How does one define sex?
The question seems simple enough. What is sex? The most common answer to that question is likely something along the lines of “When we make love” or “When we fuck.” And for the vanilla world, that may be enough. But when addressing that question in reference to the Swinger / Polyamory / BDSM continuum (more on that in a later post), the question and requisite answers take on a more complex character.
The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary has one definition for sex as “sexually motivated phenomena or behavior.” I find this definition too broad for the purpose of determining if I’ve just had sex, as for me the act of reading some of the other blogs is sexually motivated, yet I would not consider reading an update from Josh and BB or from Mr. No Name to constitute having sex. As much pleasure as I may take from reading their lovely tales, I don’t finish doing so and feel anything close to what I feel when Mrs. AP and I are intimate. Clearly, there must be a better definition.
For me, having sex requires engaging in a sex act, which Merriam-Webster defines as “an act performed with another for sexual gratification.” This to me feels more natural and inclusive without being overly broad. The specific reference to having a partner is important for me; I’ve engaged in a plethora of solo sex sessions in the nearly 19 years since I discovered self-pleasure and not one has had the intensity I experience in partnered sessions. Thus, I define sex as engaging in a sex act in which there is an active seeking of sexual gratification for one or all partners. This definition in intrinsically and purposefully broad, and may not agree with your definition. As long as your definition works for you, keep at it.
I purposefully use such a broad definition because of my varied experiences. I have had session with partners where we only used our hands to bring each other to quaking orgasms. I have had sessions with partners where only our oral talents left us both reaching shuddering crescendos. There have been one-sided sessions, where only one of us reached climax. Sometime we only watched each other. My first interpersonal experience, my first time having a partner, was with one of my best male friends; we both performed orally, only he climaxed, but it was still sex in my mind. After all, my experiences were no longer limited to my hand or whatever creative solutions I could reach using various inanimate objects.
As I see it, if I had a partner, I had sex. If we touched each other, if we held each other, smelled each other, tasted each other, penetrated each other, or any combination of all of the above, I had sex. I do require that this be in person — cyber, Skype, and phone sex are partnered but are still solo sessions in my mind — because the physical presence creates that partnership in my mind. Nor do I require that both of us reach orgasm; in fact, neither of us have to hit our peaks if we still were able to recognize that the intent was there. What this does, however, is add some serious heft to whom I consider to have been (or will be) a Sex Partner. The girlfriend I had in my late teens who never progressed beyond oral but became quite skilled counts as a Sex Partner. The aforementioned friend with whom I gave and received oral but who never made me “pop” counts as a Sex Partner. The girlfriend in Middle School who tried to give me a hand job but couldn’t ever get anything out of me just that one time? Sex Partner.
Moving forward with Mrs. AP, anybody who joins us on any level I’m going to consider a Sex Partner. When L joined us during our first visit to Eyz Wide Shut he became a Sex Partner, despite never once engaging in any penis penetrative actions. He was a part of the action, his actions added to the enjoyment Mrs. AP experienced, and from my perspective they had sex… just not with his cock.
So how many Partners have I had? What’s the Gender split? What sorts of things have I and haven’t I done? Those are all questions best left for other posts.
Stay SINful, friends.