How Our F'd Up Sexual Culture Slowly Breaks Us Ladies And Our 'Gasms

So, as you know, the movie I made and I are both proponents of clearly understanding that the clitoris and not the vagina is responsible for ladygasms, and we're also a proponent for ladies jiggling their own junk in order to get off - either while alone or with a partner. I think a cultural mentality that took those two things into consideration could do very well for the state of female sexuality in general. However, individuals are a different story. I want to remind everyone from time to time that I am not saying and would never say that these things I advocate through the movie and the Orgasm Equality Movement are some kind of cure-all for what ails each and every woman sexually. My focus is really on changing how our culture depicts, teaches, and understands female orgasm - and hoping that makes a better environment for all women to explore and experience their individual sexuality.

On that note, I was talking with a friend recently about their sense that even though in research studies women reliably orgasm as quickly and easily as men during masturbation, it seems off somehow. It seems like women really do have a little more trouble and take a little more time orgasming with a partner than men do - even if women are stimulating themselves during the act. It seemed to my friend that my movie may be overlooking something else in the nature of women that makes it harder for them to orgasm. I think this is a really interesting point to consider, and below is a sort of altered version of my thoughts on the subject I wrote back to that friend. I hope you enjoy. 

P.S. Thanks to that friend for letting me talk so much. Cheers to all the ladies out there  (and frankly, I think that includes all of us) who have been broken in so many small ways by our sexual culture, and thanks to the men out there who really try to listen and understand where we are coming from, because honestly, I think this is one thing that is probably pretty hard for a dude to fully comprehend. 

My thoughts to my friend....
I know different women have worries and problems that go beyond simply lacking the knowledge and permission to actually stimulate the area of her body (the clitoral glans area) most likely to cause orgasm during a sexual act with her partner(s). However, this lack of knowledge and lack of empowerment is an incredibly huge problem, and the one the movie focuses on. So, I do really believe that giving women the knowledge and permission to "rub one out" makes a lot of sense. Masturbating (however she does this) oneself to orgasm is the most reliable way for a woman to orgasm while with a partner. Intercourse isn't a good bet, and having another person orally or manually stimulate is pretty unreliable - especially at first.
There simply is no reason to believe that women are somehow naturally less capable of orgasm. The evidence just doesn't point to it. However, I don't disagree that there is something else there that makes it harder for women to orgasm in partnered sexual situations, but I think there is a deeper more insidious issue that comes into play more than one would hope. I don't imagine most people have thought about it the way I'm going to speak about it, including many women, but I think it needs to be considered. 

I will bet my life that every single adult woman in the world has been subjected to at least one of the following (but probably many of them) : 
  • formative years full of incorrect anatomical information
  • media images (most of them actually) that depict female orgasms causes by things that would never actually cause orgasms for women - these mislead and mis-educate both us and our future partners. 
  • shaming
  • countless (I mean countless) mediocre, unorgasmic acts of partnered sex 
  • rape, assault, or grey area rape-ish behavior from a dude 
  • physical pain during sex (and not the oh- I got a cramp or my hair's under your arm kind - the this shit hurts my vagina/cervix/asshole and I'm in pain - not pleasure at all- but I'll just bear it so he will finally finish kind of pain) 
  • lots (and I mean lots) of sex acts that start out arousing but end up disappointing 
  • situation where faking orgasm seems like the best bet...so he'll finish...so I don't take too long...so it'll be sexy for him, etc 
  • dudes who try too hard to "make us come" but just make us feel bad, annoyed, or obligated to act pleased or please them during sex
  • dudes who compare our sexual capabilities to other women during sexual acts
  • dudes who passive-aggressively or even kinda aggressively nag us until we take part in a sexual act we aren't really interested in (seriously, the amount of sexual nagging a woman gets is ridiculous - even from sweet, well-meaning husbands and boyfriends that we love)
  • generally just too many sexual situations where we know we're supposed to be and expected to be aroused, but we're not...yet we do it anyway, 
  • and so many other craptastic little kicks to our sexual selves.

Do these really happen to women? Yes, all the time. More than you can imagine. Do partners we love contribute to it? Unfortunately, absolutely, even with the best of intentions. Does it train us in various, very personalized, very deep ways to ignore/shutdown/agonize over our desire and arousal? You bet. Does that ignoring/shutting down/agonizing over our desire and arousal affect our ability to orgasm? Of course.We women get broken in various degrees and various styles concerning our sexuality and in ways that men are not - and probably can't fully understand. 

I know I sound very morbid and negative right now, but I know there is also a lot of joy and awesomeness in female sexual lives too. I actually think that the female sex drive and capability for orgasm is quite strong given the shit we collectively put up with while continuing to find ways of orgasming and enjoying our sexual experiences. 

I'm just being honest about the fact that women have way more sexual experiences where an orgasm happened only for our partner, where we weren't aroused, where we expected something much, much better than what actually happened. and/or where we, for whatever reason, felt more obligated to be a part of it rather than really desiring to be a part of it. The more of those we have, the less sexy the possibility of sex seems, and our desire and ability to become aroused is affected. 

So to me it makes a lot of sense that often women in partnered situations tend to need "more" to become aroused (which directly affects her ability to orgasm) than men do. Another person + sexual situation does not say to her body's memory "oooh arousing," quite as forcefully and easily as the male's. Depending on the situation and the woman's unique sexual history, it could actually bring up specifically un-arousing feelings even if it seems like it should be opposite..

However, masturbation (and by this I mean a sex act completely free of another person's presence and pressures), I think, can be a very different story. There is no expectations placed on us by another person. There is no doing it when you don't want to. There is no allowing it to be physically painful. There is no feeling unsafe (well at least I assume there is way way less of those things), and thus a woman's body more associates this situation with arousal, and if arousal is more readily available, so is the orgasm. So, without a partner involved, I imagine most women orgasm quicker and easier, and that may be why scientific studies of ladies masturbating to orgasm seems to not match what people see or experience in bed with women.

All that said, it is still true that women's bodies are not less capable of orgasm and that "rubbing one out" (however she does this) is still a quite sure-fire bet for orgasm with another person. All the ways we ladies get broken over the years uniquely complicates our relationship with orgasm, but it doesn't negate those points. We women, that already have all these small sexual breaks, have to continue on our personal paths of finding ways to fully enjoy our sexual lives. However, my biggest dream is that the knowledge and empowerment that I hope the movie gives will spare younger females many of the craptastic aspects of partnered sex that have broke us older folks.


  1. I keep telling myself I'm not alone in some of this. Thanks for the validation.
    Yes to several points on your bullet list. Yes to the internal monologue at the start of every sexual encounter with my husband, whom I love dearly, and who treats me with a lot of respect, in and out of bed.
    This is the first post I've read here, and I'll probably browse around a bit more.
    I'll pose this question first though.
    In addition to your list of past experiences, I feel like current situations can make it hard for me to become aroused. Bank account at zero, stress at work, failure to hit a goal. My husband shares many of those, but they seem to effect his arousal less. Is there any science backing up my feelings about this?

    1. Jennie - Thank you, thank you for commenting. I really appreciate it. It means a lot hearing from other people who can relate to the things I'm writing about.
      As for your question. It is absolutely true for men and women that any kind of stress (such as money and work issues, lack of sleep, etc.) can inhibit arousal and thus orgasm. Masters and Johnson's book Human Sexual Inadequacy about their therapy for sexual problems is very clear about that. As far as it affecting you more than your husband...that's tough to say. There may just be individual differences between you two with how you deal with stress and anxiety. However, I tend to think that at least part of that has to do with you already being just a little bit less easily aroused (due to all the things described above) and so anything extra that's piled on is just that much more harmful to your arousal...like your bucket is already half full with inhibitors and so it takes less to fill it up than his does.

      I don't think there are any easy answers here. Realizing that your sexual desire has slowly waned over the years and your partner's hasn't quite as much, feels sad, sadder than people often let on, I think. It is something I think a whole lot of us women struggle with.

      No need to answer if you don't feel like it, but it sounds like your husband is a caring partner. How much do you two talk about this, and how much do you think it helps? And, I ask because I think there is a lot of advice out there that just says, talk about it! You'll figure it out! But, I don't think there are a lot of examples out there in the world that help otherwise healthy couples understand how to talk about this particular problem in a realistic way. It's hard to even know how to do it, and I think maybe there isn't really even much of a vocabulary to describe what is actually happening correctly. Anyway, I just thought I'd ask. I think women need to talk more about this kind of thing.
      Thanks again, and I hope you like the rest of the blog!