Types of Sex: Manual, Oral, Vaginal & Anal

Is fisting anal or manual sex? Wait, what’s manual sex? And what’s fisting? Confused by the different types of sex you see around the Condom Depot Learning Center? Read on for a quick guide and article hub about the different types of sex.

Manual Sex


Manual sex does not mean having sex with the aid of a helpful guide. It’s actually any type of sex that involves hands– the Latin root of manual is manus, which means hands. And if you’ve ever heard the phrase digital sex, know that the person speaking is also referring to manual sex, not to sexting. Digit is another word for finger. 

This can be stimulating someone’s genitals (or your own) with your hands or providing penetration via the hands. There are three types of manual sex: fingering, handjobs, and fisting. Fingering can be stimulating either a vulva or an anus with the hands or fingers. A handjob is when the penis is manually stimulated. And finally, fisting involves shoving the entire fist into an orifice.

While manual sex may seem like the safest type of sex out there, there are still some risks involved. Not only are your hands coated in potentially harmful bacteria, but having open cuts or sores on your paws can result in the spread of infections or sexually transmitted diseases. Using items like an internal condom, latex or nitrile gloves, or finger cots can be a good way to prevent this. If you and your partner are capable of getting pregnant together, there’s an additional risk. Make sure to wash your hands if you have semen on them before putting them into a vagina.

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Oral Sex


Oral sex is any sex that involves the mouth. Just like with manual sex, there are three types of oral sex depending on where you’re putting your mouth: cunnilingus, anilingus, and fellatio. Cunnilingus, also called eating out, refers to anal sex on a vulva; anilingus, sometimes called a rim job or rimming, involves oral sex on the anus; and fellatio, also called blowing or giving a blowjob, is oral sex on a penis.

Oral sex can range from penetrating the orifice with the tongue, licking and kissing the genitals, or penetrating the mouth with the genitalia.

Since the mouth is full of mucous membranes, unprotected oral sex can be very risky. Condoms (including flavored condoms) and dental dams are particularly important for preventing the spread of germs during oral sex, no matter who you’re going down on.

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Vaginal Sex


Vaginal sex means the penetration of the vaginal canal with a penis or a toy. Sometimes, this will be clarified as penis-in-vagina sex (PIV) to demonstrate the actual body parts involved in this type of intercourse. But vaginal sex can also involve a toy, like a dildo or a vibrator.

Vaginal sex can come with all kinds of risks. More so than other forms of sex, PIV sex comes with the big risk of pregnancy. If you are capable of conceiving with your partner’s assistance and you aren’t ready for a child, make sure to take precautions. Use hormonal contraception and condoms to minimize your risk.

Condoms are also the only line of defense against STDs during vaginal sex. Whether you’re worried about contracting an STD or spreading one to your partner, a latex barrier during vaginal sex is always the first thing you want to turn to.

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Anal Sex


Anal sex involves the penetration of the anus by a penis or a toy. Sodomy is another name for anal sex, but due to its relationship to religion, it is typically viewed as a negative connotation.

Because the anus has no natural lubrication, it comes with a couple extra risks. The anus is a notoriously tight hole, and it needs lots and lots of lubricant to be pliable enough for sex. If it isn’t ready, it can be prone to micro tears, which are a super highway for infection and STDs. But with plenty of information and care, anal sex can be not only safer, but more enjoyable too.

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Seem simple? The Condom Depot Learning Center is proud to announce its Back-to-Basics campaign, answering all the questions you might have missed out on in sex ed.

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