What is sex?

Sex can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, so we have to narrow it down, using the words correctly so that we all know what we’re on about, which more accurately could be called sexual activity.


Sex – anything sexual you do with another person      

Masturbating – is you touching yourself in a sexual way, usually with hands or a sex toy. (Wanking.)      

Mutual Masturbation – is when you and a lover masturbate together, either touching yourself or using your hands to stimulate the other person. (Wank each other off)      

Sexual Intercourse – penetration of a vagina with a penis. (Shagging, screwing, sex.)      

Penetration – a penis or finger or sex toy (or other object) inserted into the vagina or anus of any person. This can be separated out into vaginal penetration and anal penetration.      

Oral Sex – the licking, sucking or stimulation of a vagina or penis using the mouth. Cunnilingus refers to oral sex (‘going down on’) on a vagina (being eaten out/eating her out), and fellatio refers to oral sex performed on a penis (blowjob). (Guide to cunnilingus)     

Anal Sex – this refers to penetration of the anus and anal canal with a penis. (Butt sex.) This is one type of anal penetration. It more resembles Sexual Intercourse, but you can have anal sex with a man or a woman, whereas sexual intercourse refers only to the vaginal penetration by a penis.      

Rimming – rimming is the licking and oral stimulation of the anus in both men and women.      

Sex Toy – a sex toy is a device of some kind that has been specially manufactured with sexual stimulation in mind. The most common are vibrators, dildos and butt plugs, but the range is endless. Toys provide different sensations than you can get with fingers, mouth or body parts, and therefore can add variety to sex, or act as a sexual aid.      

Fingering – fingering can be done in a vagina or anus, and involves stimulation and penetration with a finger, or fingers, or the thumb. (Guide to fingering)     

Handjob – this is usually referring to the manual masturbation (wanking) of a penis by another person.

Things you should know about what sex is and isn’t

When a couple have sex, it includes any or all of the above. It may only include one element, but to have good sex and be valued as a good lover, it’s important that you know how to do more than just have sexual intercourse. That is, the penis-in-vagina garden variety of sex, which is awesome when done well, but not all there is.

Sex isn’t just a bumping of the genitals; it’s a really fun way to connect with another person, so don’t lose an opportunity to make a new friend in life (for however long) by displaying poor sexual etiquette.

Being naked with part of your body in someone else’s mouth or inside their body or them inside your body is pretty intimate, and as long as it’s being done well and with care and consideration, is loads of fun and feels good.

Sex serves a social function, and isn’t just to make babies. We have sex because it’s fun, it feels good, and it makes us feel connected to another person, even for a short time.

Use sex however you want, but don’t misunderstand what you are doing! Sex is not something you do to another person; you do it with another person, with their full permission and desire.

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