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What is Sex?

What is the first thing that pops up in your mind when you hear or read the word “Sex”? You might start imagining sexual activity or maybe you think it is a dirty talk. People have different views or meaning when it comes to the definition about “having sex”. Though, some people still think that it is forbidden to talk about sex and it remains taboo in most of Eastern cultures. We find this hard to directly learn and discuss more about sex in Indonesia, yet, knowledge is the most effective tool to save us from risks. In order to maintain sexual health, we need to know that a healthy sex means having consenting, pleasurable and safe sexual experiences.

Sex, also known as sexual intercourse, is the union between two individuals that involves stimulating their genitals including insertion of genitals into vagina, anus, or mouth. This definition definitely makes us focus on the activity of inserting genitals through vaginal, anal, or oral. It is important to highlight that any activity that stimulates or arouses sexual feelings and desires is also considered as part of sexual activity.

Some people might have different kinds of sexual activity in the beginning to precedes sexual intercourse which we also call it as foreplay. Having sex will make our body produce oxytocin and endorphins that act as love hormone and positive feeling.

But here are other parts that sexual releases can benefits:

  • Physical Health: prevent the risk of coronary heart disease and type-2 diabetes, decrease risk of breast and prostate cancer, and bolster immune system
  • General Physical Well-Being: help to go to sleep, associated with youthful appearance, does burn calories and fat and tend to do exercise more frequently
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health: prevent the development of endometriosis, enhance fertility, a more regular menstrual cycle lengths, reliefs menstrual cramp, better pregnancy delivery, and a better health condition for later life (aging)
  • Pain Management and Physical Relaxation: release pain of migraine and improve muscle relaxation
  • Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Spiritual Health: improve quality of life and self-esteem, reduce stress, depression, and suicide. Sexual pleasure may prevent violence behavior and increase intimacy. Expressed sexual desire could increase hormone levels that play an important role in pair-bonding for social relation. Sex could be a way to gain spiritual insight and those who associate their sexual experience with sprituality more likely will have better quality of life and relationship

Different Kind of Sex

Identifying the definition of sex, as we talk above, we can see that sex itself is quite extensive in terms of definition. As it can mean different things to different people, that narrowed it down to different kind of sex. Specifically, talking about different kind of sex could give you a better understanding of people with different sexual behavior than yours. Other than that, it can help you to inform which choices best for you.

  • Kissing: when two individuals using their lips and touch the other’s lips or part of body
  • Masturbation or Self-Pleasuring: rubbing or touching your own genitals for sexual stimulation
  • Mutual Masturbation: two or more people masturbate each other
  • Fingering: the use of fingers for sexual stimulation
  • Foreplay: the initial activity to precedes sexual intercourse such as kissing and touching
  • Oral Sex: using mouth (lips or tongue) to touch their partner’s genitals
  • Penetrative Sex: when a man insert his penis to someone’s vagina or anus
  • Non-penetrative Sex: no insertion of genitals to vagina or anus
  • Vaginal Sex: is putting something into the vagina such as penis, fingering, or sex toys
  • Anal Sex: putting something into the anus such as penis, fingers, or sex toys. Since anus have lack of lubrication, anal sex can be dangerous without a proper strategy


Brody, S. (2010). The Relative Health Benefits of Different Sexual Activities . International Society for Sexual Medicine.

Maines, R. P. (2015). Orgasm. The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality , First Edition.

McIntosh, J. (2018). Everything You Need to Know About Orgasms. (J. Brito, Editor) Retrieved from Medical News Today : https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/232318

Parenthood, P. (2017). The Health Benefits of Sexual Expression. Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Sex. (n.d.). Retrieved from Get The Facts: https://www.getthefacts.health.wa.gov.au/sex