More Dan Savage - Bein' A Bit Too Gracious To Us Ladies

As I pointed out in my last post, Dan Savage is preaching the good word when it comes to the clit. However, he falls prey to some of the same unfounded notions about female sexuality that many well-meaning, well-educated folks do. They're just too darn gracious towards us ladies. It's as if we were sexual super beings.

Dan Savage answered the following question in another 3 minute video (which you can see HERE "If the clit has twice as many nerves as the penis, then why don't girls get off at the speed of light like guys do?" Well, we created a full length movie largely dealing with a version of this question, and I assure you it is not a simple answer, so I'm not going to judge Savage's answer too harshly. What I will say is that he is off on a couple points -

1) I know we've all heard it a million times, but the idea that women hit a sexual peak in their 30's and men hit one in their late teens - is a silly notion...no...I take that back slightly. There are statistics that were used to come up with these peak ages, so it's not completely ridiculous. However, I take issue with the pop-science idea of an innate "sexual peak" that is so casually spoken of in serious discussions of male and female sexuality. There are important social influences on when men and women begin to experiment, to orgasm, and how their perception of sex changes through their life, but these influence are too often ignored (I'm talking to you Dan Savage)when we speak about "sexual peaks."

2) "A woman is physiologically sexually insatiable. A woman who is having orgasms can continue to have orgasms ...in-def-in-ite-ly. That is amazing, right?! Guys can't do that." - Dan Savage. Okay, some serious clinical orgasm research (Master's and Johnson) has shown us that women can physically exist in a high state of arousal after an orgasm for a bit longer than men - who generally drop right down to zero when done. This ability allows women to quickly move into another orgasm if appropriately stimulated immediately following orgasm. So, yes, women have a greater ability to have multiple orgasms, but an indefinite amount of orgasms in one sitting - that's an exaggeration.
Arousal is the tensing of muscles and congestion of blood. Orgasm is the sudden and rhythmic release of that. As far as I can tell from the limited amount of research that has been done on this is that sometimes a women blows all her tension and congestion in one orgasm. Sometimes she has some left to blow and so orgasms a second, third or more times. Sometimes her multiple orgasms are so close together that they feel like one long orgasm (status orgasmus). Either way, for these uniquely female orgasms we're talking about a minute to 2 minutes for "status orgasmus," or a series of multiple orgasms that may take place over a matter of several minutes. Yes these are longer than recorded in men, but they aren't so crazy as to be called indefinite. They are not like the faked orgasms in porn or the stuff of sexual legend.

Making overarching, exaggerated statements based more in folklore than in scientific research, must feel okay as long as it's flattering and not disparaging towards women. I, however, find this kind of misinformation as problematic as the more damaging, less friendly kind (telling people that clitoral orgasms are immature and will lead to an unfulfilled sex life - for instance.) The problem is that ignoring physiological realities about female sexuality breeds all kinds of confusion and ignorance and is what got us here in the first place. Sorry to be such a nit-pick, Mr. Dan Savage, but nit-picking sexual pop culture is kinda my thing. I nit-pick because I love.

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