Taking the P & V Out Of Sex

penetration blog sex with emily

penetration blog sex with emilyOf all the misconceptions about sex (and there are many), one of the biggest is that penetration is always the main course. We’ve been taught to believe that penile-vaginal insertion equals sex. This is not the whole truth.

Sure, it’s a component of what “sex” is, but it isn’t the end-all be-all. There’s so much more to sex than the P & the V. 


Think About It

Take a second think about the worst sex you’ve ever had. Lying there, waiting for it to be over. Someone completely out of tune with you and your body, jackhammering away at your crotch. Or maybe they didn’t move at all like sex with a cardboard cutout of a human. Maybe you never made eye contact. You certainly didn’t feel a spark or connection. 

Then, think about the hottest kiss you’ve ever had. What did it taste like? Did you feel their breath on your neck? Did you want to melt into the floor right then and there? Think about the electricity pulsing through your veins as you found their tongue with your tongue. Think about how turned on you felt. How erotic. Sexy.  

Now, ask yourself, which one of these situations was more sexual? Which was more “intense”? “Real?” “All the way?” Though you may think that “actually sex”, “real sex” or  “sex-sex” has to mean P in V penetration, the truth is, sex can mean whatever you want it to mean. 

Maybe you got fingered last weekend and it was the Best Sex Ever. Maybe you had classic P in V with your hot coworker a year ago and it was so bad and unsexy that it literally doesn’t count as sex. When it comes to your body and sexuality, you get to make the rules and you get to decide what “counts” as what.

When you stop limiting “sex” to only mean P in the V penetration— you stop limiting yourself. Here’s why: 


“Sex” isn’t only about orgasms 

Don’t get me wrong, orgasms rule. It’s not that that sex isn’t about orgasms, it’s that sex isn’t only about orgasms. 

In a recent study conducted by a sexual wellness company Womanizer (WOW Tech) in partnership with The What, over 77% of women reported never learning in sex ed that should be pleasurable for them and over 54% reported to not feeling sexually fulfilled in their lives. 

Saying, “Sex isn’t only about orgasms” isn’t a excusing people (read: men) to never prioritize their partner’s pleasure, it’s an invitation to widen what the definition of “sex” is and further, to get rid of the idea that sex is “over” when one partner (often the one with the penis) finishes. 

Removing “orgasms” as the “goal” of sex can help you live in the moment, enjoying all the good feelings that are happening as they are happening. There’s no pressuring yourself or your partner to climax or feeling ashamed or “broken” for not climaxing. 

Getting frisky with your boo can be a time to reconnect mentally and emotionally. It can be a way to learn more about your body. It can just be to destress, unwind, and have fun for a second. 

Sex doesn’t have to be a direct journey with a specific destination. It can be like taking the scenic route with no end or “finish” line in sight. (Yes, that was a joke about finishing.) 


Most vaginal orgasms don’t cum from penetration

If you’ve never finished from strictly P in V penetration, you’re in pretty good company. In fact, 

A recent study from the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy found that 80% of women don’t orgasm from penetrative sex and need clitoral stimulation to climax. Eighty. May I remind you that’s the whopping majority of people with vaginas. 

If you can’t climax from P in V, try not to think of that as something wrong or bad with your body — think of it as an invitation to discover all the sexy things your body will respond to. 

Do you want to incorporate more oral? Anal? Fingering? Bring a toy in the bedroom? When you widen the definition of sex past “P in V” you can stop feeling shameful or embarrassed about not finishing simply from penetration. Additionally, you can begin to validate oral, or fingering or using toys, or whatever it is that gets you going as “real sex”. 


Foreplay/After Play is “actual sex” too

Foreplay isn’t the boring informational speech about safety exits that the flight attendant gives that you have to sit through every time before you take off. Foreplay can be like the delicious appetizer that you eat so much of, you don’t even order an entree.

Just as “sex” can be whatever you want it to be, foreplay can mean more than “boring stuff before the real sex happens”. Foreplay can be the “real sex.” 


7 Spicy (Non-Penetrative) Ways To Turn Up the Heat: 


  1. Taking turns performing oral sex on each other
  2. Experimenting with rimming and other butt stuff – fingering, toys, etc. 
  3. Fingering/handjobs – your fingers are flexible and can do a heck of a lot more than, you, ahem, other body parts. 
  4. Dirty talking to your partner and verbally getting into the mood. 
  5. Giving each other erotic massages, you can use oils and waxes as well as those sexy candles that turn into massage oil. Hot.  
  6. Role-playing and setting up a whole scene with your partner, describing your filthiest fantasies and doing everything you can to make your dreams a reality. 
  7. Bringing toys or props into the bedroom for some added excitement.  


And if you’re looking to keep up the heat, try adding on some after play — or non-penetrative sexy stuff as you’re starting to wind down your romp. Maybe your boo goes down on your after you do some P in V or maybe you add some finger stuff to the end.  

Sometimes a single kiss is hotter and more “sex-like” than literal penetration. Sometimes foreplay is the grand finale. And sometimes all you want to do is roll around naked with someone in the back of your 2009 Mazda, Mazda 3. Hey, we’ve all been there. 



Griffin Wynne is a non-binary writer, artist, and plain seltzer drinker. When they’re not discussing sex in the ~digital era~ or crying to the Dixie Chicks, Griffin enjoys camping, reading, used clothes, and documentaries about cults. They’re a Capricorn King, a genderless cowgirl, and a ’70s mama who is always down for dollar oysters and road trips. Griffin uses they/them pronouns and has the same birthday as Kyle Richards. 







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