The philosophy of sexuality is a more recent development. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy says:
Among the many topics explored by the philosophy of sexuality are procreation, contraception, celibacy, marriage, adultery, casual sex, flirting, prostitution, homosexuality, masturbation, seduction, rape, sexual harassment, sadomasochism, pornography, bestiality, and pedophilia. What do all these things have in common? All are related in various ways to the vast domain of human sexuality.
According to this author sexual attraction and love are two unrelated feelings. Love is the act of caring for someone else and giving them all their needs, while sexual lust is all about receiving sexual satisfaction from your partner. The author thinks that modern society has confused the two to the point that if you don't have sexual attraction to your partner that means you don't love them as much. She insists we should not be conflating these two very independent feelings, and learn to love our partners without sexual dependence.
Now although I find myself somewhat agreeing with her, I do not believe that this is a purely modern construct. The most ancient civilizations viewed adultery as the gravest sin and the ancient codes of law (including the Old Testament) even prescribed execution for the adulterer. So the connection between love and sexual attraction (at least in marriage) was there from the dawn of civilization.
I would like to know what are some counter-arguments to this? It is certainly false to state that "love" only involves giving, and that sexual lust only involves receiving. There are always overlapping between the two. You almost can't love without receiving anything from the object (Even the love to your child, although unconditional, cannot exist without you receiving some type of satisfaction from him, at least in the past). But although love and lust operate the same way, should we assume that they all fall under the same category "love"? Is this purely a social construct, or is there any philosophical merit to this association? It is certainly true that love and sexual attraction must not have the same object, but philosophically speaking are they related at all? If yes, what is the best argument to prove it? I would appreciate any thoughts on the subject.