Are We Having Sex Now… And Why Should We Care?

I have a new piece up on the Blowfish Blog. In it, I explore the question of how we define what is and isn’t sex… and ask whether having a consistent definition of sex is even all that important. I take a recent letter to Dan Savage, in which a couple was debating whether a particular act in the woman’s past counted as sex (and asked Dan to referee); and I look at (a) whether the woman’s answer was a rationalization, and (b) whether it matters.

It’s called Are We Having Sex Now… And Why Should We Care?, and here’s the teaser:

Savage didn’t just reply, “Yes, that was sex.” He replied, “Imagine if someone else engaged in this activity. Imagine if, say, your boyfriend engaged in this activity. Would you call it sex then? Would your ‘He didn’t take his clothes off or his cock out, so it wasn’t sex’ definition hold up then?”

And that, I think, points to an important principle in this fuzzy topic.

That principle being:

“However you define sex — whatever you think of as Definitely Sex, Definitely Not Sex, and Gray Area — it’s important to be consistent. It’s important to apply those definitions the same way to yourself as you do to other people. And it’s important to not be completely self-serving in your definitions of sex: to not have those definitions be solely based on convenience, on what allows you to think of yourself, and other people, the way you want to.”

But why?

Why is the Consistency Principle important?

To find out why I think the Consistency Principle is important, read the rest of the piece. (And if you’re inspired to comment here, please consider cross-posting your comment to the Blowfish Blog — they like comments there, too.) Enjoy!

Are We Having Sex Now… And Why Should We Care?

One thought on “Are We Having Sex Now… And Why Should We Care?

  1. 1

    Wow. You want people to engage in a totally honest assessment of their own possibly sex related activity after serious introspection, contemplation and analysis and try to be consistent as well? I think my own judgement may be lacking. Some of the items are easy, but knowing when I’m rationalizing about my fetish activity or fantasies is harder. Here are questions I’m asking myself. I think the answer to most of them is that they do not count as sex. If I try to provoke women into giving me punishment spankings should I count that? (I don’t even though I hump a pillow in my panties thinking about the possibility) What if I actually manage to provoke the punishment, but neither of us has or even attempts to have an orgasm at the time but know they will later? (more unclear to me). How about when I post the photos of myself modeling ladies_full_brief_panties along with a dare for women to copy, share, and make me famous with them? (I don’t think that is sex) Floating around somewhere out there I think there is a video ( from years ago) of me humping a pillow in my panties. I think that could fall into the sex category, especially if some of the fetish activity I suggested on it occurred. I think it might or might not (not sure) if into the sex category if I actually put myself in the position of having dominant women do what they felt like to me for amusement before having sex with each other even though I was not directly relevant to the sexual part. Then again, would that be slutty and unfaithful of me if I were involved in a relationship with someone who would disapprove? Is masturbation in front of each other (i.e. using a vibrator or pillow humping in panties) sex? Clearly I’m thinking too much about myself. I think severe punishment spankings are just that: punishment, and not sex. Whatever fantasies we have are, I believe, also not sex. In person masturbation, vibrators and pantied pillow humping I suppose might be and tongue action or other penetrations I must agree are pretty much as you described them. It’s always fun to look for the grey areas and think about doing those.

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