The word “sex” gets thrown around a lot, and many people have different ideas about what it is. The reality is, it’s a personal and intimate experience that doesn’t need to be defined – only you and your partner can decide what feels good for you, as long as you are both consenting adults. Having sex isn’t just an emotional and physical experience, it also has many health benefits – sexual pleasure can give us a natural high that increases endorphins and lowers our stress levels.
It’s also a big part of our overall happiness and satisfaction with life, so it’s important to find out what you enjoy and what turns you on, and communicate about that with your partner. It’s also a great idea to use protection, whether it’s external condoms, gloves or dental dams.
Some of the most common ways that people have sex are penile-vaginal, oral and anal. However, there are many other ways to have sex – it could be touching or even kissing – but the most important thing is that it is consensual. It’s important to remember that just because something feels good doesn’t mean it’s sex, and it’s equally valid for your partner not to reach sexual climax or feel anything.
For some, sex is just a way to be intimate with their partner, while for others it’s an expression of erotic pleasure. For some people, sexual activity is about power and control, while for others it’s a way to express their emotions. Whatever the motivation is, it’s important to understand that sex is a complex and sensitive area of life.
It can take time to figure out your sexuality, and it’s normal for your feelings to change over time. You might feel attracted to one gender or the other, or you might be asexual (which is completely normal). It’s also possible that you have genetic or hormonal variations (such as Klinefelter syndrome or adrenal hyperplasia) which make your biological sex ambiguous.
Your sexual orientation is the way you feel about the opposite gender – for example, boys who like girls or girls who like boys. Most people are heterosexual or straight, but some people may identify as gay or lesbian, bisexual or pansexual, and there are even people who don’t feel attracted to any gender and call themselves asexuals.