What Technically Isn't Sex, but is still considered Sexy

            These forms of sex play do not involve penetration, and since no bodily fluids are swapped (usually) the risk of pregnancy or contracting STI’s is much lower.  They are not mentioned or spoken of as much as the three sex acts, but I've placed them here because many people still engage in them and there are some pretty common misconceptions about them.


            Masturbation is technically the manual excitation of the sexual organs, most often to the point of orgasm.  Euphemisms for it include “pleasuring oneself”, “playing with oneself”, “touching oneself”, and “self gratifying.”  I’d put in the slang words, too, but that would take up too many pages, and besides, it's already done here at World Wide Wank.

Both men and women masturbate; masturbation and sexual intercourse are the two most common sexual practices.  In fact, some women are only able to achieve orgasm by masturbation, and according to Maxim magazine the best orgasms for men are achieved through masturbation.

            A Canadian survey found that most people begin masturbating as they reach adolescence, mostly between the ages of 10 and 15.  The survey also found that the frequency of masturbation declines after the age of 17.  According to the study, individuals of either gender who are not in a sexually active relationship tend to masturbate more frequently than those who are.

Not all people masturbate; some people are morally against it, others abstain for ‘health reasons’.  The general medical consensus is that masturbation is common, normal, and harmless.  Contrary to urban legend, masturbation does not cause blindness or kill kittens. In fact, some in the mental health field have found that masturbation can relieve depression.  It certainly is one of the safest forms of sex play, since solitary masturbation carries no risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease.  Some controversial studies have found that men who masturbate are more likely to have premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction problems.  That is, overreliance on masturbation as a way of reaching orgasm may affect some men and women’s ability to achieve orgasm through sexual intercourse and other forms of sex play.

Many mammalian animals have been observed masturbating, both in the wild and in captivity, and humans are no different.  At UCLA, it is generally considered impolite to masturbate while other people are in the same room.  Even if you think they are asleep.

·    Pornography:  For many people masturbation is very ritualized, and for some this includes through the use of pornography.  UCLA is generally very liberal about pornography, for example, a free sneak preview of a documentary about the film Deep Throat was shown on campus, and there are no website blocking programs enforced in student residences.  However, if you are interested in porn, understand that some types of pornography, such as child pornography and crush films (dude, if you want to kill kittens, masturbate, none of this crush films business), is illegal in the United States.  Generally, though, distribution and use of porn that is not obscene or illegal is protected by the First Amendment--to people over the age of 18.  Also, hmm, check to make sure your door isn’t dead-bolted, first.

·    Toys: Some people like to use objects for masturbation purposes.  In fact, dildos have been found in very early human architectural digs (and we're talking VERY early) and were widely used in Ancient Greece and Ancient China.  The use of sex toys has been embraced by watchers of “Sex and the City” and also lampooned by anyone who has seen apple pie abused in teen movies.  In the 2004-2005 school year, Daily Bruin sex columnist Lara Loewenstein wrote a controversial article on masturbation and sex toys .  Suffice to say, the use of objects may often enhance the activity, and objects do not get tired.  Sex toys can be purchased at Ahhs in Westwood, at adult shops, or online at various adult websites, sites that ship your orders in anonymous boxes.

·    Mutual Masturbation:  Mutual masturbation is sexual stimulation between two or more people, usually manually.  This is done in situations when the participants do not want to engage in sex, or as a form of foreplay before engaging in sex.  If the likelihood of coming into contact with bodily fluids is high (which it usually is), certain precautions should be taken to prevent the transmission of STIs.  For example, if there are any cuts or wounds on the hands, they should be covered with a latex glove.

·    Virtual Sex: Phone sex and cyber sex, usually involving manual stimulation while talking with someone on the phone or messaging them over the internet.


            Frottage is the act of achieving sexual gratification by rubbing one’s clothed or naked body against another person.  Two people engaged in clothed frottage in a manner that simulates intercourse is also known as “dry humping”—when done on the dance floor this is called “grinding.”  When done between two women it is called tribadism (see?  new vocab words!) (Oh, and obviously tribadism carries a high risk for sexually transmitted diseases if not done through some sort of barrier, since fluids are readily exchanged.)


            Outercourse is sexual activity that does not involve penetration.  If no body fluids are exchanged, then it is a safe sex practice with minimal risk of pregnancy or STIs.  The techniques mentioned above are forms of outercourse; other forms of outercourse include axillary intercourse (placement of the penis in the other person’s armpit), interfemoral intercourse (placement of the penis between the partner’s thighs), and mammary intercourse (placement of the penis between the other person’s breasts.)  Of these, interfemoral intercourse has the highest risk of pregnancy, but the odds are still far lower than actual intercourse.  Outercourse performed in preparation of sex is also known as foreplay.