"Had Sex": What's Your Definition?

Kim Conte

sexHave you "had sex"?

Are you sure?

And what exactly constitutes "sex"? Does oral sex count in your definition?

A new study finds that Americans disagree about what "had sex" really means. In fact, many people seem to be clinging to a very narrow definition of the term.

The survey of 486 people shows that 95 percent of respondents consider penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI) as having "had sex." (Obviously, most of the respondents were heterosexual.)

However, this rate dropped to 89 percent if there is no ejaculation. (*Eyeroll* Someone please explain this ridiculous reasoning to me.)

Other results?

  • About 30 percent of respondents did not consider oral contact with a partner's genitals (OG) as having had sex.
  • Close to 20 percent did not consider anal sex as having had sex.

According to these results, it looks like many people may be underestimating the number of sexual partners they've actually had!

How can we protect ourselves and each other from sexually transmitted diseases with such narrow definitions of "sex"? This just seems dangerous to me.

What does "had sex" mean to you?

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