"Women said that they connected love with sex and that love actually enhanced the physical experience of sex," Montemurro explained.
Montemurro collected her information via in-depth interviews conducted with 95 different women, ages 20 to 68. The participants hailed from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, and though some admitted to having had sexual experiences with women, all of the interviewees were in heterosexual relationships. The interviews lasted roughly 90 minutes each.
While many women said love wasn't necessary for sex, the majority said love was vital for a sexual relationship. In addition to saying love enhanced sexual pleasure, married interviewees said sex was an important part of their marriage -- undermining the trope that middle-aged marriages are mostly sexless.
"For the women I interviewed, they seemed to say you need love in sex and you need sex in marriage," said Montemurro.