... Love ...
I could potentially be the odd vote this week, because 1. I am not a romantic (in fact, asking hubby if I am, I get an absofrackinlutely NOT answer - but then again he is so it balances), 2. I am a biologist, so I see things from a point of view of chemical responces and biological urges, and 3. I am not what would be termed as one who has a faith in higher and everlasting anything, and 4. I tend to not have a strong drive for things sexual, which is odd as hell given my writings. It's nice when it happens, but I don't need it often. And I shutting up on that before I go too far into TMI. : )
Not to say any of these things are bad. : ) Just laying my own quirks out. Although, that 4th one has caused some problems ...
Can you have sex without love?
Certainly. Just ask any hormonal teenage boy. : ) Or anyone who has ever been with a professional (and by that I am certain you know what I mean), or who has ever enjoyed a special kind of club.
And in some cases, it can still be a mind blowing experience. The thrill of the "forbidden", the taboo of a one-night stand. The variety and spice of sampling a different way of doing things.
Which is why I don't think that love is necessary for a wonderful sexual experience. In some cases, with some people though, it does enhance it.
Can you have love without sex?
Certainly. I have loved, and been in love with, straight women and gay men. Sex never even entered into the picture, but the love was just as intoxicating and heady of a sensation, and as lasting. Albeit, unrequited.
Does love make sex better? Conversely, does sex make love better?
Honestly, I think it can, but it isn't necessary.
As I said, I have loved without sex ever entering the equation, and it was beautiful.
I have also had sex without love, and it was still a powerful euphoric sensation.
Flipside, I have had sex with love and had it been less than fulfilling.
As for which one I would pick should I ever have to, between the two?
I'd go for love.
Not because I am a closet romantic, nor because of the belief that sex is less without love, but because I understand human nature well enough to know that we are social creature, and need those close bonds. So I would chose love, knowing that the physical urges I might have could be handled, um, solo if need be.
I would never enter into a loveless relationship, but I think I could be content and satisfied, with a loving but sexless relationship.