Why do we even have to explain why pleasure is important for women?
When I’m talking about women in this content I am speaking of people who have vaginas (because not all women have vaginas). There is something that people have been doing research on called the “Orgasm Gap” which basically refers to the fact that in heterosexual sexual encounters, men have more orgasm than women.
This is very heteronormative thinking, but they also look into women who have sex with women, and solo women. In this context lesbian women have significantly more orgasms than straight women. (For men, orgasm rate doesn’t change with sexual orientation). Women also have more orgasms when they masturbate than when they are with a partner.
Prioritizing Male Orgasm
I am NOT blaming penises and only penises for the orgasm gap, nor am I blaming the people who own them or the people that have sex with those folks. The orgasm gap is a cultural anomaly. Culturally, we overvalue penetrative sex.
Culturally most people associate clitoral stimulation to “foreplay” or something that comes before the main act of intercourse. We commonly mislabel women’s genitals by the one part (the vagina), we never hear much about the vulva or the clitoris. More evidence for our cultural overvaluing of penetration is found in media images and our resulting false beliefs. You don’t have to look far to see media images of women having mind-blowing orgasms from intercourse alone.
No wonder that most women say that this is what they want. When in fact most women can not come from penetration alone. The clitoris is where all the nerve endings are (except for the cervix) and there are almost none in the tunnel of the vagina. The clitoris actually has eight times the amount of nerve endings you’ll find in the head of the penis, which should tell you just how important it is! Most people don’t get any or much stimulation to the clitoris during penetration.
Generally people who have a shorter distance between their clitoris and their urethra were more likely to orgasm during intercourse, so if you’re not built that way, it might make it harder to come during sex. Another study found that women with anorgasmia (an inability to orgasm) tended to have smaller clitorises. So basically, your unique geography down there can make a huge difference.
Other Cultural Issues
There are a slew of other cultural problems contributing to the orgasm gap. We have a double standard that judges women more harshly than men for casual sex. So if you feel ashamed to have sex, you aren’t really exploring your sexuality or what feels good to you.
Sex education also doesn’t focus on pleasure. Most people have little to no training in sexual communication, yet good sexual communication is key when it comes to partnered sex, and orgasms in general. There are always differences from person to person in terms of what they need to orgasm and what one person needs to orgasm can be the opposite of what another person might want or need.
Many folks are also bogged down by body-image self-consciousness during sex and it’s pretty much impossible to have an orgasm while worrying if you look fat or holding your stomach in.
Finally, reaching orgasm requires a complete immersion in the sensations of the moment and this is something that escapes most people. To master this skill in our daily life, let alone our sex lives check out my article about setting the mood here.
So what can we do?!
Above all you have to know how your own body works, you have to spend time and energy touching yourself and exploring your body. If your clitoris is the key to your orgasm, make sure your partner knows that. In most positions, it’s possible for one of you to reach down and stimulate your clitoris either manually or with a vibrator. Do it! It’s not an inconvenience, it’s how you orgasm. If your partner isn’t invested in your pleasure then they might not be the one for you.
Have some mindful foreplay.
Read some tips from me here. Really exploring your body and giving it time to get turned on will make it easier to push it over the orgasmic edge.
- Prioritize your pleasure!
- Embrace toys is that’s what you need to orgasm.
- Communicate with your partner
- practice mindfulness and being in the moment when it comes to pleasure.
- Stop overvaluing penetrative sex.
- Educate yourself about your own body.
- Process and work through stress and body image issues.
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