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"Sex" [Jun. 26th, 2012|08:13 pm]
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Any act involving two or more people, the goal of which is one or more orgasms.

This definition comes from a partner of mine. It isn't perfect, but it encompasses a lot of activities that commonly get called "sex" but with qualifiers, like oral sex, group sex, cyber sex, etc. Unfortunately, it's also not the definition most people use. In perhaps 75-90% of usage I encounter, "sex" means male-female genital-genital penetrative intercourse. The bulk of the remainder include anal sex and an unspecified number of girl-girl interactions, neither of which are particularly relevant in contexts where I'm participating in the conversation.

That said, what other terms best convey the idea of all sorts of directed erogenous touching (including that one, which is so clinical as to either confuse people or drive them to laughter or rejection or both)? I've heard "sexy times", "sex-y play", "sexual play", "erogenous stimulation". What else is out there? Are there other subsets of sexy times that can be conveyed succinctly?

I ask this not entirely out of academic interest. My personal bedroom proclivities tend toward second and third base. That isn't normal, and is a relatively important factor in a lot of ways, so in the context of a casual conversation leading towards play I am always looking for better ways to get my meaning across unambiguously without sounding too clinical.
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[User Picture]From: vvalkyri
2012-06-27 06:13 pm (UTC)

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I tend to say "steaminiess" to refer to erogenous stuff that doesn't involve that which is usually covered by boxers or briefs, and "sexitimes" to refer to stuff that does.

Girlgirl interaction, given the lack of genetalia entering another body, is indeed harder to define.

There's always the baseball analogies, though I'll admit I don't completely understand them. (first base, second base...)

If you mean erogenous touching that doesn't involve oral sex, 'everything but' may or may not imply oral sex to the other person.

I am, however, quite squarely in that 75-90% of the population that considers the word, "sex," unmodified, to mean "boybits in girlbits if there is at least one boy involved."

Re your partner, I would submit that if 3/4 to 9/10 of the population is going to have a different understanding of what you mean when you say a word, then you're misusing the word.



(Some of this does depend on context; for example, your opening definition may actually match the legal definition in Maryland, BUT that definition is deliberately vague in order to be able to call as much as possible prostitution.

Similarly, there are words that have different meanings in specific academic contexts than they have in colloquial use. Unless all parties in a discussion are known to be using said specific academic context, then one must define one's meaning. )

Edited at 2012-06-27 06:19 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: vvalkyri
2012-06-27 06:23 pm (UTC)

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whoops, totally missed that you had already talked about second and third base; if you're talking about negotiation, what about "I don't really consider bits-in-bits sex to be on the table, but how do you feel about hands?"


Or actually, how do you define second and third bases?
[User Picture]From: vvalkyri
2012-06-27 06:35 pm (UTC)

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Thinking more about the mismatched definitions thing: In matters sexual, especially, I'd say it's important to not be misunderstood.

E.g. in bdsm contexts it's not unusual for one person to help/make another person orgasm, while person 1 has all hir clothes on and has allowed no touching of erogenous zones. This may well be the negotiated arrangement between person1 and person1's SO*

If person 2 then mentions to person 3 that sie had sex with person1, that's a) inaccurate, as far as the vast majority of the population is concerned, b) bringing a far different idea to person3 of what happened between 2&1, and rather importantly, IMO, likely to cause major issues in the relationship between person1 and person1's SO.


*for both safety and legal reasons, this is also quite often the setup a prodomme uses.
[User Picture]From: badmagic
2012-06-27 07:02 pm (UTC)

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For a concise, generally understood, desciption of what you're looking for, try "everything but sex."

As long as no one mishears it as "everything buttsex," you should be fine.
[User Picture]From: vvalkyri
2012-06-28 10:47 pm (UTC)

oh, and

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in side conversation with badmagic, above, he reminded me of a set of posts from 5 years ago, when conversation hereabouts was more lively.

http://badmagic.livejournal.com/383920.html