A little while ago, I read this text. I found it to be very enlightening, as I had never thought of virginity as a pure social construct before. But I would agree with what the author is saying. So, go ahead and read it now. I’ll wait.
Done? No? I’m not going to summarize it, because I’m not good at that. You’ll have to read it yourself, sorry!
Now? Okay, I’ll continue. After reading it, I felt smarter and continued with my life. Then I read this blog entry, which I also commented on. You can read it now or later. This author is wondering why so many people have a problem with “grasping” the idea of lesbian sex, as sex is sex and orgasm is orgasm.
The two articles have me thinking about sex a lot. What? No, not in that way! Dude*ette, this is not that kind of blog! What I am trying to say is, I was thinking how to define sex in a way which does not exclude non-heterosexual forms of sex, but isn’t meaningless because it is too broad. And I draw a blank! Sex is to me like time for St. Augustine. I paraphrase:
What, then, is sex? If no one ask of me, I know; if I wish to explain to him who asks, I know not.
I have the same problem with sex, since I would want it to be a definition many people can agree with. (I am, by the way, doing this for no reason whatsoever. I’m not writing a sociological book, I’m not studying the field. It wouldn’t matter, if I was the only person who agrees.)
If you try too broad a description, everything becomes sex, even things that are an integral part of sex, like foreplay, but don’t constitute the whole shebang. (Why are you giggling? You weren’t? Why not?) Kissing, making out, is that sex, a part of it, or neither?
At the moment, I would say, we are being to restrictive with the definition, as it means that a woman, who has only ever been with other women, could be considered to have never had sex. And I think she and her partners would beg to differ.
So, a couple of questions for us all to think about:
- Is penetration integral to sex? (Aka: The Clinton Approach)
- Is an orgasm integral? Of one partner or of both? (The second question assumes that the norm is two people have sex with each other, but this whole article is doubting the norm.)
- Can something that is traditionally not seen as a sexual act (like hand shaking, hugging or yelling) still be a sexual act?
- Is there anything that can be objectively described as sex for everybody?
- Do we need to define sex? Is it possible not to define it?
I would be happy, if we could have a respectful discussion about this.
(This blog was inspired by the recent task of the zerotohero…eh…thing, challenge? I’m really bad with definitions, ain’t I?)