I really have to explain why I don't use this word? All right I will.
intercourse n. 1. Communication between individuals.
2. The act of sexual procreation between a man and a woman; the man's penis
is inserted into the woman's vagina and excited until orgasm and ejaculation
Our country! In her intercourse with foreign
nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.
-- Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr (1779 – 1820)
Foremost, for Sense 1, there are plenty of synonyms: association,
collaboration, communion, connection, contact, consortium, conversation,
correspondence, dealing, exchange, interaction, interchange, intercommunication,
networking, relationship, trade, traffic, transactions. Each
affords distinctive meanings; each obviates the distractions of Sense 2.
If Commodore Decatur had chosen any one of them,
the solemn phrase, "may she always be in the right," might not be so commonly
overlooked in favor of "our country right or wrong," which seems to advocate
Whereas, according to Online
Etymology Dictionary, Sense 2 sexual relations was first
recorded in 1798, the 1828 edition of Websters
makes no mention of coitus but offers an extravagant definition
for Sense 1...
"Communication; commerce; connection by reciprocal
dealings between persons or nations, either in common affairs and civilities,
in trade, or correspondence by letters. We have an intercourse with
neighbors and friends in mutual visits and in social concerns; nations
and individuals have intercourse with foreign nations or individuals
by an interchange of commodities, by purchase and sale, by treaties, contracts,
The most explicit definition for Sense 2 might well be the
one that appears in the Cambridge
Dictionary of American English, which makes no mention of procreation...
"The sexual activity in which the male's penis
enters the female's vagina, or the sexual activity in which a male's penis
enters another male's or a female's anus."
My preference, if anybody wants to know, is the word intromission,
generally preceeded by the word 'gain' when referring to males and 'grant'
when referring to females.