Sexual intercourse

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Note: This article is about a sexual act. For other meanings, see sex.
Asian illustration of sexual intercourse.

Sexual intercourse, also called coitus, is the usual method for reproduction in mammals (including humans) and many other animals such as reptiles or birds. In the animal kingdom it is usually not called sexual intercourse but copulation or mating. It is the act of inserting the erect penis of the male into the vagina of the female for reproduction and also for sexual enjoyment.

Sexual intercourse is often called sex for short, although that is a slight misuse of the word (see the article sex). It is also called vaginal intercourse or vaginal sex to distinguish it from anal, oral and other forms of sex.

Coitus may be preceded by foreplay, which leads to sexual arousal of the partners, resulting in the erection of the penis and natural lubrication of the vagina.

To engage in sexual intercourse, the erect penis is inserted into the vagina and one or both of the partners move their hips to move the penis backward and forward inside the vagina to cause friction, typically without fully removing the penis. In this way, they stimulate themselves and each other, often continuing until orgasm and ejaculation are achieved.

There are many different positions in which humans engage in coitus (see List of sex positions on Wikipedia).

Early sexual intercourse[edit]

An STD Surveillance Network study (An enhanced surveillance project sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) from 2009-2011 indicates that most interview partners (61%) reported having vaginal or anal sex for the first time between 14-17 years of age. The average age of first sexual intercourse (or sexual debut) was 15.6 years. Males reported earlier ages of sexual initiation than did females. 22% of males reported sexual initiation between 10-13 years, while 16% of females reported the same. Approximately one-fifth of both males and females reported first sex when 18 years of age or older. Previous research indicates that early age of sexual initiation may be associated with engagement in high risk behaviors which place individuals at increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections. For example, first sex before 15 years has been associated with unprotected intercourse and multi-ple sex partners. A new Iowa State study of nearly 1,000 low-income families in three major cities found that one in four children between the ages of 11 and 16 reported having sex, with their first sexual intercourse experience occurring at the average age of 12. Condom manufacturers have long since responded and offer condoms in small sizes for young people.

Similar activities[edit]

Oral and anal sex: Karma Sutra illustration found in Kuchaman Fort.

Masturbation, anal sex and oral sex are usually not called "sexual intercourse" although they are similar activities that can lead to climax.

Sexual intercourse and spanking[edit]

Erotic spanking is a human sexual behaviour where spanking acts as a foreplay to increase sexual arousal and will lead to sexual intercourse.

See also[edit]


Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Sexual intercourse. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Spanking Art, the text of Wikipedia is available under a copyleft license, the Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike license.