On a recent survey, someone’s comment asked me how I define sex.
Years ago when we were meeting with a young adult church group one of the girls asked Lori if oral sex is sex. Her reply was something to the effect of “It is when I do with my husband.” When someone your mother’s age says that it makes you think!
I think we fudge this line for a variety of reasons. We fudge it to avoid admitting to sin. We fudge it to pressure our spouse to go all the way rather than just doing something to take care of the sexual pressures we’re feeling. We fudge it so we don’t have to confront a friend about inappropriate behaviour. Beyond this, we swim in a culture with badly fudged definitions of sex, and many of us really don’t know where to draw the line.
I think this is an extension of the way we torture the idea of virginity. I had a fellow tell me he and his wife were virgins when they got married. He explained he’d put the tip between her labia, but because he’d not entered her they were both still virgins. Does anyone really think God is impressed by such “restraint”? Is a young lady whose done “everything but” with five guys somehow better than the girl whose experience is limited to intercourse once?
Perhaps the way to fix this is to stop talking about sex and talk about being sexual. If you make out a bit with your spouse, you’re being sexual. There’s no need for climax, nudity, or hands below the waist for it be sexual.
Perhaps this change of wording might be useful in your marriage. If you say “Let’s have sex” to your husband, he thinks of a very short list of activities, all of which include climax for him. If you say “Let’s be sexual” you’re presenting a much large list of activities, and the possibility of just playing now and “finishing” later. You could also tell him (if it’s the case) you like being sexual with him, but having sex is sometimes difficult. That’s going to require some explaining, but it might be worth it.
As for me, in my mind, it’s sex if it involved some contact with sex organs. No penetration or orgasm is required for it to be sex. Of course this means there are plenty of things I consider sexual with don’t fall into the category of sex. I guess I’d call those sex play.
~ Paul – I’m XY and my “sexual” list if full of fun ways to enjoy time with my wife!
Got a minute?: Our current survey is along these lines – Is it sex if…