A viral-video came to light recently that really caught my attention. The roving (female) reporter spoke to random men in the street, asking them when they last had sex, giving them a high five for it, and if they orgasmed (another high give for that, yeaahhhhh bro). She then went onto ask the satiated lovers if they knew if their female partners had too, orgasmed during their encounters? The red-faced, confused and unsure answers varied from “urrrrrr”, “ermmmmmm”, “ummmmmmmmmmm” to finally “ummmmmm …noooo”, mostly (check it out if you haven't).
The uncertainty is as bad as a straight up no in my eyes, and it got me thinking. This was a disappointing, but accurate, in my opinion, portrayal of what is pretty normal in heterosexual sexual relationships. By the time you’ve reached your 30s and had healthy, and unhealthy relationships, affairs, encounters, whatever relations you’ve been enjoying as an adult, you’ve probably formed some opinions.
The great thing about the female sex is our openness of discussion. Men often find this amusing, or even baulk, at the openness as to which women go into great details discussing men, sexual relationships, and every dirty detail (yep sorry guys, we do). But aside from this providing good chat material, it’s for a deeper purpose: these discussions can be found to be key in a cathartic discussion about one’s sex life: exploring what is good, what is satisfying, and what isn’t. What we feel that perhaps we can’t say to our partners, we can share in the open, and non-judgemental atmosphere of our closest girlfriends. And what is a concurrent topic, is a lack of achieving orgasm, or feeling like the partner puts sufficient enough thought into the woman’s experience. Obviously, many of us, myself included, have had incredibly positive experiences, loving relationships and positive sexual experiences with giving, passionate and loving partners. But then there is a higher percentage of those experiences where that isn’t the case, where the women can be left feeling dissatisfied, and worse.
According to a recent report by Researchers from Chapman University, Indiana University and the Kinsey Institute found that 95% of heterosexual men nearly always orgasm when having sexual relations. For women, lesbians fared the best, with 86% achieving orgasm, followed by bisexual women at 66%, and finally, for straight woman, adding a man to the mix drops this down to 65%. Similarly, the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy took a poll of 1,000 women aged 18 to 94, finding 80% do not orgasm though penetrative sex. The female body is a complicated, beautiful and slow-burner of a biological wonder. The mysteries surrounding the female sexual biology and chemistry have long been discussed and explored. But why is it still that reports are finding such a large number of unsatisfied women?
What if women were able to speak more openly to their partners about what is working and what isn’t – hey, our anatomy, it’s beautiful and magic – it produces children, it’s the cradle of god damn life for goodness sake, it is complex, and it requires some care, attention and thought. What smacks of thoughtlessness and selfishness is someone who won’t put in the attention, who doesn’t want to explore what their partner is turned don by, enjoys, what helps them achieve orgasm, which ultimately, can be incredibly bonding in a partnership? And conversly, on discussing with male friends, this –plays on the female partners’ side too: a lack of care or effort from the female can obviously come into play too.
Websites like the Emma Watson vocally supported OMG YES, a platform that offers informative, research-based approach to women's pleasure that, according to Marie Claire Magazine, “(The site) smashes taboos surrounding female sexuality and treats the female orgasm with an unprecedented seriousness: tackling the complexities surrounding the ways in which women experience pleasure with honesty and no shame” are leading the way for knocking down barriers and destructing the taboo around the discussion of the female orgasm.
It is this need for discussion, what was previously hushed chatter amongst women, now elevated to a wider platform, digitally, in media, not just amongst female friends, but with our male friends, and ultimately, with our partners, that can create a normalcy in this subject. It isn’t taboo, and it’s appalling that so many women feel the need to “fake it” with their partners, or worse, that their partners aren’t caring if their partners do orgasm or not. Equally for women, it can be incredibly nerve-wracking telling a partner hey, this is great, or hey, this ISN'T working for me...it can be a huge step making that conversation, but much akin to ripping off a plaster, taking a deep breath and opening that channel of conversation can reap great, spine-tingling rewards.
Positive experiences show that whilst yes, the female anatomy can be complicated, you don’t need a frigging road map: care and attention, being attentive to what is working, that build up and yeah just to add, foreplay is EV.ER.Y.THING. Sometimes amongst women we talk of guys having a “gift” – if they are in tune to the woman’s needs, if they spend enough time ensuring the female is suitably turned on (not to be crass but there shouldn’t really be any penetration unless the woman is really, really ready for it). This gift should be more common, the numbers of heterosexual women orgasming much higher. That report from the Chapman University showing 86% of women in a lesbian relationship reaching orgasm VS heterosexual women at 65% is incredibly telling. That channel of conversation between men and women should be as healthy. Here’s to getting to the Big O.