My Photo

The Out Campaign

Atheist Blogroll

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 05/2005

« Queer Contra dance for everybody, Sunday at Ashkenaz! | Main | Perverts Put Out returns -- and I'm reading! »


S Munter

One of my vital elements is physical contact with the intent to have an orgasm.


"One of my vital elements is physical contact with the intent to have an orgasm."

Sometimes I intend to have sex without having an orgasm. Maybe I'm just not in the mood for the intensity, the out of control spasms. But I am in the mood to touch and be touched, penetrated even, fucked. I don't think anyone would say that consensual fucking without intentional coming isn't sex.


While I know that there are plenty other definitions, my very favorite definition of sex is: Two or more people, one or more orgasms. (I got that one from a fellow member of my ultra cool co-ed fraternity.)


It's weird. I was in a consensual sexual situation with a guy but I told him I didn't want to have piv sex. And after a while he started putting his penis in me! When I realized I pulled away and was really upset. Did we have 'sex'? I want to say NO. I did not have sex with him. But part of me is worried that we did, or at least that he had sex with me, or something. it makes me so angry!

Ionian Enchantment

Fantastic piece. Note how we have difficulty defining the vast majority of (non-technical) words in precise ways. I am yet, for example, to get a satisfactory definition of "chair". So I'm not in the least surprised that we can't really define "sex".


I break sex down by STD transmission level = all levels fall under the "sex" category, or "sexual" if one prefers, but whether it "counts" or not depends on "counts for what". For me, the concern is my risk level to my current and future partners. Activities are broken down into three basic categories depending upon which STDs are transmitted or how easy it is to transmit them.

This also works for metamours. If I am fluidbonded to my male partner, and he is also fluid-bonded to another female partner, then that female partner (my metamour) receives the same "level" as my male partner even if I have never touched her directly in a sexual manner.

I numbered my partners because the total number of partners does play a factor in calculating one's personal risk level (although it's *not* as important as how many partners you've had in the last 2 years). I numbered them by PIV intercourse and the equivelent STD-transmission-risk-level for women because, when I started trying to keep track, I was also very young and thought it was important to know how many, for much of the same reasons you mention in your article here. It was just easier to keep the same numbering system.

I started writing my partners down (so I wouldn't forget) back when I thought only PIV counted, and it was only about 5 or so years ago that I started counting others. So I went back and added, to the best of my memory, any partners that were in the second level that didn't reach PIV sex. They are assigned alphabetical designations, so that the original numbering system is preserved (chronological order) but still "counted" and yet differentiated.

Then, just to get even more anal-retentive, I drew up a color-coded chart. I posted it on my website (with psuedonyms) at

As for whether it's "sex" or not, I tend to use the very broad definition of "if at least one person directly involved thinks it's sex, then it is". The reason I use this broad definition can be traced to a story one of my metamours told me.

She was once social acquaintances with a guy. After a conversation or two, he asked her to throw a pie in his face. She thought that was odd, so she asked him why. After much pressing, she finally discovered that he had a fetish about it and received sexual pleasure from being pied in the face. She refused to throw the pie in his face because *he* would consider it a sexual act and she did not feel as though their relationship was one in which she wanted to be "sexual" with him.

And I have to agree, if I did not *want* to be sexual with a given person, and I found out that something we did had a sexual meaning to him, I would not be happy. But, for record-keeping purposes, I limit my sexual activity definitions to STD-transmission rates. It's not an "either/or", as in, either we did have sex or we didn't. It's more of "we had this kind of sex".

BDSM activity that doesn't involve genital stimulation of either partner or orgasm (for those who don't need genital stimulation) has it's own category as "sexual" (only because *I* see it as sexual, regardless of whether anyone else does or not) but not necessarily as "sex" when talking about STD risk levels or even sometimes sexual relationship agreements.

Donna Gore

This friend of mine says she thinks her husband is having "internet sex" with someone. I said, "To HAVE SEX WITH someone - don't you have to be in the same room???"

hj trahan

this is great


To muddy the waters even more:

Can sex involve only one person? Self-love can indeed be very powerful and fulfilling.


I'm going to check out this book! Thanks for posting this.

wow i never knew sex could be explored in differnt ways


"To HAVE SEX WITH someone - don't you have to be in the same room???"
I know this comment is kind of old, but I had to reply. And my response is, "Well, that depends, don't it?"
After all, cybersex is a shared sexual experience, which I'd call a necessary part of "having sex" - not the only part, but a great big one. If I'm naked and my lover's naked and I'm saying dirty things to him while he masturbates, that really feels like sex to me. Does it matter if I'm saying it by instant messenger, or over the phone, if the activity is essentially the same?


Here's a question: Does it matter? If you're enjoying yourself and your partner (or, at least, yourself), or if you're willing to at least please your partner without necessarily being pleased yourself, does it matter if it's called sex, foreplay, masturbation, or rama-lama-ding-dong?

My personal opinion is that you're making too much of this. If you've been safe, and you've had fun, even if only on a small level, then, what does it matter who was what number or how they were classified?

Again, personally, if I had been one of your partners, I'd rather you'd think of me as, "Oh, that bald guy who did that really cool thing with his tongue, (or even, "Oh god, that bald guy was awful!)" than, "Oh, that guy who was number 23...or was it 25?"


If I was being heteronormative, I'd say that sex is when the penis goes in the vagina (so yes, I would count rape) and everything else is foreplay (yes, even if you orgasm). But the experiences of Lesbians obviously throws a monkey wrench in that one, so I don't know.


Is sex different from fucking? Or "making love"? Is fucking different from "making love"?


Sex before marriage is prohibited. You will be burned in Hell! by performing it.

Greta Christina

Solomon: Thank you for sharing. But unless you can provide some good, solid evidence for your opinion, I will continue to base my sexual ethics, not on what some Bronze-age goat-herders wrote down thousands of years ago about what they thought God told them about what kind of sex to have and when and with whom, but on basic principles of human ethics: principles of harm, fairness, consent, honesty, and so on.

What's more, I consider the doctrine of hell to be one of the most reprehensible, indefensibly vile ideas that human beings have ever come up with. I am proud of myself for having rejected it, and for basing my morals instead on my experience of compassion and justice. Hell is a morally revolting doctrine, an attempt to control other people's behavior through psychological terrorism, and you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to perpetuate it. And you should know that, in an atheist blog, citing this doctrine will result in nobody taking anything you say seriously.

And for the record: While I had plenty of sex before marriage, I am, in fact, currently married. My wife and I have been legally married in the state of California since 2008.


I am bringing the truth. For the love of human.I am trying to save you all from the fires of hell. Hell is true.God is true.You all just did'nt know the reality of things.I can prove to you all just by mere reasoning.


"Just as bad as trolling is "Feeding the Trolls". This is when people say stuff that they know will prompt someone to respond with a trolled reply and/or replying to comments that are blatantly from a troll... At that point, the trolling was successful and has been fed. When encouraged by success and feeding, trolls often return." -from Urban Dictionary entry on Trolling

Oh look, right on cue, "solomon" returned. In other words, obvious troll is obvious.


How much do you want to bet that Solomon spent the better part of the past hour before his post, reading, rereading and then baitin' to the details of Greta's sexual encounters, before his enormous guilt regarding his own urges was relieved by condemning hers?


Nah, Solomon is clearly a troll. I doubt he's even religious. I honestly think he was posting just for kicks, it was so obvious and done so poorly. He is clearly not a polished troll...

Seth Strong

I think it's sex if you would count it as sex or if the other person would count it as sex, everything in a circle on a Venn diagram. I would count the people who count rather than the number of people I've been intimate with. And that's because I too have a list of people who I haven't crossed a physical line but honestly, any barriers to being that close have been lost a long time ago. Those are the people with whom I'm at risk for feeling tangled up in or otherwise having to balance my life around. It's the people who count.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Subscribe/ Donate to This Blog!

Books of mine

Greta on SSA Speakers Bureau

  • Greta Christina is on the Speakers Bureau of the Secular Students Alliance. Invite her to speak to your group!

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Powered by Rollyo

Some Favorite Posts and Conversations: Atheism

Some Favorite Posts and Conversations: Sex

Some Favorite Posts: Art, Politics, Other Stuff