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So What Exactly Is Sex? In fiction and in real life - Mo's Journal — LiveJournal
January 12th, 2008
02:43 pm

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So What Exactly Is Sex? In fiction and in real life

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From:inathunderstorm
Date:January 12th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
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I answered what *I* would consider having sex to be. If a couple decides, however, that masturbating while on the phone with each other counts as sex, then I am totally cool with that being sex.

I'm pretty much just totally cool with sex being however two consenting adults define it as, really :)
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From:mofic
Date:January 12th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
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That's an interesting approach. It raises a few questions:
What if they disagree on whether it's sex or not? Whose definition prevails - the more restrictive one, the less restrictive one, or each of them get to decide individually, so A had sex with B but B didn't have sex with A?

What if (in the case of the married politician) he thinks that anything he does with someone other than his wife isn't "real" sex? What if he thinks that sex is only between a man and a woman, that everything else is something other than sex?

What if they define as "not sex" something that would generally be considered sex? So if - just to pull an example out of thin air :-) - the POTUS says "I did not have sex with that woman" and he did engage in a bunch of things mentioned in this poll. Is he telling the truth?
From:inathunderstorm
Date:January 12th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
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I think there is a difference between "sex" and "sexual activities." I consider phone sex to be an activity of a sexual nature, but not, actually, sex. But maybe it is. It's just hard for me to make up a definition.

What if (in the case of the married politician) he thinks that anything he does with someone other than his wife isn't "real" sex?

"Anything"? As in, the most common definition of sex being penetrative also doesn't count because that's not his wife? O_o I'd say he was kind of delusional. Also, I think that sexual activity of any kind with another person when there is an agreement between two adults that no sexual activity--sex or kissing or mutual masturbation or whatever--is allowed with another person--I consider that being dishonest and lying and I don't care if it is technically "sex" or not.

I do think Pres. Clinton had sex with "that woman". :) That's based on my definition of sex, though. I can't say he's lying if he doesn't think he did, but I can roll my eyes and say, "Uh huh, sure you didn't."

What if he thinks that sex is only between a man and a woman, that everything else is something other than sex?

He's free to think that, just as I'm free to think he's wrong. (Which I do).

I'm polyamorous, and in an open relationship. I consider oral sex to be sexual, and would like to know beforehand if my husband is going to engage in this activity before he does so. Ditto with penetrative sex. If, however, he's going to get a handjob in the corner at a party, he can tell me about it afterwards. These are the rules we've established and so those are the ones we work with. I'm sure it isn't the same for anyone else, and I'm cool with that. This is also primarily for safety and sexual health reasons, which are a necessity in open relationships.

...

I'm worried I'm totally not answering any of your questions.:) (I also have a fever and am a little delirious). I suppose I just think that I can't force my definition of anyone else, but can only operate under the construct of my OWN definitions and restrictions, as well as respect the same definition of others. If I'm with someone and they say their other partner is great with everything except penetrative sex,then I'm not going to argue that I think oral sex is pretty much sex :)

Does any of that make sense?

(Edited twice for my absurd typos)

Edited at 2008-01-12 08:31 pm (UTC)
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From:mofic
Date:January 12th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
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Does any of that make sense?

Yeah, I wasn't really looking for answers. My questions were mostly rhetorical and the rhetorical point I'm making is that although in theory I take your point that it's up to the individuals to decide their own definitions, I think we all *do* have definitions we apply to others. And that the limits of our acceptance of others' definitions shows in those rolled eyes and thoughts of "Well he's delusional if he thinks it's not sex if it's same-sex" or whatever.

I see the particular compact that a couple makes about what activities to allow outside the relationship as separate from the "What is sex?" question, btw. M/m couples often have a compact that says all sex outside of the relationship has to be with a condom, but that doesn't mean they consider it not sex iykwim.
From:inathunderstorm
Date:January 12th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
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Well, then, my definition is as I filled out your poll :) I can accept others definitions without agreeing with them (and do, often), but I have a problem with people squibbling about definitions when they've been dishonest. It doesn't matter to me if my partner had sex or just made out on a couch, what would bother me would be the lying.

but that doesn't mean they consider it not sex iykwim.

No, but that's not an act, that's a sexual health precaution, so I don't see how that would be exactly the same thing.
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From:realpestilence
Date:January 13th, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
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In the particular instance of Bill Clinton (you *know* that's who everyone immediately thinks of-"thin air", indeed! *grins*), he was being evasive and disingenuous to (try to) keep out of political hot water. Whether or not *he* actually believed he hadn't had sex, I don't know.

I'm sure his own opinion on the matter was different at the time he was orgasming because of Monica, than when he was being grilled and threatened with impeachment for it... *coughs*

I suspect the definition of sex between any couple (trio, quartet...) would be determined by whoever is angriest and loudest about any problems that arise from it. *coughs more*
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