Editor's note: this article discusses sensitive topics such as sexual assault.
Yo — what even is sex? It’s hard to define, when you think about it. Sex is ambiguous and extremely personal, so setting a standard definition is challenging when encompassing the views and ideas of a diverse population.
Here’s what I’ve come up with: “Sex is…the consenting action of all involved parties in the pursuit of sexual pleasure for at least one person.” Let’s break that down, shall we?
First of all, emphasis on the consent. Once again, for the people in the back: emphasis on consent! Sexual activity without consent is not sex; it is rape or sexual assault. That’s a hot take, right? Here’s how I think about it: sex is beautiful and based in connection with oneself and/or others. Rape and sexual assault are based on the pleasure of one or more person(s) at the expense of another.
Although rape and sexual assault have their own traumas and valuable narratives to research and listen to, I do not personally consider them "sex." To me, there is no such thing as "nonconsensual sex," because consent is an integral part of my definition of sex. Also, I want to set the expectation that ALL sex should be consensual.