Cosmo SSL Review - Jan 2013 #1

Waiting in line during Christmas shopping, Charlie and I saw the Jan 2013 Cosmopolitan Magazine: With Bonus Big Fat Astrology Guide to Your Love Life in 2013! So we were thumbing through it, and since we were on a kind of money bleeding splurge anyway, we decided to buy it. I say it was a good buy, too. Not only did I find out that I should be careful who I vent my job frustrations to, but it (as Cosmos always do) also has tons of discussions of female orgasm, which are begging to be SSL critiqued.

In all seriousness, Cosmo is something that young women and teenagers love to get their hands on. It is supposed to be for adult professional women, but honestly, it reads like a spicier version of Seventeen, and a lot of young people get their early learnings about orgasm from it. It is influential in this way, and so I think it should be critiqued harshly and often.

So, as I'm reading this Cosmo, I am noting articles that discuss female orgasm and writing SSL Review posts for each of them. This is the first, and it involves the section called "Confessions."  It's just like YM magazine's "Say Anything" column about readers' most embarrassing moments, and although it's more sexy, the things discussed as "embarrassing" are just as juvenile.

Anyway, Christine K. writes in saying that after a few dates with a guy, she invited him over for a night in to watch some movies, which she said "we both knew was code for hooking up." Ol' Christine K. was cleaning up the apartment furiously the day of, and had stuffed all her random knickknancks into her bedside table. Well, the lovebirds were all snuggled in her bed about to start watching a movie, when her man asked where the remote was...and well let me have her tell you the rest.

I remembered I'd thrown it into the drawer of my bedside table with the other clutter when I was cleaning, so I told him to reach in there and get it, since it was on his side. Well, he grabbed what he thought was my remote control...and pulled out my vibrator! I was so embarrassed, I couldn't even get into the mood after that. #SexFail
-Christine K.
 Come on, since when is the uncovering of a vibrator a Sex Fail? That's a Sex Win! Seriously though, this is a grown ass woman who invited a grown ass man over to her home with the shared assumption that the two will engage in sexual acts. Yet, for some reason, the very idea that this grown, clearly sexual woman might own a vibrator is somehow appalling and humiliating. Is it that he might know that she, gasp, masturbates? Is it that seeing a vibrator might let on to her man friend that she is, my lord, interested in sex (even though she already invited him over for what she and he both know is for a sexual encounter)? It just seems exceedingly silly and ridiculous that a woman would be so mortified by a potential lover finding her vibrator; so mortified in fact that she completely lost interest in the sexual encounter. I mean, really, finding a vibrator should get the party started, not ruin the mood. I think this just goes to show how awkward our society still is about women and our endeavors into our own sexual pleasure.

It's unfortunate that a magazine supposedly promoting female sexual confidence would publish a letter about the finding of a vibrator by a potential male sex partner in a section about dirty secrets and embarrassing events. It just lets all the women (and particularly the very young women) reading this know that masturbating or taking your sexual pleasure into your own hands is so strange and mortifying, that it's a #SexFail. I'd call this a #CosmoFail

This article gets 1 vulva. It only misses the 0 vulva rating because it acknowledges that women own vibrators.



Random Hite Report 3

It's been a lovely Christmas this 2012, so lovely in fact, that I don't feel like spending much time on writing. That's why I made Charlie type while I read a page from The Hite Report. He is absolutely the better typer, so it was a good and quick choice. And so this, my friends, is the third installment of "Random Hite Report!!" As you know, I love the Hite Report, and frankly, I think everyone needs to read it. I think that reading the thoughts and experiences of these women is useful and important; particularly because even 40 years later they are still so relevant to what's happening in the sexual lives of modern women. Read it - that's all I'm sayin'.

As always, this is one page of the book, flipped to randomly, so it may begin and end abruptly. Enjoy the read.

Pg. 62 The Hite Report Dell. 1976.

mutual activities. Perhaps in the future, we will be able to feel we have the right to enjoy masturbation too - to touch, explore, and enjoy our own bodies in any way we desire, not only when we are alone but also when we are with another person. "The importance of masturbation," as one woman put it, "is really to love and care for yourself totally, as a natural way of relating to your own body. It is a normal activity that would logically be a part of any woman's life."  

"Do you enjoy masturbating?" 

Most women said they enjoyed masturbation physically (after all, it did lead to orgasm), but usually not psychologically.

    Psychologically, they felt lonely, guilty, unwanted, selfish, silly, and generally bad. Other words that were frequently used included "uncomfortable, adrift, uneasy, pathetic, ashamed, empty, cheap, dirty, self-centered, silly, disgusted," and "self-conscious." as one woman said, "Too me, masturbation seems lonely, childish, self-absorbed; everything I'd rather not have as part of my sex experience. I do it sometimes, but I wouldn't brag about it in public." Other women gave similar opinions:   
    "Physically, I enjoy it, especially if I'm not in a hurry. Psychologically, I sometimes enjoy it but often I feel too self conscious or embarrassed or even guilty, to really get into it. I don't masturbate too often, because I'm sort of prejudiced in favor of sex with a partner, and I'm living with a man (my husband) from whom I'm almost never separated and who usually wants to have sex with me as often as I want to with him. But sometimes I just feel like masturbating and sometimes if we fuck and I don't come, I masturbate afterwards, and sometimes we like for him to hold me while I masturbate, but not really all that often. I probably only masturbate about once a month at most."
    "Yes, I enjoy masturbating. Psychologically I'm not sure. Its not so much that I feel I am doing something 'dirty,' but it does tend to reinforce my fears of being


Play by David Banner - The SSL Review

This is my first time SSL reviewing a song. I've thought about it many times, but for some reason I've just never done it. There are mounds upon mounds of songs out there that I would have to give negative SSL reviews for...I mean men can't get enough of singing about how awesome their own dicks are at getting ladies off. However, I recently heard a non-radio cut of the 2005 song "Play" by David Banner, and I felt compelled to give this dirty ass song a good SSL review...that's right, I said good.

When I used to hear this all the time on the radio back when it first came out, I didn't think much of it because the most awesome part of the song, the word "clit," was edited out (the radio version is changed in a few ways). It just seemed like a song about wanting to get a lady wet (in the vag area - if ya catch my drift). However, I now realize it's a song about encouraging a lady to "play with" or "work" her clit till she comes. That's really all the song talks about. There's no talk about him making her come with his big cock or any of those things we usually hear in a sexy song. It's just about a girl sweating hard, masturbating her clit, and getting all slippery down there, but the most amazing part is simply that it says the word "clit." Of all the insane amount of explicit songs out there about females doing sexual things, only a handful ever say clit, and in songs sung by men, it's even less. You'd think the clit would be pretty prominent since it is the female pleasure organ and should be as much a part of sexy music as the dick clearly is, but it's just not the case. The other fantastic aspect of this song is that the guy singing obviously likes what's going on. It's a hot song, so it gives off the idea that a woman playing with her clit till she comes is hot.

I just thought I should give this song the shout-out it deserves for its accurate discussions of what might cause female orgasm, its use of the word clit, and for sexifying the idea of women working their clits to orgasm during a partnered sex act. This is a rare and progressive song. It's just sad, though, that society couldn't reap the benefits even with all the radio play it got because the word "clit" was censored, thus losing the whole meaning of the song.


Some Pics From Our Final Shoot

Me and Barnaby's cat on set
So, Science, Sex and the Ladies is, well, like 95% done. It's all edited; the insane amount of compositing is finished; sound effects and credits are all done, and the score is written. We will be recording the score in February and getting a final sound sweetening, but other than that the movie is done. Well, that was until we looked at it again a couple weeks ago, and just could no longer abide by a small part in the early movie. It always bothered us, but suddenly, it just seemed like it dragged the movie down in an unacceptable way. So, we did the only thing we could; we threw together a bad-ass re-shoot in about 10 days. It was merely a 3 minute scene, but it pulled the first part of the movie together better than we even hoped for. The even better part was that we shot this in a real set (created in Barnaby's living room), so didn't have any green screen post work to do.

The scene took place at slumber party in the late 80's, with mom and dad having a frank discussion with the girls about the physiology of a female orgasm. Alicia Walker, Elle Beals, and Emma Weber all played our slumber partiers. I got to be the mom, and Barnaby got to be the Dad. Sarah Murrell was our spectacular (and I really truly mean that) make-up artist. Mr. Jake Fritz boomed for us, and our nephew Drake joined us as much needed additional crew.

This was a fun shoot, not just because of the sweet 80's stylings, but because the people were great. Thanks to all our cast and crew. This is the actual, truly true, final shoot for SSL, and you all made it a great one! Enjoy the pics.

Alicia enjoying a brew and some sweet keyboarding on set (she was allowed to drink because she didn't have a line, was over 21, and is super cool)

Barnaby, looking like the sensitive and knowledgeable father he is. His profession is probably in psychology.

Elle rockin' a rad 'do

The whole cast

Emma, with stale popcorn and awesome crimped hair

Jake Fritz, our boom operator, eating gross prop popcorn and looking good

Charlie and Drake working hard

Borowicz's looking suave


New Girl: Season 2 Episode 9 - The SSL Review

I was watching the latest episode of the TV show New Girl recently, and as luck would have it, there was a storyline about female orgasm. Of course the word orgasm was never said, being that this was on network television, but this episode is clearly a piece of media that contributes to the cultural understanding of female sexual release. More simply, I'm saying this episode is more than eligible for an SSL review.

A little about New Girl. It's a network sitcom starring Zooey Deschenel, and it took me about 5 or 6 episodes to get into. It wasn't that funny at first, and honestly if I didn't have Netflix and wasn't able to watch all the first episodes in like 2 hours; if I would have had to wait a week between each episode, I would have just stopped after the 1st or 2nd. I didn't though, and I think it's pretty funny now. It's come into its own, and largely because of Schmidt (Max Greenfield), who happens to be the character that my SSL review revolves around.

Some background on Schmidt; he's a dude that values expensive taste in his clothing, decor, food, personal beauty products, etc. He's kind of a shallow ass in that way, but he's also a man that values the emotional side of friendship, thoughtful consideration, good social manners and cleanliness. He's actually pretty awesome in this other way. Schmidt also believes he is a connoisseur of the ladies. The clues in the show thus far have indicated that he is phenomenal in bed. There seems to be nothing that is off limits when it comes to enjoying the pleasures of the flesh. He is open to all things and all knowledge. His endeavors are often made out to be over the top weird, vocal, costume-y, and quite pleasing to the ladies.

In this episode, after a raucous night of sex, with his boss, she tells him that she wasn't even close to "getting there," and he is immediately devastated. I think he actually says his whole world view is broken now.

Luckily, there is a dinner party going on outside his bedroom door which includes a lesbian gynecologist, and Schmidt being Schmidt immediately titles her a "va-genius" and asks her for advice - which she agrees to give if he makes an appointment at her office. He makes the appointment, goes, and in the office the Va-genius pulls out a diagram to help show him what she normally would do to please a lady. The audience sees clearly that this is a picture of the inner female reproductive system, but we no longer see the picture or where they are pointing when they start talking.

Let me reiterate. This picture is all vag, cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes. There are no outer female genitals at all, and the straight on, floating-baby-making-parts style of the pic does not let on that the clitoris or labia even exist. Anyway, Va-genius begins to instruct using the picture, but Schmidt takes over, telling her all the things he likes to do. He goes on a passionate rant that involves all kinds of outrageously vague euphemisms, like "tying a ribbon because it's birthday time." There is no way to know what the hell he means, but what we do know is that the Va-genius is getting all hot and bothered. Pulling herself together, she confirms his belief that he too is a Va-genius, and that he should do just fine pleasing a woman. In the end, he and his boss decide that the problem is that they just aren't clicking because they're not in love.

So....what, my friends, does this insinuate about what is needed for a woman to orgasm? This episode's message, in my opinion, is a much clearer message than we usually get from media about female orgasm. Every indication is that manipulating the vagina is what gets a lady there. There was no mention, not even a slight insinuation, that the clitoris exists. It was all vagina, all the time. Now, granted, a lot of people use the word vagina, incorrectly I might add, when they mean vulva. So, I might have given New Girl a very slight benefit of the doubt, but I can't because when the "Va-geniuses" are discussing how to "get a woman there," they where showing how to do that on a picture of the inner reproductive orgasms only. They could have left the picture as vague as the euphemisms they were using, but they didn't. They specifically linked female orgasm to the vagina. The clit had nothing to do with it according to this show.

It doesn't matter to me whether any of this was done for laughs or because of something like decency laws. No matter the reason behind it, it is misleading, incorrect, and ultimately shitty for our cultural understanding of the female orgasm (although it's also a completely status quo way of speaking about it). There was a clear insinuation that women orgasm through vaginal stimulation (although it is quite murky what is stimulating the vagina in those wierd euphemisms - hand? toy? penis?...who knows). There was no mention of the clitoris at all, and since the overwhelming culture sense is (incorrectly) that vaginal stimulation causes orgasm, this episode did nothing but heavily reinforce that misinformtion.

I'm giving this episode a 0 vulva rating. I'm particularly saddened because the Schmidt character lends itself so well to being the douchy dude who unexpectedly schools everyone on his actually quite progressive understanding of the clitoris and the female orgasm. Instead, he is nothing but status quo cultural ignorance, deceptively disguised as sexual genius. It's maddening really.


Maybe Our Orgasm Experiences Are More Alike Than We'd Think, Ladies

Hello, as I said before I feel like I should be highlighting blog posts and articles out there that are adding positively to the effort for orgasm equality. So, today I'd like to point all of you to a blog post by the fantastic blogger of at In Bed With Married Women. 

She wrote a blog, strangely titled Title This Post Contest, about her frustration of being a woman who needs clitoral stimulation to orgasm in a world where it seems so many other women just come at the drop of a hat. Now, full disclosure, she mentions one of my posts in her blog, but I promise, that's not why I'm singling her post out. Frankly, I thought her post was brave, and it really made me feel hopeful.

I think we ladies need to talk more bravely and openly about our real, physical experiences and about how we feel about our own experience versus what we expected our experiences to be. We need to be honest about how frustrated we sometimes get, and how confused we sometimes are, and  how much we compare our orgasm lives (or lack there of) to what we believe other women's to be. I think if we all start letting our guard down more and speaking honestly to each other, then we just might see that we all have more similar experiences than we ever thought. We might see that these things we feel frustrated about and bad about, are less personal problems and more larger cultural problems. Anyway, thank you Jill from In Bed With Married Women for creating a courageous awesome post.

Here's the beginning of her post, which I like, but I suggest you read the whole post, especially since she did something awesome like offer a vibrator prize to the reader who best named that post - as long as that reader was one who also needed the ol' clit stim.
So I was going through your responses to the questions about clit-vag distance and its relation/non-relation to your propensity to come via straight-on intercourse alone (Woo! Sexy talk. Is it hot in here?) and now I am just...depressed. Or possibly pissed off. At the very least, I am most certainly miffed.
Why? Because of those among you who can have an orgasm--like no problem--with no other kind of hand stimulation, mouth assistance, divine intervention--nothing. Practically all the time.
For example, in response to "Do you come easily, sometimes or never via intercourse alone?"

Anonymous commented:
"rather easily and usually multiple times"

And Naomi bragged answered:
"always come easily, no fingers or appliances needed (or even wanted, too distracting from the main event)"

For me, coming from just fucking alone has happened--maybe--five times. In my life. And that's rounding up.
It's biological tyranny, I say.
For men and the rare lucky chick who just needs a little in-and-out to come "rather easily and usually multiple times," let me explain. I think porn and romance novels and the in-and-out chicks have skewed what we think is a "normal" sexual response. Despite what we see and read all the damn time, the majority of women need some sort of extra stimulation to have an orgasm. The vast majority of women. That's just how it is.

Several men and women, who I consider to be generally enlightened, have mentioned variations of "it just takes the right man"--which is, I think, only true to a certain extent. Yes, some men are much better lovers. Yes, some men's parts are more compatible with your own. And yes, some men will get you so hot you could practically come from their gaze. All of these are good and can help.

However, in most women, the clit is where things are happening. But in a cruel twist of nature, Today's Generally Accepted Fuck Moves are happening in the vagina, which is annoyingly close to the clit, but...not...quite...there. Men, picture if your main sensory pleasure center was, say, on your perineum but you were expected to get to your bliss via regular old boning. You could get close. Your balls might rub against there occasionally, or you might figure out some crazy-ass position that sort of almost did the trick. But it wouldn't the kind of direct you-are-there-stimulation you'd need.


Ladies Like To Watch Men Doin' It, Or At Least I Do

Hey ya'll, I just got inspired (thanks DaveJ) to say that I think gay porn is pretty hot, and sometimes I prefer it over straight porn. Why? I will tell you why.

1. Lots of dudes with hot muscly bodies (unless it's some gross 80's gay porn with gross dudes)
2. Lots of lovely hard man junk
3. Complete lack of female faces covered in jizz
4. No fake boobs, in fact no boobs at all - cause honestly, they're kind of boring.

For real though, straight porn often has ugly dudes and women who...let's say...don't look like they are really having a good time. Gay porn is just dirty, hot sex without all the gross, boring, painful, and not in any way orgasmic things that happen to women in straight porn. Plus, it focuses on male bodies, which - surprise - is what I, as a straight woman, am into.

I know I'm not the only one. Holla if you're with me ladies!


The Entity of the "Female Orgasm" in Comic Form

Barnaby, who is always watching out for things that might be of interest to me for this blog, sent me the comic below (Originally posted here by Tom Tomorrow). It was a while back when he sent it, but I was just checking through my list of blog ideas, and saw it sitting there, so I thought I'd use it today.

It's a play on the abortion and birth control debates that have been bouncing around, and makes fun of the sense that it's largely men discussing and legislating these very specifically female issues. This time, though, these men are talking about the female orgasm.

There's nothing specific about the content that really strikes me. It's just a funny little comic with a strong political edge. What I want everyone to think about, though, is the idea of the "female orgasm" that exists not just in this comic, but in our culture at large. The "female orgasm" is often spoken of quite differently than the simple, physical, clearly defined, and clearly understood male orgasm. Our culture often discusses the "female orgasm" as something more like an entity than a physical response; a unique, mysterious, and in a weird way - kinda unreal entity. Yes, this "mysterious entity" feeling that surrounds the female orgasm is exaggerated in this comic for laughs, but it was only able to be exaggerated because it really does exist.

I just wanted to note that this misunderstanding of the female orgasm as something mysterious and vastly different than the male orgasm is so a part of our culture, that we rarely even notice. As I've said before many a time, the female orgasm is no less mysterious or less achievable or more fickle than the male orgasm. It only seems that way because we approach it so ridiculously in partnered sex. So, I guess what I'm saying is that since jokes about the female orgasm being a figment of one's imagination are still real enough to be funny, it means our culture still has a long way to go yet.


This is something you learn to do.

I caught an article on BlogHer that I thought was pretty good. I thought I should start taking more time to look for and highlight things out there on the ol' interwebs that I think are positive contributions to the Orgasm Equality Movement, as I like to call it...it sounds official, doesn't it?

The article is by Lady J at Ladywanderlust and it's titled "Surprising Sex Issue That Shouldn't Exist." While talking with a friend, a cool, interesting lady, the author  finds out that her friend has never orgasmed. She can't believe that this is still such a problem in our modern world.
I don't know if I am naive, but I am a little surprised that in 2012 there are still guilt-related sex issues roaming around. We've had a Sexual Revolution, the PlayBoy empire, the birth of YouPorn.com, the Jersey Shore and Fifty Shades of Grey ... yet some women still carry guilt. And they don't talk about it: they just accept that maybe they can't/won't have orgasms. 
Now, of course I would argue that the 60's Sexual Revolution didn't do much for female sexuality beside allowing women more freedom to play the female role in the already established male sexual culture that already existed, and I would say it did very little in giving women freedom, opportunity, and information to help us become orgasming, fantasizing, sexual beings. I digress though. You can enjoy that argument more fully in the movie.

My point, though, is that it doesn't surprise me too much that women still struggle to orgasm even though we are perfectly physically capable to do so. I think she's right that guilt has something to do with it, particularly guilt about our right to masturbate and our right to do during partnered sex what we need to do in order to get our orgasm...but I think there is a larger issue about the cultural understanding we ladies get about what an orgasm is. It seems as though we should just get one from having sex with the right dude. We don't easily learn about our clit and its place in our orgasm. We don't learn about it in school, or in the large majority of porn, or in much of the cultural depictions of sex. That is where this article impressed me. I thought the authors advice to her friend was right on.
Now, I felt the need to step in: "This is something you learn to do, not expect to surprisingly happen. Everyone is different, so thinking the next person you sleep with will be able to guess exactly what you like will not happen. You need to tell him, or at least encourage when he's in the right direction. Think of yourself as a cheerleader, not a coach."

Olive was silent. But I knew she was listening. Maybe she was impressed I made a sports analogy.

"I think you need to figure out what you like on your own, first. Do not get paranoid. Lock your bedroom door, put some furniture in front of it, whatever. I think it will help ... do you understand the general idea of it?"

Olive snorted, "Yes, I think I know how to do that. I just get nervous about my fucking family running around without boundaries."

"I laughed. "Ok, maybe you should get yourself some help ... of the battery operated variety?"

Olive laughed, "If you can't come right out and say it, how are you going to help me?" (the range of my word prudeness is vast, and most of my friends know and make fun of me for it. Bastards)

"A vibrator. Go buy one. You don't even have to do it in person. Go to adameve.com and order one, to come to your house, in discrete packaging, and then figure it out. Some woman can be very picky. Try different positions, fantasize, don't give up because it's taking awhile. And don't put it on the highest speed because you think that will work the fastest -- you will vibrate your clit off." 
I particularly like the statement, "This is something you learn to do, not expect to surprisingly happen." It's true. Her advice is simple. Basically, she told her to masturbate, but if more of us were friends or had friends like these two women  - who were brave enough to talk about this issue plainly and honestly - then we'd all be better off.

Thanks Ladywanderlust!


A Thanksgiving Video Repost

Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm re-posting the very special Thanksgiving video that we made last year as part of our Kickstarter campaign (our successful Kickstarter campaign, I might add). I think this video will be an SSL Turkey Day tradition. I mean, it's got pumpkin pie and the word "binner," so it's pretty much the best intersection of Thanksgiving and female sexual response out there.

I'd also like to mention that as I'm writing this, Charlie, Barnaby (my fellow members of AnC Movies and fellow SSL directors), and I are having an AnC meeting, and I asked them to list off some things they are thankful for. Number 1 is clearly gossip, and don't you dare judge us; you know you love gossip. Number 2 is cats (there are 5 between the 3 of us). I guess that pretty much sums up us as a group; shallow, gossip-hungry, and cat obsessed.

Enjoy the video and have a fantastic Thanksgiving day - however you happen to be spending it.


Sex Help Books...Why Do I Still Have Hope?

Chillin' and illin' at a bookstore this fine weekend, I was drawn towards the Sex and Relationships section as is my tendency. For years, while researching for this movie, I've always checked up on this section. I figure I should check up on what the current advice is the ol' s-e-x. Actually I'm not that super interested in most of the info in those books - most of it is probably fine. I'm just always quite interested in the part about intercourse and female orgasms. Specifically, I wanted to see was if any of the authors will let their lips flap enough to outright say that there is no physical, recorded evidence for orgasms that result solely from stimulation of the inside of the vagina (yes it has been shown to cause ejaculation in some circumstances, but not orgasm). That means intercourse is pretty crap for female orgasm, and nobody seems to want to say that outright. I know there might be some disagreement from my readers about this assertion, but if you want to get my full explanation of this, check out THIS POST I wrote.

Honestly, though, these authors are supposed to be experts in the field of sexuality and orgasm, and I would like to expect more from these books. Being that there is a specific set of physical events that define an orgasm, and that there is no evidence that simply stimulating the inside of the vagina has ever caused those specific events - doesn't it seem odd that books on sex and orgasms never seem to mention that? The clitoris is the organ of female sexual pleasure as much as the penis is the organ male sexual pleasure. That should be a clear theme in these books. Now, I will say these authors often give a gentle nod towards this truth. They will talk about how important the clitoris is and may accurately describe how one might achieve an orgasm by stimulating it, and they may even take pains to point out that the majority of women don't seem to orgasm during vaginal intercourse (in surveys only about 30% of women say they can). But do they ever mention that an orgasm (not some oo-y goo-y spiritual definition of an orgasm - but the real physiological definition of an orgasm) has never been recorded as a result of purely vaginal stimulation (that means no additional stimulation of the clitoral glans)?  Many a women have claimed casually and not so casually that it's happened, but it's never been recorded. I think that's important thing to inform readers about, but it's as if the sex researchers and sex advice guru's are just not bold enough to say it.  It's like it's okay to downplay intercourse's part in female orgasm a little bit, but not too much. The boat can't be rocked that hard. Even if they emphasize the importance of clitoral stimulation for female orgasm, there is also always at least a little section on what kind of intercourse positions help with female orgasm or that hit the g-spot best. There is always a sense that lucky, awesome women, or women who are sexually adventurous, or sexually confident enough can just have an orgasm from a little in-out action. It's like they all just keep saying, "You, you frigid, pathetic, barely sexual, freaks just have too many sexual hang-ups. You haven't been in the right position with the right man, with the right music on, and just don't have the right mindset or something. Keep trying."

None of these stupid books ever just say, "hey if for some crazy reason you can have an orgasm through intercourse without ever getting any kind of even the tiniest stimulation of the clitoral glans...awesome. You should call a researcher and go physically record the first ever. For all others, you're going to have to figure out how to stimulate your clitoris while having intercourse if you want an orgasm during intercourse in any sort of regular way." Simple.

With the exception of 5 Minutes to Orgasm Everytime you Make Love, which was written in the 1998, the only books I've ever seen that really say that (The Hite Report on Female Sexuality by Shere Hite and For Yourself by Lonnie Garfield Barbach are the two of my faves) were made in the 70's; after Masters and Johnson;s groundbreaking studies about female orgasm but before the G-Spot. In about 81 The G-Spot and Other Recent Discoveries about Human Sexuality by Wipple, Ladas, and Perry came out and introduced the G-spot to the world. We haven't been able to give up on the vagina giving us an orgasm ever since, but I keep checking the new advice books just in case one of them has enough labe to just say it out.


Random Hite Report 2

You are in for a treat, my dear readers...more RANDOM HITE REPORT!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is the second in the series so far. You can see the first one HERE. I do love the sweet, interesting, sad, lovely, intriguing look into the women's lives who were brave enough to pour their sexual self into Shere Hite's detailed survey. I can't recommend this book enough. It is still relevant almost 40 years later.

The page you will be reading is a bunch of women's answers to a question about if they felt frustrated when they were about to orgasm but didn't because of removal of stimulation or something similar. Spoiler alert: they did. Anyway. Remember this is only one page so it gets abruptly cut off at the end.


Pg. 148 The Hite Report Dell. 1976.
"Yes, I feel furious and insist my partner continue. It is the ultimate in frustration. It makes me feel like I could commit murder."
"I feel frustrated and disappointed and sometimes physically ill, and hurt and rejected emotionally. However, I usually hold my emotions together by trying to reason with myself."
"If the stimulation has been sufficiently long and strong, I feel discomfort in my genitals and down the back of my legs. Then I'm uncomfortable for hours."
"This happened repeatedly during the early part of my marriage before I turned myself completely off as a means of survival. Now I'm somewhat resigned that this is what happens with men, and don't expect to climax. So, it's not too bad. I haven't gotten to that 'just about to' point for a long time."
"No orgasm is frustrating and worse than no sex at all. It makes me feel depressed and discouraged. I would give up a partner I didn't orgasm with."
"If I am really aroused, and don't have an orgasm, I am frustrated to tears."
"It's okay without sometimes if I am mentally into it. Otherwise, not having an orgasm is disastrous, disgusting, and depressing."
"I feel a great frustration when I don't have an orgasm, which destroys all other pleasure for me. Especially if I am very aroused, and still don't have an orgasm, I often cry as an alternate form of release."
"Not having orgasm hurts."
"In the beginning of my sexual experiences I didn't mind, but after a while, after a few experiences with guys who just cared about their orgasms, or were ignorant enough to believe all women would just come at the sight of their penis, I got disgusted, and now it makes me feel extremely frustrated. I hate the man and will never see him again."
"Yes, frustrated, angry, frightened, insecure, and humiliated."
"Frustration comes in the form of abdominal cramps, I don't know whether in the uterus, ovaries, or where, but around there, but it also involved bitchiness, Irritabl-..."


Boogie Nights - The SSL Review

Charlie and I recently got on a Paul Thomas Anderson kick. We re-watched all his movies before we headed out to see his newest one The Master. It was enjoyable because we both do enjoy a good P.T. Anderson flick, and as luck has it, one of his movies met the criteria for an SSL review. Boogie Nights made it, unsurprisingly, since it revolves around the porn industry of the 70's. As an overview, I like this movie a lot. It's long - as most P.T. Anderson movies are - but it has great characters and keep the audience fully engaged throughout. I do recommend it. The SSL review is more mixed.

An SSL review, as you know, critiques the depictions and discussions of female sexual response. Boogie Nights was an interesting case. There was 1 depiction and then there was a speech that struck me yet really doesn't have a depiction or discussion of female sexual response, but I'll talk about it none the less.

The one depiction of female orgasm is a tricky one to critique. It was during a porn scene between Marky Mark (and yes, I will always call him Marky Mark) as Dirk Diggler and Julianne Moore as Amber Waves. It's his first on-screen scene. She's a boss. He comes in for a job interview, and well, they start doing it. She obviously has a sweet spot in her heart for Dirk Diggler, and she's very encouraging and nice. They get to the intercourse after some kissing, and she is laying on her back on the desk, and he is standing between her leaning forward. She never seems to be obviously grinding against him, so any orgasm would seem to come from just the ol' in and out. She moans and vocalizes like a porn star (as expected), but easily turns that moaning on and off when she has to deal with the technical realities of acting in a scene on film, so I feel like that gives the clue that she is not really orgasming, and reinforces the idea that women fake in porn.

However, I think there are more complicated messages here. As the two get into the doin' it, the sense is that this is a little more pleasurable for her than most porn shoots. I say this because of subtle things like little looks she gives him and because in the end, she tells him to just come inside of her, even though the plan was to pull out and come on her breasts. He does this, and if you know anything about porn, you know that this is a bit unacceptable. Almost all porn has the "money shot" where we actually see the ejaculation. She, being a veteran porn star, knows this and yet intentionally wanted this intimate act of him releasing inside of her; presumably because, for whatever reason, she was particularly enjoying herself with him.

So, she's liking it. Why she's liking it is the question. Of course, one reason is he's a cute, fresh-faced, nice studmuffin, and she's just taken a kindly liking to him. I think that's one part, but I think the scene was used to point out some other things out about ol' Dirk Diggler. Specifically that he has all the qualities a man who sexually pleases women is supposed to have. The movie already established early on that he has an extraordinarily large penis, so that's #1. In this scene, he screws her for what we are meant to perceive as a long time. While they're doing it, the film runs out in the camera. The crew seems like this is unexpected, and it's a bit of an odd inconvenience to have to switch out film reals during the sex act. We see he has staying ability, so that's #2. Then after he comes inside Amber Waves, the crew gets a bit worried because they don't have the money shot, and they are discussing how they can work this out, when Mr. Dirk Diggler speaks up and simply says something like, "If you guys need the money shot, then I can just do it again." The crew seems surprised, impressed, and pleased, and the scene ends. So, he can go again and again with little to no recovery period, so that's #3.

This scene is about a sort of "faked" sex act, so deciphering what it insinuates to the audience about female sexual pleasure is not straightforward. However, I think to some degree it reinforces the idea that men are able to "give" women orgasms through fucking, and the qualities that help them do that are big penises, the ability to screw for long periods of time, and the ability to start again right after they come. These are also just good for the aesthetics of porn. Plus, the staying power and the going again and again is good for the technical realities of shooting a film where the star needs to have a hard on for long periods of time (especially in the pre-Viagra days of the 70's). So, it also just shows he's an ideal porn star. However, I also think it dually works at keeping up the lie, so much a part of our culture, that women orgasm through stimulative friction in the vagina (which a big, filling dick is assumed to help out with) and long extended periods of intercourse (which staying power and back to back sexcapades is assumed to help with). Truth is we simply need clitoral stimulation, people, but I digress. 

The other point of discussion I'd like to get into is a little more philosophical. I think this movie, in some ways, is about the hope, excitement, and even the purity of the porn industry of the early 70's. The movie gives a sense of some truly good intentions and a hope that the kind of freedom and education that porn can provide could change the world. Dirk Diggler gave a speech that summed that up and stirred something in me when he won a porn award in the height of his career and during the height of the porn industry optimism within this movie.  
Wow. I don't know what to say. I guess...Wow. I guess the only thing I can say...is I'll promise to keep rockin' and rollin'...and making better films. It seems we make these movies, and sometimes, you know...they're considered filthy or something by some people...but I don't think that's true. These movies we make, they can be better. They can help. They really can. I mean that. We can always do better. I'm going to keep trying if you guys keep trying. Let's keep rockin' and rollin', man.
When I heard it, it reminded me of the kind of optimism we feel towards porn in our movie (Science, Sex and the Ladies). Just a ol' Dirk said, I think porn has the potential to help. We discuss in the movie how porn never received the kind of level headed feminist criticism that other aspects of our culture received during the 70's (things like school sports, places of work, education, etc). Truth was, feminists as a group were split down the middle on how they felt about porn so heavily that even speaking about it was hugely divisive. It made the topic of porn so hot-button for feminists that there simply was no progress, only in-fighting. In our movie, we discuss the possibility that we can still make porn better through thoughtful feminist critique and strategic pressure. This very influential part of our sexual culture could lead the way in creating realistic depictions of female sexual release. As it is now, the depictions of female orgasm and pleasure in porn are almost always faked and terribly unrealistic. It is a roadblock in the trail towards orgasm equality, when it could be a leader. I know it may seem weird to see porn as so hopeful, but Dirk Diggler's optimism reignited the hopefulness I have; the kind I hope is reflected in our movie. Let's keep rockin and rollin' man.

I give this movie 2 1/2 vulvas. It's pretty status quo. Nothing really progressive, and it could be scene to reinforce some of the main misconceptions about female orgasm and men's part in female orgasm. On the brighter side it made me feel kinda hopeful, so that's why it's got an extra 1/2 vulva.




I usually write about female sexual response; how we learn about it, what the media insinuates about it, how we can improve societal understanding of it - you know, that sort of thing. Today I just want to encourage all my American readers out there to vote tomorrow. I feel pretty damn strong about my responsibility to vote. I sure hope you are registered, and if not, please get registered for the next election. If you are registered, please make the time to vote.

I know there is a lot to be disillusioned and cynical about in our various levels of government, but come on - what the hell do you expect, perfection? It's a small group of people trying to make governing decisions that could work for a large country full of people with hugely diverse ideas and visions. It's gonna be messy. Some parts of our government have gotten better, some have gotten worse over the years, but it's still here and there are still a variety of avenues for creating change in areas you disagree with. So, please, please, please don't spout off that all politicians are the same and that you truly don't care. You do care. You care about something...or you're severely depressed - and in that case get some professional help to see you through it...or you are a complete anarchist, and in that case, start putting your money where your mouth is, so to speak , and stop paying taxes or something truly indicative of your type of anarchy.

About 40 to 50% of eligible Americans don't vote, and if you are one of these non-voting Americans, you're doing a great job of letting the worst, most cynical of our politicians know that most Americans don't pay attention, don't affect elections, and ultimately, don't really matter. So, vote, people, vote. It is, quite literally, the very least we can do to participate in running our country.

I just want to reiterate that I've written a blog that does not once say the word "clit" or "clitoris," and that, my friends, is how strongly I feel about you voting.


The Sessions: A Guest SSL Review

This post was created by Barnaby, one of the co-directors of Science, Sex and the Ladies (the movie on which this blog is associated). He happen to see this movie and couldn't help himself from writing an SSL Review. I, of course, love when others get involved in critiquing depictions and discussions of female sexual response in the media, so I welcomed the guest post. Here it is. Enjoy.

Trisha usually does these reviews but she was out of town this week so I thought, what the hell, I’ll be the Dave Davies to her Terry Gross.  Anyway, I got free passes to the new movie The Sessions and decided to bring my friend Lindsay along.   The Sessions is a movie based on a true story about a man named Mark (John Hawkes)  who has been paralyzed from the neck down since childhood.  Mark has never had sex or any sexual contact with any person but he does have feeling in his whole body and can achieve an erection.  Through his work as a writer and poet, he is assigned a story by a local newspaper about sex and the disabled.  While researching the story, Mark decides that he should try to pursue his own sexual identity.  He hires a sexual surrogate, Cheryl (Helen Hunt), to enable him to begin to explore his sexuality.  As part of her sexual surrogacy, Cheryl performs a wide variety of sexual acts upon Mark, but more as a form of informative therapy than just straight prostitution.  The rest of the movie centers around their sessions (get it The Sessions) and their relationship.

As far as the movie itself is concerned, I think its fairly good.  Though he cannot move and is stuck in a prone position throughout the movie, John Hawkes gives a great performance as Mark.  He is in a pitiable position, but we don’t pity Mark; we root for him.  We want him to be able to enjoy sex.  Helen Hunt is also good as the surrogate, relaxed, professional but also conflicted about her growing feelings for Mark.  I also like the non typical way the movie resolves itself though I won’t spoil it here.  However there was one major problem with this movie.

I mean what the hell?  Why does that 60 year old man look like he has the hair of a teenage girl?  You’re a priest not a member of Hanson, I mean really, not ONE gray hair?

Now let’s talk about the sex, because there is a lot to talk about.  One of the central themes of the movie is that everyone, no matter what their disability, should be able to enjoy sex.  Mark is a Catholic and conflicted about having impure thoughts and participating in sinful acts.  To his great credit, Mark’s Priest (William H. Macy) basically tells him go for it, God will understand (I guess that is why the long hair, so that we see he is a sensitive, progressive priest, but sheesh!)  The movie is an interesting exploration of male sexuality.  Mark is very green when it comes to sex.  His parents didn’t discuss it with him and his religion made him avoid it.  It just isn’t a topic that came up a lot in his life.   He is starved for any type of sexual contact but, like most men, he sees intercourse as a passageway to manhood.  Again, this movie is mainly about Mark and his male sexuality but that sexuality is irrevocably linked to female sexuality and female orgasm, and this is where the movie becomes INTERESTING and definitely eligible for an SSL review.

Does this movie portray female sexual response in a realistic way?  I DON’T KNOW!  I say this because every time female sexuality is talked about in the movie the statements can be taken two ways.  Let’s get into the specifics.  Early in the movie, Mark is working on his article about sex and the disabled.  He interviews a woman in a wheelchair.  She talks about how she and her partner have sex.  She says that they can only have intercourse in a position that she calls lateral sideways reverse cowgirl and that even then he can’t get it in that far, but she gets just as excited maybe more so with just nipple stimulation.  Ok, ignoring the obvious limitations that she has being confined to a wheelchair, let’s break this down.  She says they can have intercourse but he can’t get it in that far, implying that if he could get it in further, sex would be better.  On the other hand she says that she gets just as excited from the nipple stimulation which suggests that intercourse is not the end all be all of sex.  This isn’t the only time that intercourse is diminished in its importance.  In another scene Mark is talking to one of his male helpers about intercourse.  The helper says that intercourse is overrated but then says that it is what makes doing it, doing it.  So on the one hand the movie portrays intercourse as just another sexual activity but it also glorifies intercourse as what makes sex, sex.  And it’s fair enough because this is a story from the perspective of a sexual novice and for most men and women the idea that intercourse is sex is widely accepted.  They never say that intercourse is orgasmic for women but they never deny it either.

In another scene, Mark interviews a man in a wheelchair, about oral sex.  He says that he smokes pot to kill his taste buds to help his endurance which is important during cunnilingus.  Where to begin on this one?


Some New Ideas On The Ol' Sexy Costume Situation

HELL-o everyone! Happy Halloween! mwa-ha-ha-ha!

I thought I'd throw up a quick SSL style thought for your Halloween enjoyment. As we all know, 'tis the season for sexy anything costumes for the ladies. Sexy pirate, sexy ninja (fyi - sexy ninjas and sexy pirates don't have as big of a rivalry as regular ol' ninjas and pirates), sexy grandmas, sexy kitchen sink. You name it, and it can be made into a sexy Halloween costume for women (or a funny one for men). 

One might say that being the "sexy" version of a normal costume is a bit boring and overdone, but I'm not gonna hate, not today. Sometimes you just want to find an easy costume, and you also want to be sexy for the party you're going to. I get it. I just think we could make better use of this "sexy" costume craze, so below are my two ideas that I hope you all take with you to your festivities this Halloween season.

1 Mention often to the males you are talking to that you'd like men's costumes to show more skin, and you'd like the men wearing them to have nice bodies. Maybe this small act by many of you ladies out there will get costumers to start making more off the shelf sexy male costumes; and further, maybe it will inspire a bunch of men to hit the gym over the next year so they can rock those new sexy costumes made just for them. One day, with luck, we will be able to walk down the male costume isle and see only sexiness from one end to the other!

2 If you are a lady that chose the "sexy" pre-made costume route, make that shit work for you. Find a nice someone special, lure them in with your sexy costume, get their head between your legs, get off, and then go home...or back to the party...or to pick up some late night Steak 'n' Shake. It's up to you really, but the point is, take this opportunity to enjoy some "me" sex; a little of the no-work, all clit-lovin' kind.  You were unselfish enough to share your sexiness with all those at the party, so don't feel bad. They might try to be mopey or pleading to get some reciprocation, but stick to your guns (the ones attached to your sexy cowgirl costume) ladies - and really enjoy that sexy costume this year!


The Female Orgasm Explained...badly.

Just by chance I wondered onto this webpage (Check it HERE). It's called The Female Orgasm Explained, and frankly, it's a super ignorant explanation. It's not surprising that there is a crap webpage about the female orgasm. I mean, that's more common than not, but I was in the mood to blog about it, and it is a special level of bad, so I thought I'd give you a quick rundown. Here are its sins.

1 To start off, there's just some stupid grammar and spelling issues; like writing "changes" instead of "chances" or "and" instead of "an." It's just unnecessary.
2 It says "The female orgasm goes through four physiological stages," and then lists "excitation," "plateau," "orgasm," and "resolution." These are the stages of the human sexual response cycle created by Masters & Johnson in their groundbreaking 1966 book Human Sexual Response. They are not the stages of a woman's orgasm...since, well, orgasm is one of the stages listed. One might say that the first two stages are involved in arousal; then there's the orgasm; then the final stage is the stage where one gets back to pre-arousal levels.

3 This statement:
In case you haven't realised by now, the penis is an extremely sensitive organ. If she's crying out like the movie, but there are no uncontrolled contractions and spasms about your manhood... she's faking.
That's pretty much bullshit.
Firstly, if a woman were having an orgasm while your penis was in her vagina, it's no guarantee, and frankly, pretty unlikely that the penis would feel the rhythmic pressure.
Secondly, a woman could simply squeeze her PC muscle as rhythmically as she could to make her partner think she was orgasming. It wouldn't fool a scientific investigation, but it might make her partner feel confident that she orgasmed. The PC muscle is the one that spasm's during orgasm.

4 This statement:
Mutual orgasm is essential to procreation. Man and Woman are physically designed to have orgasm to ensure the longevity of the species, but it is also most pleasurable. Male sperm endeavour to swim their way to the ovum to enable fertilisation, but most all sperm lack the stamina to make the entire journey to the ovum unassisted. This is where the female orgasm becomes crucial.
People have long been trying to prove that female orgasm helps with procreation, but it simply isn't the case. Masters and Johnson couldn't find a way that female orgasm helped move sperm to where it needed to be, and Elisabeth A. Lloyd in her book The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution did an in-depth review of all scientific literature on the subject and also concluded that there is no reason to believe the female orgasm helps in any way with conception. 

 So, I guess what I'm saying is don't trust the info on that page.


Yeah, You Heard Me, Vaginal Stimulation Hasn't Been Shown To Cause Orgasm: A Defense

*It's 3/8/2021, and I wrote this almost a decade ago in 2012. It's all still completely relevant, and I stand by what it says - well worth the time to read in my opinion. However it doesn't specifically address a theory about 'vaginal orgasm' that has become incredibly popular since then. I recently wrote a post HERE that addresses this incorrect but widely touted idea that the inner part of the clit was discovered in 1998 (it wasn't) and that there is new evidence this inner part is the reason for vaginal orgasm (there isn't). Same grasp at trying to explain the cause of a phenomenon that is desperately hoped to exist but doesn't actually seem to...it's just a new decade and a fresh, new 'reason' to fill headlines.*

I'm going to address a common criticism of my writing; women telling me that the description of female orgasm I put forth doesn't describe their personal experience. I actually think that my way of discussing orgasm does include more women than it might seem at first glance; it's just that our language of orgasm is different, and I don't usually address that properly. The problem begins with the controversial and seemingly divisive statement I often throw out there; I often outright say that female orgasms arise from clitoral stimulation, and not from stimulative friction on the inside of the vagina. I stand by the statement, but I also understand why it's criticized. It seems to leave out women who say they have "vaginal" or "g-spot" orgasms.

I do stick to a particular definition of orgasm, and I do find that some claims about female orgasms are unsubstantiated through scientific investigation, but in order to explain fully, there is a lot of background that needs to accompany this, and there rarely seems to be enough time or space to include it. To clarify my statement and my meaning is exactly my intention here.

Why I think this is an important discussion to have

 A lot of people have told me, and probably will continue to tell me that I shouldn't be trying to tell women what is and is not an orgasm; I freely admit that I am trying to make the physical definition of an orgasm popular knowledge, but I am not telling women there is only one way to have an orgasm. I am simply trying to encourage the proper use of the word orgasm. When we speak about female orgasm, the word is thrown around to describe all kinds of things that are not orgasms; things like ejaculation, non-orgasmic physical pleasure, or spiritual/emotional highs associated with intercourse. I'm not saying these are undesirable or bad, but I am saying they are not orgasms, and calling them or insinuating that they are orgasms confuses all the women out there who are trying to maneuver their way through a really confusing sexual culture. A willy nilly use of the word "orgasm" leads to the persistence of harmful, misleading misunderstandings of what an orgasm is and how a woman might get one.

There is a need for our culture to finally begin dealing with the female orgasm from a perspective of scientific knowledge; to be clear about what happens physically; to speak about it in realistic and fact based ways. We have too long been wishy washy about what an orgasm is and too all-accepting about any old idea any person has about how a woman might get one. I understand that I am walking a fine line here. I know by pushing a science-based definition on the female orgasm, there will be those who feel as if I am saying anyone who's experience doesn't fit into that definition isn't having a real experience, but I have a different view. I think that having clear definitions does not also have to mean having clear exclusions. I think that the conversation about female orgasm has been so convoluted over the last 60 years that it cannot move forward unless we start discussing it in terms of facts and begin being specific in our language. Change hurts, but I believe this is a change that is necessary. I believe women and society as a whole are fully capable of engaging in this type of discussion; of being accepting while still understanding female orgasm in a scientific and structured way.

So, what is the definition of an orgasm?

Pioneering scientists William Masters and Virginia Johnson (M&J) did the first and most comprehensive observations of how male and female bodies react to sexual arousal and orgasm and released the book Human Sexual Response in 1966. Masters & Johnson's work is still the gold standard of physical orgasm research, and if you want a more detailed physical description of orgasms, check that book out. They showed that males and females basically have the same physical reactions. During arousal, the pelvic muscles begin to tense and blood begins to pool in the genital areas (this pooling causes males to get erections, and it causes women to begin emitting lubrication from our vaginal walls and causes swelling to occur in our visible vulva area and in our clitoral legs, which are hidden deep in our pelvis; and btw women have as much blood pooling in their genitals as men, the male reaction is just - you know - easier to see). Orgasm is the sudden release of the muscle tension and blood pooling that has built up during arousal. For both men and women, the pelvic muscles will release the tension with spasms at a rate of about 1 every .8 seconds. It's very similar in both sexes; it's just that men also usually ejaculate at the same time they orgasm. This ejaculation/orgasm at the same time thing is not a normal occurrence for women. This Masters and Johnson definition is the physiological definition of an orgasm, and is what I refer to when I say orgasm.

What is not an orgasm: The following things are not within the physical definition of orgasm and not what I refer to when I say "orgasm"

A general pleasure during sex; or a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual high that cannot be described by the description of physical orgasms set out by M&J. Orgasm and pleasure are not interchangeable. They can be interconnected, but they are quite simply not the same things. Pleasure without orgasm is absolutely something that can be valued in sexual interactions, but talking about pleasure during sex as if it were an orgasm, doesn't help give women and girls useful cues about what to expect when it comes to what should actually elicit orgasm. We don't confuse orgasm and non-orgasmic pleasure this casually for men, and we shouldn't for women either.

Arousal - In the same vein as above, arousal is not orgasm. What arouses a person is quite unique and has as much to do with the mental aspect as the physical, but the final stimulation needed to push a woman into orgasm is largely the same for all women - clitoral stimulation. Just think of it in terms of how you understand male orgasm. Yes, he could get insanely hard and aroused by watching a naked woman and having her kiss his chest and neck, but it would seem silly to assume that he would orgasm without his penis being touched; even if it's just a little touch, we would expect that he would need it to put him over the edge. It shouldn't be thought of much differently for women.

Ejaculation - Female ejaculation does exist and some women who have them say they find it pleasurable, but it's not an orgasm. Ejaculation and orgasm are physically different events in both men and women; men just happen to usually ejaculate simultaneously at the time of orgasm and (most) women do not.

This is where that oh so revered G-spot comes into this discussion. It is touted in women's magazines and pop culture as some kind of amazing, yet elusive spot that causes earth shattering orgasms...for the lucky few. Unfortunately, that's just plain unsubstantiated. There is clearly physiological evidence of g-spot stimulation causing ejaculation in women, but no physiological evidence of g-spot stimulation causing orgasms (there are plenty of survey's where women say they do have G-spot "orgasms," but I have never seen one where these claims are backed up with physiological evidence). The only physical reaction to g-spot stimulation that has been recorded and observed is ejaculation. For both sexes, stimulating their G-spot/prostate without also stimulating the clit or penis can cause ejaculation but not orgasm, and to be clear, the sudden release of muscle tension and blood congestion that is a hallmark of orgasm, does not happen with ejaculation. By all means, enjoy and seek ejaculation if you like it, but let's be clear that it is something physically different - not something we should call an orgasm. (If you want to look into this further, I suggest The G-Spot and Other Recent Discoveries About Human Sexuality. This book sort of "discovered" the G-spot in 1982. It wants badly to support the idea of a g-spot orgasm, but if you read it critically and look for physical evidence, it simply fails. The information in there about G-Spot induced ejaculation, however, is groundbreaking and continues to ring true these many years later.)

What things have been shown to cause orgasm?

When I say female orgasms arise from clitoral stimulation, and not from stimulation of the inside of the vagina, the part about orgasms coming from clitoral stimulation is pretty uncontroversial. Any kind of stimulation of the clit can cause an orgasm. Masters and Johnson physically documented this, and it is important to note that all the orgasms they recorded exhibited the same basic physical reactions. There simply wasn't any evidence of a separate "type" of orgasm; no "vaginal," "G-spot," or "uterine" orgasm. So the really controversial part of that statement is me saying that I have come across no physical evidence that penises or fingers or dildos stimulating the inside of the vagina have caused an orgasm. That is not to mean, however, that no orgasms can occur during the act of penetration. Below I will list ways that can cause orgasm during acts of penetration.

Direct Clitoral Stimulation - That's right, simply getting your own or your partner's hands down there on the clitoral vulva area during penetration works wonders. You could also get a vibrator, mouth or whatever floats your boat down there to work the clit area during intercourse. (I highly recommend this method BTW). 

Grinding  - Grinding the clitoral glans area against something during the act of intercourse/penetration is another form of clitoral stimulation. It can be against pillows, bedding, teddy bears, your partners pelvis - whatever. As long as the clitoral glans/vulva area is being stimulated, it makes sense that an orgasm could occur in this intercourse situation. I'd also like to add that this seems to be a way that some women orgasm during intercourse without really realizing that it's due to the clit stimulation from their grinding. It can be unintentional (However, from my own experience, I'd say it won't be a very consistent way to orgasm unless the woman knows what she's going for and works for it)

M&J Rube Goldberg-esque Indirect Clitoral Stimulation The closest thing to the sought after no-additional-clitoral-stimulation intercourse orgasm, was documented and observed by M&J. So, there is evidence that a small amount of women can attain this intercourse orgasm, and M&J even found 2 women who had orgasms from nipple stimulation with no direct clitoral stimulation. Before you get too excited, though, I think it is important to understand what scientific investigation has told us about how these orgasms happen and how they compare to other orgasms these women have.

 Both groups were aroused physically almost to the point of orgasm to start with - before the nipple stimulation or intercourse happened. For the first group (a group that was specifically sought out within the possible test population - since M&J held dear the idea that women should be having hands free orgasms during intercourse, even though their investigations clearly showed that female orgasms were caused by clitoral not vaginal stimulation), M&J hypothesized it was a Rube-Goldberg situation where the penis pulled on the highly aroused inner lips, which pulled on the clitoral hood, which rubbed against the clitoris. It was a small bit of stimulation, but enough to push them over the edge. The second group (2 women) started manipulating their nipples after they too were physically almost to the point of orgasm. The nipple stimulation was enough to put them over the edge to orgasm. My personal thought is that the nipples were clearly a favorite touch place for these women, and already being almost to the point of orgasm, they tensed their PC muscle (pelvic muscle) which moved the area down around the clitoral glans just enough to put them over the edge. (Try tensing the muscles that would stop your stream of pee then letting it go -  particularly when aroused). Now, M&J didn't have any specific hypothesis for how the clitoris was stimulated in this situation, but they clearly stated that all the orgasms, whether they were from direct clit stimulation or these indirect intercourse/nipple ones, can be described the same way physically.

Before you start feeling unlucky because you aren't one of these rare women who can just come from a little touch to the nip or from the ol' in and out (someone like our lucky heroine from Fifty Shades of Grey), let me tell you this. Although the orgasms they had were physically similar to the ones these same women had during direct clitoral stimulation, they were also the weakest ones they had - both in terms of the physical intensity of the muscle spasms and in terms of the women's own subjective feelings. If we think of orgasms in terms of clitoral stimulation, it makes perfect sense that these would be weak orgasms - given that these were the orgasms caused by the most indirect stimulation of the clit. The orgasms they had as a result of masturbation (of the clitoral/vulva area) were the strongest, and orgasms as a result of a skilled partner's manual stimulation of the woman's vulva/clitoral area were the second most intense. (It seems that if our Fifty Shade's heroine was realistic in any way, those nipple and intercourse orgasms she had wouldn't have been so earth shattering, now would they?). Also, remember that even though these women did have an orgasm without specifically touching or grinding their clit, they did need to be physically on the edge of orgasm before they even started these non clit touching orgasm maneuvers. So it's not as if these women simply got banged and came...or got a little nip sucking and came. They put a lot of footwork (including direct clitoral stimulation) into getting to a point where the oh-so-coveted intercourse/nipple orgasm could even have a chance of occurring...and for their coveted orgasm status and hard work, what did they get? A rather weak orgasm, but an orgasm none the less.

Women who have the following experiences fit fully into my statement about orgasm, even if we have semantic differences.
  • have orgasms only through direct clitoral/vulva stimulation
  • have orgasms during intercourse due to some kind of additional or even unintentional stimulation like grinding against your partner or the bedding
  • have ejaculations due to g-spot stimulation - that you may call "orgasms"
  • have ejaculations due to g-spot stimulation at the same time you are having orgasms due to clitoral stimulation ('cause you're messing with the clit and the G-spot/vagina at the same time) and call that whole thing a different kind of "orgasm"
  • have something you call "orgasms" that are based in deep feelings of physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pleasure...yet, this something could not be defined as an orgasm in the M&J physiological definition.
  • have the occasional orgasm that occurs during intercourse or nipple stimulation but after being intensely aroused (probably partially by direct clitoral stimulation) to almost the point of orgasm; with that orgasm physically feeling like a weak version of the orgasms you get during direct clitoral stimulation

Women who have the following experiences do not yet fit into my statement about orgasm. 

Women who have physically strong orgasms from nothing but the physical stimulation to the inside of the vagina -  the o'l in and out without any clitoral grinding or stimulation.  Female characters like this fill our books, tv, movies, and porn. If this is you in real life, then frankly, I can't find your situation in the research. I'm not saying you don't exist. I'm just saying people like you have not been studied. I know someone will come back at me with a study here or there where women say on a survey that they do orgasm this way, but I promise I have looked at a lot, and I have never seen a study where these claims are backed up by physical observations showing there was in fact a physiologic orgasmic reaction. I'm always open to the possibility of learning new things about the female orgasm through solid investigation, so if you are one of these women, please do seek out being part of an orgasm study. There truly is too little good scientific investigation about female sexual release.


I know the exclusion I make may seem harsh, but I do think it is important to let women know that this is the reality of our scientific knowledge right now.  Every time a woman says she orgasms easily from the ol' in and out, but she's actually orgasming from grinding her clit, or she's actually ejaculating, or she's actually talking about something in a more spiritual way, or she's actually talking about a really weak Rube-Goldberg orgasm she has had only a hand-full of times in her whole sexual life, then she is doing the world of female sexuality a disservice.

I honestly don't think there are women out there intentionally trying to make other women feel inferior or misrepresenting their experiences. Truthfully, the way our culture teaches, depicts, and discusses female orgasm is so confusing that none of us really know how to talk about our experiences. We just do the best we can with what we've been able to figure out. We need a better way, though. We need to understand what scientific investigation can tell us about what a physical orgasm is and how it can be sought. We need to start using plain and physical terms to speak about our experiences with orgasm and sexual pleasure so that we can learn from the realities of our fellow women.

We also need to be accepting. I know my emphasis on the clitoris and on the physical definition of orgasm makes some feel as though I will be encouraging the type of  "my orgasms/sexual experiences are better than yours" situation that happened during Freud's time and that is happening now with the emphasis of mind-shattering effortless Fifty Shades type intercourse-only orgasms. However, I think women are craving the chance to be grounded in reality when it comes to orgasms, and I think we are mature enough to deal with our diversity. There should be nothing wrong with enjoying the emotional high that comes with your sessions of intercourse, even if there is no physical orgasm involved; or in enjoying your ejaculation even without an orgasm also. Also, a woman who says she fits into my second grouping, should be taken seriously. Even if she is part of a small minority that hasn't been studied well, these are her experiences, and we should work to document those experiences as part of the female reality. We do need to understand and make these distinctions though. 

So, when I say that female orgasms arise from clitoral stimulation, and not from stimulation to the inside of the vagina, please know that I'm not just trying to be exclusive, mean or divisive. I honestly feel like I'm doing this for the opposite reasons, and I hope that is eventually how most others will feel also. I truly hope to move the language and the understanding of female orgasm towards a clearer, more realistic, more fact-based place.

***Since this article was written in 2012, I have written more that addresses some questions people may have about research linking the inner clitoral legs to the G-spot and/or vaginal orgasm. As of yet I still haven't found any research showing orgasm can be caused by stimulation inside the vagina. However, there has definitely been some recent and often cited studies claiming to show that 'vaginal orgasms' can be caused by stimulation of the clitoral legs through the vaginal walls. Those studies don't actually show that. THIS post in part discusses those studies and should help put those popular studies into perspective. Also, for deeper info, HERE is a list of my summaries for some relevant journal articles. *****or as I updated at the top, please read THIS post about the incorrect, but widely touted idea that the inner part of the clit was discovered in 1998 (it wasn't) and that there is new evidence this inner part is the reason for vaginal orgasm (there isn't). - 3/8/2021*****

****HERE is the documentary this blog was meant to expand upon. It does not go into as much detail as some of the posts here,  but it does give a better overview of the cultural problems with our understanding of female orgasm than any one post here can do.