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Santorum Runs

September 24, 2009

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You are known as an arbiter of all aspects of sex and especially definitions, and we are seeking your definitive opinion.

My wife and I were recently regaling each other with anecdotes from our past, and she easily had the most interesting story: It seems that when she was a young woman in college, a fellow student invited her over for lunch. It turns out that he thought she was lunch. He quickly had her clothes off and was kissing her, although he was still dressed. Then he brought out a vibrator. He applied the vibrator, she had an orgasm, and then she called a halt to the proceedings. They went back to school, and that was the beginning and the end of their relationship.

Did she have sex?

Now, I think any time you have an orgasm you've had sex, and if someone else is present, even if they're clothed, you definitely had sex. My wife's view is that since he never got his clothes off and she never saw his cock, she really didn't have sex. We would like your opinion on this.

Definition Essential For Intensely Novel Experience

Let's say you and I met in a bar, DEFINE, while the wife was out of town, and we hit it off. And let's say I took you home, stripped you naked, made out with you, sucked your dick, ate your ass, spanked you, tossed you in a sling, fist-fucked you, and then—with my right arm buried up to my elbow in your ass—slowly stroked you with my left hand until you blew a massive load all over your stomach, chest, and face.

Now let's say I taped the whole thing and e-mailed a copy to your wife. I think it's highly unlikely that your wife would turn to you after watching the video—remember: I don't get naked, you never see my dick—put a hand on your knee, and say, "Well, I'm glad you didn't have sex with Dan Savage."

Your wife clearly regrets going to that guy's room; she regretted the moment she came, just as you would probably regret going home with me. These feelings prompt her to round this experience down to Not Sex, to minimize it, to exclude it from her sexual history on a technicality: He didn't get naked, she didn't get fucked. Your wife can attempt to rationalize away the sex she had in that dorm, DEFINE, but she had sex with that guy—and that guy's vibrator—whether she wants to admit it or not.


I'm writing to you to let you know that a huge fan and reader of your column has been in a coma since September 5. He had a bad motorcycle accident and has a severe brain injury. His name is Jon Broom, and he's my boyfriend, the love of my life, and my best friend. Even though he still hasn't woken up, I've been reading your columns out loud to him so that he never misses one. I know you're a busy man, but I thought I'd take a chance and ask if you could pass on his Facebook support group at "Get Well Jon" in one of your columns (www.tinyurl.com/m3ngc3). I think it would be awesome for him to look back and see your column when he wakes up and is able to function again.

We appreciate your writings and support for the people who ask for your advice. Here's to hope, faith, and community.

Penny Kim

Oh, Penny, I'm so sorry. Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery. If you're on Facebook—and who isn't?—please join Jon's support group.


I just had to share with you my first reaction to reading this headline: "Santorum dips toes in 2012 Iowa waters." My first thought was "Ewwww," followed quickly by "Is that even possible?" After all, santorum is something that is dipped into, not something that can dip. And then I remembered that before "santorum" meant santorum it actually designated a person, a senator. But it took me a few seconds.

Congratulations on a job well done. I expect I am not the only one who had this moment of cognitive dissonance upon reading this headline.

A Faithful Reader

Ben Smith at Politico reported last Tuesday that Republican former U.S. senator Rick Santorum plans to run for president. Political Wire linked to Smith's post and added that "Santorum has a serious Google problem." Truthdig linked to Political Wire's post and spelled out Santorum's Google problem: "The former senator's rampant homophobia inspired sex columnist Dan Savage to launch a campaign to usurp the conservative's name. The result: If you type 'Santorum' into Google, you'll find that it refers not to a former senator, but 'that frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.'"

From uppercase Santorum to lowercase santorum—in just three links.

And who deserves the credit? Not me. The credit is yours, dear readers. It's thanks to you that SpreadingSantorum.com—a blog that I haven't updated since July of 2004—remains the number-one hit on Google when you search "Santorum." It was a Savage Love reader who first suggested that we usurp Rick Santorum's name, another Savage Love reader who suggested the "frothy mixture" definition, and Savage Love readers who chose the winning definition in a free and fair election. Well done, gang.

We can't take credit for Santorum losing his seat in the U.S. Senate to Bob Casey by 18 points. That was Rick's doing. But we helped to make him ridiculous—there were so many headlines during his failed reelection campaign with "froth" or "frothy" in them. And for a politician, being an object of ridicule is a problem, which is why SpreadingSantorum.com and the "frothy mixture" definition of santorum are going to be a problem for Santorum.

"Maybe it's time to start updating Spreading Santorum.com again," writes Savage Love reader P.B., "now that Rick is running for president."

I couldn't agree more, P.B., but I'm a busy guy. Back when I was writing for Spreading Santorum.com, I had only the column on my plate. Now I blog every day on Slog, I do a podcast, I've got a bad case of talking headism, and I'm working on another book. I don't have the time to give SpreadingSantorum.com the attention it needs.

But maybe some Savage Love readers do?

If SpreadingSantorum.com is going to remain Google's top hit when you search "santorum"—and it should—then the site needs to come back to life. So I'm looking for a few folks who want to torment Rick Santorum by following every twist and turn of his sure-to-be-disastrous run for the White House on SpreadingSantorum.com. (I may dip in every once in a while and post myself.) It would be labor of love—read: a nonpaying gig—but you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you're driving Rick Santorum and his supporters absolutely batshit (batshittier?).

If you think you're the right person for this gig—if you think you're right for Spreading Santorum.com—write me at mail@savagelove .net.


mail@savagelove.net

 

Comments (128) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
scary tyler moore 1
who isn't on facebook. YOU, Dan.
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on September 22, 2009 at 7:46 PM · Report this
2
I laughed out loud at the first response. Another great column.
Posted by clembot on September 22, 2009 at 8:02 PM · Report this
3
Way to trivialize sexual assault {"she had sex with that guy—and that guy's vibrator—whether she wants to admit it or not"} in your response to DEFINE.

It doesn't sound like his wife had sex; it sounds as if she was raped.

Posted by Swat Student on September 22, 2009 at 8:03 PM · Report this
4
If people don't know about Santorum's google problem by now, they're SURE going to find out as soon as the election starts.
Posted by Kates on September 22, 2009 at 8:07 PM · Report this
Allyson 5
Just Googled Santorum, and spreadingsantorum.com was the top link! And I'm looking forward to the snarky coverage (so to speak) of the former senator's run for the White House. Thanks Dan!
Posted by Allyson on September 22, 2009 at 8:13 PM · Report this
6
@3, you are way jumping to conclusions here. When the wife "called a halt" to the proceedings, they stopped. That is the opposite of rape. Things may have proceeded faster than she expected, she may have felt pressured into it, she may regret it now, but I'm not reading this (brief, anecdotal, and secondhand) account as nonconsensual. I don't think you should leap to a conclusion of sexual assault when the wife herself apparently doesn't categorize it as such.
Posted by lymerae on September 22, 2009 at 8:28 PM · Report this
7
I hope your book is a book for parents on talking to their kids about sex. I've heard plenty of the parents' questions on the podcast. Parenting questions aren't really titillating enough for the podcast or your column, but they would be great in a book.
Posted by jaa on September 22, 2009 at 8:33 PM · Report this
8
@3 - I didn't see anywhere in DEFINE's letter that his wife had said "no" to the guy. She said she called a stop to it after her orgasm.
Posted by Mean Gene on September 22, 2009 at 8:33 PM · Report this
9
Hang on a sec, #3. There's nothing in the column to indicate that she said no, up until the point when she came. At which point she got dressed and left with apparently no objection from the guy (I'm sure he was a little confused at best). So how do you get rape?
Posted by ML77 on September 22, 2009 at 8:35 PM · Report this
10
#3, WTF? You're the one trivializing sexual assault here. Having a sexual encounter you didn't enjoy or have oogy feelings about later is NOT rape. It's not a good thing, but it's not rape according to the story we were told.

That said, I wonder if there was a reason the wife didn't want to apply the "sex" label other than a too-limited definition of sex. Perhaps drugs or alcohol were involved.
Posted by Stripey on September 22, 2009 at 8:37 PM · Report this
11
@3 - I don't see any mention of anyting non-consensual. Sounds like she's embarrassed about it and regrets it, but that's not rape. I could actually are less whether she (or Dan Savage for that matter) considers the vibrator session sex; obviously that definiton is up for debate. The definition of rape is not.
Posted by jm420 on September 22, 2009 at 8:38 PM · Report this
12
3:

"He applied the vibrator, she had an orgasm, and then she called a halt to the proceedings. They went back to school, and that was the beginning and the end of their relationship."

In other words, when she said stop, he stopped. No other indication that she said stop before and that he ignored her, or that she wasn't into it or consenting in any way. So how in the world is that rape?
Posted by Defining Words on September 22, 2009 at 8:41 PM · Report this
13
Thank you Dan - I learned something important about myself today.
I gave a blow job to a boy in a park. I don't consider this to be sex. I consider every other blow job I've ever given to be sex.
It was sex. I just don't like to think about it, because, while I was there willingly - retrospectively, it was a pretty bad idea.
So yeah, I think that's what is going on. If its fun, we call it sex - if we regret it, it becomes a hazy mistake. That's okay. I think I might just go on denying that anything happened - but I know this is my own personal denial, and doesn't reflect any kind of objective truth. The wife in question has a right to define her own experiences any way she likes - and its okay if no one else agrees with her.
Posted by roses27 on September 22, 2009 at 8:54 PM · Report this
14
But wouldn't it be better for Sick Rick to actually win the Repub. nomination and be the laughing stock that he is? For his grotesque image to further taint the Party of Ain't?
Posted by gayBoiNYC on September 22, 2009 at 8:57 PM · Report this
pennykim 15
Thank you Dan and fellow fans for spreading my boyfriend's "Get Well Jon" facebook support group. We thank you and appreciate your posts!
Posted by pennykim http://www.pennykim.com on September 22, 2009 at 9:12 PM · Report this
16
Wow...just wow. This is seriously the first time I printed out an article and handed it to my wife. I feel vindicated. THANK YOU DAN!
Posted by Ronaldo on September 22, 2009 at 9:18 PM · Report this
17
great point you made at the first part!
Posted by BearHK2004 on September 22, 2009 at 9:38 PM · Report this
18
Wait a sec, Hubby Man... Does your wife feel bad about this encounter? Then why didn't you let it slide when you saw her definition of sex allows her to feel better about it? I mean, it is a matter of opinion anyway... and even if Dan doesn't agree, most heterosexuals define "having sex" as necessitating direct penis-vagina action... and sex involving other orifices have their own names: "anal sex" and "oral sex". What if your wife had been a virgin? Would this really count in your book as her deflowering? Seems you are going out of your way to be a bully or something. What is this really about?
Posted by so right on September 22, 2009 at 11:20 PM · Report this
mr. herriman 19
totally with #18 on this one - let it go.

and #3? seriously? i hope you never learn how far off you are.
Posted by mr. herriman on September 22, 2009 at 11:55 PM · Report this
20
If that was the best sexual regaling story that the wife had from her college years, she did not get the most out of her education,
Posted by babette on September 23, 2009 at 1:12 AM · Report this
21
Jesus everybody, I don't even see anything indicating the wife regretted this incident. She and her husband were regaling tales of their past, sounds like they were telling stories about wild/fun/whatever things they've done. God, just because some people consider sex to be intercourse she must have some shame complex about it all? Christ. It sounds more to me like this guy assumed they would be having sex so she did the hilarious use him and deprive him one-over (Think sex and the city episode 1). And comparing it to cheating on a spouse? What relevance is that? The stories are from their pasts. She was allowed to do whatever with this guy before she met her husband I think.
Posted by Karey on September 23, 2009 at 1:25 AM · Report this
22
@21 Why I think she was uncomfortable: She described the situation as going fast and surprising her - then she ended it and left. Sounds like the situation was feeling negative or why choose such an odd moment to end it? She orgasms and then leaves and he's still clothed? Very abrupt. Plus, her insistence on framing it as "not sex" is noteworthy... it suggests an aversion to the incident...

Yes I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Lots of ladies don't learn how to say "no" in highschool and it's pushy guys like this one who teach them how! Usually after a few times of going farther than you wanted to.
Posted by so right on September 23, 2009 at 3:09 AM · Report this
23
I dunno. I'm surprised everyone's jumping to conclusions that it made her feel awful. Some people just have weird definitions of what constitutes sex -- see Christian teenagers ass-fucking each other and somehow remaining virginal.

@18: Interesting point, but I wouldn't hammer it too hard. Honestly, when I read that letter, it sounded like a typical situation of husband and wife having one of those stalemate debates, and to end on a playful, amicable note, they decide to take it to someone they both respect and find entertaining.
Posted by Gloria on September 23, 2009 at 4:43 AM · Report this
24
Sounds like buddy's wife was a bit of a tease in her college days, I hope for his sake she has gotten over that, you know, unless he's into that sort of thing. She probably ruined that guy with the vibrator for all of the women that came after her. He goes through all of the effort to make sure she comes first before even getting undressed and she takes off on him. At his next encounter I'll bet he made sure to come first, just in case. Way to go, Wifey...
Posted by Dal Tiger on September 23, 2009 at 6:06 AM · Report this
25
I have a question on how this column works. If I write Dan a question advice thing, will he respond directly to my e-mail or does he only respond when he writes the column? Is that the only place I will get a response to my questions?
Posted by gronx7 on September 23, 2009 at 6:26 AM · Report this
Old Mama Chips 26
Your response to DEFINE was your all-time best, Dan. That had me rolling! As far as the comments go, there is no indication that the wife was assaulted or even felt bad about the situation. Maybe she regretted it afterward, or maybe her definition of sex is penis-in-vagina. Either way, it sounds like her and hubby were just having a good time sharing their sexual exploits of the past. It doesn't sound at all like it was a traumatic experience.
Posted by Old Mama Chips on September 23, 2009 at 6:41 AM · Report this
attitude devant 27
Hey #3 -- Swarthmore and Dan Savage have some column history. When I used to hang out at the Alice Paul Women's Center (is it still in Bond?) I would've been fed the line that this was assault too. But she said "no," it stopped, there you are. May I suggest you broaden your reading from Susan Brownmiller to, say, Camille Paglia for starters.
Posted by attitude devant on September 23, 2009 at 7:07 AM · Report this
28
While reading about the poor chap in a coma, I was thinking the girlfriend was going to ask what would happen if she gave him head.
Posted by grondo on September 23, 2009 at 7:32 AM · Report this
29
I don't see any reason to assume that the wife regretted the encounter. Maybe she did, but we can't jump to conclusions. One of my best friends insists that it's not sex unless a penis penetrates a vagina. If you ask her, "did you have sex with so-and-so?" she will say no, only to tell you about a glowing encounter that involved everything but vaginal penetration - everyone naked, everyone having orgasms. This has become a big joke among our group of friends - but clearly, she's not disturbed by these encounters. Maybe there's some element of cultural conditioning at work - maybe she feels like she would be a slut if she called it sex. But we can only guess, and the one thing I do know is that she doesn't minimize these incidents because she didn't enjoy them.

While we can only guess what was going on with the wife, I think it's wrong to assume that she must have felt bad about the encounter, and extremely misguided to cry rape over it. Who knows how it came up in conversation?
Posted by DrReality on September 23, 2009 at 7:46 AM · Report this
30
Funny people should wonder if DEFINE's situation was rape--there's nothing in the description that suggests it was. Oh well, most people here got that already anyway.

Should the husband/wife have asked the question? A couple of people were offended the husband didn't just let the question go ('since it made her uncomfortable'). Hm. So do you think he'd submit this question without asking her first? And without being sure she's OK with it? Could be, but do you know this couple so well? To me, it seems they were just laughing at funny things that happened in their sex lives (something I and my wife have done more than once, too)

I guess there's still an undercurrent of 'women are poor little flowers whose personalities can break at the slightest sexual difficulty, so be veeeerrry careful with them!' going in America. What a pity. Women, of course, are stronger than that.
Posted by ankylosaur on September 23, 2009 at 7:49 AM · Report this
31
Okay, all has good comments to first post, except #3.. I think they a douchbag... The wifey was not raped. BUT, the whole time I was thinking, you go to a guys room, and you let him use a vibrator on you that HE HAS?!?!?! Unless he just took it out of it's store packaging... That's gross gross gross... you don't know who else he used it on, or if it's been cleaned properly, That's just wrong. Sorry, I'm squemish about these things...
Posted by Mayme on September 23, 2009 at 7:59 AM · Report this
32
Sounds like the wife in the first letter paid attention to Bill Clinton when he said, "I did not have sex with that woman." Wasn't Monica fully clothed every time she gave Bill a blowjob?
Posted by Barbara on September 23, 2009 at 8:25 AM · Report this
Normal Adjacent 33
Another Book?!?

I work at your publisher, assuming you are working with Plume again.

I may yet have a chance to meet you and thank you for getting me through my closeted years.

Finish that Manuscript so you will have to come to my office!
Posted by Normal Adjacent on September 23, 2009 at 8:31 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 34
Now if only Rick Warren would run as Santorum's VP, we could see the glorious union of www.spreadingsantorum.com and www.saddlebacking.com
Posted by Urgutha Forka on September 23, 2009 at 8:34 AM · Report this
35
@31: Ew, I didn't even think of that. Good one.
Posted by Gloria on September 23, 2009 at 9:21 AM · Report this
36
Way to trivialize rape, #3. Where in this story does the wife allude to force? Nowhere. This was simply consensual sex against her better judgement. She came, and then came to her senses. She said stop. He did. As a woman, I get highly irritated with your type of alarmist mindset. Is it rape because she regretted it? Remember the college that actually created rules for consensual sex...you had to ask permission for each next step? "May I kiss you? May I unbutton your blouse? May I insert my throbbing manhood into your lovecave?" Gawd. How excruciating. Anyone remember what school that was?
Posted by portland scribe on September 23, 2009 at 10:00 AM · Report this
37
So you're looking for someone who can cause Santorum to froth at the mouth?

Posted by j.lee on September 23, 2009 at 10:09 AM · Report this
38
#31 the same can be said about a penis. you don't know how many vaginas it's been in or if it's cleaned properly.
Posted by dhs120 on September 23, 2009 at 10:12 AM · Report this
39
@#3:

Ever hear the story about the boy who cried "Wolf!"?

Read it again.
Posted by Big Dragon on September 23, 2009 at 10:53 AM · Report this
40
@36: I believe it was Antioch, although I might be wrong.
Posted by Sybylla on September 23, 2009 at 11:05 AM · Report this
41
Yeah, Antioch. I had a friend who went there during that time. She said that the students all considered it pretty much a joke.
Posted by FactWino on September 23, 2009 at 11:30 AM · Report this
42
24 - Maybe the guy ENJOYED getting the chick off and to him it isn't all about whether he's going to get his. I've known a few guys like that and inevitable they get theirs and then some. And, using a vibrator on someone to get them to cum isn't the same as "going through all of the effort to make sure she comes" - enjoyable yes, all that effort no. Your comment sounds whiney and sort of me, me, me - ish, not the attitude most women are looking for in a male lover.
Posted by melisho on September 23, 2009 at 11:33 AM · Report this
43
You enjoyed writing the first paragraph to DEFINE didn't you Dan?

I know enjoyed reading it.
Posted by Grace♥ on September 23, 2009 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Andrew Cole 44
Why isn't there anything about small-s santorum on Santorum's wikipedia page? Highly suspicious!
Posted by Andrew Cole on September 23, 2009 at 11:51 AM · Report this
savagebart 45
I'm hoping DEFINE's wife will revisit her feelings about her reported orgasm. Sounds like a good time was had by all. And then it was over. Her husband, it feels like to me, kinda likes that this happened; I think there might be some teasing and titillation going on. They might even reenact it for fun! I had some teenage sex that I was long ashamed of till I finally realized he had fun, I had fun, it was all consensual, and people love hearing about it! Time for some revisionism, sweetheart. Make it a happy memory!
Posted by savagebart on September 23, 2009 at 12:20 PM · Report this
46
Re: your answer to DEFINE - I was all the way with you (and getting turned on) until the fist fucking part.

*scratches needle off the record*

I kid...great advice as always you Savage beast you... ;-)
Posted by MT3 on September 23, 2009 at 12:52 PM · Report this
Bonefish 47
I'm just waiting for a member of the press to address Santorum as "Senator Frothy." His reaction will be priceless.
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on September 23, 2009 at 1:09 PM · Report this
48
'Your wife clearly regrets going to that guy's room; she regretted the moment she came'

I don't see anything clear about it, unless the letter was edited down (which it likely was). From what I can read, it sounds like she either thought it was a funny, surprising encounter from her naive youth that was closer to mutual masturbation than sex... or, as others have mentioned, she went to someone's place for lunch and he, having other plans, assaulted her.
Posted by Shazaam on September 23, 2009 at 1:38 PM · Report this
kim in portland 49
Nice job, Dan.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on September 23, 2009 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Donut 50
@ #27: are you suggesting someone should read Camille Paglia for real? I suppose it's never a bad idea to give an author a shot, but.... blech.

Reading Paglia for a perspective on Feminism is almost like telling someone to read Ann Coulter for a woman's perspective on politics, imo.

:)
Posted by Donut on September 23, 2009 at 2:35 PM · Report this
51
Just wanted to send my best to Penny and Jon. I don't do facebook, but you have my support.

And as a side and lesser important note: A new book! Whoo Hoo!
Posted by Bethrs on September 23, 2009 at 2:37 PM · Report this
52
Oh yeah #3. It is JUST like Dan Savage to trivialize rape. That is so Dan.
Posted by slingerino on September 23, 2009 at 2:39 PM · Report this
attitude devant 53
Yeah, Donut, she's pretty loony these days, but the feminism at Swarthmore (when I was there, and given the note from #3 who is a student there probably still is) was pretty dour and sex-negative. e.g.,"Sleeping with a man is subjugation to the enemy," you know, the whole sorry prissy ball of wax. Paglia was a nice antidote to that. But perhaps should have been a wee bit more specific....
Posted by attitude devant on September 23, 2009 at 3:14 PM · Report this
54
how rude just to come and go.
Posted by kumngo on September 23, 2009 at 3:25 PM · Report this
FerretRunner64 55
@1 - Dan Savage is too on Facebook, and has been for quite some time. He posts several times a week. Did you even try looking him up?
Posted by FerretRunner64 on September 23, 2009 at 4:42 PM · Report this
attitude devant 56
Oops. 53 was in reply to 50.
Posted by attitude devant on September 23, 2009 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Uriel-238 57
Post-orgasm regrets seem to be a common occurrence. As a guy who's always had difficulties coming in front of others (attributed to nerves when I was young, medication side-effects nowadays) I developed the skill and acquired taste of riding the orgasms of my partners.

And this is how I discovered the difference between naked (i.e. not wearing any clothes) and naked (i.e. bearing your intimate soul), from those folks that would, after a satisfying orgasm go holy shit, I'm totally naked in front of a stranger, and beat a hasty retreat. Plenty of folks are eager to get naked with someone new, but are reserved about (and seem to be taken by surprise when) they wind up getting naked with them as well.
Posted by Uriel-238 on September 23, 2009 at 4:51 PM · Report this
Uriel-238 58
C'mon folks, you remember your personal defense classes: when you say No! (or stop, or something to that effect), and your partner / assailant doesn't*, you are being assaulted. If you're being subdued, it's battery as well. If sex is involved (by Dan's standards), it's sexual assault, aka rape.

By these definitions, and by the limited information we have in DEFINE's account, rape was not involved.

* To clarify: On the contingency that you are unable to consent, then it is assumed you don't, except to life-saving care (i.e. first aid) in which case you automatically consent without a DNR.
Posted by Uriel-238 on September 23, 2009 at 5:00 PM · Report this
FerretRunner64 59
@1 - Dan Savage is too on Facebook, and has been for quite some time. He posts several times a week. Did you even try looking him up?
Posted by FerretRunner64 on September 23, 2009 at 5:07 PM · Report this
scary tyler moore 60
i believe there is a fan page, but not an individual page. dan is not a social animal, folks.
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on September 23, 2009 at 5:08 PM · Report this
Uriel-238 61
While the development around Santorum (politician and word) brings me much joy whenever I think about it, I actually much prefer the verb, to saddleback which describes the non-coital unsafe sex that adolescents have while preserving their technical virginity, much thanks to the Abstinence Only campaigns that teach Christian dogma and gender stereotypes along with their sex-ed disinformation.
Posted by Uriel-238 on September 23, 2009 at 5:08 PM · Report this
attitude devant 62
OH YES EXACTLY, Uriel-238! I admire you and all your isotopes.

So any idea how those of us who like to get naked (baring our souls) can avoid those who freak out when getting naked(no clothes) turns in to naked (bared)?

Any telltale signs?
Posted by attitude devant on September 23, 2009 at 5:12 PM · Report this
attitude devant 63
Shit I'm really screwing up today. 62 was in response to 57.
Posted by attitude devant on September 23, 2009 at 5:14 PM · Report this
64
Mrs. DEFINE had sex. I use a vibrator almost every day. When I'm doing so, I'm having sex with myself. If my husband was using the vibrator on me, I'd be having sex with him. If someone else is using the vibrator on me, I'd be having sex with that person. To classify sex as only insertion of Tab A into Slot B or Slot C shows a lack of imagination.
Posted by catballou on September 23, 2009 at 6:22 PM · Report this
65
As far as the definition of sex, I personally consider it to be vaginal penitration with the penis.

If someone asks me when the last time I had sex was, I don't refer to the last time I got a handjob or a blowjob, I refer to the last time I had my penis in someone's vagina.

It's all personal opinion, I suppose.
Posted by Oh, you know on September 23, 2009 at 6:41 PM · Report this
66
I don't even see any indication she was not into it or had regrets. All he says is she called a stop to the proceedings. maybe she had to go to class. maybe the guy was into just giving her an orgasm, maybe she just felt satisfied and did not want to have insertional intercourse. I don't see any indication of regret.

As for sex or not, Dan's description is not quite the same. What if she kept her panties on? Would it be sex or not. What if she didn't have an orgasm? Would it be sex or not. What if they made out and he only stuck his hand in for a second? Would that be sex. I say not sex in this case. Sex may be hard to define clearly, but if i just fingered a girl to orgasm, I would not consider that sex. if a girl jacks me off, i would not consider that sex. I would call it a hand job.
Posted by rp on September 23, 2009 at 6:49 PM · Report this
67
"He goes through all of the effort to make sure she comes first before even getting undressed and she takes off on him. At his next encounter I'll bet he made sure to come first, just in case. Way to go, Wifey..."
Posted by Dal Tiger on September 23, 2009 at 6:06 AM

If the guy did not take his clothes off, did not even take his dick out of his pants and play with it, all thru the foreplay, vibrator play and orgasm, he probably did not WANT to have genital intercourse with her. Go to CraigsList to the M4M site and see how many guys are into offering blowjobs and want no reciprocation. Quite a few. Why wouldn't there be a few straight guys who just want to pleasure an attractive woman? He could have been self-conscious about his body, or genital herpes or warts, or his dick size or not being able to get it up, which also might explain why the wife called it quits. To me it sounds like she inadvertently got turned on by an unattractive guy and knew she would have to end it sooner or later. So she ended it abruptly and for all we know the guy is still jacking off to the memory to this day.
Posted by jssmbdy on September 23, 2009 at 7:15 PM · Report this
68
Here I was cruisin' thru the comments, gettin' all excited thinkin' "Why hasn't anybody thought of this?" when, BAM!, #32 stole my thunder.

But you're right, 32! I love B.C., best Prez ever, but he did say it, and the vernacular definition has been quite vague ever since.

As to Ms. Define's situation, I say she had sex, he didn't; he just helped... Whatta guy!

Posted by gbrooks on September 23, 2009 at 7:17 PM · Report this
69
BTW: Bill and Monica DID have sex together, with the possible exception of the cigar thing...
Posted by gbrooks on September 23, 2009 at 7:21 PM · Report this
70
And another thing... A single guy who has a vibrator? And then never takes off his clothes. I'm guessing the most this guy wanted out of this wife was cunnilingus, which may be what the husband was referring to when he said the guy wanted his wife for lunch.
Posted by jssmbdy on September 23, 2009 at 7:29 PM · Report this
71
The world of consensual sex is not divided into rape and not-rape. There are shades of gray. And there was definitely a lack of enthusiastic consent in the first letter. Even if it's not rape, it's not not-rape, either.
Posted by Rachelelelelel on September 23, 2009 at 9:27 PM · Report this
Uriel-238 72
catballou @64 that reminds me...

Thank you, attitude devant @62. To answer your question, I don't know how to avoid them entirely, but you can improve your chances with more experienced lovers. Hot college students, while in that window of fresh hotness and age of consent tend to not know themselves very well, hence their hard and soft limits aren't as clearly defined. Those who've been around a few more times are more inclined to trust that while they're basking in post orgasm nakedness, the world is probably not going to end.

I think the best tact when dealing with young people is to exercise immense amounts of patience. Telegraph all your moves and check in often to make sure he / she really wants this. (This is also the standard tact before beating the snot out of someone with a doeskin flogger, which is, in itself, a common technique to create religious experiences and relationship disasters all at the same time.)

Oh, you know @65, I think expanding the definition of sex for the sake of common parlance is a good idea since there are plenty of social and safety reasons not to engage in coitus, yet we, as per all mammals, are really cuddly beings. As things are, adolescents still regard fucking as the holy grail of transcendence to adulthood. If sex was represented by a broader range of activities, kids could experiment and explore physical intimacy at a safer and more comfortable pace.

Also, as Dan points out the more you define as sex, the more sex you will have.

Myself, I just love, love, love playing with girl bits and do not require reciprocation at all (much to the confusion of plenty of my partners), and when someone lets me have my way with of her, even if it's only my oral or manual way, I consider it having sex. It's not coitus, but it's definitely sex.
More...
Posted by Uriel-238 on September 23, 2009 at 9:50 PM · Report this
threnody 73
It's silly to assume that those of us straight people who consider only penetrative sex to be Actual Sex are somehow ashamed or trying to diminish the experience. I consider non-penetrating sexual activity like oral and digital to be foreplay...fun but not the real deal and rarely as satisfying. There was a point in my life (due to being a late bloomer, probably) where I wanted to have MORE notches on my belt if anything...but couldn't really bring myself to count a few makeout sessions that ended in oral or frottage to be "guys I had sex with." It just wasn't on the same level at all. Sorry, I don't think Bill and Monica had sex. It was still cheating, of course...is there a rule it has to be full-on sex before it's cheating? If my husband was fully clothed and masturbating a naked woman with a vibrator I'd be pissed off without calling what they did "having sex."
Posted by threnody on September 23, 2009 at 10:15 PM · Report this
74
Couple of comments- I agree that if Clinton had said "I did not have SEX with that woman," he would have been in the right. In fact, I argued that before hearing the actual speech in which he said, "I did not have SEXUAL RELATIONS with that woman." In that he was (sadly) lying.

To post #3- you trivialize sexual assault and rape by applying it to any situation in which a person later regrets having a consentual encounter. Women are not children and to suggest that anything they later wish they had not participated in means that they were unfairly coerced implies that we're just too weak to decide anything for ourselves.
If a man claimed that he had been "raped" by a woman with a great line and transitory appeal who gave him a blow job he later regretted, it would be laughable. In fact, women have been giving their significant others, "I couldn't help it, she overwhelmed me," excuse the disbelieving laugh since time began.

Sexual abuse is very real and horrific, as is child abuse. Nothing in the post suggested this person was abused and certainly not that she was a child. Don't make women into passive, powerless subjects in their relations with men. It's unfair to all men and women.
Posted by ajoy on September 24, 2009 at 12:03 AM · Report this
75
#25 -- you get Dan's response in the column, not a personal response in an email. He gets way too many emails to respond to everyone. That's just the way all columnists work. Although I bet if you wrote a question here, you'd get volunteers to answer it or mock you, or both. But it wouldn't be Dan Savage, he's got enough to do, sorry.
Posted by DCKathy on September 24, 2009 at 12:07 AM · Report this
76
Couple of comments- I agree that if Clinton had said "I did not have SEX with that woman," he would have been in the right. In fact, I argued that before hearing the actual speech in which he said, "I did not have SEXUAL RELATIONS with that woman." In that he was (sadly) lying.

To post #3- you trivialize sexual assault and rape by applying it to any situation in which a person later regrets having a consentual encounter. Women are not children and to suggest that anything they later wish they had not participated in means that they were unfairly coerced implies that we're just too weak to decide anything for ourselves.
If a man claimed that he had been "raped" by a woman with a great line and transitory appeal who gave him a blow job he later regretted, it would be laughable. In fact, women have been giving their significant others, "I couldn't help it, she overwhelmed me," excuse the disbelieving laugh since time began.

Sexual abuse is very real and horrific, as is child abuse. Nothing in the post suggested this person was abused and certainly not that she was a child. Don't make women into passive, powerless subjects in their relations with men. It's unfair to all men and women.
Posted by ajoy on September 24, 2009 at 12:10 AM · Report this
77
@28 I'm with you on that one, I thought that was where it was going as well
Posted by red_april on September 24, 2009 at 3:30 AM · Report this
78
Being one of those guys that DOES enjoy licking a woman to orgasm or two or three and then sending her on her merry way, I will tell you that I have had sex with them. Sex is or at least should be defined as any genetil contact fondling by another person with the goal of physical pleasure. If you do it to yourself then it's just masterbation.

If penetration has to occur then no wonder all those homosexual men and women are so angry all the time. They hardly ever have sex, just alot of messing around with their mouths and a few toys.
Posted by Hungry for lunch on September 24, 2009 at 3:39 AM · Report this
79
@36 Teh Portly Dyke said it better than me here: http://portlytruestories.blogspot.com/20… but the basic idea is: the point of the Antioch rules was to be sure that both people are enthusiastically consenting. And I don't know about you, but I don't see it as a PROBLEM for my lover to be shouting "Yes! Yes! YES!" throughout sex...

@71-- I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that rape is not a clear-cut either/or black&white issue. Say someone has a trauma history-- a really common reaction to being put in a similar sexual situation again is to panic, freeze up, and automatically comply with the other person in unconscious hopes of not getting hurt too badly this time. To someone who's not bothering to look too carefully, that can look an awful lot like consent-- after all, the person didn't say "no." But s/he also did NOT want to have that sex, and was likely badly upset and hurt by it. I think that a too-limited definition of "rape" leaves such a person entirely out of the equation-- such a person really doesn't FIT into "raped" ("s/he clearly said no") or "not raped" ("s/he clearly consented") if those are the only options considered legitimate.
Posted by Gaudior on September 24, 2009 at 5:00 AM · Report this
80
What DEFINE never mentions, and I don't think any of the above comments addressed it either, is: how does HE feel about it? Is he somehow feeling hurt/angry/betrayed by his wife's past sexual encounters, including this one? If so, I could hardly blame her for defensively denying it was sex. But if they were just being playful & sharing stories, then Dan's response was spot on.

btw I got totally hard reading Dan's subsequent speculation of picking up the husband in a bar & fisting him elbow deep. Just sayin'.
Posted by wayne on September 24, 2009 at 6:20 AM · Report this
81
People could infiltrate Santorum rallies/town meetings and bring hand towels. "For the mess that he is".
Posted by Mymy on September 24, 2009 at 7:42 AM · Report this
82
We should go to Santorum rallies and bring towels, "because he just makes a mess of things".
Posted by Mymy on September 24, 2009 at 7:46 AM · Report this
83
The question of how we define sex is central to the debate over Sex Ed. Abstinence Only education does not address it, and both prevention-based and fear-based curricula tend to define it in heteronormative terms -- vaginal/penile intercourse. Not only does this fail to address a huge amount of sexual activity that happens, but also serves to invalidate all same-sex sexual activity, and innumerable forms of sex play.

Furthermore, defining sex by orgasm means that roughly 25% of women have never had sex. And as a woman who has a great deal of difficulty reaching orgasm, that means that I've only ever had sex with my present partner.... a claim I would strongly dispute.

How any individual defines sex is entirely up to him or her. But on the whole, I think our society has a decidedly heteronormative and puritanical bias.
Posted by offfwhite on September 24, 2009 at 8:14 AM · Report this
84
Nearly a hundred comments and not one has mentioned a key issue in defining sex (and the insufficienty of our vocabulary): If it can get you pregnant, it's SEX. If it can't get you pregnant, it's sex. And I suspect that was the perspective of the wife.
Posted by Old Lady on September 24, 2009 at 8:55 AM · Report this
85
Egads, so the only way I can achieve orgasm with a man (that is, through oral) is not considered sex? No wonder so many women feel insecure.

I agree it's a *little* weird to call a blowjob "sex." I, however, think the problem isn't the act itself, but the fact that it's one-way in terms of direct, physical stimulation (allowing for the delightful people out there who get off on giving).

"Having sex", to me, always carried the connotation of pleasure for both parties, because there's no other way of describing sex. No one ever calls it "receiving sex" or "giving sex."

I definitely call oral or manual sex "sex" if I received as well as gave it in the same session.

From ASM's letter:

"Now, I think any time you have an orgasm you've had sex, and if someone else is present, even if they're clothed, you definitely had sex."

Ok, his wording is a little weird, since is this someone directly involved? Or just standing in a corner?

"My wife's view is that since he never got his clothes off and she never saw his cock, she really didn't have sex."

This is definitely crazy. Maybe it's just poor wording on her part too, but *seeing* his cock has to happen? What if it was dark? What if she wore a blindfold? And you don't have to be missing clothes to have sex.

So did ASM's wife have sex with the dude? Not *really* since she never gave him any physical stimulation (beyond kissing), but considering the definitions he and his wife are offering, I think the jury is definitely closer to agreeing with ASM than with his wife.
Posted by Gloria on September 24, 2009 at 9:07 AM · Report this
86
@84: I'm guessing you meant "If it can't get you pregnant, it's NOT sex."

But according to that view, if my boyfriend wears a condom and we have vaginal-penile intercourse, it's not sex. If either of us is sterile, it's not sex either. If he fucks me in the ass, it's not sex. If we were both women or both men, we'd never ever have sex.

Yeah.
Posted by Gloria on September 24, 2009 at 9:11 AM · Report this
87
Alla which impels me to describe one of the gf's favorite things: when I do everything need to make love to her -- undress her, fondle her in various places and so on and so on -- and she extends not one voluntary act other than permitting me to do everything to her. That way, I guess, it gives her the rush of knowing that everything she does -- coming like a tsunami, for example -- are those physical reactions elicited by the sexual act itself.

Now I'm certain there are still 70s-style feminists out there who would call this rape. After all, she's not doing anything to me and certainly says nothing to assent to any of this. And that sounds pretty much like what happened back in the day. Seems like not only sex, but pretty hot too!
Posted by Token Straight Old dude on September 24, 2009 at 9:34 AM · Report this
givesgoodemail 88
Me! Me! Pick ME, Dan. I'll spread santorum anywhere you want me to.
Posted by givesgoodemail http://www.givesgoodemail.com on September 24, 2009 at 9:36 AM · Report this
89
@85: Ugh, what? I was thinking of a totally different acronym, totally different letter. ASM = DEFINE!
Posted by Gloria on September 24, 2009 at 10:05 AM · Report this
90
Wow, Dan I completely disagree with the "sex" argument -- you cannot "have SEX" with a vibrator. You can stick it in holes and go to town, but that does not change your "number", meaning you never had sex with a person, whether a person was present or not.

Sex is penetration penis to vagina. Or, if you're gay, mouth to penis. I don't even call a blow job a girl gives a guy sex. I wouldn't say I had "sex" with someone I gave a blow job to -- that would be everything "but".

I know you're extremely liberal, but come on... vibrators do not = sex.
Posted by SaraJean on September 24, 2009 at 11:56 AM · Report this
91
@90: How do lesbians have sex? The curious (and the lesbian) want to know!
Posted by Gloria on September 24, 2009 at 12:11 PM · Report this
92
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Here's to spreading frothy Santorum!
The more Repigs made to look ridiculous, the better!
Posted by clara pellar on September 24, 2009 at 12:34 PM · Report this
93
Holy shit. I just realized something about the first question. Whether or not she knew or suspected it, that woman clearly fooled around with a butch lesbian, transsexual and/or drag king.
Posted by Kazaam on September 24, 2009 at 1:39 PM · Report this
94
first question.... not sex! and totally unlikely , how many strait guys out there would bring a girl home, get her naked and then reach for a vibrator? how many strait guys have vibrators? and how many would use them in a fist encounter with a chick from college. I'm thinking one out of 1,000,000. maybe someone with an std that didn't want to pass it along or an unusual kink. scientifically sex is the act of procreation although in our society it's also commonly known to take on other characteristics and definitions . this however is not one of them... sounds like , to use baseball analogies , a foul ball, or a pop up
Posted by johnjohn on September 24, 2009 at 2:32 PM · Report this
95
Hey #90, what about getting off with a vibrator all by myself? Is that sex?

What about just plain ol' male or female solo masturbation? Is that sex?

AND HOW THE HECK CAN YOU SAY MALE TO MALE ORAL IS SEX,
AND FEMALE TO MALE IS NOT?

Sounds sexist rationalization to me...
Posted by gbrooks on September 24, 2009 at 3:27 PM · Report this
96
Shazaam, Kazaam @93. I think that's a good catch. I still think it was probably a guy she had sex with, but that's a definite possibility. I hope the wife reads down this far in comments and replies. And johnjohn at @94, I'm not sure I follow your logic, but guys with kinks are way more than 1 in a million. More like twoferone (two kinks per guy).
Posted by jssmbdy on September 24, 2009 at 4:29 PM · Report this
97
And I have to say I am disappointed in the headline for this week regarding Senator Man-on-dog, (R-Va./Penna.) Did you even consider "Santorum Unleashed!"?
Or how about:
"After Marriage Equality in Iowa, Are Republican Rivals Prepared to Lick Santorum?"??
"Mike Duvall Resigns after Bragging about Leaky Lobbyist. What Role did Santorum Play"
"Still Reeling from Gay Marriage Court Ruling, Is Iowa Preparing for a Santorum Backlash?"
Posted by jssmbdy on September 24, 2009 at 4:49 PM · Report this
98
Please God let santorum be the republican nominee for president. please jesus christ almighty in heaven let Santorum run. it would be so fucking hilarious I want it to happen just to see Dan and everyone else react to it.

Please Jesus I promise I won't stick my penis anywhere bad if you let this happen. Let Santorum run, for the sake of all that is holy. I beseech you.

Also, we should come up with a Huckabee too, just in case he runs, and a Romney. Since Romney is a cock that won't go away, the romney could be the 4 hour erection that won't go away after overdosing on viagra. no clue what to call huckabee but it should be done.

"I stole some viagra from my catholic priest. After we warmed up with some saddlebacking and cleaned up the santorum, my friend with benefits wanted to huckabee. After I finished huckabeeing her bush, I had a romney and had to take an embarrassing trip to the ER."
Posted by SpGNo on September 24, 2009 at 5:00 PM · Report this
Robin8 99
Who's not on Facebook? I'm not. (I don't tweet, either.) Penny, my prayers and thoughts go out to you and your beau. Just not on Facebook.

As for Senator Frothy Mixture, let him try, just try, to gain the GOP nomination. The American public has proven it doesn't want a church = state politician anywhere near the White House. He'll get palined*, for sure. He's a Catholic G. W. Bush.

*If "bork" can be a transitive verb, surely "palin" can be.
Posted by Robin8 http://shutyoureverlovingpiehole.wordpress.com on September 24, 2009 at 5:03 PM · Report this
Vampireseal 100
What I find amusing about the people who define sex as strictly penile/vaginal, is that according to their logic, most gays and lesbians are virgins. If that is the case, than the right-wing Christian groups cannot accuse gays of rampant dangerous promiscuity and such, because these individuals are quite virginal and chaste.

I've always defined sex as any genital contact of at least one person contacting any body part or device of another person. In other words, somebody's getting genital stimulation with the help of somebody else. Doesn't matter if anyone orgasms or not.
Posted by Vampireseal on September 24, 2009 at 9:01 PM · Report this
101
Santorum 2012-
A frothy mixture for the future!

I want the T-shirt and the bumper sticker.
Posted by Zig on September 25, 2009 at 4:42 AM · Report this
102
Great column, as always.

I have to take issue with comment 3. Sexual Assault? Rape? The encounter was consensual! Otherwise she could not have "called a halt to the proceedings." Just because someone regrets something later doesn't retroactively vitiate consent, nor does it make it assault or rape. That's the thing about regret; one wishes one hadn't done something that one did. That's different from being victimized.
Posted by BmuthafuckinRad on September 25, 2009 at 6:53 AM · Report this
103
OMG! I tried Googling "santorum" and it is true! The two definitions are inextricably linked! I am in Heaven and there IS a God.
Posted by Vipsania on September 25, 2009 at 12:19 PM · Report this
104
Good Science, people--who cares? Sex, sexual activity, whatever. I'm merely concerned by total lapses in common sense. #3 has been appropriately lambasted 85 times now, but....

@78: gay men don't have penetration? What was happening while by bf was fucking me for 45 minutes then came in me? Heck, even oral penetration is penetration.

@90: sex for gays is mouth - penis, but not for straights? Huh? If you're "giving" us sex because that's all we can do, well--see above!

And @79, it's rape if a person has a traumatic history and fails to indicate they don't want to have sex?!?! That's just a damaged person not speaking up--sex partners aren't psychic! Note: a person who proceeds with sex with a partner who's consented without pressure, but appears disgusted or uncomfortable and isn't, to the partner's knowledge, into that, is a bad person, but people can CHOOSE to have sex with people they are uncomfortable with or disgusted by, so that bad person is not be a rapist.
Posted by yonush18 on September 25, 2009 at 12:50 PM · Report this
robt vesco, jr. 105
I'm personally not going to read all the comments to see if anyone else has asked why this clothed dude had a vibrator.
Posted by robt vesco, jr. on September 25, 2009 at 1:24 PM · Report this
106
I love your column! Today's is why I read it all the time. Your answer to DEFINE actually had me horny, wishing I was DEFINE and you were actually doing everything you wrote in your response!

Thanks for making my day, now I'm off to spread all my happiness on my bf :)
Posted by AiYahh on September 25, 2009 at 6:53 PM · Report this
107
From what these comments and Dan's answer sound like, guys think anything that gets you off is considered sex. If that's how you want to think of it, fine for you.

But as a hetero girl/woman, there is a difference... a distinction, because penetration, and oral either-way, is definitely another level of permission or decision, than superficial stimulation.

In the gay/lesbian experience, isn't there some spectrum of difference to progress a scenario from foreplay, to fooling around, to sex?
(And not just based on whether or not you orgasm? You could have 'sex' that doesn't finish you, right?).

I "fooled around" a lot when I was younger, but there was a very conscious difference to decide to progress to any kind of oral, and a different decision to 'have sex' with someone. And that's not just some arbitrary rationalization of actions.

There's a difference between molestation/sexual assault, and rape, right? Wouldn't the same lines be those that divide "fooling around" from "sex"?

Maybe any "genital/orifice penetration , or genital-genital contact" is sex, while non-orifice/non-genital contact with another's genitals (or breasts) would be "fooling around"?

Posted by saying on September 25, 2009 at 7:01 PM · Report this
108
yea, if this girl didn't want to have "sex" she should have put the brakes on earlier. that was sort of like letting someone who's really into you give you oral and then bailing after your done . LAME! pump the brakes before you get to that point if all you want to do is fool around and they presumably want more
Posted by johnjohn on September 25, 2009 at 7:41 PM · Report this
109
Uriel-238, I think I love you.
Posted by notclever on September 25, 2009 at 8:43 PM · Report this
kim in portland 110
109: Welcome to the club.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on September 25, 2009 at 11:14 PM · Report this
Uriel-238 111
Thank you, guys! I blush!
Posted by Uriel-238 on September 25, 2009 at 11:52 PM · Report this
savagemama80 112
My only issue with Dan's definition of sex, is that's a definition of cheating more than sex.

If I got a video of my husband using a vibrator on a woman to the point of orgasam, I would consider that cheating.

But I also feel I could also truthfully say he didn't have sex with her.

Did she have sex? No. Did she orgasam with the help of a guy? Sure. I really feel sex has to include some body parts touching the other persons privates directly. Whether we're taking vaginal, anal, oral, fingers. What if I masturbate in front of my husband and he rubs my back, is that sex? I don't think so.
Posted by savagemama80 on September 26, 2009 at 3:01 AM · Report this
113
Why does it matter? Rigidly defining sex is too difficult.

But the fact that some of you are saying there has to be penile/vaginal interaction, or just penetration in general is just crap. Sorry, but I have heard two of my lesbian friends before, and that did not sound like just fooling around from an auditory perspective. Point is everytime you make a claim that this is sex or that this isn't sex, there's going to be one person who can jump in and point out their experience that was.

Now, that said, my attempt to define.

Sex involves two (or more) people providing sexual pleasuring to other person involving genitals in some way.

So if I masturbate next to my boyfriend and even if he is just touching me in a pretty non-sexual way, no I don't think one could consider that sex. But lets say we were both jacking ourselves off while also grabbing each other, kissing each other, rubbing each other, possibly fingering each other although not necessary, then yeah I would also consider that sex. Because even though he might have not been touching my penis, the fact is the interaction was providing me very erotic feelings conjoined with the fact that genitals were being stimulated.

the other person has to be directly be involved in providing the pleasure or stimulation at the very least. Even if only one person is getting pleasured.
Posted by gronx7 on September 26, 2009 at 8:52 AM · Report this
114
Dan, You didn't address the fact that if "not having an orgasm" means not having sex, some women will have gone their whole lives not having sex. That is a crazy way to define sex (and totally male-centric).
Posted by ya on September 26, 2009 at 11:51 AM · Report this
115
sex in absolute terms is the act of procreation. there's just no easier way to describe the process of reproduction or to explain the functions of male and female genitalia. this is a totally logical and basic definition for any one who just doesn't know what sex is. like kids under 10 yrs old or possibly aliens from some far away androgynous planet. if you can think up a better basic definition for sex that addresses all the functions of reproduction and why girls and boys have different genitals then go for it, I'm all ears.... but seriously every adult knows that theres more to sex and sexual behavior than what you would see on discovery channel. I dont think anyone in there right mind could imagine that what gay or lesbian couples are doing to show there affections for one another as not being sex, or at the very least extremely "sexual"
Posted by johnjohn on September 26, 2009 at 3:41 PM · Report this
116
My $.02 on defining sex...

If both parties have prolonged contact with the genitals of the other party, it is almost definitely sex. If neither party has contact with the genitals of the other party, it is almost certainly not sex (though it might be sexual activity). If it is between these 2 things, then it may or may not be sex, though it is certainly sexual activity.

Personally, I have no problem with defining DEFINE's wife's experience as not-sex, if she so chooses. I'd probably count it as not-quite-sex m'self.
Posted by Melissa Trible on September 27, 2009 at 3:39 AM · Report this
117
To: YOU ARE KNOWN....

Does it really matter if she 'calls it sex' or not? She's fine. Why are you uncomfortable with what she did. That's for you to deal with.

Unless you're worried that she might go and 'not have sex' on her next lunch-break.... time to clearly define where the lines are?
Posted by relativityboy on September 27, 2009 at 8:28 AM · Report this
biju 118
Hey Penny, sorry to hear about your situation. Good luck (I'm not on facebook either)
Posted by biju on September 27, 2009 at 9:32 AM · Report this
119
@98: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Thanks--you made my weekend!!

So--what happened after the embarrassing trip to the ER?
Posted by wileEcoyote on September 27, 2009 at 2:51 PM · Report this
120
Methinks Santorum's biggest challenge isn't just if he runs. He's more like a CASE OF THE RUNS!

OMG---a Frothy Santorum Forum!

Lord help us all.
Posted by clara pellar on September 27, 2009 at 7:37 PM · Report this
121
great column. if i were on facebook i would definitely join Jon's support group. I just haven't taken the time to figure how facebook works however.....

By the way Dan,
Did you catch Bill Maher last friday? It was fantastic. John Waters seemed a little out of the loop with those economic powerhouses but he still found a way to make it work. Dan, im not sure how it works but i always loved when you were on the panel. It was great having such a brilliant gay man defend our rights!
Posted by anthony990 http://www.myspace.com/oom748 on September 28, 2009 at 10:11 AM · Report this
122
As with any retelling from a single party facts are omitted and or embellished to serve the tellers interests. Its similar to readers inserting or removing words from things they read.
Posted by Gabeinboston on September 28, 2009 at 11:39 AM · Report this
123
@61: I can see it now. "I've been saddlebacking my gf for three months. About two weeks ago, I got some santorum on my dick and now my gf says she's pregnant. I haven't had sex with her yet, so she's still a virgin, like Mary Magdalen. Does that mean our baby will be gay?"
PS. Where does one volunteer for this anti-smear campaign? (Because nobody wants to smear santorum around anywhere...)
Posted by YTAH http://ytah.wordpress.com/ on September 29, 2009 at 6:12 AM · Report this
124
Some of the best sex I ever had was the no sex sex I had in high school. Thanks Steve. I will always remember you fondley.
Posted by babette on September 29, 2009 at 7:28 AM · Report this
125
i get a rapey feeling from the DEFINE's story.. ugh, dan.
Posted by trickywoo on September 29, 2009 at 8:48 AM · Report this
126
Where can I order the specially embroidered Santorum towel to wave at the rally?

@105 good question, aren't we supposed to put condoms on vibrators now a-days? When I think of the sanitary conditions I considered acceptable in college... yeech!!!!
Posted by beva on September 29, 2009 at 6:06 PM · Report this
127
Man- that chick totally had sex with that guy!!
I don't care if it's just a b.j.; it's still sex! Just because she was ashamed of it, or didn't enjoy it, doesn't mean that it didn't happen!
Posted by shortcourt8888 on September 30, 2009 at 10:50 PM · Report this
128
@27 hey now, Camille Paglia is a dumb cunt who can't write.

sounds like @3 may have made a good point...even if she enjoyed it, it's still assault!!!
Posted by sneaks on October 6, 2009 at 6:57 PM · Report this

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