Sexy Time: What is Sex, Anyways?

‚ By 

This is supposed to represent me thinking about sex, K?

Sexual activity is anything but black and white. Hooking up, making out, and fooling around all mean different things to different people; I told my mom when I was about 15 that I had been making out with a boy, and had to spend the following 20 minutes explaining to her that making out was just French kissing. Apparently back in her day “making out” meant having sex — which is certainly different than my innocent round of tonsil hockey.

After that, I figured out pretty quickly that sex isn’t always as easy as doing it or not doing it. Regardless of my ill-humored post about when it actually counts, I have a legitimate question for you lovely readers — what is sex, anyways?

I spend a lot of time writing about sex, and as a mostly-heterosexual ciswoman, when I talk about sex I’m usually referring penis-in-vagina intercourse — but I’ve come to realize lately how cis-centric and heteronormative that is, so I’m now on a quest for an alternative definition.

It’s easy enough to say that sex is intercourse, but what about same-sex couples? Or those that would prefer to avoid vaginal intercourse? Is a person who has had anal sex with a plethora of partners still a virgin? What about oral sex? What is it, exactly, if you’re masturbating together? Surely that can’t be sex, can it?

There is so much grey area when it comes to sex that it’s hard to define what’s what. Perhaps we need to focus on the feelings that come along with the action rather than the action itself — but then what can be said about one night stands?

I don’t have any take-home lesson or awesome list for you this week, just a bunch of honest-to-goodness curiosity and a desire to start a conversation. We need to redefine our idea of sex, and what it is that makes it sex in the first place.

So, folks, let’s get this party started — what is sex? And how do you know?

Comments