"To say that women would choose intimacy over orgasm is an insult to our intelligence. How intimately connected, how close and fond does she feel lying at his side after he comes and she has not? Men have it right: Good sex and orgasm create intimacy between lovers. Women can have this. It's not that hard." Susan Crain Bakos, "The Orgasm Bible."
Recently, comedian Amy Schumer proclaimed that all women are entitled to experience orgasm when having sex with a male partner. While this is a terrific proclamation, there is a bit more involved—and I believe it begins with women: 1) knowing how their bodies experience orgasm and 2) having the confidence to communicate this to a partner; and men 1) having the confidence to accept a woman’s coaching and 2) being willing to follow her lead. If a woman doesn’t know how she experiences orgasm, she cannot expect that a man or other partner will solve this for her. If a man doesn’t know how a particular woman experiences orgasm, his best efforts may be ineffective.
Not all women experience orgasm regularly. Whether through lack of sex-positive education, sex-negative messaging delivered through culture, religions or families, or a history of sex abuse, many woman are preorgasmic, meaning that they have yet to experience orgasm. “Preorgasmic primary” means a woman has never experienced orgasm; “preorgasmic secondary” means she can experience orgasm through masturbation, but has not done so with a partner.
In the view of sex coaching, absent an identifiable medical condition (diabetes, pelvic trauma and others) or use of medications that can prevent orgasm (such as antidepressants or opiates), most women can learn to experience orgasm without medical intervention: it really is a matter of education and practice.
For a woman who wants to learn to have an orgasm, it takes willingness to claim ownership of her yoni and above all, to become familiar with her clitoris. As I’ve mentioned in several previous blogs, the clitoris is “Ground Zero” for most women for experiencing orgasm: the clitoris is loaded with over 8000 nerve endings. It is the only human organ in existence with no known purpose other than sexual pleasure.
In keeping with my theme of reverence, I suggest that readers wanting to experience orgasm: 1) for the first time; 2) as an act of reclaiming ownership of your sexual response; 3) for the fun of it, that you consider adding a vibrator to your reverential viewing and touch exercises. Some women find that they simply need the more powerful action of a vibrator to elicit orgasm. For a recommendation of some great starter vibrators, check out my blog dated May 23, 2015, Vibrator 101: Recommendations for Beginners.
With a goal of experiencing pleasure (as opposed to “achieving/attaining orgasm”), set aside quiet time in a private place where you will not be interrupted. Take the time to look at your yoni in the mirror and feel respect and reverence, then begin gentle stroking. Watch how your yoni changes with your touch. When you begin to feel your yoni responding, add some lube—then turn on your vibrator and begin to experience the vibration sensation all over your labia. After you are feeling turned on, move the vibrator to the clitoral head (the external part of the clitoris located near the top of the labia minora.) You should notice increased sensitivity, as you vibrate and stroke. Allow yourself to revel in pleasure and sensation—don’t worry about achieving any result—just play.
Understand that some women take significant amounts of time and stimulation to experience orgasm—there is nothing wrong with this! Be patient, compassionate with yourself and enjoy the process of savoring pleasure and very likely, you will experience orgasm. Enjoy it! Betty Dodson’s revolutionary book, “Sex for One,” may also be a fabulous resource—though written in the 70’s, it is truly timeless.
Once you know how you like to be touched—how your body experiences pleasure and orgasm, you can have great orgasms whenever you want, and can also effectively communicate with partners. I realize that communication is a whole other topic—and one I will be addressing very soon.
Also, I have little sympathy for the lament I hear most often from men that “communication destroys spontaneity.” Spontaneity in sex works great in young, hormone-infused bodies (especially male bodies)—and even then, many young women forego orgasm because they don’t know how to ask for what even they don’t know how to get and younger men often don’t know the first thing about pleasing a woman. So, get over it. Communication is vital to new and enduring relationships if both partners are to be satisfied sexually. Communication is even more important as we age and our sexual responses experience normal change with the aging process.
There is so much more to discuss on the pleasure continuum—and yet, a woman's mastery of her own clitoris is a great place to start. Yes, I do believe that women are entitled to orgasms—first, with themselves and second, with a partner, as long as they are willing to communicate with their partner about their specific touch needs.