We've put together this glossary of terms found throughout this
website along with terms and words such as slang to help you get
a better understanding of the sexual world around you. Many of
the descriptions were taken from the book The Complete IDIOTS
Guide to Amazing Sex written by Sari Locker which is listed on
our recommemndation page.
Abortion - Medical or surgical termination of
a pregnancy before the fetus is
sufficiently developed to survive outside the uterus.
Abstinence - Refraining from sexual intercourse
for a period of time.
Acquaintance Rape - Sexual assault, or forced
sex, that is committed by someone who was known to the victim
prior to the assault.
Acyclovir - A drug used to treat herpes infections.
Adoption - A legal process in which a child becomes
part of a family to which he or she was not born.
Adult Store - A euphemism for a store that sells
sexually explicit books, magazines, videos, or sex toys.
Adultery - Sexual intercourse of a married person
with someone other than his or her spouse. Some people may define
adultery as any type of intimacy with someone other than the spouse,
without the spouse's consent.
Afterplay - The affectionate time that occurs
after intercourse or orgasm, usually consisting of caressing,
cuddling, talking, laughing, eating, cleaning up, getting ready
to make love again, or falling asleep.
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) -
A life-threatening disease caused by the HIV virus which lowers
a body's T-cell count, and thus lowers immunity. Transmitted when
infected blood, semen, vaginal secretions, or breast milk comes
in contact with a person's bloodstream. AIDS is characterized
by the appearance of certain diseases, such as a respiratory disorder
called pneumocystitis carnii pneumonia and a type of skin cancer
called Karposi's sarcoma.
Anal Sex - Sexual contact with the anus. Usually
this term specifically refers to a penis penetrating an anus in
anal intercourse. But some people may consider it any sexual contact
with the anus, such as digital or oral contact.
Annilingus - Oral stimulation of the anus. Sometimes
referred to as “rimming.”
Aphrodisiac - A substance that is alleged to
stimulate or increase sexual desire, although in actuality it
may not have a physical effect on the person.
Areola - Pigmented area that surrounds the nipple
on the breasts. Depending on the person's skin coloring, it could
be pink, brown, black, or any skin tone that is a darker shade
than the color of the person's breast.
Arousal - Stimulation of sexual interest. Also,
the second stage of the sexual response cycle.
Barrier Method - The diaphragm, cervical cap,
condom, and spermicidal products are all barrier forms of birth
control, designed to block sperm from entering the uterus.
Bartholin's Glands - Small glands in a woman
located on either side of the labia minora, which secrete small
amounts of fluid that may add to a woman's lubrication when she
is sexually aroused.
BDSM - A term that merges three expressions:
Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sadism and
Masochism. This term is most often used today in the S/M community,
especially in the many chat rooms and sites on the Internet.
Ben Wa Balls - Small solid metal balls that are
inserted into the vagina to supposedly provide sexual stimulation
by rubbing together.
Birth Control - Regulation or prevention of the
birth of a child by using a device or technique to prevent pregnancy.
Usually thought of as methods such as the birth control pills,
IUD, diaphragm, Norplant, condoms, and so on.
Birth Control Pills - Commonly referred to as
“the pill,” hormones (estrogen and progestin) that
are prescribed by a doctor, and taken daily to prevent a woman
from ovulating and, thus, from becoming pregnant.
Bisexual - Someone who has erotic attractions
to and sex with people of both the opposite and same sex.
Bloodborne - Diseases that require contact between
infected blood or body fluid (like semen and vaginal secretions)
and blood for transmission of the disease. One cannot acquire
a bloodborne disease through casual contact with another person.
Blow Job - Slang for oral sex on a man, even
though blowing is not part of oral sex.
Body Image - A person's self-image, or mental
picture, of his or her own body, and the attitudes and feelings
he or she has toward his or her appearance. Body image determines
how attractive a person thinks he or she is.
Bondage - Physical restraint. Participants may
use rope, chain, scarves, ties, pantyhose, leather straps, or
other restraining devices. Bondage should always be completely
Bottom - A term used in the S/M community to
refer to someone who derives erotic pleasure from temporarily
and consensually relinquishing control to another person.
Breast Self-Exam - A procedure used for the detection
of possibly cancerous lumps in the breasts, performed by palpitation
of the breast area once a month.
Breasts - The secondary sex organs that are located
on the chest. In women, they are responsible for lactation. Male
and female breasts may become sexually stimulated by touch.
Butch - Masculine or macho behavior or dress;
both men and women can be butch.
Butt Plug - A dildo that is specially designed
to be inserted in the anus for anal and rectal pleasure.
Candidia - A fungal or yeast infection of the
vagina, mouth, foreskin, or rectum. In women, this would appear
as a thick, white, curdy discharge that causes irritation. Men
are often asymptomatic.
Cervical Cap - Thimble-shaped, rubber method
of barrier contraception prescribed by a doctor. It is inserted
into the vagina prior to sex and fits snugly over the cervix to
prevent sperm from entering.
Cervix - The neck of the uterus, which is the
passageway from the uterus to the vagina.
Cesarean Section - Delivery of a fetus by surgical
incision through the abdomen and uterine wall. Derived either
from the Latin, caedere meaning “to cut,” or from
Julius Caesar, who was supposedly taken from his dead mother's
womb when he was born.
Chlamydia - An infectious disease that is transmitted
sexually. May cause minor pain and discharge, or may be asymptomatic.
If left untreated, it may cause infertility.
Circumcision - The surgical removal of the foreskin
of the penis.
Clitoris - A bundle of nerve endings located
on the vulva that has the sole function of giving sexual pleasure
and orgasm to the woman.
Cock Ring - A rubber, leather, or metal band
worn at the base of the penis to encourage blood flow to stay
in the penis, or simply for adornment. Often used by people who
Coming Out - A term used to refer to gays, lesbians,
or bisexuals who are becoming open about, not concealing, their
sexual identity. Also referred to as “coming out of the
Compatibility - The condition of being well matched
with a partner for a sexual or non-sexual relationship.
Condom - A disposable sheath of thin latex worn
by a man to prevent sperm from entering the vagina during sexual
intercourse. Used as birth control or as protection against STDs
and the transmission of HIV.
Cowper's Glands - Two pea-sized glands located
below the prostate gland in men, which release an alkaline fluid
that makes up part of the seminal fluid. Also known as the bulbourethral
Crossdressers - People who wear clothes of the opposite
gender to fulfill their emotional, cultural, or sexual needs,
or even just for fun, such as on Halloween. Most crossdressers
are heterosexual, and they can be men or women.
Crush - An intense feeling of affection for someone
the person hardly knows. Characterized by lustful feelings, worries
that feelings will not be reciprocated, and sometimes, feelings
of jealousy. Also known as infatuation.
Cunnilingus - Oral stimulation of a woman's vulva, clitoris,
and/or vagina. From Latin, cunnus meaning “vulva,”
and lingere meaning “lick.” Some people refer to it
in slang as “going down on a woman,” or “eating
Date Rape - Sexual assault, or forced sex, perpetrated
by someone whom the victim was on a date with at the time.
Deep-Throat - A form of oral sex in which the
penis is voluntarily penetrated deeply into the recipient's throat.
Depo-Provera - Progestin hormone shot that acts
as birth control when administered by a doctor once every 3 months.
Desire - Refers to a strong interest in sex.
Also the first stage of the sexual response cycle.
Diaphragm - A rubber device that covers the cervix
and blocks sperm from entering the uterus. A doctor must prescribe
and fit a woman for a diaphragm.
Dildo - An artificial substitute for an erect
penis, made of silicone, rubber, or latex, designed for vaginal
or anal insertion for sexual pleasure.
Douche - A rinse that can be used in the vagina
that is supposed to make women feel “cleaner” by washing
away vaginal secretions. However, it is not advised that women
Drag Queens - Gay men who dress as men in their
day-to-day life, but who dress as women (often Barbra Streisand,
Liza Minnelli, or Marilyn Monroe) when they perform at clubs.
Dyke - A term for lesbians that was historically
used in a derogatory fashion, but has been reclaimed by the lesbian
Dyspareunia - A medical term that refers to painful
Egg - The female reproductive cell, also known
as the ovum, which when united with a sperm, can become fertile
and create life.
Ejaculation - The expulsion of semen from the
penis. Semen most often spurts out in conjunction with orgasmic
Ejaculatory Ducts - Ducts in the penile shaft
that carry sperm and seminal fluid from the prostate through the
Ejaculatory Inevitability - The point at which
a man can no longer control the fact that he is about to ejaculate.
Also known as “the point of no return.”
Epididymis - Coiled tubelike structures located
on the side of the testicles that carry newly developed sperm.
Episiotomy - A surgical incision through a woman's
perineum, performed to enlarge the vaginal opening for delivery
of a baby.
Erection - Natural enlargement of the penis when
blood flowing to the area causes it to become engorged.
Erogenous Zones - Areas of the body that respond
to sexual stimulation.
Erotica - Any sexually explicit writing, or visual
images such as photographs, drawings, and films that arouse sexual
interest or are used to enhance a sexual experience. The term
usually refers to material that also contains loving interaction.
Estrogen - Hormone that regulates secondary sexual
characteristics in women and regulate the monthly cycle.
Fallopian Tubes - Two delicate tubes in the
female reproductive system that lead to the uterus. The usual
site of fertilization.
FAMs - Fertility Awareness Methods, also called
the Rhythm Method, Natural Family Planning, Periodic Abstinence,
the Body Awareness Method, or the Billings Method. Method of predicting
a woman's fertile period based on changes in cervical mucus discharge
and body temperature.
Fellatio - Oral sexual stimulation of the penis.
Derived from the Latin word fellare, meaning “suck.”
In slang, it is also called “going down on a man,”
“sucking him off,” or a “blow job.”
Female Condom - A disposable tube made of polyurethane
and plastic rings (which anchor it in the vagina over the cervix)
that extends outside of the body. The female condom provides birth
control and coverage against STDs. Also known as the condom for
women, or by the brand name Reality.
Fetish - Attribution of sexual significance to
a nonsexual material object, such as a shoe or garter belt, or
a part of the body, such as a foot.
Fimbriae - Tiny fingerlike projections at the
ends of the fallopian tubes that catch the egg and lead it into
Fisting - The skillful insertion of an entire
hand into the vagina or rectum.
Foreplay - Sexual stimulation that occurs prior
to intercourse. Includes kissing, caressing, and sometimes oral
Foreskin - A fold of thin skin that overhangs
the glans of the penis in uncircumcised men.
French Kiss - A kiss in which both partners'
mouths are open and their tongues are in contact with each other's.
Frenulum - An indentation or tiny fold of skin
located in the ridge under the glans of the penis.
Gag Reflex - The biological reflex that causes
one to gag when the back of one's throat is stimulated.
Gay - Popular term referring to being homosexual;
most often used to refer to male homosexuals, with female homosexuals
being referred to as lesbians.
Gender Identity - How a person thinks of himself
or herself based on his or her gender (masculine or feminine).
Genital Warts - Skin growths that can be sexually
transmitted and found on the penis, anus, vulva, vagina, or cervix.
Caused by the human papaloma virus (HPV).
Glans - The head of the penis.
Gonorrhea - A bacterial infection of the vagina,
penis, rectum, or throat. Symptoms may include pain in the infected
area and greenish or yellowish discharge.
Group Sex - Sexual interaction involving three
or more people at the same time.
G-Spot (Grafenburg Spot) - An area located on the front
of the inner upper wall of the vagina that may (or may not) be
highly erogenous. First described by Ernst Grafenburg, a German
obstetrician and gynecologist.
Hand Job - Giving manual stimulation to a man.
It can also be called “masturbating him” or “jerking
Heavy Petting - Sexual stimulation that does
not include sexual intercourse. Most often refers to rubbing against
each other in a sexual way, or engaging in mutual masturbation.
Hepatitis B - A virus that can be transmitted
from infected blood, semen, or vaginal secretions that find their
way into one's bloodstream through injection or sexual contact.
Herpes - A viral infection that produces cold
sore-like blisters on the mouth, vulva, penis, and/or rectum.
Remains in one's body for a lifetime, and can be reactivated by
stress, hormones, allergies, or fatigue.
Hickey - A bruise that occurs when someone uses
suction from his or her mouth to suck in as he or she kisses sensitive
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) - The virus
that causes AIDS.
Homophobia - An irrational fear or hatred of
Homosexual - A term for men or women who have
a preferential sexual attraction to people of the same sex.
Hormones - Substances in the body that control
and regulate functions and behavior. Not all of the hormones are
directly involved in sexual function, but many are.
Hot Flash - The sensation of sudden warmth in
a woman's body, related to the change in hormone production that
occurs during menopause.
HPV (Human Papaloma Virus) - The virus that causes
Hymen - A membrane at the entrance to a woman's
vagina. This membrane usually breaks or tears during first intercourse.
Hysterectomy - The surgical removal of the uterus
and sometimes the ovaries.
Impotence - A man's inability to achieve or
maintain an erection of sufficient firmness for penetration during
Infatuation - May be the first stage of falling
in love, or an intense feeling of affection for someone one hardly
knows. Characterized by lustful feelings, worries that feelings
will not be reciprocated, and sometimes, feelings of jealousy.
Also know as a crush.
Infertility - The inability to become pregnant.
This term applies after a couple has been trying to conceive for
over 1 year.
Inhibited - sexual desire When a person feels
no desire or a diminished desire to have sex.
IUD (Intrauterine Device) - A small plastic device,
usually combined with copper or hormones, which is inserted into
the uterus by a doctor to prevent pregnancy.
Kegel Exercises - Repeated contractions and
release of the pubococcygeal (PC) muscles to strengthen them and
increase sexual sensitivity. Developed by Dr. Arnold Kegel.
Labia Majora and Labia Minora - External female
sex organs that extend from the clitoris to the perineum, and
enclose the vaginal and urethral opening. Sometimes referred to
as vaginal “lips.”
Lesbian - A term that is commonly used to describe
a homosexual woman.
Love - A strong kinship, bond, devotion, admiration,
Lust - An intense desire for sexual contact with
Mammogram - A soft-tissue x-ray that is designed
to show the presence of a tumor in the breast.
Marquis De Sade - French aristocrat of the late
1700s who was imprisoned for sexually dominating women, and who
wrote several novels about his sadistic needs and behaviors. The
term “sadist” is derived from his name.
Massage - A soothing technique of rubbing the
body (often the back), which incorporates gliding and kneading
strokes that improve circulation and relax muscles.
Mastectomy - The surgical removal of all or part
of the breast as a treatment for breast cancer.
Master/Mistress - A person who derives erotic
pleasure from assuming temporary, consensual control over another
person. Also know as “top,” or “dominant.”
Masturbation - Self-stimulation of one's own
genitals for sexual pleasure, most often to reach orgasm. Masturbation
can also include touching of other body parts, such as breasts,
chest, thighs, lips, buttocks, and anus.
Ménage à Trois - Sexual contact
among three people at the same time. Also known as a threesome.
Translated in French as “household of three.”
Menopause - The cessation of menstruation in
women and the natural decline in female sex hormones, which usually
occurs for most women during a 2-year period between ages 45 and
Menstrual Cycle - The hormonally controlled monthly
cycle of ovulation, egg development, and sloughing off of the
uterine lining that causes blood and tissue to be expelled from
the uterus through the vagina.
Menstruation - Discharge of blood and tissue
from the lining of the uterus through the vagina for about 3 to
7 days each month. Occurs during the years from puberty to menopause,
when a women is not pregnant. Also called a “period.”
Missionary Position - The sexual position in
which the man is on top of the woman.
Monogamy - A sexually exclusive relationship,
usually as part of a committed relationship; usually expected
to be part of marriage.
Mons Veneris - The soft area above a woman's
vulva that is covered with pubic hair. In Latin, the word mons
means “mound” and veneris refers to Venus, the Roman
goddess of love, meaning, “mound of love.” Also known
as mons pubis.
Morning After Pill - An emergency method to prevent
conception that uses high doses of synthetic hormones taken for
1 to 5 days within 3 days after unprotected intercourse.
Mucous Membranes - The soft, wet linings of one's
eyes, nose, mouth, anus, and vagina. The mucous membranes are
not nearly as effective a barrier against infectious organisms
Mutual Masturbation - Sexual contact in which
people manually stimulate each other's genitals at the same time.
Naked - Without clothes, often implying that
one was stripped of one's clothes.
Nipple - The tips of the breasts in men and women
that contain erectile tissue, and may provide sexual pleasure
when stimulated. In women, they are connected to milk ducts, which
are used to nurse a child during lactation.
Norplant - Matchstick-sized pieces of plastic
that contain progestin, and are surgically implanted under the
skin of the upper arm in a woman as a method of birth control
that slowly releases the hormone into her body to prevent pregnancy.
Nude - Without clothes, usually implying that
one is without clothes voluntarily.
Oral Sex - Sexual stimulation of the male or
female genitals using the mouth.
Orgasm - Sexual climax, marked by blood flow
to the genitals, involuntary rhythmic contraction of the pelvic
muscles and erotic pleasure. In slang, this is referred to as
Ovaries - The two almond-sized glands in the
female reproductive system that produce eggs during the monthly
cycle and hormones that are involved in sexual responses and the
development of secondary sex characteristics.
Ovulation - Release of the egg from the ovary.
Ovum - The female reproductive cell, also known
as the egg, which when united with a sperm can become fertile
and create life.
Pap Smear - A gynecological examination of the
cells from the cervix that is used to detect cancerous conditions.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) - Inflammation
of the uterus and fallopian tubes in the female reproductive system,
often caused by an untreated case of chlamydia or sometimes gonorrhea.
May be treated, but often causes infertility.
Penis - The male reproductive and sex organ,
made up of the shaft, which is the body of the penis, and the
head, which is also called the glans. When the spongy tissue inside
the penis fills with blood, the penis becomes erect, and the man
can have intercourse. Semen is ejaculated from the penis. In addition
to being used for sexual and reproductive functions, a man also
urinates through his penis.
Perineum - The area of skin between the genitals
and the anus in both men and women.
Phallic - Relating to or resembling a penis.
Plateau - The third stage of the sexual response
cycle in which the excitement maintains a high level prior to
climaxing to the orgasm stage.
Pornography - Written, spoken, or visual material
that stimulates sexual feelings. The term “pornography”
comes from the Greek word porneia, which means “the writings
of and about prostitutes.” Also known as porn or porno.
Pre-Ejaculatory Fluid - Fluid that is secreted
by the man's Cowper's glands and is discharged from his penis
during arousal, but prior to ejaculation. This fluid may contain
sperm. Also called “pre-cum.”
Premature Ejaculation - Ejaculation before the
man wants it to occur. It could mean that he ejaculates only seconds
after his penis goes into the vagina, or he could even ejaculate
prior to penetration.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) - Disturbances that
may occur in women 3 to 7 days prior to their period. Marked most
often by moodiness, irritability, bloating, headaches, and depression.
Can be treated or managed to reduce symptoms.
Progesterone - An important female hormone, one
function of which is to build up the uterine lining to prepare
Progestin - A synthetic progesterone-type hormone.
Prostate Exam - The exam that a doctor performs
on a man by inserting his gloved, lubricated finger into the man's
rectum to feel his prostate and detect abnormalities.
Prostate Gland - The walnut-sized gland that
is located below the bladder in a man. It produces the majority
of the fluid that combines with sperm and other secretions to
make up semen.
Prostatectomy - The surgical removal of excess
prostate tissue, or in a radical prostatectomy, the removal of
the prostate gland.
Pubic Lice - Parasitic insects that infest the
pubic hair of men or women. May be transmitted sexually, or through
contact with infested hair, bedding, towels, or clothing. Also
Pubococcygeal (PC) Muscles - Pelvic muscles that
extend from the pubic bone in the front, around both sides of
the sex organs, and back to the tailbone. Control over the PC
muscles can enhance sexual response in women and men.
Queer - A reclaimed, derogatory term for homosexuals
that is used by (particularly younger) gays, lesbians, and bisexuals
to describe themselves; some homosexuals are not comfortable with
this term, and if it is not used by someone who is gay, it is
Quickie - A brief sexual encounter that is often
accompanied by spontaneity and some degree of risk.
Rape - A forced sexual encounter.
Rear Entry - The sexual position in which the
man enters the woman's vagina from behind. Also called “doggy-style.”
Resolution - The final stage of the sexual response
cycle, which occurs after orgasm. During this stage, the body
returns to the stage that it was in prior to excitement.
Rimming - Oral-anal sexual contact. Also know
Role Playing - Acting out different roles, often
for variety in sexual play.
RU486 - The so-called “abortion pill,”
also known as Mifepristone, is a non-surgical method of abortion.
It is a series of pills that contain anti-progesterones that expel
the fetus, along with the uterine lining and heavy bleeding, out
through the vagina.
Sacher-Masoch, Leopold Von - Austrian novelist
of the 1800s who wrote about his behaviors and needs to be sexually
submissive in his books, most notably Venus in Furs. “Masochism”
is derived from his name.
Sadomasochism (S/M or S&M) - A broad term
applied to a number of activities typically involving exchange
of power or pain between consenting partners, often during role
playing, and often including toys, tools, and methods for restraining
and exerting physical tension and/or erotic pain.
Safeword - A word or words used as a signal between
partners to halt a sexual activity during an S/M scene.
Scrotum - The pouch of skin that hangs below
the penis and contains the male testes and epididymis.
Secondary Sexual Characteristics - Physical characteristics
that develop during puberty to distinguish men from women, such
as facial and body hair in men, and breast development in women.
Seduction - The act of enticing someone into
feelings of sexual desire.
Self-Esteem - The way one feels about one's self.
Semen - Fluid containing sperm and seminal and
prostatic fluids that is expelled from the penis during ejaculation.
Also called “ejaculate” or, in slang, “cum.”
Seminal Vesicles - Two pouches in the male reproductive
system which secrete about 30 percent of the liquid portion of
Sensate Focus - A series of specific sex therapy
exercises for couples that encourages partners to take turns paying
increased attention to their own sexual senses, without putting
any demands on themselves to perform sexually.
Sex Addict - A misnomer referring to someone
who has a sexual compulsion.
Sex Education - Formal or informal lessons that
people learn about sex. Informal sex education is what people
learn about sex from friends, parents, siblings, television, movies,
magazines, newspapers, music, and the culture all around us. Formal
sex education may include classes provided in a school or in a
religious setting. Sex education, formal and informal, may contain
information about biology, psychology, social issues, cultural
issues, moral issues, and ethical issues.
Sexologist - A sexual scientist. May also refer
to a sex therapist, sex counselor, or sex educator.
Sexology - The scientific study of sexuality,
which includes, but is not limited to, studies of psychology,
sociology, biology, psychiatry, anthropology, ethics, medicine,
law, and education.
Sex Toys - Objects that are brought into sex
play with the purpose of giving additional pleasure.
Sexual Compulsion - A disorder marked by complete preoccupation
with sex, so much so that the sexually compulsive person spends
all of his or her time and money on sex. Sometimes mistakenly
called sex addiction.
Sexual Desire Disorder - An inhibited sexual
desire Loss of or inability to have the desire to want to have
Sexual Fantasy - An image or sexual scenario
that one creates with one's imagination and may or may not act
Sexual Identity - How a person thinks of himself
or herself in terms of who he or she finds sexually and romantically
Sexual Orientation - A person's pattern of attractiveness
toward the opposite or the same gender.
Sexual Response - The stages of physical and
psychological changes that men and women go through in relation
to sexual stimulation. These are: desire, arousal, plateau, orgasm,
Sexuality - All aspects of one's personality
and behaviors that are affected by one's being male or female.
Sixty-Nine - Mutual oral sex, so named because
the couple participating resembles the numbers 6 and 9 when they
are in this sexual position.
Sperm - The male reproductive cell that is contained
in semen, released during ejaculation, and may be united with
a woman's egg to cause fertilization and to create life.
Spermicide - Chemicals that kill sperm, usually
referring to foam, jelly, cream, film, and suppositories inserted
into the vagina to cover the cervix and prevent pregnancy.
STD - The abbreviation for sexually transmitted
disease, which is any disease that can be transmitted through
sexual contact. This was formerly referred to as VD, or venereal
Sterilization - Medical operations performed
to prevent the possibility of reproduction. In males, the procedure
is called a vasectomy; in females, it's called a tubal ligation.
Sterilization is the most popular and most effective method of
Swinging - Sex with a person or people other
than one's partner that takes place with the consent, and usually
the participation of, one's partner and may occur in private,
or at a swing party or swing club.
Syphilis - A sexually transmitted virus that
may first appear as sores and rashes, and be accompanied by flu-like
Tantra - The term applied to a broad range of
principles and practices of sexual union between a man and a woman
based on Eastern philosophies of spirituality. Sanskrit for “woven
Testicles (Testes) - The two small, oval glands
in the scrotum that produce sperm and male hormones.
Testicular Self-Exam - A monthly test that a
man can perform on himself to determine if he has any abnormal
lumps in his testes. The exam involves palpitation of the testes.
Testosterone - The most influential male hormone.
It is produced in the testicles.
Top - A person who derives erotic pleasure from
assuming temporary, consensual control over another person. Also
known as “dominant” or “master” or “mistress.”
Transgender - The umbrella term that includes
all people who have a desire to experience qualities of the opposite
gender; includes crossdressers and transsexuals.
Transsexual - A person who feels that the sex
he or she was born with is not the sex he or she was meant to
have. To rectify this, some transsexuals choose to undergo hormone
therapy and sex reassignment surgery.
Transvestite - Someone, usually a heterosexual,
who feels the urge to dress like someone of the opposite sex.
People who practice this sexual lifestyle prefer the term “crossdresser.”
Trichomoniasis - An infection that can cause
vaginal discharge, itching, and odor in women. It is often asymptomatic
Tubal Ligation - A surgical method of permanent
birth control—sterilization—in which a woman's fallopian
tubes are tied so that the egg cannot travel from the ovaries
to the uterus.
Unrequited Love - One-sided love; a crush or
Urinary Tract Infection - An infection of the
urinary tract that causes burning during urination and urgency
Uterus - An internal organ of the female reproductive
system; also known as the womb.
Vagina - The muscular passageway that leads
from the uterus to the vulva. The birth canal, the passageway
for menstrual flow to leave the body, and the area that receives
the penis during sexual intercourse.
Vaginismus - A sexual dysfunction in which a
woman's vaginal muscles contract so tightly that nothing can penetrate.
Can be treated in sex therapy.
Vaginitis - A general term for a vaginal inflammation.
Vas Deferens - Two narrow tubes that convey sperm
to the point where it can mix with the other constituents that
make up semen.
Vasectomy - A surgical method of permanent birth
control—sterilization—that involves cutting and tying
the vas deferens so that a man does not ejaculate sperm, yet he
still ejaculates semen.
Vasocongestion - A physical result of sexual
arousal in men and women. In women, vasocongestion involves swelling
and reddening of the inner vaginal lips. In men, it is marked
by engorgement of blood in the penis that leads to erection. Breasts
may also swell.
Vibrator - An electric or battery-operated vibrating
device that is usually intended for stimulation of the genitals,
but can also be used to massage anywhere on the body.
Voyeur - A person who gets erotic pleasure from
watching others engage in sexual acts or nudity.
Vulva - The term that collectively refers to
all of the external female sexual structures: the mons veneris,
the labia major and minora, the clitoris, the Bartholin's glands,
the urethral opening, and vaginal openings.
Yin and Yang - Words from the Chinese Taoist
tradition that represent the concept of complete balance in the
universe. Taoists believe that yin energy, which represents the
woman, is needed to balance yang energy, which represents the