A friend tipped me off to this article called "Some Notes On The Female Orgasm in 2015," by Annamarie Jagose, a scholar and author. She spat the ever-lovin' truth, and I'm putting her directly into the Orgasm Equality Allies list (with the full knowledge that she may view the term 'orgasm equality' differently than I do). Plus I'm creating a new category within the list ("stuff focusing on the deeper societal causes of orgasm inequality") to put her article under. Dr. Jagose went right to the kernel of this issue like no-one I've seen yet, and I'm very excited that she did.
|Annamarie Jagose Picture from Random House Books|
So that brings me to what Dr. Jagose was saying. Very basically, she was saying that all the pop discussion and worry and outcry about the 'orgasms gap' is not new. People were talking about it back in the early 1900's. It is a continual, constant problem that originates because lady-gasms and intercourse are not very compatible, and it will continue to be a problem until our culture loosens its deep allegiance to the dream of intercourse as a mutually orgasmic sexual experience.
Fuck to the yeah on that assessment.
She also gets a little deeper in her explanation. She points out that the statistics (and the discussion surrounding those statistics) about things like; how much less women orgasm vs. men, how unlikely women are to have orgasms from intercourse, and how women NEED clitoral stimulation in order to come - are actually not that helpful in the end. Why? Because for fuck sake, we've known these stats for decades - centuries even, and yet somehow, we just plain don't seem to care enough to do anything about it.
She rightly points out that the truly interesting thing here is not the old-ass news about the sad state of lady-gasms and their lack of existence in so many hetero sexual encounters (particularly intercourse). The REALLY interesting thing here is WHY THE FUCK ARE WE STILL HAVING THIS CONVERSATION LIKE IT'S NEW? What is it about our culture that makes us (and I'm talking men, women, sexperts, sociologists, medical scientists - the whole gamut) hell-bent on dismissing, marginalizing, and straight up ignoring the truth about how disconnected our cultural expectations of hetero-sex are from the realities of how women actually orgasm.
She's so on point with that. In fact, it was kinda like a a sign from some kind of god or something to me because the topic of her article had been heavily on my mind for the past couple days. I'd been mulling over how to write more strongly about it, and I had just this Sunday written an article inspired by seeing Dr. Ruth on an old Johnny Carson episode that touched on the same topic. It had struck me how close what Dr. Ruth was saying over 30 years ago is to what sexperts say today....and yet nothing has changed in the orgasm gap - which is insane to me. The sad truth is that even if we know that intercourse is not great for lady-gasms and that clit stimulation is needed, and although it logically makes sense that having sex the way most hetero people have sex is definitely going to keep this orgasm gap alive and well, in the end as a culture we just kinda want to ignore it. It's pretty mind-boggling actually.
I'm interested to read Annamarie Jagose's book Orgasmology because I'd like to hear more on her point of view about why this is still happening, because she will certainly come at this from a different perspective. I will say from a practical standpoint and also from a kind of personal experience standpoint, part of the problem this issue continues to stay stagnant is that it doesn't gain you much love to speak so boldly about how scarily twisted our society is about lady-gasms, so even people who want to talk about it, don't. In fact, when you really try to address the weird societal core of this orgasm equality problem, you tend to either get emotionally fueled blowback or more commonly you just plain get ignored and marginalized - and what really sucks is that, at least for me, it has often come hardest from people in the feminist, sex-positive, and progressive communities - people I expected to be allies. Which, I guess, just highlights Jagose's point about how deep the problem really is. That said, though, I've also experienced a lot of individuals who really connect to it, and I really feel people are becoming ripe to hear it - we just need more people saying it and more adamantly... like Jagose is doing.
Annamarie Jagose, you speaking about this is bold and brave, and the direct hit you make to the core of this problem is absolutely revolutionary and bad ass. Keep on with it. Speak that truth!
P.S. I do still love the term 'orgasm equality' but I totally get the point Dr. Jagose was making when she said that calling for 'orgasm equality' is often a vacant attempt to create a solution for a problem without acknowledging what that problem really is. I would put forth that, branded correctly, an Orgasm Equality Movement could and should dig deeper and create the kind of hard conversations and reflection that chip at the deeper societal need to believe hetero sexual intercourse is the mutually orgasmic epitome of sexual interaction. Viva La Orgasm Equality Revolution!