Anal Sex; Does It Count As Sex?
What actually counts as “having sex?” Well, it depends who you ask. Different people have different definitions. A recent study published in the Journal of Sex Research highlights just how much variability there is when it comes to whether certain forms of anal stimulation count in the eyes of heterosexual adults.
In this study, researchers examined the survey responses of 3,214 heterosexual male and female adults (average age of 35). All participants reported having had anal sex experience before, but only with partners of the opposite sex.
Participants were asked whether the following behaviors counted as having had sex: penile-anal intercourse, fingering (i.e., having your anus stimulated by hand, or stimulating someone else’s anus by hand), and rimming (i.e., having your anus orally stimulated, or orally stimulating someone else’s anus).
As you can see, men and women largely agreed that penile-anal intercourse counts as sex; however, about 1 in 10 said that it does not. By contrast, a majority of men and women said that manual and oral stimulation of the anus are not sex—although men were significantly more likely than women to count both of these activities.
In addition to this gender difference, there was also an association with age, such that older adults were more likely to count a given anal behavior as sex than were younger adults.