I have a new piece up on the Blowfish Blog. In it, I explore the question of how we define what is and isn’t sex… and ask whether having a consistent definition of sex is even all that important. I take a recent letter to Dan Savage, in which a couple was debating whether a particular act in the woman’s past counted as sex (and asked Dan to referee); and I look at (a) whether the woman’s answer was a rationalization, and (b) whether it matters.
It’s called Are We Having Sex Now… And Why Should We Care?, and here’s the teaser:
Savage didn’t just reply, “Yes, that was sex.” He replied, “Imagine if someone else engaged in this activity. Imagine if, say, your boyfriend engaged in this activity. Would you call it sex then? Would your ‘He didn’t take his clothes off or his cock out, so it wasn’t sex’ definition hold up then?”
And that, I think, points to an important principle in this fuzzy topic.
That principle being:
“However you define sex — whatever you think of as Definitely Sex, Definitely Not Sex, and Gray Area — it’s important to be consistent. It’s important to apply those definitions the same way to yourself as you do to other people. And it’s important to not be completely self-serving in your definitions of sex: to not have those definitions be solely based on convenience, on what allows you to think of yourself, and other people, the way you want to.”
Why is the Consistency Principle important?
To find out why I think the Consistency Principle is important, read the rest of the piece. (And if you’re inspired to comment here, please consider cross-posting your comment to the Blowfish Blog — they like comments there, too.) Enjoy!