To nut, or not to nut?

Michelle Zheng

I’m five shots in at 2 p.m. and my one-off Tinder hookup parks his car at a more vacant lot atop Grizzly Peak.

We move into the backseat under the pretenses of relaxing and chatting about “Mulan,” but both of us knew what our intentions truly are: to get down to business. Foreplay flies out the window as soon as we adequately fog up the car windows to create an illusion of privacy. After a quick makeout session with a little too much teeth, he whips out a condom and pops his dick in my box.

He cums at 2:03 p.m.

In hookup culture, the sexual transaction is very much “wham, bam, thank you ma’am.” Of course, when people hook up, the intention is to extinguish that fiery, pent-up sexual tension with a frantic orgasm: the ol’ ejaculate and evacuate, if you will. As a result, the sex isn’t really that great. After all, pursuing your own pleasure with a complete disregard for your partners’ is the quintessential definition of a bad bang. Nevertheless, there is a huge difference between not trying at all when you’re having sex with someone and just not being able to cum.  

According to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, nearly half of women report having not had an orgasm during a sexual encounter. The US National Library of Medicine reports lesbian women have orgasms 86 percent of the time, bisexual women 66 percent, and heterosexual women 65 percent. In contrast, 95 percent of heterosexual men have reported busting a nut in their last sexual encounter. Time and time again, there have been statistics which emphasize how difficult it is for a woman, of any sexual orientation, to cum.

While many women cannot cum because their partner isn’t paying attention to them enough, it’s not at all healthy to singularly focus on the orgasm as the indication of a great lay. When I am with vagina-bearing partners, I’ve had fantastic lays with a good use of toys, lube and a lot of cunnalingus. For me, orgasms are a bonus, but not a necessity.

As I’ve shifted from consistent casual hookups to a more stable polyamorous arrangement with myself and a few partners, I still notice that there’s this intense focus on the sexual “climax.” There’s this idea that sex isn’t finished until either one person has an orgasm or everyone has an orgasm. This is pretty stressful, as I’m a person who isn’t necessarily the most sensitive, even when I am sexually aroused. What if I get trapped in a never-ending penrose stairs of sex due to my inability to cum?  

The usual erogenous zones, such as the neck, ears, thighs and hell, my own pussy, don’t really react that much. Sometimes, I feel like there’s something wrong with me. Why am I not like the mythical 64 percent of women who can orgasm during sex? No matter what my partners do, I have a tendency not to feel anything, much less an orgasm. I’m lucky enough that I’ve never felt the need to fake my orgasm, even though I know my more serious partners have a tendency to feel guilt when they can’t bring on those paroxysms of pleasure.

On the other side, I’ve had many dick-wielding partners not cum when we have sex. I also feel incredibly ashamed when it happens, or more, when it doesn’t. They don’t even have the “luxury” of faking it — you nut or you don’t. My little Berkeley brain sometimes can’t help but think about test percentiles; given the statistics above, it’s crushing to imagine that my partners fall under the 5 percent of not having gotten off from my whore-opathic remedy. The odds were curved in my favor and I couldn’t do it.

Historically, orgasms haven’t come easy to my two serious partners, even with other people. Besides sexual inexperience, many different factors can influence lack of orgasms, from side effects of medication to simply masturbating a bit too much. I’ve definitely completely desensitized my poor clitty because of my high-powered vibrators. When I define my sexual prowess simply by how frequently I can coax out orgasms, an orgasm’s point becomes more about validating myself, rather than on my partner’s pleasure.

I’d love it if we could shift from focusing on the climax to enjoying the entire experience of a sexual encounter. When I want to make myself orgasm, I know what to do. It usually involves a quick porn search and dialing up my vibrator to its highest setting. I would say six out of 10 times, the orgasms are pretty unfulfilling, but they get the job done, i.e. they eviscerate my feeling of horniness. While knowing what makes you cum is always helpful, very rarely is it the only thing that will turn you on.

When I’m having sex with other people, I’d rather feel satisfied sans orgasm, rather than someone mashing at my clit like a cocktail muddler against some herbs. I know a lot of my friends will use toys while bumping uglies for more efficient clit stimulation, but at least for me, I don’t want to bring my very expensive vibrator (which is literally more technologically advanced than most of the things I own) with me every time I have sex.

I don’t want my sex life to revolve around “the big O.” As a result, I’m becoming a lot more open to things that I didn’t know would turn me on, because I’m not hyper focused on the tried and true methods of Michelle’s Patented Orgasm Technique.

One of my previous partners, after getting over the idea that he would be the first to “naturally” make me cum, shifted to experimenting with new sensations, like sucking massive bruises into my inner thighs and eating out my ass. He never managed to get me to cum, but I can say the few times we would get together were easily my top sexual experiences. 

As my girl Miley would say, “ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side, it’s the climb.

Michelle Zheng writes the Tuesday column on sex. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @thezhenger.

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  • Amir Babli Mansa

    What is the point of this “article?”

  • the devil

    When you don’t like who you’re bumping with that makes your climax more elusive. Don’t fool yourself.