Writer Alison Stevenson is a bad bitch who should walk around with her hands pumping victoriously in the air most of the time. She did some truth-telling in a July 2016 article about how little she (and many women) orgasm during sexual encounters - particularly compared to men, and she said no more, my friends. No. More.
"If men expect to get an orgasm out of a hookup—without having to give anything in return—then I would adopt that approach, too."
Suck It, BJ's!
In an absolutely fabulous article from March 2015, she announced that she had stopped giving blowjobs, and in this new and equally fabulous 2016 article, she gives us a follow-up about why she's still not sucking dick. She, very rightly, decided that she had given too many goddamn blowjobs to boys that did not return the favor, and she's over it. She also rightly pointed out how the wrong-but-all-too-common assumption that women should just orgasm when a penis moves inside their vaginas (vaginae for you scholarly types) is the root of this problem. The reality is most women don't orgasm that way. The majority of women straight up do not orgasm from vaginal penetration (and I would argue it's even less than we are currently willing to admit).
"Penetration is great, but no matter how long, curved, or fat your dick is, it's not going to happen for me. That's true for plenty of other women, too—it's clit or bust. In other words, if a guy and I have sex, but I don't suck his dick, he can still come. If we have sex and he doesn't eat me out, I can't."Tell Me Again How Orgasmic Sex Is...
I respect the hell out of what this women has done (and Tracey Moore at Jezebel does too) because the truth is women are set up to fail in sexual encounters in a way that men are not. None of us, boys or girls, were taught that the clit must be stimulated to orgasm. To drive that home, we were also taught that the most important and supposedly awesome part of a sexual encounter is intercourse - something which naturally involves the vagina and penis but not the clit. Fully involving the clit to the point of orgasm during a 'basic sex act' is not the norm. To involve the clit usually means that there are 'extras' given; extra effort, extra communication, extra sexual acts, extra willingness to do things a little differently. So the male orgasm is par for the course. The female orgasm is extra. It's some bullshit. Whether people realize it or not, the status quo sex act is male-gasm friendly but not female-gasm friendly.
Now, as Ms. Stevenson says in her original 2015 article, her lack of cunnilingus (and thus orgasm) in the past is part her fault too because she didn't used to ask,
"Look, I know that my years of being denied oral sex is my fault too. I was a different person then. I never asked for what I wanted, because I worried it would make me seem less attractive. It's something a lot of women feel, that it's more important to fulfill a man's desires over our own. You know, in order to "keep him." Even the most headstrong, self-reliant, progressive women fall victim to this line of thinking. I have finally been able to fully shed myself of my meekness when it comes to sex and I know now that I can not only demand what I want but also deny what I don't want: blowjobs."I love that she takes some responsibility in this. She's clearly a sensible, thoughtful person, and I think it's true that a woman must become more proactive about asking in order to get her orgasm.
Men Just Get Orgasms, Women Need To Ask...For Extra
That said, can I also say WTF? Yes, she never asked, but can we take a minute and wonder why she has to ask in the first place? Why women must put so much work into getting their orgasm when men simply do not? Why men don't just automatically work the clit like women just automatically work the penis? Why we as a society fully understand and accept that men need their penises stimulated to orgasm, but are so clueless about what makes a woman orgasm that the default thing to do in sex with a woman is ram stuff up her vagina (seriously, contrary to popular belief, getting a woman off is actually not that difficult but trying to do it by stimulating the vagina instead of the clit sure makes it seem difficult, doesn't it?).
The frustration that led Ms. Stevenson to her no BJ decision is much bigger than boys aren't trying hard enough. Yes, that might often be the case, but the truth is we're dumb about lady-gasms. We shouldn't be because they're actually not that complicated at all, but yet we are, and since we're dumb about them and they seem so wierd and mystical and fickle, the female orgasm just gets ignored.
- Men and often women don't know how to make them happen
- The way sex is depicted and joked about and taught either doesn't include or misrepresents the physical needs for lady-gasm
- The normal ways we go about sex don't leave room for it
- We don't prioritize them
- Women often don't feel we deserve them (I mean they're so hard to get and your partner has to put extras in to get you there!)
All that adds up to males orgasming and ladies having to 'ask'.
Rock The Hell On Alison Stevenson!
This woman looked at her sex life and made a decision to put priority on her own orgasm over her male partners'. It's such a revolutionary thing to do because it throws a wrench in the age old sexual status quo and makes a bold statement that flies in the face of people (and I really think this is most people) who don't want to acknowledge how skewed towards male pleasure our sexual culture is. What she did is not easy. It takes self knowledge and courage, and it's inspiring.
So, for all that I am adding Alison Stevenson to the Orgasm Equality Heroes List. Her article and her sentiments fit into something I see as an exciting movement where women are acknowledging that status quo, run of the mill, normal sex is actually pretty bad sex for the ladies. What I mean is that the normal flow of sex, the normal expectations of sex, and the normal skills used in sex are just A LOT better for the male orgasm than for the female. Let me say it another way. When it comes to men, sex is like pizza - even bad sex is kinda okay because they come. For women, though, most sex is unorgasmic, some of it is downright gross, rapey, mean, utterly boring, or painful, and then only really extraordinary sex is even good or orgasmic at all.
This is important because as a culture there is still this entrenched feeling that the simple act of intercourse is a mutually orgasmic experience for both the male and female. It is hard to convince people that we should be going about sex differently because what could be wrong with the way it is? So, we need women speaking out and telling us about their actual experiences. How we go about sex and the expectations we have about sex and orgasm could be so much better. We need to hear more and more women getting real about this and pointing out the unequal playing field.
Bravo, Alison Stevenson! Every time one woman speaks out it makes it that much easier for another, and if we get enough we might have a full-on Orgasm Equality Revolution on our hands!
(and you really should read both her BJ articles - 2015 and 2016. She's also quite funny. Check out her Tumblr)