I’m in my late thirties and am only now realizing that I really don’t understand how to define sex.
I’ve had a lot of it. I went through the cringe worthy sexual education class in school. I’ve had the ‘birds and bees’ talk with my daughter. But, as I merge out of the standard heteronormative world and into the murky realm of queer-ness, I am lost.
I’ve always understood sex to be when a penis goes into a vagina. That is when you have officially lost your virginity. That is when you put a notch on your bed post. That’s when you start saying that you’ve had sex with someone. But, what if there is no penis? Or, are we seriously saying that oral and anal don’t count as ‘actual’ sex?
A few events have peaked my interest in this topic:
- When I realized I had only taught my daughter about male-female sex with ‘baby making’ as the primary objective I knew I had to correct myself. We are an inclusive family and it was ignorant of me to ignore gay sex in my attempt to give her a comprehensive sex education. But, discussing gay sex meant discussing why people would have sex if they didn’t intend to make a baby. Which, meant discussing pleasure. Which, for whatever reason, felt icky to discuss sex for pleasure with my little kid. Of course, I did it anyway. But, when she asked me how two women have sex I had no real answer. I kind of punted by mumbling something about I think they just rubbed their genitals together and I felt ignorant. However, I asked several of my lesbian friends later and none of them had a consistent answer.
- As other Sexiology blog posts have mentioned, I’ve been trying to be bisexual. How the hell am I supposed to have sex with a woman if I don’t even know what sex IS? Maybe it’s when we both orgasm? Maybe it’s any form of genital contact? Maybe I have to get an individualized definition from each partner?
- I was recently hooking up with a new guy and we had a great connection. There was lots of kissing, touching, fingering, hand jobs, oral sex, some genital contact without penetration, but when it came to putting the p in the v he said he didn’t think we were ready for that yet. And, it made me think. After all we’d done, after literally tasting each other’s genitals, what potential switch was a ‘penis in a vagina’ going to flip that would have dramatically altered the interaction? Technically, we didn’t have sex. But, we had a lot of sex-ish. And, if he had been a woman we most certainly would have called it sex.
Google defines sex as: (chiefly with reference to people) sexual activity, including specifically sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is defined as: sexual contact between individuals involving penetration, especially the insertion of a man’s erect penis into a woman’s vagina, typically culminating in orgasm and the ejaculation of semen. But, it seems like fingers and tongues apply here.
Guess I better get on all the notches that need to be added to my bedpost with this more inclusive definition.