What If We Looked at Female Orgasm Differently?
I’m what I like to call an Orgasm Equality Activist. If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry. I sort of made it up. I mean, I made up the term Orgasm Equality Movement, but I didn’t make up the idea that females deserve as much accurate, realistic information about pursuing orgasm as males have. Others have made that argument before I ever came along. I’m just picking up their torches and trying to make a big ol’ bonfire.
I just finished making a movie called Science, Sex and the Ladies about the culture of the female orgasm. I keep a blog where I do things like interview other orgasm equality activists and review TV and movie depictions of female sexual release, and well, in general, I spend a lot of time writing, talking, and reading about female orgasm.
Here’s the deal. There is a big ol’ nasty, tangled-in-everything problem when it comes to ladygasms. No one and everyone is to blame, but that’s not important. What’s important is that we first recognize that we have a problem. The trouble is that it’s so in front of our faces that it really is hard to recognize, so I like to use the following little perspective switch to point it out.
Image: Nicky Chan via Flickr
Imagine, if you will, an alternate universe, where things are mostly the same except in this new world, they extract eggs and sperm to make babies, and they think about sex a bit differently. Of all the sexual possibilities, what our current universe calls sex is intercourse. In this alternate universe, when people say "sex", they mean that the woman's clitoris is grinded on the base of the penis (where it connects to the balls) - until orgasm. This is the general definition of “sex” in this alternate universe. But, grinding the clit onto the lower pelvis where it meets the penis or on the inner thigh close to where it meets the penis would also be considered sex - just different positions. Oral sex, manual stimulation, and intercourse all also exist, but are not the common type of "real sex" that is depicted and discussed commonly in movies, TV, books, porn, and songs. These other things are more like foreplay.
In the porn of this culture, often times the males don't have erect penises during "sex" but they sem to always "orgasm" and very loudly and enthusiastically at that. Sex advice books for women are largely focused on how to please a man, and advice books for men are largely focused on how to up his sex drive, find pleasure during sex, and how to orgasm. It is taken for granted that a woman needs her clitoris stimulated to orgasm. It's as if you don't even have to say that. For men, the advice books often emphasize the importance of the penis. In foreplay it should be manually or orally stimulated, and these could even be considered full sexual acts. However, these books also go on about the different positions that could make sex more pleasurable for him. For instance, if he's on top, and she's rubbing against the base of his penis where it meets his leg at a particular angle, the penis is in a position to get more stimulation against her navel. Well, by golly, that might put him over the edge!
Also, the part of the penis that extends into the body is said to be stimulated when the woman is having “sex” with him. That area between the balls and the penis where she grinds her clit is supposed to press into that inner part of the penis. People call it his "J-Spot". A lot of people believe that the J-spot allows a deeper caressing of the penis that accounts for a deeper, more full bodied orgasm than a penile orgasm does. It is, of course, not an orgasm that all men seem to be able to achieve, although there's not much research on the subject.
About 40 years ago it was common even in the medical community to view a penile orgasm as immature and a J-Spot orgasm as the sign of a mature man. Men who couldn’t have J-Spot orgasms were deemed “frigid.” However, this has been rejected by the medical community and is not a particularly common idea in the culture anymore. Today, most advice books will tell you that the majority of men need penile stimulation in order to orgasm, even as they sing the praises of J-Spot stimulating sex positions.