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Encyclopedia > Sexual partner

A sexual partner is a person with whom one engages in sex acts. Note that it is possible to have a sexual partner without having an intimate relationship, or even an acquaintanceship with that person; viz., casual sex, or sex with a prostitute. This article is about sex acts and practices (i. ... An intimate relationship is a interpersonal relationship with a great deal of physical or emotional intimacy. ... Casual sex refers to promiscuous sexual activity, consisting of a range of informal sexual encounters. ... Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ...


A person may have one, none, or more than one sexual partners at any one time, and this pattern may change throughout life.


Terms related to sexual partners include:

  • virginity: the state prior to having a sexual partner; a small minority of people remain virgins throughout life
  • monogamy: having a single long-term sexual partner
  • marriage: officially committing to a single sexual partner (traditionally of the opposite sex, but attitudes to this are changing in some places)
  • sexual infidelity: having a sexual relationship outside of a relationship that includes a commitment to have no other sexual partners
  • sexual fidelity: not having other sexual partners other than one's committed partner, even temporarily
  • serial monogamy: having a series of monogamous relationships, one after the other
  • polygamy: having multiple long-term female sexual partners (strictly speaking this should be called "polygyny"; polygamy also includes polyandry)
  • polyandry: having multiple long-term male sexual partners
  • polyamory: encompasses a wide range of relationships, including those above: polyamorous relationships may include both committed and casual relationships
  • sexual promiscuity: having casual sexual partners at will (compare with chastity)

A virgin is most commonly seen as a person who has not engaged in sexual intercourse. ... In monogamy (Greek: monos = single/only and gamos = marriage) a person has only one spouse at a time (as opposed to polygamy). ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... The phrase opposite sex infers that there are two sexes, male and female, each being the opposite of the other. ... Adultery is generally defined as consensual sexual intercourse by a married person with someone other than their lawful spouse. ... In monogamy (Greek: monos = single/only and gamos = marriage) a person has only one spouse at a time (as opposed to polygamy). ... Serial monogamy is a form of monogamy in which participants have only one sexual partner at any one time, but have more than one sexual partner in their lifetime. ... The term polygamy (literally many marriages in late Greek) is used in related ways in social anthropology and sociobiology. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Polyamory, in its broadest usage, is the practice or lifestyle of being open to having more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved. ... Promiscuity is the practice of making relatively unselective, casual and indiscriminate choices. ... Chastity, in many religious and cultural contexts, is a virtue concerning the state of the mind and body. ...

Variations between cultures

Different cultures have different viewpoints and levels of tolerance for the different patterns of sexual activity.


The most common patterns in Western society are monogamy, serial monogamy and marriage. Polygamous and/or polyandrous marriage is typically not found in Western culture, except in specific minority religions, and is illegal in many places. However, sexual promiscuity is commonly accepted, and a minority have open relationships or practice polyamory. Polyamory, in its broadest usage, is the practice or lifestyle of being open to having more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved. ...


Polygamy is permitted in Islamic culture, and both polygamy and polyandry are found in African culture.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sexual dysfunction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1330 words)
Sexual dysfunction or sexual malfunction is difficulty during any stage of the sexual act (which includes desire, arousal, orgasm, and resolution) that prevents the individual or couple from enjoying sexual activity.
Sexual pain disorders affect women almost exclusively and are known as dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and vaginismus (an involuntary spasm of the muscles of the vaginal wall that interferes with intercourse).
Images of sexuality presented by society and the media often present people with unrealistic ideals of sexual behavior, whether of the ideals of chastity and sexual fidelity presented by religion, or the ideal of sexual inexhaustibility and promiscuous availability presented by pornography.
THE MERCK MANUAL, Sec. 15, Ch. 192, Psychosexual Disorders (1691 words)
Sexual dysfunctions may be lifelong (no effective performance ever, generally due to intrapsychic conflicts) or acquired (after a period of normal function); generalized or limited to certain situations or certain partners; and total or partial.
Sexual desire is a complex psychosomatic process based on brain activity (the "generator" or "motor" running in a rheostatic cyclic fashion), a poorly defined hormonal milieu, and cognitive scripting that includes sexual aspiration and motivation.
Sexual dysfunction due to a physical disorder is usually generalized (not specific to a given partner or situation).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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