Women Want Orgasms Too!
Everyone knows that female orgasm is elusive, but that doesn’t mean that women don’t want or care about them. Unlike the penis, the clitoris keeps a low profile, and no one sex act guarantees it will be stimulated. That does not mean that a female orgasm is any less pleasurable than a man’s or that women desire it any less.
And still, there’s a common misconception that women can take or leave climaxing. Yes, women are often passive when it comes to their fulfillment in the bedroom. But, I know for me, that has more to do with frustration than indifference.
I’ve been aware of my body’s capacity for pleasure for a long time. I discovered the female orgasm when I learned to masturbate in middle school. And now, at 38, I can bring myself to orgasm in just a few minutes. But it’s a different story when I’m having sex with another person.
Psychological Roadblocks Interfere with the Female Orgasm
I’ve been aware of my body’s capacity for pleasure for a long time. I learned to masturbate in middle school, and now, at 38, I can bring myself to orgasm within a minute. But it’s a different story when I’m having sex with another person.
Anxiety about masturbating in front of someone, giving direction, and taking up too much time, creates a roadblock between my brain and my vagina. This barrier often leads me to throw in the towel when I’m trying to get off. And, more often than not, my partners are fine with that.
Orgasmic Roadblocks Can Be Overcome
Missing out on a body shuddering climax is frustrating for obvious reasons but also because this roadblock is not insurmountable. I would say I’ve had an orgasm with roughly 30% of my past sex partners. I would never lay my inability to cum at the feet of someone else, but there are things men can do to facilitate an orgasmic experience. All I need is a way to get out of my head and into my body.
Explaining this to someone when you’re naked, vulnerable, and riled up is a difficult. Getting caught in your head does not lend itself to asserting your needs. So I’ve taken the opportunity to explain my desires here. Writing for a faceless, clothed audience makes the task much less intimidating. To illustrate my point, I’ve created four hypothetical scenarios. Each revolves around a man named Joe and his girlfriend, Jill.
How to/Not to Facilitate the Female Orgasm
Photography by Zorab Ovsepyan and Stella Fae Bliss
This kind of discourtesy sounds absurd in that context, but it happens all the time in the bedroom. In my experience, it’s the norm. The guy gets off, and then they’re done. Whether or not I’m satisfied is never a discussion.
True, I could tell these individuals that I want to cum. But, to me, that’s like Jill telling Joe to get up and chase down the dessert cart. It feels awkward, and awkwardness isn’t conducive to orgasming. Encounters that end this way are not remembered fondly.
Sometimes men expend a lot of effort in doing things they think will please me without bothering to find out what I need. A guy will go to town until he feels like he’s done his part. And then, once he feels he’s put in his time, he’s done.
Once again, I have the option of speaking up. But, doing this seems like the equivalent of Jill throwing her cannoli in Joe’s face. Interrupting a well-intentioned, exuberant lover is awkward. Breaking the news that their moves aren’t doing it for you is even more unpleasant. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t, and certainly going to bed sans orgasm.
I think these are the most frustrating encounters. There is so much build-up. My partner’s moves might not put me over the top, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get me closer. It’s a major disappointment when an otherwise successful session ends so unceremoniously.
The bedroom equivalent of “would you like dessert” is something to the effect of “Do you want to cum?” “How about you?” or, “What do you need?” When a man says something along these lines, they earn an automatic gold star in my book. Not having to build up the courage to ask for what I want alleviates anxiety. My head and my body start to resume communication. I also feel like my desire to cum has been validated, and that makes me feel closer to my partner.
That said, being asked if I want to cum isn’t ideal. For me saying “yes, I would like to have an orgasm ” is the equivalent of Jill saying, “yes, I would like dessert, but it isn’t on the menu, and I’ll have to oversee the preparation myself.” No matter how gracious the offer cumming with a partner is still tricky business. Past a point, what I need seems disproportionate to what was offered. I feel like I’m repaying a man who’s held a door open by taking 100 baby steps through it. If I’m asked if I’d like to cum, I will probably have a go at it, but success isn’t guaranteed.
When someone makes the subtle shift from “do you want to cum” to “I want you to cum,” it turns the tables on my compulsion to be polite. Instead of being offered a gift, I’m being asked for one. Being a giver by nature, this puts me in my comfort zone. It’s also reassuring to hear that my partner’s desires are the same as my own. Suddenly masturbating feels less like a solo performance and more like a shared activity. When I know someone wants me to cum, all the anxious voices quiet down. My brain and body can finally communicate. It’s also a huge turn-on, and that doesn’t hurt either.
There are times when I’m okay with not cumming. Sometimes the sex is hot enough to negate the need for an orgasm. Sometimes I’m too tired. Too many cocktails will also do the trick. But a lot of the time I’m just too frustrated to keep trying. Usually, when I say, “I can’t, the man shrugs and finishes off. What I wish they would ask themselves if they would be okay going without an orgasm. I want a man to pull out all the stops before he lets me off the hook. If that doesn’t make me cum at that moment, it still lays the groundwork for success next time (and there will be a next time).
Required Reading On the Female Orgasm: Come As You Are
Whether you own a vagina or get to enjoy someone else’s, Come As You “Come As You Are” by Emily Nagoski is a must read. This book provides clinical but readable information about the female orgasm that will educate, enlighten, and debunk the myths that surround it. In addition to gaining and under standing of how and why women’s pleasure centers work, there is practical information on how to put those pleasures centers to work and elicit the orgasmic climaxes that every woman deserves. This is the book they should’ve assigned us in health class, but it’s never to late to learn.
Let’s Talk About Sex…
Are you in the mood to read more about everyone’s favorite pass time? You’re in luck! Sex is my favorite topic to write about. When a dirty mind meets a need to know there’s always more to discuss. Visit my SEX page for more musings on the subject. You might also enjoy my posts about DATING and RELATIONSHIPS.