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Doing it. Not doing it. Looking for it, wanting it, avoiding it, seeing it, pretending not to see it, secrets, lies and fantasies.

Gay, straight, bi, hetero, trans, asexual, overly-sexual, promiscuous, kinky, frigid, celibate and the just plain weird.

Slut, tart, whore, easy, cocktease, let’s get them all down.

Hot, not, anything with a heartbeat or a Mother I’d Like to Fuck. What about Father I’d Like to Fuck? Funny, that one hasn’t caught on. FILF … sounds a lot like filth.

Good lovers, great lovers, selfish lovers, bad lovers and dead roots. Good sex, bad sex, drunk sex, baby-making sex … making love. Or is it only in the movies they say “making love” these days?

Does she swallow?

Does he go down?


What about Father I’d Like to Fuck? Funny, that one hasn’t caught on

One-night stands, casual sex, threesomes, masturbation. Teen sex, phone sex, online sex and sexting.

Why is it only teen sex we worry about? What about middle-aged sex? What about new-parent sex? What about pre-marital sex? Marital sex? Extramarital sex? Singles’ sex? Retiree sex? Nursing home sex?

Gay people are expected to “come out”, declare to the world who they prefer to have sex with, be prepared to wear it proudly as a label, but straight people don’t. Imagine that, a Straight Pride March. What if you change your mind? What does that make you?



A natural function that keeps us thriving. We do it in the most unlikely of circumstances: during drought and famine, in hunger and pain, in grief, in joy, sober, intoxicated, hungover, on the spur of the moment or well anticipated. We do it on wedding nights, first dates, last dates, in cars, on trains, at the beach, on the couch, on the floor, in the shower and in bed.

We do it inside, outside, collaboratively or alone. We do it when we feel like it, we do it when we don’t. Sometimes we are forced into it. We do it with people we love, with people we just met, with friends, with the same sex and sometimes with people and in places we shouldn’t. Much like eating. But unlike a bad meal, it’s more difficult to move on from a bad sexual experience.

We watch other people do it. Yes, in movies, on TV, on the internet, on our phones, in books, in magazines and in our minds.

But sex doesn’t make me more or less intelligent. More or less able to use my arms and legs. It wouldn’t make me a better singer, actor or artist; or more able to volunteer my time to the needy, find a cure for cancer or write the Great Australian Novel. Sex wouldn’t make me appreciate a beautiful sunset, hike to the top of Everest or lead a nation. Sex wouldn’t make my eyes more blue/green/brown, my skin more white/black/yellow/. Sex wouldn’t change who I was born to be. Sex shouldn’t change who I was born to be.

Sex is not all of who we are. It’s only a part of who we are. But it can be enough to bring us down.

Why does sex define us so?

Karina Grift
Karina Grift
I am an artist and writer living in Melbourne, Australia. Professionally I am a freelance journalist, editor and media consultant. I paint and write for sanity and the challenge.

1 Comment

  1. Fiona says:

    Very thought provoking. Sex can be such a powerful word and so defining yet it is also just a basic human function.

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