Dictionary of Sexual Terms Defined Machismo to Monogamy

A dictionary of sexual terms defined from machismo to monogamy and all things in between.

Dictionary of Sex Related Terms

Machismo--a Spanish term referring to a moral code which places a high value on aggression, physical strength, and complete male dominance over women.

Male Chauvinism--a conscious or unconscious belief that men are inherently superior to women and thus deserve special privileges.

Masochism--a need to find sexual satisfaction by experiencing physical or emotional pain. (See: Sacher-Masoch, Important Persons in the History of Sex, Chap. 19.)

Masturbation--erotic self-stimulation of the genitals. Although this practice has been heavily attacked in previous centuries, it is generally accepted today as a legitimate method of gaining sexual satisfaction. Unfortunately, some people tend to rape themselves instead of making love to themselves. Masturbation has been suggested as therapy for men who experience impotence and premature ejaculation. A booklet about this for women is Masturbation Techniques for Women Getting in Touch, distributed by Multi Media Resource Center (340 Jones Street, Box 439, San Francisco, Calif. 94102).


Menarche--the 1st menstruation.

Menopause--the time in a woman's life when menstruation occurs less frequently and then stops altogether. Menopause ends a woman's ability to conceive and can cause other changes as well. However, sex drive and sexual abilities are not affected. As one woman is quoted in Our Bodies, Ourselves, "Just beautiful not to have to worry about the damn periods. And no more birth control!"

Menstrual Flow--the blood, secretions, and waste which are discharged during menstruation.

Menstruation--a periodic discharge of blood, secretions, and waste from the uterus of non-pregnant women between the ages of about 12 and 47. The time from the beginning of one menstruation to the day before the beginning of the next is called a menstrual cycle. The length of this cycle differs from woman to woman, but the average is 28 days. Some women experience cramping, tenderness of the breasts, weight gain due to water retention, and other discomforts during their "period."

Minor--a person who is not legally an adult.

Miscarriage--expulsion of the fetus between the 12th and 28th week of pregnancy. A miscarriage after the 28th week is called a still birth.

Miscegenation--cohabitation of persons of different races. The southern part of the U.S. used to have laws against marriage between whites and blacks.

Missionary Position--sexual intercourse with the man directly atop the woman. The name was created by Polynesians who found this most common of European positions to be quite amusing.

Monogamy--marriage between one woman and one man.

Mons Veneris (Mountain of Venus)--the rounded, hairy mass of fat above the vulva which cushions the pubic bone.

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