I’ve got sex on the brain. Not even sexuality; or sex theory, or BDSM-sexy times. Literal, actual sex.
The questions I’m turning over lately are these: What makes an interaction sex as opposed to something else? What are the markers of sex for me? Why can the exact same physical act with one person feel like sex; and with another it doesn’t? If it doesn’t feel like sex; am I still having sex? What types of sex are required for me to be sated right now? Does any of this even matter – or am I completely over thinking it?
Yeah. Sex on the Brain.
Since it’s been on my brain, it’s been coming up in my conversations too. Which is a bit unfortunate in that I never seem able to properly record these convos and I wind up with random scraps of paper that say things like: who gets orgasms? or control and penetration! or everyone has to be naked. It generates a lot of laughter in my life, but doesn’t really give me answers. So, let’s get into some of the questions and see what comes up.
What is Sex?
For a lot of people sex means a penis inserted into the vagina. Which is one type of sex; but what about anal penetration? What about oral? What about a penetration with toys or non-biological cocks? What is neither of y’all want penetration and prefer to get your orgasms through digital, oral, or mechanical stimulation?
Autostraddle’s even made a handy flowchart to help readers answer the question Is It Sex?? Which I think brings up two really great points: a) did someone have an orgasm(s), or are they about to/trying to? b) is someone touching someone else’s neither regions.
Also? Gotta love a flow chart that has opt outs for sandwiches.
Handy as that chart is, it raises some additional questions: Is orgasm the ‘goal’ of your sex? Do you even want orgasms with your sex, or not? It may be hard to think of a scenario where you don’t want an orgasm, but if you’re a guy with a long refractory period and you’re on deck to fuck 3 people tonight, you may not want to have an orgasm during your first session (or maybe you do and you’re packing a back up cock!) Also, the chart vere’s doesn’t appear to consider masturbation as sex; but I would argue that solo sex is a thing, and what about masturbating with your partner(s)?
What are the markers of sex in my world?
Consider this an incomplete list; and no, not all of these will need to be there every time.
Consensual – This had better be self explanatory y’all.
Intent for pleasure – 3 hours ago I wrote ‘intent for orgasms; mine’, but there have been lots of time I’ve been down for sex knowing full well I wouldn’t be climaxing. And I’ve fucked partners knowing full well the likelyhood of them orgasming was zero.
Power Exchange – Thursday night I got fucked by C; he used his hands because his dick was in the car and neither of us wanted to stop long enough for him to go get it. Friday night, I directed S on how to penetrate with me her hand while she controlled the Hitachi. Both involved beds, both involved nudity; so why does one feel like sex and the other just doesn’t? Feelings? Truthiness?
Engaged participants – if your focus isn’t on me, I’m probably not going to consider it sex.
We’ve agreed it’s sex – again with the sex explanatory, right?
Stuff that doesn’t factor in:
- Type of penetration
- Material of penetrative object
- Being the same room as the person I’m having sex with (hey there phone sex)
- Number of people involved – even if i’m been knocked out of the number 1 spot for best lover yet; I’m still in my top three.
Stuff I’m not sure about how it factors in:
- Sexual activity in passing – Cock sucking that just happens to be part of a larger scene doesn’t usually feel like sex…. Yet if that was how we were fucking for that time, it would be sex…
- Disconnected participants: There’d be no denying sexy times in the presences of each other happened (like mutual solo masturbation) – but we weren’t really engaged with each other.
Does any of this matter?
For me, right now, it really does. Because right now I’m not having the sex I want to be having and I can’t figure out what the type of sex I want to be having looks like. And, go sleep with a bunch of people until you figure out what works, isn’t something that works for me anymore. First, I hardly have the time. Second, I find disappointing sexual encounters so off-putting that it’s likely to put me right off sexual connections. No one wants that. If circumstances were different and I left time with a partner fully sated, I probably wouldn’t be putting so much thought into it.
I also want to be clear (as I can get) on my sex/not sex lines because even while I engage in sexual activities with some people I don’t always want to cross the sex line with them.
And, yes, numbers. Which is kinda what started this line of thinking. A little voice in my head asked me how many people I’d had sex with; and when I guestimated, that voice got all technical. Which is a bit silly because my comparisons range from 1 – 1000 (and that might be underestimating him) partners, and I’m already okay with the exactly level of promiscuity I engage in. I’ve found the lines of where I go from feeling free, happy, and empower to cheap, used, and regretful and I stay on the good side of it.
For you, asking these questions can help give you ideas about the kind of sex you want to have. It can help set boundaries in your non-monogamous relationships (these types of sex are fine, these are not; or penetration is fine, but no orgasms with anyone but me), and with new lovers (I’m up for oral penetration tonight, but I need to know you better before any anal penetration happens). You might always want to think about why you want to know what’s sex and what isn’t.
If you’re questioning ‘what counts as sex’ because you’re looking for a definition that helps your number stay on the “appropriate” side of promiscuous, I’d suggest you spend some time thinking about why staying on the appropriate side of promiscuous is important to you instead of what counts as sex.
If you want to know if you had sex with someone because you think sex fundamentally changes the way you interact with someone ask yourself three additional questions. Why would sex change things? And do I want things changed? Do they want things changed?
And I think that’s all I got. Not bad for 12 hours of thinking (there was sleep, dinner with the ladies and my very frist trip to a strip club in there too). There were also multiple conversations what started with: Hey; random, awkward and slightly inapprops question; have we had sex? Everyone who answered that automatically became my favourite people of the day.
So! What are the markers of sex for you? What are the hallmarkers of good sex for you? Is there a something else and do you have a better name for it – or is it just all sex? Comment below and let me know, because I’m genuinely interested!