What Counts As Sexually Active?

When a medical provider asks if you are sexually active it can be confusing. They may be referring to vaginal intercourse only or a much broader definition of sexual activity including oral or anal sex.

This includes manual sex like fingering and hand jobs which can cause some sexually transmitted infections. It also includes anal-genital contact without penetration and oral-genital contact that is not sex but involves transfer of body fluids.

Vaginal Intercourse

If you’re a girl and a virgin, then you probably think that having vaginal intercourse is the only thing that counts as sexual activity. It is true that this puts you at risk of STIs, but there are lots of other things that can count, too. And it’s important that your doctor knows about all of these activities in order to give you the best care and testing.

This includes outercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. Outercourse is when your penis goes outside of your anus or lips, and oral sex is when you lick and suckle the clitoris. Anal sex is when you insert your penis into your partner’s anus.

What kinds of sex you prefer and enjoy can change over time. It’s also up to you and your partner(s) to decide how much sex you want to have, and whether you are ready for it. It’s important to talk with your partner(s) about all of these things, and to always make sure that you’re both comfortable with it.

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A lot of girls may have had PIV sex without it being vaginal, and some girls may even be surprised to learn that their gynecologist considers this sex to be “sexually active”. But remember, genital-to-genital contact is always considered to be sex, regardless of whether it’s vaginal or not.

Anal Intercourse

A lot of people have a hard time discussing anal sex, especially in a public setting. But it’s important to remember that it’s totally normal and just another form of sexual activity. In fact, some people prefer anal sex to vaginal sex.

In one study, heterosexual women and men overwhelmingly agreed that penile-anal intercourse counts as sex (Jozkowski, Sanders, Dennis, & Reece, 2014). However, both men and women were less likely to consider oral anal sex or manual stimulation of the anus as sex. These behaviors are commonly referred to as “rimming.”

Rimming can be uncomfortable and painful for both partners. In addition, a lack of experience with lubrication can cause friction and discomfort during anal sex. But the good news is that you can minimize these unpleasant feelings by using plenty of water-based lubricant during anal intercourse.

When medical providers ask if you’re sexually active, they are looking for any type of contact that involves the anus or the vagina. They want to know if you’re at risk for getting certain STIs or pregnancy, and they may recommend a birth control option like condoms or a regular pap smear. If you’re unsure about what counts as sexually active, talk to your doctor about what you’ve been doing with your partner(s). They can help you decide if you need to use extra protection during sex or not.

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Oral Intercourse

When doctors and other health care providers ask about sex, they aren’t just looking to see if you’re currently sexually active. They also want to know about your sex history to help determine the risk of STDs, prescribe birth control and recognize pregnancy symptoms. That’s why it’s important to be honest about your sexual activities, even if you’re not currently engaged in them.

Oral sex is when you stimulate your partner’s genitals with your mouth, lips or tongue or when they do the same to you. It might be foreplay or replace intercourse during sex, and it can include fellatio (oral sex involving the penis) and cunnilingus (oral sex performed on the vulva, clitoris or anus).

Some people believe that you have to have penetrative sex to be considered sexually active, but that’s not true. Any type of sex with another person’s genitals can be sexually transmitted, and that includes oral and anal sex. Penetrating sex, whether it’s oral or vaginal, carries the same risks as non-penetrative sex, including pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and HIV.


Masturbation is self-pleasure that involves stimulating erogenous zones on the body, such as genitals, ears, neck, inner thighs, and nipples. It can be a way to learn about sexual pleasure, orgasm, and your body. It can also be done before or during sex to help reach orgasm and make the experience more intense. Some people masturbate without penetration, some people use lubricants, and some find pleasure touching, pinching, or rubbing other parts of their bodies like the clitoral hood or thighs.

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Many young people think that if they are masturbating or have had sex with someone else, then they must be virgins. However, there is no evidence that masturbation or sex with a partner is necessary for someone to lose their virginity. In fact, it is more common for young adults to lose their virginity through non-sexual activities like cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, or illicit drug use.

For teens, masturbation can be a way to express a secret sexual fantasy, satisfy desired needs that are unfulfilled by their sexual partner or as a coping mechanism for emotional pain. If it becomes a serious problem, talk therapy with a doctor or counselor can help determine the underlying causes and develop strategies to reduce masturbation. In addition, it can be helpful to find a community of people who can support you as you work to change.

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