Your Call: How Do You Define "Had Sex"?

photo by je@n

Go ahead: try to answer that question. It’s tougher than you might think. Does it mean intercourse? Then how do gay people “have sex”? Does it involve penetration? Then what about those who only climax from external stimulation? Does it involve orgasm? Then what about all the women who’ve had sexual relations with a second party but never climaxed? Does oral sex count? Not since the Clinton days. Well, the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University recently studied this gray area and found no consensus. So what do you think? What does “having sex” mean to you?

Read more about this study on SUNfiltered


  1. Dannie, a very impressive answer. I have always felt that rape and child abuse never “count” as sex.

    A good definition. Thank you!

  2. I would say intent. Both partners have to have the intent within their actions. If there is deliberate interaction between both bodies in such a way that one or more person interacting has a chance of having an orgasm, then it is sex. Note that this also makes sex and rape two completely different things, thus making the idea of ‘sex’ more positive.

  3. I was going to say, “When you either remove clothing or move clothing out of the way, genitals are touched and somebody orgasms.” BUT, The Man and I have “had sex” and he’s occasionally fallen asleep before either of us climaxed. (Yeah, not my idea of the best time, either. LOL!) We still “had sex.” We’ve started “having sex” and been interrupted by a baby or a child or some of our stupid friends arriving early for dinner and didn’t get to finish, it was still “sex.” (Again, not my idea of an ideal time. I mean who shows up EARLY for a dinner date?)

    I don’t know what the definition is. “Somebody touched somebody for reasons of sexual gratification.” Maybe.

  4. I think this is an interesting article, which says more about people in general (or maybe people in Indiana) than about the study subject.

  5. When the clothes come off and the erotic touching starts, you’re probably in the realms of sex. Not necessarily having sex, but in the sex realm. Like a pornographic Dungeons and Dragons…

  6. timely. i was just thinking about this the other day. for me, it’s related to the question, “when did you lose your virginity?” is it at the moment of penetration? does it have to be vaginal? does it have to involve a penis? my very first experience with this involved penetration of my girlfriend’s vagina after a casual game of “just the tip” went too far. literally. neither of us had an orgasm though. is that when we lost our virginity, or did i lose it much later when i finally had vaginal intercourse with intention, and resulting in ejaculation? i really don’t know.

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