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A glossary of sexual terms

Starting with letters S to Z

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A list of words beginning with the letters "a" to "g" are in the first essay.

Words beginning with the letters "h" to "r" are in the previous essay.

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Definitions of sexual terms starting with letters S to Z:

bulletSafe sex: Sexual activity that is completely free of risk for STD. It is non-existent.
bullet Safer sex: Sexual activity in which the risk for STD has been greatly reduced to a low level.
bulletSex: Two meanings:

bullet The definition of a person as male or female, based on their physical appearance, and/or primary sexual characteristics, and/or sexual chromosome structure and/or their perceived gender. In almost all people, their perceived gender match the other three factors. For a minority, they differ.

bullet To engage in a sexual act. e.g. "to have sex."
bulletSex reassignment therapy: The use of hormones and perhaps sex reassignment surgery to help a transsexual change their appearance from the sex that they were identified with at birth to the opposite sex that they feel they truly are.
bullet Serial monogamy: The concept of having multiple sexual partners over a lifetime, in a sequence of committed and sexually exclusive relationships. Many, perhaps most, adults in North America experience this.
bullet Sexual act: This is not a well defined term. Most would define it as including all oral, anal, vaginal, and manual activity which has as its goal of arousing a person. Many teens do not include oral sex as a sexual act. Thus, they might consider themselves to be sexually abstinent, and even a virgin, even though they engage in oral sex.
bulletSexual identity: an individual's overall feelings including their sexual orientation (heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual), genetic gender (male, female, intersexual), gender role (masculine or feminine), and gender identity (transgender or cisgendered).
bullet Sexual orientation:  Some religious and social Christian conservatives define as many as 30 different sexual orientations. The rest of the world has reached a near consensus that there are three sexual orientations: heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality. Sexual orientation is normally largely based on ones feelings of sexual attraction. Among some religious and social conservatives, it is based on ones sexual behavior.
bullet Sharing: When used in a sexual sense: multiple couples who perform sexual acts with their own spouses within view of the other couple(s).
bullet Sodomite: A derisive term used to refer to sexually active males with a homosexual or bisexual orientation.
bullet Historical origin: A resident of Sodom, a town in the Middle East that was allegedly destroyed by God.

bullet Legal usage: One of a list of sexual activities other than penile-vaginal intercourse between a man and woman that is criminalized within a political jurisdiction.

bulletReligious conservatives: Some use the term as a synonym for anal intercourse.
bulletSperm: Male reproductive cells. Single: spermatozoon.
bullet STI: Acronym for Sexually Transmitted Infection: Any infection transmitted by bacterium, fungus, parasite or virus primarily during sexual contact.
bullet STD: Synonym for STI. It is being phased out.
bulletStillbirth:  An event in which a fetus after the 24th week of gestation, dies from natural causes and is expelled from the woman's body.
bullet Swinging: In a sexual sense, the temporary exchange of sexual partners between two or more committed couples, usually performed under strict behavioral rules.
bulletTeleiopilia: A condition in which an adult, usually male, is sexually attracted to both adults and, under some circumstances, to children.
bullet Transgender (a.k.a. TG): This word has multiple meanings:
bullet A person who experiences gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder. They identify themselves as experiencing gender identity that is is in conflict with their genetic or birth-assigned gender.
bulletSome consider transgender to be an umbrella term which includes:
bulletPreoperative transsexuals.
bulletPostoperative transsexuals.
bulletNonoperative transsexuals.
bulletTransgenderists: persons living full-time in a gender other than their birth sex.
bulletCross dressers: persons who occasionally present themselves as the opposite sex. (Transvestite is a synonym, but is regarded by many cross dressers as a pejorative term). The vast majority are heterosexual men.
bullet"Mannish" women and "feminine" men whose gender expression is opposite to their sex.
bulletIntersexed persons who are born with genitals that are not typically male or typically female. They are frequently defined as male or female at birth. However, they often develop physically or have a gender identity in opposition to their assigned gender. See above.
bulletTranssexual (a.k.a. transexual, TS, transsexed, transidentity, trans, tranny, T-folk, trans folk): As for the term "transgender," there is no consensus on the precise meaning of this term.
bulletOne common definition is that a transsexual is a transgender person who experiences severe gender dysphoria and feels they can "no longer continue to live their lives in the gender associated with the physical sex they were assigned at birth. " 4
bullet Some restrict the term to including only those undergo hormone therapy and/or gender reassignment surgery (GRS) in order to more closely appear to be of the sex that they feel they are.

Additional factors:
bulletSome transsexuals consider the term trans and tranny to be offensive.
bullet Some post-operative transsexuals typically do not refer to themselves as transsexuals; they regard themselves as having become either male or female and identify themselves accordingly. Religious and social conservatives generally refer to transsexuals according to their birth-assigned gender.
bullet Some prefer the term transgender as more appropriate transsexual because gender identity is all about gender, not sex.

bulletTransvestic fetishism: A psychiatric condition in which a person -- almost always a male heterosexual -- is significantly distressed by a recurrent sexual arousal due to thoughts or practices of cross dressing.
bullet Transvestite: Another term for "cross-dresser." The term transvestite is regarded by many cross dressers as a pejorative term. We recommend that it never be used.
bulletTriad: In a sexual sense, this refers to sexual activity by three persons, whether in a committed or casual relationship.
bulletVirgin: A person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse.
bulletYoni: Sanskrit for "sacred space" or "sacred temple." Refers to a woman's vagina.
bullet Zygote: A form of life with human DNA originating as a fertilized ovum, and which has not yet implanted in the wall of the uterus.

References used:

  1. "Discrimination Against transgender People In America," The International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy (ICTLEP), at: http://www.qrd.org/. See also: http://web.telecom.cz/

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Copyright © 2003 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2003-DEC-11
Latest update: 2013-MAY-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

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