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Clothed encounter leads to different opinions 

You are known far and wide as an arbiter of all aspects of sex and especially definitions of sex, so we are hoping that you can give your definitive opinion on an interesting conundrum.

My wife and I were recently regaling each other with anecdotes from our past, and she easily had the most interesting story: It seems that when she was a young woman in college, a fellow student invited her over for lunch. It turns out that he thought she was lunch. He quickly had her clothes off and was kissing her, although he was still dressed. Then he brought out a vibrator. He applied the vibrator, she had an orgasm, and then she called a halt to the proceedings. They went back to school, and that was the beginning and the end of their relationship.

Did she have sex?

Now, I think any time you have an orgasm you've had sex, and if someone else is present, even if they're clothed, you definitely had sex. My wife's view is that since he never got his clothes off and she never saw his cock, she really didn't have sex. We would like your opinion on this.

Definition Essential For Intensely Novel Experience

Let's say you and I met in a bar, DEFINE, while the wife was out of town, and we hit it off. And let's say I took you home, stripped you naked, made out with you, sucked your dick, ate your ass, spanked you, tossed you in a sling, fist-fucked you, and then -- with my right arm buried up to my elbow in your ass -- slowly stroked you with my left hand until you blew a massive load all over your stomach, chest, and face.

Now let's say I taped the whole thing and e-mailed a copy to your wife. I think it's highly unlikely that your wife would turn to you after watching the video -- remember: I don't get naked, you never see my dick -- put a hand on your knee, and say, "Well, I'm glad you didn't have sex with Dan Savage."

Your wife clearly regrets going to that guy's room; she regretted the moment she came, just as you would probably regret going home with me. These feelings prompt her to round this experience down to Not Sex, to minimize it, to exclude it from her sexual history on a technicality: He didn't get naked; she didn't get fucked. Your wife can attempt to rationalize away the sex she had in that dorm, DEFINE, but she had sex with that guy -- and that guy's vibrator -- whether she wants to admit it or not.

I have been in a stable poly relationship for 20 years. A good friend of mine knows this but rejects poly as a lifestyle choice for himself. He is in a "monogamous" relationship now. But he is willing to cheat on his girlfriend -- with me if I wanted, but I'm not keen. My question is this: Why would someone pick cheating when they know about open or poly relationships? I don't understand. I don't see the logic in it.

Honest Open Poly Eros

Isn't it obvious? Your friend wants to have sex with other people, HOPE, but he doesn't want his girlfriend having sex with other people. What I don't understand is why an honest poly can be friendly with a dishonest cheater. That's like an out gay person being friends with a tormented closet case -- where's the logic in that?

I'm writing to you to let you know that a huge fan and reader of your column has been in a coma since Saturday, Sept. 5. He had a bad motorcycle accident and has a severe brain injury. His name is Jon Broom, and he's my boyfriend, the love of my life, and my best friend. Even though he still hasn't woken up, I've been reading your columns out loud to him so that he never misses one. I know you're a busy man, but I thought I'd take a chance and ask if you could pass on his Facebook support group at "Get Well Jon" in one of your columns ( I think it would be awesome for him to look back and see your column when he wakes up and is able to function again.

We appreciate your writings and support for the people who ask for your advice. Here's to hope, faith, and community.

Penny Kim

Oh, Penny, I'm so sorry. Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery. If you're on Facebook -- and who isn't? -- please join Jon's support group.

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