How Do You Describe Sex?


Fucking. Screwing. Making lov—kidding, no one calls it ‘making love’ (not publicly, anyway). What’s your preferred nickname for penetration? I find that most of the words we use to describe sex have their own unique implications — and despite our aversion to some of them, they can and do occur simultaneously. What I mean by that is like, you can be getting fucked and making love (sorry) at the same time. I love sex and I love words, so I want to figure out what we talk about when we talk about fucking. Or boning. Or screwing.

Let’s start with screwing. Screwing happens when you’re a 15-year-old boy. If you’re not a 15-year-old boy, you should not be screwing anyone. When I hear that word, I just envision a tiny little dude-bro bragging to his friends about the terrible sex he just inflicted on another 15-year-old who will not know what a good lay is until her mid-20s. If you have plans to screw someone later, please cancel them.

In the same infantile camp as screwing is boning. Boning seems like the word you use when you’re talking about sex that doesn’t involve you. Like, “You guys are totally gonna bone,” or “I caught Jonah and Michelle boning (in the kitchen, with the candlestick).” Boning can also be used to describe the imaginary sex you want your friends to think you’re having, for example, “I’ma bone that bitch.” (No, you’re not.)

When you just “have sex,” you’re being an adult about things, but kind of a prickly, hard-ass adult. You’re on that matter-of-fact tip. After “having sex,” you’ll “take a shower” and “make breakfast,” no innuendo or frills necessary. I’m not hating, we all “have sex” on occasion, when we don’t feel like being precious about it. We’re just like, “I have a 6 p.m. slot open, in which we will have sex. Write it down, be prompt, don’t wear socks.”

Getting laid implies that you’re going to fuck someone you have no intention (or hope) of sleeping with again. You don’t get laid by your significant other, you get laid by some blonde rando wearing a Polo shirt who your post-college friends will shame you about for the rest of your natural born life. People who ‘get laid’ are the grown-up version of the 15-year-old dude-bro who has to announce to everyone within earshot that someone is sad enough to sleep with them. This is not to say you’re a dude-bro by gender, there are plenty of women who like to get laid, too. I become one of them after too many beers. (We have all been the dude-bro who wants to get laid, don’t front.)

Fucking is by and large everyone’s favorite form of penetration. It’s so versatile! Fucking is doggy-style. Fucking is spooning until there’s a hard dick entering you from behind, all sneaky-like. Fucking is fast or slow or both at the same fucking time (it’s that good!) Fucking is that moment right before you orgasm where everything fades to black and red (just me?) During any pleasurable sexual experience, a moment will come where you think to yourself, “This is fucking it!” This is what sex — what fucking is all about. What I’m trying to say is thank god for fucking.

But if you want to be twee about it, let’s talk about making love. Because as much as it nauseates us, making love is REAL. It’s looking down (or up) at the person you’re having sex with and being like, “I am so grateful for you right now, please continue to look into my eyes and get weird and emotional with me forever.” Making love is a Boys II Men concert with a special appearance by Joe (you know that one song, “All The Things (Your Man Won’t Do)”? Of course you do. Because that’s what making love sounds like.) Look, I know making love is the most embarrassing way you could possibly describe sex, but that doesn’t mean it’s not exactly what we want sometimes. It’s moving and I will reiterate that it is REAL. No shame in your making love game — just don’t go overboard and start crying in bed. There is not enough love in the world to make that cute. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

TC Reader Exclusive: The Patron Social Club gets you invited to cool private parties in your city. Join here.

More From Thought Catalog