Sexual intercourse or coitus or copulation is a sexual activity typically involving the insertion and thrusting of the penis into the vagina for sexual pleasure , reproduction , or both. There are different views on what constitutes sexual intercourse or other sexual activity , which can impact on views on sexual health. Various jurisdictions place restrictions on certain sexual acts, such as incest , sexual activity with minors , prostitution , rape , zoophilia , sodomy , premarital and extramarital sex. Religious beliefs also play a role in personal decisions about sexual intercourse or other sexual activity, such as decisions about virginity ,   or legal and public policy matters. Religious views on sexuality vary significantly between different religions and sects of the same religion, though there are common themes, such as prohibition of adultery. Reproductive sexual intercourse between non-human animals is more often called copulation , and sperm may be introduced into the female's reproductive tract in non-vaginal ways among the animals, such as by cloacal copulation. For most non-human mammals , mating and copulation occur at the point of estrus the most fertile period of time in the female's reproductive cycle , which increases the chances of successful impregnation. Sexual intercourse may be called coitus , copulation , coition , or intercourse. Coitus is derived from the Latin word coitio or coire , meaning "a coming together or joining together" or "to go together", and is known under different ancient Latin names for a variety of sexual activities, but usually denotes penile—vaginal penetration. Although sex and "having sex" also most commonly denote penile—vaginal intercourse,  sex can be significantly broad in its meaning and may cover any penetrative or non-penetrative sexual activity between two or more people.
Have a question about sexual health?
See more words from the same year. Accessed 16 Nov. More Definitions for sexual intercourse.
Consider What You and Your Partner Want and Feel Ready For: Even when we know we want to have certain kinds of sex, we may be comfortable with some things and not others. We may, for example, be comfortable having vaginal sex with a condom but not without one or be ready for vaginal sex but not anal or oral sex or vice versa. Thinking through what we feel ready for ahead of time can make it easier to communicate our boundaries to our partner s before or during sex. Just like with other kinds of sex, everyone will have a different experience with vaginal sex. What we enjoy and do not enjoy can be a lifelong preference, or it can depend on the day, the partner, and the circumstances. If you and your partner are interested in experimenting, you will be able to discover your own comfort and enjoyment levels with vaginal intercourse or make the decision that it is not for you. If you or your partner are not truly interested in vaginal sex, you may want to have a conversation about boundaries or other ways you want to be sexual together instead. Again, communicating with our partners around our likes and dislikes can go a long way toward more pleasurable, consensual sex. Even if you really want to have a certain kind of sex, it is never OK to pressure someone into having it with you.
When a penetration by a penis, tongue, fingers, sexual aids or the like happens during the sexual intercourse, it is possible to penetrate three body cavities: mouth, anus and vagina. Vaginal intercourse happens when the vagina is stimulated, and the persons making love are of different sexes or females only. Anal sex is a sexual act during which the anal zone and anus are stimulated. Although it is more related to homosexual couples, it is used by both heterosexuals, either as anal masturbation or as an anal intercourse. The anus is full of nerve endings and is very sensitive, so it should not be surprising that some people find the stimulation of this part of the body very arousing. Since the bowel movement goes from the inside out, and the anal sex implies penetration from outside, i. Sudden penetration, without sufficient relaxation and lubrication of the anus, will cause severe pain and bleeding may occur too. Having applied enema to allow for a bowel movement and being very hygiene-aware, the penetration can be made easier by applying lotions and by relaxing muscles of that part of the body by pushing similarly to the bowel movement. As for the lubricants, they can be the factory-made ones, water-based ones are the best, as they do not damage the condom, as well as the vaginal lubricant, oils, lotions ….