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Sexy Time: What is Sex, Anyways?

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?

    Related TopicsGuys Love making out Sex
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    Comments

    1. Yuuki says:

      Personally, to deal with this problem I use the term sex to mean vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, and sexual activities for anything else. I think you're a virgin if you haven't had vaginal sex (for a girl) or anal or vaginal sex (for a guy), but I do think that for girls having anal sex before vaginal sex makes you a different kind of virgin. I also believe that girl-girl relationships can't have sex, but rather engage in sexual acts (this would be due to the lack of a penis for vaginal or anal penetration; I'm not trying to discriminate against those without penises, but to me using your hands is a handjob, regardless of things like how deep you're going. I wouldn't say a guy giving a girl a handjob is ever having sex wiht her regardless of how deep the penetration is with his fingers (I have a friend who is bisexual and defines sex when it's girl-girl as involving how deep the finger-vagina penetration is). I personally don't find this heteronormative, as it's simply how I categorize sex; it's a handjob if it's using just the hands, oral if it's using the mouth, and sex if it's involving penetration by a penis.

    2. cara says:

      I agree with you on most of this…but i think it can be difficult, particularly when defining your self. For example are you still a virgin if you have slept with a guy, done oral etc but not been pentrated, by this definition you are however it can feel like your not. I think that being a virgin is up to the person. If you feel yourslef to be a virgin then you are, in a girl-girl relationship where they have had some sexual activity im sure they wouldnt define themsleves as virgins. But by this they are. A very complex discussion!!

    3. CEEtheDinoman says:

      I'd say in my opinion, and for me, sex is reaching (or attempting to reach) orgasm with one or more other individuals, usually coupled with trying to accomplish the same in them. It mostly resides within the person's motivations and what not, just as kissing a cousin isn't (or at least shouldn't be) romantic but kissing a lover is, and a sincere accidental brush of a gal's rear isn't sexual harassment but smacking the waitress at Hooter's is . . . Another interesting scenario is people who are paraplegic, as they can be sexually aroused and paraplegic men can get erections, but due to spinal injuries they cannot feel anything going on down there, yet the intimacy of intercourse is surely still sex. I'd stillsay orgasm/sexual gratification is key, though, at least for me.

    4. Dave says:

      "I'd say when the nipple makes it's first appearance." -Jerry Seinfeld

    5. Leora Michele says:

      As a bisexual woman, I've had two definitions of sex for a while.

      For a man? We're having sex when you put your penis in one of my orifices, whichever one it may be.

      For a woman? We're having sex when we're getting to penetration with fingers or we get to oral sex, and especially when the strap-on gets strapped on.

      My transgendered boyfriend and I just have sex whenever he's got the strap-on on, and he's got it in me.

      Interesting to see what everyone else thinks though.

    6. James says:

      Sexual intercorse, commonly shortened to just “sex” is defind as:

      “Physical contact between two individuals involving stimulation of the genitls of at least one.”

      Keep in mind that these are legal and medical and technical definitions, not pop culture vanacular. That is what sex is. For that reason we can nail the fucking priest who feels up his alter boys and scares them for life. It’s still rape, it’s still pedophilia, it’s still sex, even if nobody had a vagina.

      Oral sex is still sex, and it blows my mind (but not other parts unfourtunatly😛 ) when my friends think otherwise. It’s right there in the name people! (English, do you speak it!?) Oral sex is sex in the same way a blue whale is (brace for it) actually a whale, and not some massive exception to the idea of whaleness or a type of flying car.
      When people think otherwise it kind of makes me want to shove my dick in thier mouth and ask them how that’s not sex ( or more specifically sexual assault) and why they still feel sexually violated by my sexual assault, notice the repitition of the word “sex” in all those terms.

      When you’re with someone, naked, and you’re getting off, and they’re getting off, and you’re touching thier naughty bits and they’re touching your naughty bits and maybe naughty bits are touching eachother then for goodness’s sake You Are Having Sex.

      And /rant over

    7. Bill says:

      Sex is a feeling you feel when you feel you're having a feeling that you've never felt before.

    8. Bill says:

      Sex is a feeling you feel when you feel you're having a feeling that you've never felt before.

    9. […] which found 27 percent of men and 29 percent of women between 15 and 25 years old have never had a sexual encounter. The last round of data released in 2005 showed that 22 percent of young adults had not had sex. […]

    10. MARY C says:

      If you think you are having sex, you probably are!

    11. sappho says:

      My definition of sex is broad…

      I consider sex to be the ways in which people express themselves sexually. To use sex with this definition in conversation is, admittedly, confusing, for it may refer to kissing, masturbation, intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, etc. But I like this definition, because it de-emphasis the way our culture upholds vaginal or anal intercourse as being "real sex."

    12. Cindy says:

      Yes ur right, but then again i think that you have to define that for yourself. Not manu people know for sure what it is? but that’s them. Sex can mean so many things. What do yu think it means? People take it the over way as in just zkissing and touching each other. While other take it as laying in bed and actually doing it. Hu what does that mean you may think? Myself I’m not a virgin bit I’m not a slut or whore either, I still question what is sex? It’s not that I’m stupid I just want to make sure in not talking about lies. But hey im being honest here. Well lol is like I’m n

      Done here I spoke my mind.

    13. Light says:

      I think sex be define as a intimate moves between a man and a woman i.e inserting a penis into a viginal and vice visa

    14. Sylvia says:

      SEX omg like james said When you're with someone, naked, and you're getting off, and they're getting off, and you're touching thier naughty bits and they're touching your naughty bits and maybe naughty bits are touching eachother then for goodness's sake You Are Having Sex." I copied and pasted just so you guys in between my post and james can read it again crap its not rocket science…come one guys!!!

    15. Israellarge says:

      I am thinking of having sex when i am not married,but i think it is a sin?

    16. Cute gurl says:

      Why do we have sex before married?

    17. Ashley says:

      Sex is a fun thing that feels good when the limousine gets parked in the garage:)

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