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Sexual penetration is a sexual activity that involves inserting a person's body part or an object into another person's (or animal's) body orifice, such as the vagina, anus or mouth. Though a medical term, the term is most commonly used in statute law in relation to sexual acts which are unlawful. Some jurisdictions use the term sexual penetration while others may use terms such as "sexual intercourse"[which?] or "carnal knowledge"; while other jurisdictions may refer to some forms of penetration as "acts of indecency", or other terminology.
When a man inserts his penis into a woman's vagina, it is generally called vaginal or sexual intercourse. When a penis is inserted into another person's anus, it is called anal sex or anal intercourse.
Penetrative oral sex may involve penetration of the mouth by a penis (fellatio) or the use of the tongue to penetrate a woman's vagina or vulva (cunnilingus). The tongue may also penetrate the anus during anilingus, which is a form of oral and anal sex. If one or more fingers are used to penetrate an orifice, it is called fingering or digital penetration. The insertion of an object, such as a dildo, vibrator or other sex toy, into a person's genital area or anus may also be considered sexual penetration.
Double penetration involves sexual penetration simultaneously in multiple orifices by more than one partner, and it's a usual subject of sexual fantasy and at times presented in pornographic films.
Though sexual penetration is a natural part of sexual activity, in some circumstances it is unlawful. Penetrative sex crimes are generally considered more serious than non-penetrative sex crimes, and sexual penetration of a child even more so. A child below the statutory age of consent generally cannot consent to acts involving sexual penetration. In laws, the term sexual penetration is commonly used in relation to sex with children. Unlawful sexual penetration is generally an offense irrespective of how deep the penetration was and irrespective of whether ejaculation of semen took place.
Laws may distinguish particular forms of sexual penetration as part of the offense. For example, the law of the State of Oregon provides:
"Unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree" is a felony that occurs where the offender "penetrates the vagina, anus or penis of another with any object other than the penis or mouth of the actor", if the victim is "subjected to forcible compulsion", or is "under 12 years of age", or "is incapable of consent by reason of mental defect, mental incapacitation or physical helplessness"—Unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree, Oregon Statutes § 163.411
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- "Sexual intercourse". Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
- Barry R. Komisaruk, Beverly Whipple, Sara Nasserzadeh, Carlos Beyer-Flores (2009). The Orgasm Answer Guide. JHU Press. pp. 108–109. ISBN 978-0-8018-9396-4. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
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- Guidelines for sentencing, UK
- Sexual Offences Act 2003 retrieved 24 February 2012
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