There’s a lot of bad information spinning around out there, and there’s a lot of male-centered information. Women orgasm differently from men, and in some ways the act of sex as we currently know and accept it is in opposition to women’s pleasure. In honor of tomorrow — International Day of the Female Orgasm — let’s get to dispelling the top 11 myths about the female orgasm from my new book, O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm.
Myth #1: Orgasm is the only goal when it comes to having sex.
Sex is about pleasure. Sometimes, it’s also about connection. Orgasm is a lovely byproduct. But too many people think of sex — and masturbation for that matter — as akin to a road trip. You have a destination and a map and a single tool, your car, to get you there. Sex should be geared toward exploration rather than destination. Even if you’ve done it a thousand times before, each occasion has the opportunity to be a new adventure. So follow it where it leads and keep at it for as long as the pleasure lasts.
Myth #2: All women can easily have multiple orgasms.
Women are a lucky bunch. We have the capacity for multiple orgasms. But don’t let the movies fool you. That doesn’t mean that all women, or even most women, actually have them. And even for those who do, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy or that it happens each and every time they have sex or masturbate.
Myth #3: All women like the kind of sex you see in those romantic movies.
Nice girls want to be f*cked too. Although porn is dangerous because it implies that women easily come instantly and multiple times and that sex with a man is all about the man, romantic films are equally dangerous because they suggest that all we want is to have our hair gently stroked and our backs rubbed. F*ck that. We want to be f*cked too.
Myth #4: It’s perfectly fine to fake an orgasm.
Although I can tell you from firsthand experience that no partner I’ve had has ever known I was faking it, that’s nothing to be proud of. I was doing myself a major disservice every time I faked the Big O. Why? Because I was basically telling my partner that what we did resulted in an orgasm, which implies that said acts bear repeating when — most often — nothing could be further from the truth. Sex doesn’t always lead to orgasm. But it must always lead to pleasure. So tell the truth every time.
Myth #5: Having safer sex ruins sex.
That’s just crazy talk. Safer sex is actually sexier sex because one, it shows that your partner cares about you enough to protect you, and two, it allows your brain not to worry about pregnancy or STIs and instead to focus on the important thing at hand — playing with your partner!
Myth #6: No woman wants to have a quickie.
Anything that starts with “no woman” or “every woman” is likely untrue, because we are all as different as we are alike. Plenty of women enjoy quickies. Once again, it’s all about the who, when, where, why, and how. A quickie doesn’t have to result in an orgasm, and it can be a fun way to connect with your partner when there’s no time for anything more.
Myth #7: If you have a skilled partner, there’s no need for sex toys.
This is bunk. Period. Having an orgasm isn’t easy for all women, and there’s no shame in using whatever means you enjoy. So bring on the toys, and the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. One of my favorite things is to have a partner penetrate me slowly with Betty Dodson’s Vaginal Barbell while stimulating my clit with any number of vibrating goodies.
Myth #8: All women can easily reach orgasm.
Intercourse is not the main event. (I know, I know. Scrape yourself off the floor.) The biggest problem when it comes to female orgasm is that men and women expect women to be able to come in the three to five minutes that many men last during penetration. But it doesn’t work that way for most women. We need 20 to 30 minutes of clitoral stimulation on average, according to Betty Dodson, and a combination of activities is generally preferred — and still, there are no guarantees.
Myth #9: Position makes no difference when it comes to female orgasm.
Position makes all the difference when it comes to orgasm, but not for the reasons you might think. It is unlikely that a woman will come from penetration alone. If she does, it will be because everything prior to that was stellar, the penetration was well-timed, and the position allows for clitoral stimulation either directly or indirectly.
Myth #10: Penetration is the key for a woman to reach orgasm.
Intercourse alone usually does not lead to orgasm. Twenty-five percent of women say they can consistently orgasm via penetration alone. Even that number may be high; most likely, those women who reported orgasm from penetration alone were experiencing some level of clitoral stimulation from the thrusting. I would argue instead that 99.9 percent of women need clitoral stimulation if they are going to reach orgasm. There are always the outliers. But we’re talking about the rule here, not the exception.
Myth #11: Male orgasm is primary and female is secondary.
If you have a male partner, this is the most important thing you need to know when it comes to orgasm: Yours is just as important as his. Equal. Just because it may take you longer… Just because you can have more varieties, more often… Just because penetration alone doesn’t necessarily do the trick for you… None of that means that female orgasm should in ANY WAY take a backseat to male orgasm. Male and female orgasms are equally important. Always.
For more myth-busting, check out my new book, O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm.
Excerpted with Permission from O WOW: DISCOVERING YOUR ULTIMATE ORGASM, Cleis Press 2015 (c) 2015 Jenny Block. Edited for length. All rights reserved.
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It’s too easy for us women to convince ourselves to settle for less. We’re so helpful and accommodating, so eager to please and afraid of rejection that we’re quick to give up the things we need, including when it comes to sex.
What we need to see is that doing this will leave us chronically frustrated. While it’s true that every relationship requires a certain amount of compromise, going without the things that we really need just doesn’t work. We’ll end up unhappy in the relationship or resentful toward our partner.
The bottom line is, we need to know what we can’t live without, sexually, and what we just can’t live with. We ignore these non-negotiables at the expense of a fulfilling sex life.
If you can’t ask them for what you want in bed, you shouldn’t be sleeping with them. Good sex happens when we feel safe and at ease. If we’re afraid to ask for something or to tell our partner that we don’t like something, sex will never be more than mediocre.
This second tip follows from the first one, in that once we identify what we want and don’t want, we have to express these things clearly. It’s unfair to expect our partner to be a mind-reader and “prove” that they care by somehow knowing what we want without our having to tell them. Healthy sex comes out of healthy communication.
We need to be in touch with our bodies; with what feels good, what feels not so good and what feels wrong. We also really need to stop judging ourselves in terms of our weight and our shape. Only a superficial dope would give us a hard time over our imperfections. If someone makes us feel bad about our physical selves, this is more a reflection of his inadequacies than of our own.
Our negative self-talk has to stop. The running commentary on how fat we are, how much cellulite or how many wrinkles we have is guaranteed to kill the mood, often before it even starts. Feeling good about our bodies is crucial if we’re going to let go and enjoy ourselves. Being physically self-conscious will keep us from experiencing the joyful abandon of great sex.
In the bad old days, some women were led to believe that the way to get a man to toe the line is to offer sex for good behavior or withhold it when the man has displeased them. Most of us today recognize this as hateful behaviour and a recipe for disaster.
Men don’t want to be controlled or punished, especially around sex. They don’t want to be made to feel like little boys. When we’re hurt or angry at our partner, we need to share our feelings with him in an adult way. We can even say that we’re too upset for sex, right now. What we mustn’t ever do is make him feel like we’re deciding when he gets to have sex, based on whether he’s been “good” or “bad.”
On the other hand, using sex as a reward turns us into sex objects and makes sex into a commodity for our partner to “earn.” It’s no longer two people being intimate or enjoying each other. Commodifying sex makes it into a business transaction and our bodies then become objects for trade.
We might love Fluffy or Rover, but they don’t belong in the bedroom when we’re being intimate. Our pets are very territorial and could get jealous or want to play, too. Dogs might bark or even growl. Cats might jump onto the bed and start walking around. We can avoid these disasters by remembering to shut the door and leave our four-legged friends outside.
Sex is about connection and intimacy, but also it’s about having fun. It can be mind-blowingly great or occasionally, things can go wrong. Having a good sense of humor about sex will keep things in perspective.
Being able to laugh at ourselves and at the comical aspects of sex will take the pressure off the whole experience. We might love and adore our partner, but we don’t have to be so serious about making love to them. Humour relieves pressure and is a great way to connect.
The best sex is the kind in which each person is trying to please the other one. The sharing in sex is one of the things that make it great. It can be technically amazing, but when one person gets the impression that the other person really isn’t there with them, it can ruin the whole experience.
What makes someone a fantastic lover is not their technical ability or their repertoire of moves but their attentiveness and their efforts to make their partner happy. When both people show that they really care about meeting their partner’s needs, sex becomes something wonderful.