Can we talk about Jenny Block for a minute? She's so fucking on-point, and I feel terrible I haven't written specifically about her yet on this blog. Honestly, I've been meaning to write about her for a long time. I have links to some of her stuff sitting in my random drafts of blog posts. She's deemed an Orgasm Equality Hero on the ol' list I keep, but the truth is I haven't delved into a lot of her stuff yet.
However, I recently had an email interaction with her where I contacted her out of the blue about something and she wrote me right back, and was super nice. So, it reminded me I should write a post, and as I started digging around on her, I got as over the moon as I was when I first came across Sophia Wallace and her Cliteracy work. Jenny Block is bold about telling women that vaginal penetration does not a lady-gasm make. Unlike way too many other sexperts out there, she is not kinda demure and wishy-washy about it either. She's not like, "Well, most women need clitoral stimulation, but you know, every woman's different," and then goes on to talk about how doggy style is great for orgasming because the g-spot getting rammed hard enough or something like that. She's very strong in her conviction that we need to change the way we understand sex and women's place in it. She's pushin' this revolution, ya'll! I updated her entry in the Orgasm Equality Heroes list too, cause I found even better stuff.
So, since there's so much great stuff from her, I decided to list out 10 bitchin' things that Jenny Block's done to contribute to the New Sexual Revolution, Orgasm Equality, Cliteracy, and generally better sexual times for the ladies!
1 This video that was created as part of the Huffington Post Interactive Cliteracy project.
I had seen her name before, but this is where she first really caught my eye. She's giving you the chapter of sex ed that you didn't get the first time around. One, she's a true blue collaborator with Cliteracy, so that's a plus. Two, quite accurate lines like:
"While the vagina is the female reproductive organ, the clit is the female sex organ."
Sex Education: The Missing Chapter from The Huffington Post on Vimeo.
2 She wrote a whole book about masturbation called Solo Sex: All You Need To Know About Masturbation.
I'll be honest. I haven't read it...yet...I only have so many hours in the day, but she had me at 'masturbation.' Anyone who advocates for masturbation is a friend of mine. It gets such a bad rap. And, there's not a lot of masturbation books out there. Betty Dodson created a kick-ass one back in the day, but not many since. So thanks, Ms. Block, for giving us a modern Masturbation bible.
3 This interview on HuffPost Live with Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani where Ms. Block debunks common myths about female orgasm.
It's a good one, and she says lovely things like the following:
"If you're just doing a little bit of the ol' in and out, you're probably nowhere near the clit., and so, sex that is designed to put sperm inside of the woman's body is not necessarily designed for a woman to have an orgasm, and yet we we keep having that sex and having that sex. And I get emails all the time from women saying, 'what's wrong with me that I can't come from penetrative sex,' and I say nothing, nothing, nothing is wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with the way you're having sex."
4 The fact that she was chillin' with the badest-ass orgasm equality hero and masturbation advocate lady I can think of - Betty Dodson.
5 This list of 11 Truths We Have To Start Accepting About the Female Orgasm.
I love it because she emphasizes external clit stimulation, but she also emphasizes doing whatever you need to do to get that orgasm.
"Having an orgasm is like going on a scavenger hunt. You look everywhere possible for it and you don't worry about how strange the places you need to look might be."She talks about how you should sound however you need to sound, move however you need to move, think whatever you need to think, and take whatever time you need to take. This is so important because, as she also discusses, the depicted female orgasms and sex we often see is unrealistic, and we ought not try to emulate those or feel bad if we are doing things that don't seem normal.
This is the kind of realistic advice I'd like to see more of.
6 For the flip side...this list of 11 Myths We Have To Stop Believing About The Female Orgasm
I particularly loved Myths 9 and 10. She got into the subtlety about why positions might matter to orgasm, and...be still my heart...she didn't pussyfoot around about 99,9% of women needing clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm.
Myth #9: Position makes no difference when it comes to female orgasm. Position makes all the difference when it comes to orgasm, but not for the reasons you might think. It is unlikely that a woman will come from penetration alone. If she does, it will be because everything prior to that was stellar, the penetration was well-timed, and the position allows for clitoral stimulation either directly or indirectly.
Myth #10: Penetration is the key for a woman to reach orgasm. Intercourse alone usually does not lead to orgasm. Twenty-five percent of women say they can consistently orgasm via penetration alone. Even that number may be high; most likely, those women who reported orgasm from penetration alone were experiencing some level of clitoral stimulation from the thrusting. I would argue instead that 99.9 percent of women need clitoral stimulation if they are going to reach orgasm. There are always the outliers. But we're talking about the rule here, not the exception.7 This interview with Josh Zepp at HuffPost live in which she lays this shit down, for real with quotes like:
"If the clit's not involved, no one's coming, nobody, I mean nobody...that's just how a woman's body works."and she also, quite rightly, keeps it sensitive, thoughtful, and non-blamey when it comes to the ambivalence and sometimes lack of interest displayed by some men when it comes to female orgasm...and points a finger at our deeply ingrained sexual culture
"you know, to be honest I don't really blame individual men for that. I sorta blame our overview of the way we've been treating sex all along. I mean considering what's thought of as being sex, which is intercourse - which doesn't really do it for most women in terms of orgasm - it's no wonder that we've gotten to this point."
8 She wrote The book O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm:
Well, I haven't read this one yet either, but I will recommend it sight unseen given all the other writing she's done and the things she's said in interviews. Plus I appreciate the emphasis on women owning their own orgasm in the book blurb.
"No matter how much your partner is committed to your orgasm, you are the only one who can and should be responsible for your orgasm."9 This article giving Jenny Block's book a bad review...because it just makes me see more that I would probably love it.
So, the article is not complimentary of O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm, but the type of critique and what was critiqued only confirmed for me that this book is largely right on point and is strangely poignant about why advice like Block's is important and hard for people to hear. In fact, the main criticism is actually something I've found to be a favorite retort to any discussion about women being on an unequal playing field when it comes to our orgasms:
"I’m not sure how — given decades of Cosmo articles, sex manuals and the internet — Ms. Block has somehow convinced herself (and her publisher) that the vast majority of women are still walking around in total ignorance of their twats and how to use them."
I other words, this article dismissed the book immediately with: 'There is no problem. Women don't need anything more than we already have. Why are you even talking about this?' I hear that all the time in so many different ways, but the strange part is that actually, yes, tons of women are still walking around in total ignorance of their twats and how to use them, and if the writer of this critique can't see that, then she's clearly not seeing what I am seeing. She and I have a very different perspective, 'cause I would argue that things like Cosmo and internet advice are part of the reason women are walking around so ignorant. Those are not things that generally have the kind of accurate and honest information that could eliminated this problem, as the critic seems to suggest.
Like I said, this critic is not alone. I hear that comeback a lot, and it's hard because the orgasm inequality problem, for so many reasons, is kinda invisible, and it makes extra work to point out the problem before one can start in on solutions or be taken seriously.
I'm sure the author of this critique is a nice women with good intentions, and she probably has great and mutually orgasmic sex with her partner, but I think maybe the feeling that all women are like her got in the way of seeing that the advice in the book could help a lot of people. I think she was just turned off from the beginning, which is too bad, because I think it was pretty clear that she agrees that women deserve to be in orgasmic mutually satisfying relationships just like Jenny does. Maybe they'll get some common ground eventually, but for now, it made me feel like Jenny Block's book is rocking the boat in the right way.
10 Her article "If You Can't Orgasm, 'Female Viagra' Won't Help" which points out something that we need to be talking about more.
"You want to know why women aren't sexually satisfied? It's because they are having procreative sex for recreation. It's because they are getting a little bit of the old "in and out" and not having orgasms because the old "in and out" doesn't lead to female orgasm. It's because they have been participating in the same activity hoping for a different result but not getting it. It's the definition of insanity. Ask Einstein."
If every time you went to the ice cream store, you ordered, waited in line, were handed your order, and had it taken away before you could taste it, how many times would you keep going back before you would finally lose interest in going out for ice cream?
Women have lost interest in sex because the sex they are having doesn't take their interests to heart.and then a little later in the article
Yes, depression and aging and hormones and lifestyle all play a part in female sexual dysfunction. But before we start diagnosing everything else, before we start prescribing a pill, let's get to a little truth-telling first. Let's ask the real questions, the hard questions --FUCK. YEAH.
What are you calling sex?
How are you having sex?
When are you having sex?
How much attention is really being paid to her pleasure?
Is her clit 100 per cent involved, 100 per cent of time?
Are you both cliterate?