Human sexual activity  

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This page Human sexual activity is part of the love series.  Illustration: The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
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This page Human sexual activity is part of the love series.
Illustration: The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
 This page Human sexual activity is part of the human sexuality series Illustration: Fashionable Contrasts (1792) by James Gillray
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This page Human sexual activity is part of the human sexuality series
Illustration: Fashionable Contrasts (1792) by James Gillray

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Human sexual behavior or human sexual practices or human sexual activities refers to the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. It encompasses a wide range of activities, such as strategies to find or attract partners (mating and display behavior), interactions between individuals, physical or emotional intimacy, and sexual contact.

The term sexual activity can refer both to acts involving two or more people, as in sexual intercourse or oral sex, and to masturbation.

In some cultures sexual activity is considered acceptable only within marriage, although extramarital sex still takes place within such cultures. Some sexual activities are illegal either universally or in some countries, and some are considered against the norms of a society. For example, sexual activity with a minor is a criminal offense in many jurisdictions, as is sexual abuse of individuals in general.

This article is about sexual practices (i.e., physical sex). Broader aspects of sexual behaviour such as social and psychological sexual issues are covered in related articles such as human sexuality, heterosexuality, and homosexuality.

List of sex acts and practices

There are many variations of sexual activities, and often multiple names for any given practice. For more detail see the comprehensive list of sex positions and list of sexual slang.

Alternative practices

Some people derive sexual pleasure from engaging in a variety of alternative sexual practices, such as fetishism and/or BDSM activities.

BDSM often involves a consensual power exchange, whereby one person submits to the control of a dominating partner. These practices can include spanking, bondage, role playing, role reversals, and raising endorphins through the use of whips, floggers and other implements.

Fetishism can take many forms ranging from the desire for certain body parts, for example large breasts, armpits or foot worship. The object of desire can often be shoes, boots, lingerie, clothing, leather or rubber items.

Some non-conventional autoerotic practices can be dangerous. These include erotic asphyxiation and self-bondage. The potential for injury or even death that exists while engaging in the partnered versions of these fetishes (choking and bondage, respectively) becomes drastically increased due to the isolation and lack of assistance in the event of a problem.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Human sexual activity" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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