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How Sex Works

By HERWriter Guide
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This probably sounds like a weird title but the actual mechanics of sex are a mystery to some. There are many reasons why people, especially younger people, don’t actually know how sex "works"--what goes where? Who does what? And what does it all mean?

People may not be educated at home, or school. They have parents who would rather skip the whole subject out of embarrassment or have a religious or cultural belief that it’s something not to be spoken of. Others have parents who don’t care enough or don’t make the time. They may miss school or lack the opportunities for sex education there. The results? Pregnancy, disease and misinformation. It can also lead to a fear of sex and sexuality, as well as believing what their peers tell them about sex, which can be dangerous.

So what is sexual intercourse, exactly? It stems from a biological urge that nearly all humans have at one time or another. Human are pre-programmed genetically to have sex so that we can propagate our species, just like any other. Sex also relieves stress and is generally a very healthy activity for people to engage in.

Sex between a man and woman often goes like this: both usually kiss, touch and become sexually excited ("turned on") as the man’s penis becomes hard and a woman’s vaginal area becomes moist. This happens to make it easier and more pleasurable for a man to insert his penis into a woman’s vagina. This feeling is usually a very good one for both and is also emotionally satisfying. The man ejaculates, which causes the release of several million sperm. These sperm start heading up to the woman’s fallopian tubes, in search of an egg.

Women are born with all their eggs (that need fertilization) and as boys mature, they develop sperm (needed to fertilize). A woman has an average 28-day monthly cycle that produces one egg every month, in and around the middle of the cycle, usually day 14, give or take a few days. When this egg is produced, it moves down into her fallopian tubes and waits for sperm. If the woman has sex around this time, she has a chance of getting pregnant.

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EmpowHER Guest

One and only single question in my mind, is sex physical or mental??

August 13, 2010 - 1:35am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Your one and only question is a great one!

Sex is absolutely physical for all, and mental for many. So for some, it's a combination and for others (I would think probably a minority) it is purely physical, meaning they do not derive any or much emotion from the experience. Everyone knows that sexual relations can be very complicated; this is due to the mental/emotional aspect it holds for many. If it were purely physical, we'd all just have a roll around and move on, I suppose...

I'd like to hear your thoughts on it, Anon, and those of others!


August 13, 2010 - 12:25pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.