What is sex? How do you know when you have had sex with someone? What is the point of sex?
Doin’ it is just so complex.
It is. Honestly.
I see sex as a process of communication. It’s about closeness, trusting others to respect you as you make yourselves vulnerable to each other. Sex is a raw exchange of power, feeling, and risk-taking.
Sex is fun.
It’s also really huge, and may be something that pushes you in directions that you won’t always expect. Sex is carnal. It’s science, math, and all the theory you can swallow in one act. It’s political, it’s smart, it’s tear-jerking, muscle-contracting brain-magic.
So what falls under that definition? Well, pretty much anything you could want/imagine. It’s all sex all the time!
(Kidding, guys, not everything is sex. But I’ll bet you that if we played six degrees of separation we could make anything connect to sex in 3 steps or less–someone play this game with me?)
You have the right to self-identify each experience you have as being sex or not. Your body, your choice. Your experience, your right to identify it as you see fit. (See the politics?)
A few examples of how I have reclaimed my own sexual identity through self-identifying experiences:
- When someone asks me about whom I lost* my virginity to, I tell them that I lost it to myself…and then I smirk/look self-satisfied.
(*”Lost” is a really problematic word because it implies that virginity even exists, and that someone has misplaced something that they may want to retrieve/save. So it does not fit into my range of experiences, at all.)
- When someone asks “So, did you have sex with them?” my response is usually to say “They are a lovely person whom I enjoy spending time with” and leave it at that.
I fit outside the heteronormative structure of fucking, so some may say that I don’t even have sex. And it’s true, there is not a lot of what your 10th grade gym teacher would call “sexual intercourse” happening in my sex life.
(Not only is it all sex all the time, it’s all queer all the time as well.)
I enjoy the grey area of human experience. I like that I do not have a “number” of people I have had sex with because it’s all so subjective. I always use barriers, I only play sober, and I like making my partners breakfast in the morning. I like making out with my friends, and I like going on dates with nice badass people. I like being excited about my friends and partners fucking the way that they want to fuck.
I like being a sex-positive life cheerleader.
I don’t even use the term “sex” anymore to describe my interactions with partners. I use the term “play” instead. I do still have sex, but I don’t talk about my interactions with partners as “sex.” This is because the way I view sex is so “radical” to some that it’s hard for me to discuss my sex life without the use of that umbrella term.
I also have made an effort to stop using the word “fuck” in a negative way. This is because I fuck, I play, and I communicate. Fucking is a positive thing in my life, and I want to be sure to speak about it as a positive thing.
The personal act of sex is so political. How you interact with partners and with your own body speaks volumes about how you care about the rest of your non-sex life. Making an effort to schedule and carry out a time for you and your partner(s) to reconnect after playing is known as aftercare. Aftercare is important because it is a time to become aware of what was great and not-so-great about the sex you just had.
Fun Musing: self-care is like aftercare for your life.
I urge you to take time for aftercare, and to look at how you personally define sex. When have you “slept with” someone? Where do you play with the grey area in your sexuality? How do you document these experiences? (Internet, journals, etc.) Do you talk with your partners about whether you’ve just had sex? If not, I suggest you do. It’s bound to start an interesting conversation.
Take care, and good luck on your search for self-identity/enjoy the play you are having.