Sex. Is it better to give or receive? The answer may surprise you

In sex is it better to give or receive?

This is almost a psychological trick question. When asking this to yourself, the answer tells you if you are a giver or a taker. Or does it? Society suggests to us that as a man, you would say that “receiving” is the better sex as this is supposed to be a man’s world and all. If you think back at the best sex you ever had though, the answer may not be so simple.

How you perceive this question can also determine the correct answer. Are you thinking what is the best sex that a person gets, or are you thinking what makes you a better lover? You may be at a stage in your life where you are newly single and wanting to be a more attractive man by being better at sex. If so, you are seeing this question as one that determines what makes a better lover. You may not even be thinking about your own sexual wants right now. Your main thought is only in making sure you are good at sex.


There is this age old question that we have all heard during Christmas time. “Is it better to give than to receive”? When it comes to across the board type of things changing hands and going from one person to another, it’s a fairly easy question to answer especially if you are a man. It is, of course, better to give.

Giving mostly means positive things. When you give, it shows that you are in the position to provide something of yourself and at least have given some thought to something or someone other than yourself. Other humans admire that kind of shit. Then when you get a genuine appreciation for it, you can feel awesome.

Back to Christmas. The admiration a man has from his family and (most importantly) for himself when he sees the gifts he gave are discovered and appreciated can be the best morning of the year for some dads. He’s not thinking about the socks and car wax he got. He’s not even giving much thought to the next six months of overtime he’ll be putting in to pay for all of it. He just sits there, content with knowing that for another year, he has provided for his family. Good stuff.

Receiving, although not usually as good as giving, can be pretty fucking spectacular as well. To realize the thought, money, care, time, sacrifice, and love that someone put out just to give you something they know you truly need or want is a magical feeling of connection. And when the gift is something you really want or need and is something you can’t or won’t acquire on your own, then life is good.


Generally, giving is great. But there are some unhealthy forms of it if it’s for the wrong reasons. When we think of giving, we think of all the positives. We think it’s unselfish, caring, sharing, and responsible. Giving can be bad though. Here are a few examples.

1. Giving when you don’t want to

Feeling obligated to give is not great. Sure, it can still make you feel good and the takers are still benefiting but you don’t really want to or feel that you should. That kinda takes away the whole concept of giving.

2. Giving when you don’t have the means

If giving is ruining you financially or the time and effort is severely hurting relationships, goals, and maintenances that are important to you, then that is bad. Giving shouldn’t destroy who you are or want to be.

3. Giving to manipulate

Pure giving is achieved when there is no judgment or desire to control an outcome. To give with a caveat can produce resentment on one or both sides of the transfer and that’s not at all good.

4. Giving to receive

A lot of people keep score with what they give and get. This may not be the worse thing in the world but is it really considered giving if you are monitoring the balance of what you get versus what you give? I say no. This is more of an unspoken transactional agreement.

5. Narcissistic giving

If you are only giving in relation to how it makes you look or feel, then is that really giving? How could it be? You can’t give and only be thinking about how you are or will benefit from it. Again, it’s not the worst thing as other people are receiving something. But it’s not really giving though.


Receiving something is usually a great experience. It gives you a feeling of humanity as we are social creatures. Not all receiving is created equal though. Here are some of the negatives:

1. Receiving from someone you don’t like

When you sincerely don’t like someone for whatever reason, you don’t want anything from them. Getting something from them is annoying. You may want to tell them to take that (given) thing and shove it straight up their ass. But instead, you may have to say “thank you”.

2. Receiving means you are indebted

Nothing takes away the goodwill feelings of receiving more than thinking that you now owe that person. And the bigger the gift, the more you can feel you owe which can suck extra if you don’t have a lot in your life to give back.

3. Receiving an ongoing obligation

Your girlfriend giving you a $4,000 Doberman puppy may be a generous gesture of giving as that is your favorite dog breed. But who’s gonna take care of it? Great! Thanks, honey.

4. Receiving as a pay-off

Genuine receiving shouldn’t have anything attached to it. If you get something just because the person giving it to you felt they owed it, that’s just making good on a debt. Technically, you don’t even have to say “thank you” for this.

What’s most annoying about this is that you don’t have a say in what the “pay off” is to you. You may not feel it’s the right thing to make things right or whole between you two.

5. Receiving something you don’t need or like

We’ve all experienced this. It may not be terrible but knowing that gift you just got is going straight in the trash can when you get home takes away from the experience. You can’t tell your mom that you like coconut, so every year she spends hours making macaroons for your neighbor’s kids and doesn’t know it.


I feel that sex is a microcosm of the relationships we have with the people in our lives. And in all relationships we have with others, there is always a transference of giving and taking. It’s important to know what genuine giving and receiving is, in order to understand what is good in bed.


Using the examples above, we can see that some giving is not good and that some receiving is not good either. You don’t have to worry then about thinking that one is better than the other. It may sound better to you to think you are a giver. But if you are more of a taker, then it’s better to recognize who you really are instead of fooling yourself just because “taker” sounds worse. In the reality of sexuality, it’s not necessarily better to be a giver. Sometimes it’s much better to be a taker. Here’s my example:

For some years I had a girlfriend who was a fairly extreme taker when it came to sex. She was a deeply sexual person and our sex was more about her orgasms than mine. Our sexual chemistry was amazing as I was a happy being the primary giver and she the primary receiver. This sexual relationship allowed me to truly define myself as a giver and over time, that became how I was when it came to sex.

Well, we broke up and I found myself dating another and she was the opposite of the girl before, she was an incredible giver. To her, it was all about me. Almost all the joy she got from sex was in the pleasure she could give me. So here we were, two givers, having a lot of sex. In the first couple of months, our chemistry was not great as there was a battle going on to who was going to give and who was going to receive. Eventually, her desire to give was stronger than mine so I started to learn how to receive.

You may think that it’s an easy transition to go from giver to taker, but it wasn’t. I was a poor taker at first which made the sex frustrating for both of us. As time when by though, I learned to receive her giving and we formed pretty good chemistry. Truth be told, I embraced the whole “taker” role quite well and learned to love it. My girlfriend after that didn’t like any sex much at all but that’s a different story.

I’ve learned then that I can be a giver and a taker when it fits. Overall though, I know that I am more of a giver than a receiver. It’s good to know this information. It makes it easier for me to navigate through new sexual partners finding good chemistry.

So what are you? If you’re not sure, here are a few questions you can answer to help you make that determination:

1. Would you rather perform oral sex or get a blowjob?

Some guys can still be takers and love to go down on women so this isn’t an absolute indicator of what you are but it should tell you something. To be perfectly content with her blowing you while having no true regard for her turn can put you in the “taker” category though.

2. Do you enjoy the foreplay she requires?

Every woman is different. Each has her own time frame for what it takes to make her ready for wanting sex. Some take five seconds while others take a whole month of doing shit for her. Do you enjoy doing what it takes to make her want it? Or do you hate having to jump through fiery hoops just to get to the point where you can get it in?

If you don’t mind or maybe even enjoy her foreplay process, then you might be a giver.

3. Do you wait for her to come first?

A girlfriend of mine once described the sex with her ex-husband as “ a race to see which one has their orgasms first”. If you don’t really care whether she gets off or not, then you might be a taker.

Now, if you have some kind of rule like “she has to get off three times before you come”, then you are more possibly a giver.

4. Is just a blowjob good enough for you?

For many, the sex portion of a relationship eventually reduces to just her giving him a blowjob and that’s it. Regardless of how it got there, she’s not getting anything physically sexual from you and is only “servicing” your needs with some head. There are some unique situations out there but generally, if this is you, then you are a taker.

5. What thoughts bring you to orgasm?

Unless you’re only like twelve years old, it’s the mind that brings us to orgasm. And the older we get, the more we have to think about in order to bring forth the daddy sauce. What you think about to make this happen can be a huge tell as to whether you are a true giver or receiver.

I’m not able to elaborate on whatever one thinks about to bring them to climax and how that qualifies you to either giver or taker. One’s sexuality is way too complex for anyone to make that determination except the individual doing the thinking. So think about it on your own and decide for yourself what it makes you. You won’t be wrong as there is no wrong answer.

6. Do you like to give massages?

This is a general question that asks if you like doing something physical but not directly sexual to your partner. If you enjoy giving her pleasure or relief by putting your hands on her body especially for an extended period of time, then you may be a giver.

Now, if you basically just want to use her body to jack off with, then you’re very most likely a taker.

7. After sex, do you usually go to sleep first?

This may just be a slight indicator, but what you do after sex is a good example of which one you are. Again only generally, a giver is still concerned for his partner’s needs and wants even after sex, so if you usually just roll over and start snoring, then you may be a taker.

My giver ex-girlfriend used to get up from bed every time we finished and go get a warm washcloth to clean me up with. Damn, I miss that.


The best sex really has to do with the connection two (or more) people make. You can have all this crazy great pornstar type technique with a great setting and great bodies and willingness, but without the right connection, it’s just sexual aerobics. And if you adhere to the notion that a connection is needed for great sex, then you can agree that connection needs communication. After all, you can’t connect without communicating.

Giving and taking/receiving is the way we communicate during sex. So the actual role of being a giver or taker is less important than the ability to communicate what you are. Once the roles have been established, the two of you can now start to make great sexual music together. If you can identify what you are and what she is, that is when it’s better to give OR receive.

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