Many years ago when I was teaching sex ed to kids I would often start the session by asking them "What is sex?" The answers would vary depending on their ages and level of education, anything from 'boys and girls" to " your bits" and "doing it". We would then look at what made up sexual activity and "sex" was often defined as penis in vagina (PIV) intercourse, and apparently to some kids oral sex and anal sex were not sex because you could not get pregnant, even though they had the word sex attached....boy did I have some news about how anal is not such a great contraceptive...those little buggers can swim and move from one orifice to another
So I would like to ask you "What is sex?".
Do you immediately think of intercourse? Do you consider oral and anal to be sex? Does outercourse, mutual masturbation, digital penetration, rimming, using toys and grinding come into the picture? (for more information on these terms check out the Information page).
So I have news for you....all of these things are sex to some degree, they are all sexual activity that either involves the genitals or desire, arousal and possibly orgasm. Sexual activity can also involve a whole range of things that do not involve the genitals as well, visual stimuli such as erotica ( books, art, films), auditory such as talking dirty, mental such as erotic thoughts and anything else that gets your mind going in anticipation, your skin tingling and your juices flowing.
Now we have that straight....that sex is more than penis and vagina and in and out, lets look at why we have sex.
So now I ask you...."Why do you have sex....apart from a physical release from orgasm?"
There are so many reasons we have sex other than a physical release:
How many others can you add?
And did you know that many people do not have desire (horny) until after that are stimulated and aroused (wet, erect etc.), rather than feeling desire then getting aroused....the old "once we got started then I suddenly wanted it and had a lot of fun".
So if sex is more than PIV and we often have it for more reasons than orgasm, how can this help us if we are having issues with desire or performance?
If performance is an issue think about the many and varied ways we can have sex that do not involve PIV and if desire is an issue think about all the other amazing things you get from sex and the fact that sometimes it is about starting and then seeing how you feel.
Ask yourself " Is this something I really don't want to do or do I feel ..... Why Not?" When feeling a bit "Why not" we can often find that the other reasons we enjoy sex can be enough for us to get started and then things can heat up pretty quickly once we get going.
So your homework for this week is the two questions above....what does sex mean to you and why do you have it? The answers might give you the motivation required to move beyond some sexual issues, or at least have fun exploring it all.
Richelle has had a passion for sexuality and sexual health since 2001. She has worked in the field since 2006, providing sexuality education in schools, and adult education in the topics of diverse sexualities and gender identities, LGBT health issues, sexual health and LGBT relationships.
This is a space for me to share with you my journey as a Sexologist, the things I learn and the people I meet and what I think and feel along the way.