Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Hang On, What Is Sex?

I was totally off the radar in February, so to rejoin the fold I thought I would follow the prompt posed for Wicked Wednesday: “?+?=?”. The initial question this leads to is “how many people have I had sex with?” This is not easy to answer, because first we need to ask “what is sex?” Simple you may think it is penis in vagina sex, but this makes all non-heterosexual people virgins which is blatantly ridiculous. When discussing sex people also only refer to cis-gendered people, which effectively equals guy with cock and girl with cunt. Although being woefully inaccurate, I have never knowingly been intimate with a transperson and so in this post I interchange the genitals and the gender. At some point I hope to find a way not to do this!

There are lots of discussions online about what counts as sex, including a number of academic papers and handy summaries of such papers, including “11 SexualActivities That People Don't Count As 'Having Sex.'” This is a summary of a paper done by the Kinsey Institute and Indiana University.

The researchers questioned 486 adults aged 18 to 96 from Indiana and most of them were heterosexual. They were asked whether they considered certain activities to be having sex. Not one single item they were asked was agreed upon by everybody. Here are some of those things, with my own experiences noted.

1. Penis-vagina sex (with no condom, with both male and female orgasm). I really can’t remember how many unsheathed men I have shagged, about five I’m guessing.

2. Just the tip (apparently also known as halvsies, I found this fab post about them). I don’t think I have had halvsies with anyone I wasn’t actually fucking and deliberately tormenting (or being tormented) with a bit of cock.

3. Penis-vagina sex with a condom. I have had more than ten and fewer than twenty. I am actually very fussy about men and their cocks!

4. Penis-vagina sex, with no female orgasm. Two men fall under this category, one is an unpleasant story for another day.

5. Penis-vagina sex, with no male orgasm. All guys I have been with have ejaculated.

6. Anal sex, with a condom. Unfortunately, fewer than ten (it always amazes me how hard it is to find guys who want to fuck my arse. It is an acquired taste it would seem, anal sex rather than my arse I would hope.)

7. Anal sex (no caveats). The same as above, but more to the point, I have had anal sex with no condom with three or four guys.

8. Receiving oral sex. No women have licked me, I am clearly doing something wrong there. I honestly don’t remember how many guys have devoured me.

9. Performing oral sex. I have enjoyed a couple of women and more men than I will ever be able to remember.

10. Receiving manual stimulation. I have experienced this from a few women but many more men than I can remember, let alone name.

11. Performing manual stimulation. As above.
What this doesn’t show is whether or not masturbation in the company of another person counts as sex, or using toys, or genital-to-genital contact, or orgasms through spankings, or other non-genital stimulation. If we count other kinds of experiences than penis-in-vagina, I just do not know how many guys there have been. I tried counting but I gave up when I kept remembering odd nights here and there fumbling around with groups of friends. I got to 40 before I threw in the towel at a complete loss.
Next time you discuss with someone how many people you have had sex with, (for health, relationship or fun), you may want to remember that you may have entirely different definitions of sex.

This was posted for Wicked Wednesday, clickety click for more sex-related discussions and some erotic stories.


  1. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Yes; quite rightly ....what is sex. Great start but I think I may need to research this more *winks*

    Rachel x

  2. That is a good point. Penetration is a must in my book. Period. Anal or vaginal. anything else is foreplay.

  3. "[I]t always amazes me how hard it is to find guys who want to fuck my arse"


    Okay, it's true i'm a woman /as well as/ a guy; but goodness me, i would very much want to fuck your ass if it were offered to me!

    Alexis / @flexibeast.

    1. One day my sweet, I will come to your neck of the woods and what joys there will be. I fully intend not to be able to sit down for a week ;)

    2. Wonderful! Then that day can arrive not a moment too soon. :-)


  4. Interesting that we both did a post on the number of sex partners, but from different perspectives! There are some links here I want to follow and read more about :)

    Rebel xox

  5. I seem to attract the anal lovers, shall I send them your way? *winks*


  6. I will have to re-define for myself, I suppose... so many choices I never considered! :)

    ~Kazi xxx

  7. I think you have made a really valid point. As with lots of language how we interrupt meaning is very individual and I think the question "What is sex?" is one that has so many different answers


  8. Interestingly people think that if they put a condom on for full penetrative sex but nothing else, ie a lot of the things you have described above, they are practising safe sex. I wonder if that is because they think everything else is not sex and therefore is safe.

    1. Exactly! The genital-to-genital contact is the one that gets me. *sigh*

  9. My lover and I have had this "what constitutes as sex" question on numerous occasions, as our opinions vastly differ. I really enjoy this forthright thought process you had on it.

  10. welcome back. having been gone myself this month, i return to find your very interesting post. would love to see a round-table discussion on the male-female anal sex issues. there seem to be so many of them. some would die for this, and some, when they experience it say it is bliss, but never want to do it again. not even with a partner both groomed and nicely prepared. sex means so many different things, and has so many hidden taboos. enjoyed this.

  11. Welcome back! This is a discussion I have had many times, and often with teenagers. Sadly many only consider penis-vagina penetration as sex. They have a lot of unprotected anal and oral sex. This, in many regards is a much more dangerous game they need to be aware of.

  12. I'm amazed you have a hard time finding men who're into anal. I seem to find them left and right.
    My biggest regret about my adolescence and young adulthood is that I didn't maintain a consistent list of all my sexual partners. I'd love to be able to do a breakdown by sex act like you did in this post. unfortunately, once you hit 3 digits in number of partners (of any kind), there's no way of remembering enough for such a breakdown. And I hit triple digits about 13 years ago...