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-   -   Different Ways of Defining Sex: Advice? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17062)

caichan 11-13-2011 10:03 PM

Different Ways of Defining Sex: Advice?
So, when we added The Boy, it occurred to me that he probably didn't have the same definitions of sex floating around in his head. This is not surprising. He was joining a long-established F-F couple who had previously had a fully open BDSM quad with a het couple; he was raised fundamentalist Christian. We planned ahead for this. We talked about how each of us define sex. We've been moving at a glacial pace, letting him take as much time as he needs to absorb each step (and, as is expected, the emotional steps have previously been much more complicated than the sexual ones). Mostly, we make out and (as much as I hate the term) dry hump.

Then, he got brave and mischevious enough to explore the lovely and I's toy box, and discovered that I'd bought condoms as a "just in case," and his head kind of exploded.

Apparently, to him this is all fooling around. To me, since we are in an incredibly intimate position, frequently wearing nothing more than underthings, and I'm having orgasms, that counts as sex. We'd actually discussed that. Using those exact words. But he didn't think of it as sex until he realized that I was serious enough to buy condoms.


I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else has had the experience of re-educating a partner who has a culturally ingrained view of sex that you left behind so long ago that you've mostly forgotten it. Also, I probably just need some hugs, because I love the boy like crazy, but he's driving me crazier than I already am at this speed.

nycindie 11-13-2011 10:23 PM

You mean "fooling around" isn't sex to him?

caichan 11-13-2011 10:27 PM

Apparently not. Like I said, definitions are screwy.

BrigidsDaughter 11-14-2011 02:50 AM

Honestly, "fooling around" isn't sex to me either. Touching, kissing, hand jobs, and dry humping are just not sex in my head or my heart. Which lead to no amount of trouble with Runic Wolf in the beginning. Hell, I don't consider blow jobs to be sex unless you're 69ing. Sex in my head involves both partners being equal participants in providing pleasure. And no, I don't consider masturbation sex either. That stuff is foreplay, foreplay isn't sex. Sex is what you have after foreplay. Does that mean I don't believe you need to be safe during foreplay, ofcourse not. But don't feel that you need to educate your boy out of his beliefs. They aren't necessarily wrong. You just need to be considerate of his definitions as well as your own.

I enjoy BDSM myself and don't consider that sex either, though I do orgasm during some of the things we do.

ray 11-14-2011 04:23 AM

Having grown up in the evangelical christian church, I remember there being some interesting definitions of sex and virginity. Different people had different ideas. Some people were very orthodox saying anything "more" than french kissing was essentially sex in the sense that it made you impure. Some felt that kissing and everything else should take place only after marriage. Then there were others who said that as long as you didn't do penis in vagina sex, the rest was okay and you were still a virgin. So, according to them, anal, oral and everything else wasn't sex.

Obviously, people should define sex as they see it and want it to happen. For me, spanking is sex. Of course, I know that not everyone is going to feel the same. Ultimately, we all have to decide, for us, what is sex? And I'm sure being partnered it really helps to know each other's definitions and have some common ground in what it is you see as being sex.

is the issue with the boy that he is not yet ready to parttake in certain acts? I'm unclear as to what the actual issue is.

redpepper 11-14-2011 06:53 AM

Wow, sex to Mono starts with kissing. You have the desire, you kiss, its sex.

When I was in the church as a kid we used to have a pretty liberal view of what sex was. Basically if it could make you pregnant then this was sex.

rory 11-14-2011 08:35 AM

Even though I'm all for everybody defining sex for themselves, this is sort of an emotional topic for me. I guess I'm fine with any definition as long as it comes from questioning your internalised beliefs and seeing how you really feel about it. What I'm not fine with is that often anything besides man-woman intercourse is labeled non-sex and less than.

Kissing alone isn't sex for me, anything more than that is already in the grey area of sexual action. Hand jobs are most definitely definitely sex for me, and so is mutual masturbation. Masturbation is sex, too, just not with another person. And BDSM stuff goes either into sexual action or sex category, depending on what it's like and how it feels (and yes, the lines are kind of blurry and, in the end, not very relevant).

nycindie 11-14-2011 09:25 AM

As I recall, there is at least one other thread here in which many of us expressed what we think sex is or isn't. I think the title was "Is Masturbation Sex?" and it was pretty long.

But the OP here is looking for some specific feedback:

Originally Posted by caichan (Post 110712)
I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else has had the experience of re-educating a partner who has a culturally ingrained view of sex that you left behind so long ago that you've mostly forgotten it. Also, I probably just need some hugs, because I love the boy like crazy, but he's driving me crazier than I already am at this speed.

I only asked about the bf's idea that "fooling around" isn't sex to get clarification so I could better answer the OP. I think it's an interesting question about educating someone who has a vastly different cultural view of sex. I'm still thinking about my response, but thought I'd mention it now before the thread goes too far afield.

So, Caichan, here are some (((((HUGS))))) in the meantime.

BrigidsDaughter 11-14-2011 04:12 PM

I believe that I stated that in my experience it isn't necessary to re-educate a partner that their views of sex are wrong.

In the early days of our quad, there were some fights between Runic Wolf and myself over definitions. I already felt like I was making more than my fair of concessions; Pretty Lady and I are both masochists and Wendigo's superlong claws really brought that out in me during sex, but Pretty Lady asked that we not participate in any BDSM with each other in her presence and that Wendigo and I cut back on our use of the "L" word (NRE was a bit out of control in the beginning). As winter fell, one of our gaming friends found out his wife was cheating on him and refused to go home after game, cutting into the already limited amount of time that Wendigo and I had to reconnect physically and we were generally pretty worked up and ready to explode from our online conversations and from discretely petting each other under the game table on and off. (Our friends didn't know about us and most still don't.) So the later it got, the more desperate we got to get our hands on each other and we began formulating a plan; we'd find a spot on the country road between our houses and park behind the snow bank. For a few weeks, I'd talk to him and give him a hand job while driving to a safe spot, then we'd park and have sex and I'd drop him off at home. All while Runic Wolf was getting our friend to leave. Sometimes I'd come home and he'd still be there. One morning while I was taking a shower, Runic Wolf comes in and tells me he doesn't want me having sex with Wendigo in the car anymore. I agree, in part, because I don't want to risk our relationship further (Before I realized my feeling for Wendigo, I'd lied by omission and gotten caught, so we were still rebuilding trust). Still it was easy for me not to have sex with Wendigo in the car, because I could still give him blow jobs and hand jobs (or so I thought). But a few weeks after I'd agreed to stop having sex with him in the car, Runic Wolf was accusing me of lying to him about it. When we both calmed down, we realized our definitions of sex were different. For Runic Wolf, sex starts in that grey area that I consider foreplay; and is definitely when one or more person's genitals are exposed. We argued semantics for a little bit and then I asked him what was really at the root of it. He said that he didn't like driving to work the next morning with the car smelling like "sex" (arousal and sometimes cum). So we renegotiated over time. I'd stop having "sex" (by either definition) in the car as long as we arranged to not be sending Wendigo home more sexually frustrated than when he'd arrived at our house. Sometimes that meant that Wendigo and I didn't get to fool around at all that night, sometimes it meant hard capping when people left after game, and sometimes it meant staying up waay later than we intended, but we got though it w/o either of us having to change our definitions of sex AND by being respectful of each other's definitions.

Magdlyn 11-14-2011 04:44 PM

What is hard capping and how does it relate to sex? (Be it sex of the digital, oral or PIV-kind.)

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