I love Samantha from Sex and the City – she was brash and crude, sure but more than that – she was always honest. One of my favourite Samantha lines was her statement in response to a discussion about orgasms with Carrie and Charlotte where she said ‘when I RSVP to a party, I make it my business to come!’

The other night, whilst out having dinner with some of my favourites, two of my friends told me that they have never had an orgasm during sex, or with a man. One said it didn’t matter as she could come using a vibrator and the other said it was normal and that most girls didn’t so it was ok. No. No it isn’t. Sex involves two people – or more, if that’s your thing; no judgement – so two people should get something out of it. Otherwise it is just window shopping with no hope of purchase and no one really enjoys that despite their protests.

I could blame the hyper sexualisation of our society; when sex is used to sell everything from coffee to clothes and we have music videos, magazines, tv and films showing us half naked gyrating women at every opportunity,  it is no wonder we are all so fucked up about the actual act of sex. We have this notion that sex should be perfect; as glossy and airbrushed as it looks on screen so when we get to down to it we worry too much about how our boobs look or how many folds our stomach has in this position that we aren’t thinking about our enjoyment and that’s so fucking tragic. We see women screaming in pleasure the second a man breathes on their neck and so when it takes us more than a minute to get into it we think there is something wrong with us. There isn’t and it’s so messed up that this apparent triumph for feminisim – this ridiculous idea that glamour modelling, pole dancing, dancing around in a thong, shaking your tits at strangers in a club is somehow liberating for women – is actually contributing to a decline in our sexual freedom and enjoyment.

Women’s magazines like to base much of their content around how to please and keep a man with handy tips and tricks to increase his pleasure but a lot of the advice they give us in terms of how to enjoy ourselves seems to be centred around the vague statement of ‘being confident in bed’ (with no real advice on how to do this) and trying some positions that would be too raunchy for the Kama Sutra ( and probably less satisfying anyway). More tellingly, one flick through a ‘lads’ mag like Nuts or Zoo ( and really girls, one flick is enough otherwise you’ll never get clean again) shows women bent over, breasts out, hair flicked over a shoulder whilst sucking on a finger – what impression of women and sex is this selling? Really, tell me. Women are decorations? Women should be ready and on all the time? Women should just lounge around the house in slutty underwear at all times in case the man gets an urge? So we have our magazines telling us how to please a man and we have their magazines telling how we should look to please a man but where the fuck are the ‘tips and tricks’ to please us?

I have heard the arguments that sex can still be fun without an orgasm. Sure. And I enjoy just smelling chocolate; no need to eat it. Bollocks. If you both don’t come then the ‘end’ part is his orgasm which means that the whole time you are just pleasing him, worrying about him finishing and his pleasure which is another way of saying you are just ignoring yours. I know that some women find it hard to orgasm and that it takes more than just some sexy lighting and a massage for women to get in the mood sometimes but in my mind sex should be a mutual expression of your feelings for someone and just like you want them to have a bloody good time, they should be taking your pleasure into account as well and doing whatever it takes to get you off. Surely any other kind of partner is a selfish git, no? Otherwise; as my gorgeous friend Becky put it – ‘he is just masturbating inside you instead of his hand.’ True that.

 

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  • Em

    I generally agree with a lot of what you’re saying here but if I’m honest some of it did strike a nerve. I’ve been sexually active for the last four years with the same man, and I’ve never once been able to orgasm during sex. It used to really upset me, and it’s still a bit of a sensitive subject, but I’ve learned to cope with it. I feel like you’re almost implying that if you can’t orgasm during sexual intercourse itself, then your partner isn’t being considerate or caring enough towards you, which in my case just isn’t true – myself and my boyfriend have spent a great deal of time exploring what works for me, and he is always incredibly attentive to me during sex, making sure I orgasm outside of intercourse, but I am still a little hurt by the somewhat-crude suggestion that if I don’t orgasm during sex, my boyfriend is effectively using my body as a masturbation tool. Even though you state that there is nothing wrong with not being able to orgasm during sex, what you have said has essentially left me feeling that way; a great deal of women have this same problem, and it is something that has often left me feeling like I am not a ~real~ woman, as supportive and loving as my boyfriend has been. I love your blog and read it regularly as I agree with you on a lot of the issues you discuss, but for those of us who really struggle with this particular problem, it’s something that you could perhaps have addressed a little more sensitively.

    • em

      Oh love, I’m so sorry if I came across as insensitive or mean in any way; the main point I wanted to convey was that women should expect pleasure during sex and not be willing to settle for less – I sometimes feel that sex is seen as a male issue; something men enjoy and men want and men get where it should be more of a mutual experience and something where women should be more vocal about their wants and needs instead of worrying that there is something wrong with them because they aren’t writhing in ecstasy the second a man kisses an earlobe. When I talk about sex I am talking about everything related to it; not just intercourse at all. For me that is just a small part of what sex is about and I was using ‘sex’ as an umbrella term to encompass all aspects – foreplay as well. I completely get that for women an orgasm during sex isn’t always possible or preferable – what I was trying to imply was that a sexually fulfilling relationship is one where both parties come away satisfied and happy regardless of the route they take to get there! xxxxxxxxx