Butterfly Cauldron

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Sex: A working definition

I had a conversation not so long ago with some co-workers about 'young people today' and what they define as sex. None of us could understand how it's possible to not consider oral or anal sex to be, well, sex. Which lead to a discussion about what constitutes sex. (Yeah, this is the sort of thing I do at work when we're on break. Fun, ain't it?)

So anyway, they all found my definition funny. They agreed with it, but, it's funny. See, I think anything that involves any degree of nakedness and someone having a Big O is sex. And actually, the nakedness is optional, since you can do a hell of a lot while fully clothed. You might not be getting off, but if the person you're with is, you're having sex. Maybe not good sex, but still. . .

There are degrees, of course. (I tend to class them as "things that will send me running to the clinic and things that won't", but your mileage may vary.) Maybe I just have an expansive view of sex. Maybe it's because I'm bi and don't think the penis is the end-all-be-all of sexual experience. Maybe it's because I'm into BDSM. I don't know, but I think a lot of things qualify as sex.

I have ego enough to believe my view of sex is healthier than the view that says penis+vagina only. It's not the view I was raised with, so I have an interest in owning it, as it were. Once I got over the whole PIV is THE real thing, I started being much more comfortable with myself and my desires and the things that make me Oh So Happy. The whole body becomes a buffet to be enjoyed, without the goal being fitting Tab A into Slot B.

So, let's here it. How do you define sex?

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posted by Zan at 6:30 AM

8 Comments:

If any party involved in the act is working towards orgasm, it's sex in my book.

12:20 PM  

I wish I had something more to offer, but I agree with you. If you are doing it in order to bring on the big "O" or any amount of sexual pleasure, then it is sex. Period.

Whether it's with yourself, with an animal, online cybersex, whatever. Still sex if your goal is sexual pleasure.

Never understood that "oral isn't really sex" thing.

1:54 PM  

I'm with you...if nakedness is involved in an intimate setting and pleasure is being given or received (whether or not a person has orgasm), it's sex. This bit of distinguishment is necessary, because you can be naked in your doctor's office, which is an intimate setting, but one would hardly call such an event pleasurable. FU OB/GYN!!!!!

3:34 PM  

My definition's pretty much the same as yours. If someone's getting off, it's sex. Some activities are more intense or whatever than others, sure, but it's all sex.
I find he idea that anal isn't sex particularly mind-boggling, though. That's your wacky Christian follow the rules and ignore the big picture mentality at work right there.

4:38 PM  

Oh, you wouldn't believe the things I heard weren't really sex. I knew people who did anything but PIV. And they considered themselves virgins!! I was like...uh. No. These people had no idea of the diseases they could catch and weren't using protection because, hey, you can't get pregnant from that! Oy.

5:35 PM  

I'm with you too. I think the emphasis on PIV sex has to do with the crap stupid sex ed in health class. And also a pervasive heteronormativity. As in, PIV sex is the only kind of fucking that "counts."

7:25 PM  

Because getting pregnant's the only thing anyone has to worry about, right? Right? I'm tempted to say that maybe if so many Christians weren't so anti-abortion they might have time to think about all the other things that can go wrong, but that would just be mean...

8:05 PM  

It is crazy, isn't it? Because, although I do not want to have a baby, I'd way rather get pregnant than catch an STD. Seriously, those things can kill you. A baby is well, a baby. Not something I really want, but it's not the end of the world.

Of course, I'm not anti-abortion. And yeah, they don't really think about all the other stuff that could happen to them. *sigh* I'm soooo glad I got outta that atmosphere. Seriously.

8:07 AM  

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