hace = I make, I do, you make, you do, he/she makes, does. Past tensnse: Yo hice, tu hiciste = You made, did. It is not unusual to hear people exclaiming the morning after: ¿!Qué hice, Dios mío?! What did I do, My God! More often for such expression people use the past perfect: ¿¡Qué he hecho?! = What have I done?!
- Dar = to give. Dar placer = to give pleasure. One student asked what was the Spanish equivalent of she gives it out. Ella lo da = she gives it. Ella se lo da = she gives it to him/her. Spanish-speakers do not use that expression often, except those who are influenced by English. So, my student pressed on, then what do Spanish-speakers used for she is not giving it out?
- Acostarse = to go to bed, to lie down, to get to bed. My student insisted: What is the Spanish equivalent for She gives it out easily. Se acuesta con cualquiera = she goes to bed with anyone. Dominicans have a colorful expression for the ocassion: Ella es un avión = she is an airplane. I asked a Dominican friend to explain the metaphor. She said: porque un avión aterriza en cuaquier cama = because un avión lands in any bed.
- Cuidarse = to take care of oneself, to protect oneself. The incidence of STD, enfermedades de contagio sexual o enfermedades venéreas, makes the verb cuirdarse for sex as important as the verb desear = to desire. People use el deseo = desire, the noun, and the verb desear more in art than in the bedroom. Luis Buñuel, the late Spanish filmmaker, for instance, made a great movie that explores the dark aspects of desire: Ese oscuro objeto del deseo = That Obscure Object of Desire. Tener ganas is more common. Tener ganas is not easily translated. Tengo ganas = I feel like..., I have a desire for... For example: Tengo ganas de helado = I feel like ice cream. Qué ganas tengo de chocolate = I’m dying for some chocolate. Te tengo ganas = I feel like loving you, I want to have sex with you. Qué ganas que te tengo = I do, I really do, please, please...
- Meter. To end the list of useful verbs for sex, I quote the poet: ¡Meter o no meter, ese es mi dilema! Meter = to insert. My student asked: What about penetrate? The verb penetrar in Spanish is used by laywers in Court but seldom by lovers in the bedroom.
Appropriate Sex Expressions
I conducted an informal (certainly not scientific) survey of expression often used in the bedroom, dormitorio. Here are 17 responses:
¡Qué rico! = Nice! I like that! Delicious! It feels good.
Así no = not like that.
Más = more.
¿Quién es tú papi? = Who’s your daddy?
Por ahí no = not there.
¿Es tuyo todo eso? = Is all that yours?
Solo un poquito = just a little bit.
¿Cómo que ya? = What do you mean already?
¡Egosita! = Selfish!
¿Me quieres? = Do you love me?
Claro que te quiero = Of course I love you.
Para, para = Stop! Stop!
No pares! No pares! = Don’t stop! Don’t stop!
Tines un condón = Do you have a condom?
Qué! = What!
¡Coñó! = Damn! Without stressing the last syllable it is a universal interjection in the Caribbean tantamount to gee, boy, wow.
Mi reino por un condón = my kingdom for a condom!
One Last Reason
I listed in my book Llegar a 100, a manual for a healthy heart, that sex is important to keep the heart healthy, that quality and quantity counted. Sex is equivalent to a twenty-minute walk. Not surprisingly, according to the study Why Humans Have Sex, respondents thought sex made them feel healthier (reason number 105). My student summarized it in perfect Spanish: Sexo es salud.