The study, published in the February issue of the journal Sexual Health, randomly surveyed 486 adults, most of them heterosexual, between the ages of 18 and 96. They were asked the following question: "Would you say you 'had sex' with someone if the most intimate behavior you engaged in was [blank]," and then followed more than a dozen "behavior specific items." A press release reports that "two out of ten people did not concur that penile-anal intercourse was sex, and three out of ten said 'no' to oral-genital activity, as did half of the respondents about manual-genital contact." And, while 95 percent classified penile-vaginal penetration as sex (one has to wonder what does count for the remaining 5 percent), that number dropped to 89 percent in cases where the man doesn't ejaculate.Some bloggers have expressed an opinion that people who were questioned for this study are simply stupid. I believe, however, that this survey reflects the sad reality of a society where people have been told that sex is bad and dirty so many times that now they pretend that many obviously sexual activites don't "count" as sex. I have witnessed many convoluted discussions where people would try to define what should "count" as sex without being able to explain why they have the need for "counting" anything in the first place.
Until there is no stigma attached to a happy and healthy sexuality, we will see these weird results on sex-related questionnaires.