Shere Hite on the Hite Report 30 Years Later

Okay, I've been a bit busy building a deck (oh yeah - we built a damn deck suckas!) and cleaning out old crap for a garage sale, so sorry for the delay on posts.

Anyway, today, I thought I'd repost a 2008 On Issues Magazine article by Shere Hite. She wrote the groundbreaking Hite Report in 1976 that surveyed over 3.000 women about the reality of their orgasms and sexual experiences, and the sadly rarely-discussed points made in that book are well in line with the points made made in our movie Science, Sex, and the Ladies. However, The Hite Report was written about 4 years before the book that introduced pop culture to the G-Spot (The G-Spot and Other Recent Discoveries about Human Sexuality by Perry, Whipple, and Ladas) was written, so my movie is able to take into account all that history also.

The Shere Hite article in question below, however, was written in 2008 and can also take into account all the G-spot history. It's nice to see she has come to a similar conclusion to the one I came too; that even with all the G-spot love throughout pop culture, it's still just not something that causes orgasms. I will say that she doesn't delve into the ejaculation possibilities that clearly are caused by G-spot stimulation, the way I think one should when discussing this subject. She also seems to tend toward the belief that "the G-Spot" doesn't exist. I think it's pretty clear that an area that could be called the female prostate exists in the anterior of the vagina. It's often also called the G-spot, but if you start getting into books and advice and articles and web writing on the "g-spot," the term is also used to refer to wide variety of ideas that usually involve vaginal/uterine/intercourse-induced orgasms, and I would argue that this type of  "G-spot" is a bunch of bull. I'll give Shere Hite the benefit of the doubt and assume she is speaking about that mystical 2nd meaning of G-spot that is so rampantly thrown around in the pop sex world. If you want to see where me and my movie stand, my specific thoughts on exactly what is and is not an orgasm  is HERE and does include a discussion about the G-spo.

Now, listen to what this ground breaking Orgasm Equality Movement foremother has to say about her research in a world that's over 30 years older.
On The Issues Magazine Summer 2008
Female Orgasm Today: The Hite Report's Research Then and Now by Shere Hite

The Hite Report on Female Sexuality presents a large body of research showing that women can easily reach orgasm. The report documents, in women's own voices, how women reach orgasm privately through masturbation. The great majority of women can masturbate to orgasm and do not use penetration during masturbation. The report shows that women do not have a problem reaching orgasm, but rather that society does have a problem in accepting how women reach orgasm. Society insists that women try to have orgasm during intercourse or coitus, even though this is not the easiest way for them to reach orgasm. Clearly, they do not use vaginal stimulation or penetrate themselves during masturbation.
In these days of equality, we could devise a new version of sex, effective for both women and men. Let me try this here.
Prior to my research (and still in some quarters today), it was believed that women have difficulty having orgasm and that women should find vaginal fulfillment by trying to have orgasm during intercourse (it used to be called vaginal orgasm.) Clitoral orgasm was said to be immature and lesser.
Although this idea was overturned by The Hite Report, in recent years it has made a forceable comeback. A so-called g-spot came to stand for the old concept of vaginal orgasm: every women should be able to have orgasm via penetration and stimulation inside the vagina -- if she is a real woman!
As noted, The Hite Report on Female Sexuality showed that most women could orgasm easily and regularly via separate stimulation of the exterior vulva or pubis, and that the definition of sex should change to include such stimulation to orgasm as a normal part of sex. This would make sex more egalitarian. While this research showed that sex should no longer be so exaggeratedly focused on coitus as the sole high point or climax of sex, images of sex in pornography, popular culture and media did not change.
A notion introduced three years after the report further reinforced traditional ideas of sex -- so nothing has to change. It held that a supposed -- but almost never found (!) -- g-spot exists inside the vagina that can lead to clitoral stimulation and female orgasm, if pressed in the right way. This has been seized on by makers of Viagra and Ciallis, among others, opening the door to more pressures on men and women (men should last long enough; women should have orgasm that way.) It puts men and women unnecessarily at odds with each other. The message it sends is that it is not necessary to change the definition of sex in any basic way, and that women should be able to have orgasm via coitus with the g-spot. Although vaginal orgasm, the old term, had been completely ridiculed, here was a trendy, modern way to be a stick-in-the-mud, but still proclaim oneself to be modern, new, and liberated -- supposedly believing in equality and the new powerful woman.
Of course, the vagina is a sensitive and pleasurable organ for women, given the right situation. My research does not deny that, but rather demonstrates that this pleasure does not lead to orgasm for most women. Many women enjoy intercourse as a kind of foreplay, then use specific clitoral massage to orgasm, done systematically and gently.
Society has not been able to quickly overturn centuries of belief about the act, or allowed women to orgasm in their own way. Instead, it has clung to the new trendy term with its old-fashioned idea of sex. Many medical studies show that no specific spot exists. A new view of sex that includes female orgasm via separate stimulation means using one's imagination to change a basic modus vivendi, and offers new possibilities.
How should sex change? At a minimum, both women and men should get the stimulation they need for orgasm. Since women can easily orgasm via their own clitoral-area stimulation during masturbation, the same stimulation (usually by the hand or mouth of the partner) should become an equally important high point to intercourse and penetration in a new version of sex.
But sex can evolve beyond orgasms. Sex can be transformed to become an individual vocabulary of erotic gestures, combining bodies to reach high states of arousal and desire, beyond a quest for orgasms by either woman or man. Sex can become something new, something we have not yet seen, something that we all now create by taking private, very courageous, steps.

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