The first time someone asked me if I had orgasmed, my response was “I … don’t know.” This was not the answer that he was looking for, and a period of stroking the man-ego commenced.
I found that response to my uncertainty about orgasm far more annoying than the lack thereof.
Female orgasms are weird, experienced differently by different types of women and lack the clear sign of occurrence that men get. Researching online to see if there is any clear physical sign yields a lot of “you’ll know it when you have it” and not a whole lot of helpful information.
I finally found one site that said the vaginal walls spasm during climax. Except a lot of women can’t feel that — some can only feel it when something is inside their vagina, and some can’t feel it at all. Which means, as far as definite signals go, it sucks.
I wasn’t exactly clear how I was supposed to recognize something I had never felt before. Or maybe had felt before but just didn’t call it an orgasm, because how am I supposed to declare that anyway?
This kicked off a period of exploration where I went “is this an orgasm, or am I just stopping?” Then, I decided that maybe all orgasms weren’t mind-shattering, full-body swan dives into hedonistic pleasure. Maybe my orgasm was just a small spike and a nice stopping point.
Of course, just declaring orgasm wasn’t enough for me, and I decided I was going to determine if my vagina was spasming. After experimentation, I figured out that yes, I had physical signs, and that “you’ll know it when you see it” is terrible advice. My orgasm wasn’t nearly earth-shattering enough to be unambiguously obvious.
In other words, figuring out orgasm was a process.
To make it worse, the concept that it isn’t necessarily the most amazing thing in the world or the only goal of a sexual encounter seems to boggle the male mind.
The truth is that not all women orgasm easily, but they still enjoy sex.
Female orgasm is partially just habit and training. Things that are different from the norm don’t immediately cause orgasm and often take longer than the tried and true. Doesn’t mean new is bad, just that different is hard. Of course, explaining this to a man gets a “women are weird.”
Different isn’t the only thing that affects whether or not a woman climaxes; so do hormones and stress levels. The quickest way to raise the stress level of sex: put all the focus on whether or not orgasm is happening instead of just enjoying the moment.
Though it is true that there are certain positions that make it more likely that orgasm will occur during penetrative sex, namely positions that include clitoral stimulation, going at it with the mindset “This. Will. Happen.” isn’t likely to produce the desired result.
Sex shouldn’t be a chore, and putting all the focus on orgasm when still in the process of figuring things out is the quickest way to make it one. Instead, the focus should be on enjoying yourself and figuring out what feels good. And, despite common perception, orgasm isn’t the shorthand for that.
The fact is, the majority of women cannot orgasm during penetration.
Honestly, the focus on penetration just seems silly. The anatomical analog to the penis isn’t the vagina — it is the clitoris. That’s why oral sex, not penetrative sex, is the best way to get a girl off. It is extended attention showered directly onto the bit that responds best.
Plus, clitoral attention is how most women masturbate. Why? Penetration requires props.
Maybe that means that all women should get a dildo (or a phallic vegetable and condom) and start training themselves to orgasm through penetration, but it seems like that is putting a lot of responsibility on females. And still may be expecting something that they physically can’t accomplish.
Stimulation of the G-spot can produce a sensation very similar to needing to pee. Now, riding out the sensation and relaxing into it can lead to a very different and sometimes pretty awesome climax.
But asking someone to relax enough to orgasm when she feels like she is about to wet the bed is a bit of a tall order. And all this is assuming that she is one of the women who can orgasm through G-spot stimulation in the first place.
For me, the act of sex encompasses the whole of the act: foreplay, oral and penetration. If I orgasm somewhere in there, I am happy.
If I don’t orgasm, I probably still had fun, and it’s a sign that communication needs to happen.
At this point, I mostly know what I need to communicate. But that took time, as well as helpful partners and an acceptance of the fact that orgasm doesn’t need to happen in order for sex to be enjoyable.
Luckily, when figuring out orgasm, learning can be fun too.