This is kind of embarrassing, so I’m just going to come right out and say it. Whenever my boyfriend and I are having sex, I always get really close to having an orgasm, but I can never finish. Sometimes I fake it to make him happy, because if I don’t, he thinks he’s not good enough and gets really frustrated. I try explaining to him that just because I don’t have an orgasm doesn’t mean the sex is bad – I actually really enjoy it. I’ve read stuff in Cosmo and tried new things, but they never work. You probably won’t even publish this, but I figured it was worth a shot.
Just Can’t Come
Dear Just Can’t Come,
There is so much I could say right now. First and foremost – screw mainstream girly magazines. I know, I know, I’m sure I’m offending tons of people right now, and I admit I do get some entertainment out of them every now and then, but I think their sex advice is crap. Every issue is the same regurgitated information on how to please your man, and a lot of things are left out.
I’m probably the only student researching orgasms on a Tuesday night in the Social Science Building when I should be having them. I thought I knew almost everything about them – and boy was I dead wrong. I hope this new knowledge helps you out as much as it did me.
Some of this information may be disturbing or even shocking, so take a deep breath and read on.
1) Intercourse is NOT the best way for women to achieve orgasm. Research by Alfred Kinsey (whom I personally call “The Man”) showed that even though many women rarely or never reach climax during sex, on average they can achieve orgasm in about four minutes through masturbation (GASP!). I’m not saying dump your man and enjoy lots of alone time in a bubble bath, but mutual masturbation can be very enjoyable for both men and women.
2) There is no such thing as a “vaginal orgasm.” Sorry for all you Freud lovers, but most of his theory was based on presumptions about the female body, not actual biological evidence. Although a woman can have an orgasm without direct contact with the clitoris, all orgasms stem from it. Research shows that the clitoris is actually the center of all female pleasure, not the vagina. In fact, the vagina is so insensitive that in Kinsey’s research, only 14 percent of women noticed they were even being touched during gynecologic exams.
It is hard for people to believe that the vagina is not the sexual epicenter of the body, considering we tend to put all of our focus on penile penetration. Women’s magazines tend to promote stimulation of the clitoris during intercourse, but fail to mention that it is the only way many women will have an orgasm at all.
3) Frigidity does not exist, dammit! You say you enjoy the sex you have with your partner even though you don’t have multiple, hair-pulling, mind-blowing orgasms. You need to make him understand that for women, sex is not just about penetration and orgasm.
Women’s entire bodies are more physically sensitive than men’s, which may be why many of us enjoy cuddling and caressing just as much as intercourse. Even women who have frequent orgasms don’t come every time – and there is absolutely nothing frigid about good sex. You do not need a pill or psychotherapy because you don’t have the kind of sex the media and society deem “normal” or “healthy.”
(Quick side note – women have been diagnosed with the sexual disorders “hysteria” or “frigidity” for centuries. Treatment included, but was not limited to, therapy, being locked up in a sanitarium and vaginal/uterine massage. Yup, even in the United States, you could have your doctor fondle you to the point of orgasm, just to remain “sane.”)
4) Okay, by now, my faithful readers may have noticed something I stress on every topic – communication. Don’t just fake an O to get him off or off of you. Let him know what feels good, and be vocal (many men tend to enjoy this as well).
5) Guide the poor guy, for Pete’s sake. Just because he’s a man doesn’t mean he knows more about sex or pleasure than you do. It’s YOUR body! Explore yourself and find out what you want, like and need during sex. How can you enjoy sex if you don’t even know what you’re feeling? And how can you tell him what you like if you’re too afraid to find that out?
6) Ignore the stigmas attached to sexual acts. If you’re both comfortable with it, and it feels good (and isn’t dangerous), why not? Don’t be afraid to try new things, positions, toys or scripts.
I hope this helps, and that your next letter will be signed “Just Can’t Stop Coming.” Remember: exploration + comfort + communication = whooooooooaaaaaaaa baby!
Information from – “The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm” by Anne Koedt, “The Archaeology of the Orgasm” by Anna Arroba and “Orgasm Achieved” from Women’s Health Journal.