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"Sex" may include many things, from intimate touching to vaginal or anal intercourse.

These terms are often used:

  • Sexual contact may involve genital touching, skin-to-skin contact, mutual masturbation, mouth-to-genital contact (oral sex), or sexual intercourse.
  • Sexual intercourse most often refers to vaginal sex (penis into the vagina). But it may also include oral sex (mouth to penis, vagina, or anus) or anal sex (penis into the anus).
  • Having sex may describe sex between a man and a woman, between two men, or between two women.

Sexual intercourse and some types of sexual contact can spread infection. Practicing safer sex, such as using condoms, can reduce the risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.