Why My Definition of Sex Doesn’t Include Orgasm

Sid on Sex: Why My Definition of “Sex” Doesn’t Include Orgasm
Photo by Tatum Mangus

Sid Azmi is the owner of Please New York, an educated pleasure shop in Brooklyn. Her column “Sid on Sex” explores her ongoing entrepreneurial and personal journey, as well as the daily revelations gained helping all kinds of women lead satisfying, joyful sex lives.

 
“There is no pressure in frolicking—you are already getting what you want.”
 

When I think of sex, I think of the word “frolicking.” Frolicking simply means being playful with your partner. There are no standards to uphold: you are no longer attached to the goal of orgasm. You are enthralled by the moment. Your physical intimacy with your partner is fueled by a symbiotic sexual energy—his or her pleasure is yours. There is no pressure in frolicking—you are already getting what you want.

So how does frolicking compare to our standard definition of sex? The usual definition that comes to mind is, sex is the physical activity that centers around our erotic body parts and follows this formula: the introduction (foreplay), the main act (fucking—external stimulation with or without penetration), and the grand finale (orgasm). The simplicity of this definition makes sex manageable, as we exist in a society where conversations about sex are taboo. So even if you are not able to guess your partner’s preferences during sex, and are too paralyzed with shame to ever ask them, you can still get “sex” done.

Frolicking is quite the opposite. Frolicking is fluid—your sexual experience evolves as the activity unfolds. Frolicking is focused on the person, not their genitals; on pleasure, not orgasm. Frolicking is being adaptive at all times and adhering to no expectations.

 
“The more fluid our definition of sex, the more opportunities we can create for ourselves to experience pleasure and deepen intimacy with our partners.”
 

The standard definition of sex will work for as long as your mind and body are able to turn on readily to sex. But can it hold against the changes that occur throughout life? Changes that our bodies go through due to aging, illness, and/or disabilities? Changes that affect our psychology, such as shifts in relationship dynamics, professional ups and downs, and financial woes? With these physical stressors on our bodies and emotional challenges on our minds, getting to the “finish line” can become distressingly hard. In my diverse interactions with countless people at Please and in my work in healthcare, I have found time and time again that the standard formula for sex is not resilient against life itself, and that it severely limits sexual possibilities.

Hence why we need to broaden our definitions of sex now. We need to embrace that the way we have sex is affected by circumstances outside of the bedroom. Our desire and ability to have sex reflects what our bodies are capable of and the readiness of our psyches at that particular moment in time. The more fluid our definition of sex, the more opportunities we can create for ourselves to experience pleasure and deepen intimacy with our partners.

If we can accept that there is no set standard for pleasure, we can let go of the idea of “good” versus “bad” sex. What if sex were simply being tender? What if we mutually masturbated one another, or just engaged in physical acts that felt kind and cheeky? What my fucking you meant stroking you mentally, or just holding each other in silence? The more we can let go of the fixed idea that sex starts with an erection and a wet vagina, the more pleasure we can give and receive.

This is why frolicking—my definition of sex—works for me. When I am frolicking, my spirit is kind and playful, my thoughts are present in the moment, my heart is open and free, my words are affectionate and validating, my body is warm and eager. I am uninhibited yet mindful. I am indulgently deliberate. My partner’s pleasure is continuous, without beginning, middle, or end, and it keeps fueling mine. Right now, this second, is my favorite moment. Everything else is a surprise.

Also read: Sid on Sex: Empower People to Own Their Pleasure.

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