Since my mid-20’s, I’ve had the occasional friend who’s bragged about “epic” sex. Sex that was so phenomenal that the only word to truly describe it was “epic.” I’d listen patiently to the details that unfolded over brunch, coffee, or drinks and wondered if my days of epic sex were in the near future, too. I wondered for a long time.

As I was discussing with my friend Bess the other night, I can’t for the life of me pinpoint a sexual experience that was truly awful. I’ve heard more horror stories about sex than those that contain the word “epic,” but personally I’ve remained unscathed when it comes to real scarring situations. Granted, I do have a few that I’ll take to the grave, but — OK, that’s a lie; I’ll probably write about them eventually — still they weren’t so bad that they were worth crying over. If anything, they provide comedic relief when a friend is crying over something legit.

I’ve had some awkward instances, some that I’d, perhaps, like to forget, but then wonder if I did, would I be missing out in some way, and other encounters that I’d rank pretty far up there. Even if I didn’t have an orgasm in that women’s bathroom in Atlantic City, I’d still put on one my favorites list just simply because of the time, place and fella. However, what defines “epic” when it comes to sex?

According to my friend Claire, it’s steeped in finding your “sexual soulmate.” While the other parts of your life may not be compatible, there’s something animalistic in not only your sexual desire, but the way you behave with each other in the bedroom (or on the floor, in a cab, under a dumpster, etc.) My friend “Danny” explained it as: “Sex that is so intense it makes you forget how it started by the time it is done. When you’re past figuring out whose bodily fluids are whose. When you know you’re going to be sore the next day but there is no way you’re going to stop now.” Well then — the fella has a point.

Although I would never dare to label myself a journalist, as I’m more of an essayist if anything, I did take an unofficial poll of both my male and female friends, both straight and gay, to see how they defined “epic” sex and, more importantly, if they had ever experienced it. The answers ranged a bit; the majority lingered somewhere between Claire and Danny’s definitions, with a few friends basing it on love, a deeply passionate love that contributed to what they considered “epic” sex. I may respect that particular answer, but in my case it was those I loved most, loved without reservation or true understanding, who did not produce any sort of “epic” anything in my life; well, except for drama.

But finally, it’s my turn in the sun. After a lifetime, er, rather a decade or so of sex, I can declare at the top of my lungs that I am having epic sex. How do I know? Well, input from friends and society aside, here are seven reasons that confirm I’m having “epic” sex.

Have you ever had “epic” sex?