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Over the weekend I was in New Orleans with a few girlfriends. As we were getting ready in the condo, which just happened to be right next door to Brad Pitt’s house, we were discussing what most women do, sex. One mentioned that she had sex with a guy she was dating, but used a condom. My newly acquainted friend Christine shouted out, “Well that doesn’t count!”

I started laughing so hard I couldn’t contain myself, ”What do you mean it doesn’t count?”

Christine replied, “If you use a condom it doesn’t count as sex. It doesn’t go towards your number of sexual encounters.”

“So what does count as sex then?” I respond “Only when skin touches skin? Otherwise it’s not sex?”

“Well if it’s less than three pumps it doesn’t count either. Or if it’s from behind.”

“So if you can’t see the other person it doesn’t count as sex?” I laughed.

It made me start to think, what really does count as a sexual encounter? Another girlfriend of mine back in college days would only do anal because she said vaginal counted as sex and the other didn’t. Basically she considered herself a virgin until she got married. Have our definitions of sex become way to loose, or is it a more of a personal opinion? In some cultures males cannot even shake hands with a woman who is not his wife.  Yet in America, as long as it’s less than three pumps from behind it never counts.

If we look up sexual intercourse on Merriam-Webster’s site it’s defined as:

1: heterosexual intercourse involving penetration of the vagina by the penis : coitus (physical union of male and female genitalia accompanied by rhythmic movements)

2: intercourse (as anal or oral intercourse) that does not involve penetration of the vagina by the penis

As we can tell Merriam-Webster doesn’t break it down by which direction you’re facing, how many pumps and if there are condoms used. It also includes oral.

Urban Dictionary’s definition of sex is if a man ejaculates in your presence. I disagree with that. If I’m on a subway and some guy decides to masturbate next to me, that does not mean we just had sex. They also state that any consensual insertion of penis or penis like object into a bodily orifice can qualify as sex too. They are way off. Having someone else use a dildo on you is not sex, that’s having a helping hand during masturbation.

Since there’s a big debate upon what constitutes as a sexual encounter, here’s my advice: If you wake up one day and you’re pregnant, you had sex my dear.

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.