A report on Sexual intercourse

Sexual intercourse in the missionary position depicted by Édouard-Henri Avril (1892)
Modern artwork of a couple engaged in vaginal intercourse
19th-century erotic interpretation of Roman emperor Hadrian and Antinous engaged in anal intercourse, by Édouard-Henri Avril
Édouard-Henri Avril depiction of a woman on top position, a position that is more likely to stimulate the clitoris
Édouard-Henri Avril depiction of cunnilingus in the life of Sappho
Chance of fertilization by menstrual cycle day relative to ovulation
"Coition of a Hemisected Man and Woman" (c. 1492), an interpretation of what happens inside the body during coitus, by Leonardo da Vinci
Sex positions for pregnant women: Sexual activity during pregnancy
Painting of a couple (a prince and lady) prolonging sexual intercourse
Erotic painting on ancient Greek kylix
Max Slevogt depiction of rape
Lawrence Alma-Tadema depiction of courtship and a marriage proposal
A pair of lions copulating in the Maasai Mara, Kenya
Mating houseflies

There are different views on what constitutes sexual intercourse or other sexual activity, which can impact on views on sexual health.

- Sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse in the missionary position depicted by Édouard-Henri Avril (1892)

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This Indian Kama sutra illustration, which shows a woman on top of a man, depicts the male erection, which is one of the physiological responses to sexual arousal for men.

Human sexual activity

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Manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality.

Manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality.

This Indian Kama sutra illustration, which shows a woman on top of a man, depicts the male erection, which is one of the physiological responses to sexual arousal for men.
A rolled-up male condom
Sexual intercourse in the missionary position
An Ottoman miniature from the book Sawaqub al-Manaquib depicting homosexuality
A 1925 Gerda Wegener painting, "Les delassements d'Eros" ("The recreations of Eros"), of two women engaged in sexual activity in bed.
A man handcuffed to a bed and blindfolded

People engage in a variety of sexual acts, ranging from activities done alone (e.g., masturbation) to acts with another person (e.g., sexual intercourse, non-penetrative sex, oral sex, etc.) in varying patterns of frequency, for a wide variety of reasons.

Diagram of the female human reproductive tract and ovaries

Vagina

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Elastic, muscular part of the female genital tract.

Elastic, muscular part of the female genital tract.

Diagram of the female human reproductive tract and ovaries
Pelvic anatomy including organs of the female reproductive system
An illustration showing a cut-away portion of the vagina and upper female genital tract (only one ovary and fallopian tube shown). Circular folds (also called rugae) of vaginal mucosa can be seen.
Medium-power magnification micrograph of a H&E stained slide showing a portion of a vaginal wall. Stratified squamous epithelium and underling connective tissue can be seen. The deeper muscular layers are not shown. The black line points to a fold in the mucosa.
Folds of mucosa (or vaginal rugae) are shown in the front third of a vagina.
A disposable plastic bi-valved vaginal speculum used in gynecological examination
A normal cervix of an adult as seen through the vagina (per vaginam or PV) using a bivalved vaginal speculum. The blades of the speculum are above and below and stretched vaginal walls are seen on the left and right.
Pre-menopausal vaginal mucosa (left) versus menopausal vaginal mucosa (right)
An ultrasound showing the urinary bladder (1), uterus (2), and vagina (3)
The womb represents a powerful symbol as the yoni in Hinduism. Pictured is a stone yoni found in Cát Tiên sanctuary, Lam Dong, Vietnam.
A sheep gives birth by vagina.

The vagina allows for sexual intercourse and birth.

An illustration of anal sex

Anal sex

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Generally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person's anus, or anus and rectum, for sexual pleasure.

Generally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person's anus, or anus and rectum, for sexual pleasure.

An illustration of anal sex
Male genital anatomy, showing the location of the prostate with respect to the rectum
1892 lithograph by Paul Avril depicting male-to-female anal sex
19th-century erotic interpretation of Hadrian and Antinous (detail), by Paul Avril
A woman wearing a strap-on dildo about to engage in anal sex with a man
A woman performing anilingus (anal–oral sex) on another woman
Mucous membranes of the rectum
Depiction of anal sex on 510 BC Attic red-figure kylix
Suzuki Harunobu, A shunga print depicting an older and a younger man
Two Roman males on the Warren Cup, British Museum
Man and woman having anal sex. Ceramic, Moche Culture. 300 C.E. Larco Museum Collection.
François-Rolland Elluin, Sodomites provoking divine wrath, from Le pot-pourri (1781)
Ottoman illustration depicting two young men having sex (from Sawaqub al-Manaquib)

While some women find being a receptive partner during anal intercourse painful or uncomfortable, or only engage in the act to please a male sexual partner, other women find the activity pleasurable or prefer it to vaginal intercourse.

Sinnenrausch (ca. 1890), by Franciszek Żmurko

Orgasm

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Sudden discharge of accumulated sexual excitement during the sexual response cycle, resulting in rhythmic muscular contractions in the pelvic region characterized by sexual pleasure.

Sudden discharge of accumulated sexual excitement during the sexual response cycle, resulting in rhythmic muscular contractions in the pelvic region characterized by sexual pleasure.

Sinnenrausch (ca. 1890), by Franciszek Żmurko
Jupiter and Juno, by Annibale Carracci
Frenzy of Exultations (1894) by Władysław Podkowiński

Orgasms can be achieved during a variety of activities, including vaginal, anal or oral sex, non-penetrative sex or masturbation.

Herpes genitalis

Sexually transmitted infection

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Herpes genitalis
Micrograph showing the viral cytopathic effect of herpes (ground glass nuclear inclusions, multi-nucleation). Pap test. Pap stain.
Secondary syphilis
World War II US Army poster warning of venereal disease
A poster from the Office for Emergency Management, Office of War Information, 1941–1945
"Syphilis is a dangerous disease, but it can be cured". Poster encouraging treatment. Published between 1936 and 1938.
1930s Works Progress Administration poster
U.S. propaganda poster targeted at World War II servicemen appealed to their patriotism in urging them to protect themselves. The text at the bottom of the poster reads, "You can't beat the Axis if you get VD".
frameless

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the older term venereal disease, are infections that are spread by sexual activity, especially vaginal intercourse, anal sex and oral sex.

Youth by French painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau. White has traditionally been associated with ritual purity, innocence and virginity in Western cultures.

Virginity

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Youth by French painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau. White has traditionally been associated with ritual purity, innocence and virginity in Western cultures.
Virgin with a unicorn
Detail of The Reading Madonna by Giorgione (c. 1500)
Virgo inter Virgines (The Blessed Virgin Mary with other holy virgins), from Bruges, Belgium during the last quarter of the 15th century.

Virginity is the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse.

Painting of a man performing oral sex on a woman

Oral sex

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Sexual activity involving the stimulation of the genitalia of a person by another person using the mouth and the throat.

Sexual activity involving the stimulation of the genitalia of a person by another person using the mouth and the throat.

Painting of a man performing oral sex on a woman
Woman performing fellatio
A 17th century sculpture depicting a woman performing oral sex on two men. From the wall of the Umamaheshwor Temple at Kritipur.
A 19th-century depiction of cunnilingus

Oral sex may be performed as foreplay to incite sexual arousal before other sexual activities (such as vaginal or anal intercourse), or as an erotic and physically intimate act in its own right.

Drawing by Franz von Bayros showing an act of fingering

Non-penetrative sex

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Sexual activity that usually does not include sexual penetration.

Sexual activity that usually does not include sexual penetration.

Drawing by Franz von Bayros showing an act of fingering
Frot: two men rubbing their penises together to create sexual sensations
1840 Johann Nepomuk Geiger depiction of mutual masturbation
Mammary intercourse, a form of non-penetrative sex
Red-figure Greek illustration of intercrural sex between a winged god (Eros or Zephyrus) and a youth (perhaps Hyacinthus)

It generally excludes the penetrative aspects of vaginal, anal, or oral sexual activity, but includes various forms of sexual and non-sexual activity, such as frottage, mutual masturbation, kissing, or cuddling.

Sexual penetration occurring in the missionary position, depicted by Édouard-Henri Avril

Sexual penetration

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Insertion of a body part or other object into a body orifice, such as the vagina, anus or mouth, as part of human sexual activity or animal sexual behavior.

Insertion of a body part or other object into a body orifice, such as the vagina, anus or mouth, as part of human sexual activity or animal sexual behavior.

Sexual penetration occurring in the missionary position, depicted by Édouard-Henri Avril

Terms such as "sexual intercourse" or "carnal knowledge" are more commonly found in older statutes, while many modern criminal statutes use the term "sexual penetration" because it is a broad term encompassing (unless otherwise qualified) any form of penetrative sexual activity, including digital (i.e., the fingers) or with an object, and may involve only the most minimal penetration.

A rolled-up condom

Condom

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A rolled-up condom
A giant replica of a condom on the Obelisk of Buenos Aires, Argentina, part of an awareness campaign for the 2005 World AIDS Day
Condom fitting in size over a penis made of silicone
Illustrations showing how to put on a condom
A female condom
An unrolled latex condom
A ribbed condom
A page from De Morbo Gallico (On the French Disease), Gabriele Falloppio's treatise on syphilis. Published in 1564, it describes what is possibly the first use of condoms.
A condom made from animal intestine circa 1900
Giacomo Casanova tests his condom for holes by inflating it
An old-fashioned condom package
During World War I, the U.S. military was the only one that did not promote condom use. Posters such as these were intended to promote abstinence.
Condom (and manual) from 1813
Condom tin, "3 Merry Widows" brand, circa 1930.
A condom given out by NYC Health Department during the Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 celebrations.
Used condom on a street
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A condom is a sheath-shaped barrier device used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection (STI).