Orgasmo feminino. Ilustração: Marcy Ann Villafaña.

Female orgasm is not a plus

Time for a talk about sex and the female orgasm. I came across this interview with Nicki Minaj in which she says “I demand that I climax”.

I specifically like this article because it took me a very long time to understand a really important thing about sex: it has to be good for me. Not sometimes, not every now and then. It has to be good for me every time. If it isn’t to be pleasant for me, there’s no point in that intercourse taking place in the first place. But it wasn’t always my mindset…

When I read Nicki’s interview, I was intrigued. At first, I thought she was selfish and a difficult woman. But then I tried to imagine a man in her shoes and I couldn’t. A man never has to demand to climax – in straight sex, by default the sex ends only after the man cums. They demand to cum every time and we don’t think they’re difficult or selfish for it. For them, an orgasm is not a plus.

It’s said to be harder for women to cum. I wonder if such difficulty exists or if the problem is the lack of will from our partners and/or not enough demanding on our side.

I found out, by talking to my girlfriends and looking it up on Google (when I was ashamed of talking about this), that sadly, it is very common for women to feel like they have a problem that makes it harder for them or prevents them from achieving orgasms or feeling pleasure during most part of sex. As a consequence, it is common, specially in loving relationships, that women give up on their own pleasure and accept that sex should be according to the partner’s preferences. It’s not that it is awful for women, it’s just that it’s not expected to be fucking awesome. If she can get some pleasure and climax, good for her. If not, oh well, it happens, no problem, maybe next time… This is wrong in so many levels!

There are a million factors involved in this issue.

One is the fact that we learn from an early age that liking sex is not maiden like and we end up suppressing our desires. If we embrace our sexuality with pride and say openly that we like it, people see us as sluts and some men treat us with disrespect. A lot of women don’t masturbate, don’t know where the clitoris is, can’t tell how they like to be stimulated, barely know their own bodies and its ways. They’re ashamed of their desires, fantasies, fetishes and afraid of asking for something and being judged by their partners. There’s a myth that says men are naturally horny people with a biological drive for sex and women are frigid beings, so it would be normal for us to find sex kinda boring.

At the same time, society expects us to be whores at bed. Even if you haven’t figured out how to feel pleasure with sex, you’re supposed to find a way to give pleasure. Women’s magazines teach us how to drive men crazy. And who drives us crazy?

Raised with the same background, many men don’t expect women to really enjoy sex and, hence,  make little or no effort to try to please us. They feel that worrying about our pleasure is solely our problem and that we have to do our best in bed to keep them satisfied and keep them (or they will cheat on us and/or leave us and it will be our fault).

Sexism oppresses men too. When they see a woman who’s not having enough pleasure during sex with them, there are only two possible options; they’re either terrible in bed or she is the one with a problem that keeps her from climaxing. Which alternative do you think is easier for men to deal with?

In a male-sexist-oriented society, like the one we live in, if a man is considered bad in bed, he is “less of a man”. And you don’t want your man to feel like he’s less of man, do you? The situation is so serious that many women fake orgasms just to spare their partners’ feelings. Is there anything more absurd than not only not climaxing but faking it to keep someone from feeling bad? And who spares the feelings of those who feel like they have to fake it??

Another factor is the vicious circle where a woman doesn’t know how she likes to have sex because it is never up to her to decide on how to do it. I’m not talking about positions. I’m saying that a partner who’s not interested in your pleasure, gets bored when doing something that doesn’t involve his own penis and, usually, the sex itself gets boring. There are also those guys who insist on doing something that’s not really doing anything for you (they’re like “oh, you demand pleasure? Ok, I won’t stop till you cum”, but without actually taking you anywhere close to it) and then things get even worse. It makes you feel guilty as if you wanting more was the thing that caused the sex to be boring for both of you. Damn guilt.

There’s also a serious issue of selfishness from some men. I’ve heard them complaint about women that prefer anything other than penetration, be it toys, hands, tongues or whatever. When they want to do it in a position that hurts or feels weird or that doesn’t feel particularly pleasant, they call us prudes. Shit, who wants to be a prude when it comes to dating and having sex??

I feel like we women could use some of that selfishness. We could go Nicki Minaj and say “I demand that I climax”. There are a shit load of nice men out there that don’t even realise they’re not giving female pleasure enough attention. I think that if we don’t start demanding our pleasure, it’s hard to imagine any improvement of the quality of sex.

I’ve been through a phase of wanting to please. I wanted to be unforgettable, super hot, the one everybody wants to fuck. It works really well with selfish dudes (those of you who have never dated a not-so-nice-but-oh-so-hot guy throw the first stone), or with those who can’t tell or don’t give a damn if you’re feeling pleasure. The good side is that it can be a real ego boost, and that’s a form of pleasure too. But when I’m the only one who’s worried about pleasing, in the end it feels like I was left out of my own party. On the other hand, it was difficult to deal with the fear of being considered boring or “whatever” if I pursued my pleasure in a way my date would find less than super sexy. That would leave me with neither an orgasm nor an ego boost. It’s not an easy equation to solve.

In loving relationships there was a time I believed I had to accept and get used to uncomfort and pain (light pain, but,  nevertheless pain) because I thought that was the way things were and because I didn’t want to impose a burden to my partner.

Then, one day in therapy, it hit me. Why on earth do I care so much about other people and don’t expect the same kind of consideration back? Even more important: why do I care so much about others and not about me?

The first times I had sex with men that were genuinely interested in my pleasure, I didn’t even know what to do with it. With time, though, I learned not to feel like it’s a favor. Sex is about reciprocity.

Those are all points for reflection, things to think of when we get frustrated and want to climax more often.

If you’re here after Googling the theme, welcome, feel embraced and believe me: we’re not difficult. Our bodies aren’t broken and there’s no “defect” in them. We’re not boring. It’s not “normal” to have to put up with pain and uncomfort during sex. Sex doesn’t have to be had his way. The way we like to have sex is not “too much trouble”. Orgasms are not a plus. Our partners pleasure does not come before our own. Wanting to enjoy sex is good, normal and healthy. Wanting your partner to care about your pleasure is the least. Cumming is awesome!

Illustration: O – O -O, by Marcy Ann Villafaña.

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