Penetration is a word that is often used to describe the culminating act of sexuality. It’s a word I often use when describing the best use of good lubricant. But recently, after using the word in conjunction with the act, I began to wonder what I was actually saying. So I went on a search, only to find that the verb “to penetrate” actually has eight different dictionary definitions. Thus, it occurred to me that the meaning you attach to the verb may well deeply influence your relationship to the sexual act.
Sadly for many people, the definition of penetration as a military force entering into enemy territory or a projectile hitting a target might well be their first association. It is not uncommon to associate sexual penetration with feelings of inadequacy, pain and even violation. Whether from a history of sexual abuse or an inability to experience pleasure within the act, intercourse that doesn’t happen in the context of a safe, consensual space is easily interpreted as an invasion.