Coming to America: The SSL Review

I put on a movie yesterday - cause I was cleaning and I wanted something I liked but didn't need to pay attention too, and dag burn it, ya know what? It turned out to be SSL Reviewable. What was that movie? It was Coming to America. I also watched Grease, which I'd never really seen before, and Dirty Dancing that day. Shit was reeeal dirty.

Anyway, I haven't SSL Reviewed in a while, so just to refresh your memory - an SSL Review is exclusively about a depictions or discussion of female masturbation and/or orgasm. I'm judging on realism and what this depiction or discussion brings to the cultural conversation about female orgasm. I rate in vulvas, but I honestly can't remember if I rate on a 4 or 5 vulva scale.  A movie may be superb in every way but get a 0 vulva rating, or it might be a complete piece of crap, but get a 5 (let's assume it's on a 5 vulva scale) rating. One does not mean anything to the other...unless I decide otherwise, since I can do whatever I want.

The Description
I'm going to make this one quick, because honestly I have more cleaning to do. If you're not familiar, Coming to America is a 1988 movie starring Eddie Murphy as a Prince who decides that he doesn't want to marry the woman who was raised to be his wife, a lovely, blank woman who literally will do whatever he says and has no personality of her own. Instead, he and his right-hand man (Arsenio Hall), go to America - Queens, NY to be exact, on vacation with a secret mission to find a woman that he might actually want to spend time with. The two pretend to be regular ol' people (instead of a prince that has flower petals dropped in front of his feet wherever he walks).

So there was only one moment in the movie that is eligible for SSL Review, and it was when they first get to Queens. They go out to a night club and then there is a montage of them sitting across from women as if on a sort of speed date or something. The women say things and the guys react. As you might imagine, clearly none are suitable. The first woman (played by Mary Bond Davis) has 3 shots in front of her. She takes two and says the following thing.

"See that's the problem. I can't find a man that can satisfy me. Now some guys go an hour, hour and a half. That's it. A man's got to put in overtime for me to get off."

Then she takes the last shot and it cuts to the next women.

Mary Bond Davis in Coming to America

So, the basic joke in this montage is that these women are all saying things that indicate something really weird about themselves or something that would make them a really bad person to date. One woman is married. One worships satan. One is only interested in money. Twins sit down and reveal they are actually recently separated Siamese twins. The undateable/weird thing about this shot-taking woman quoted above is that she is brash, hard to get off, and her sexual demands of men are outlandish. The insinuation being that these are all opposite of desirable in a woman. To me there are 2 parts to this - what it indicates about the cultural understanding of female orgasm, and also what it adds to the cultural conversation.

What it says about our cultural knowledge on female orgasm.
Women take a long ass time to orgasm. They don't actually. Women masturbate to orgasm as quickly, easily and reliably as men do. True story. So, that cultural assumption is wrong and it persists because we measure male time to orgasm while they are getting their penises stimulated, and we measure time for women when they are mostly just getting their vaginas stimulated...and vaginas do not orgasms make. Clitoral stimulation is needed, and if as a culture we realized this, then there would be no jokes about women taking a long time to pop off.
Oh and men's dicks are responsible for orgasm - She could be talking here about dudes licking her  clit for an hour and a half, but I'm guessing most people take it to mean she's talking about how long a dude has to fuck her for. So, the insinuation in that case is that a hard dick ramming into a lady's vagina is necessary for a woman's orgasm....and that's simply untrue and actually completely unrealistic.

What this adds to the cultural conversation
It's hard enough to get a woman off without her being EXTRA demanding. I mean we all know women take longer than men, am I right? But come on, ladies! Don't be a crazy bitch by asking for too much during sex. Jeez - it's already a pain to deal with your ladygasms as is.
Women who get off easily are sexy, desirable women and women who don't are, well, not sexy? annoying? undesirable? Big ol' crazy bitches you'd never want to touch? I mean you always hear women take a long time, but plenty of my ex's/porn actresses/women in movies/girls I heard about from my friend get off like super quick when you fuck 'em, so...ya know, some women can make it happen.  Here's the deal - women do get off easily, just not by getting fucked. In fact, just getting fucked - which is the most normal and acceptable way to have sexual interactions - will likely never get a woman off and if it does, it's probably because she was able to eek out just enough skin to skin contact on her clit during the banging to barely inch her way over the edge...and yeah, that'll probably take a long time. Or, well, she was faking it. It's not a likely situation at all that a woman will just come real quick from a pounding, so if she wants to seem cool and sexy, faking it might be the best way to go. My point is, I think this is the kind of thing that encourages women to react during sex in ways that are expected instead of in ways that are real.

The SSL Vulva Rating
The vulva rating on this won't be great, but I'm going to go easy on it. Yeah, there's definitely some misogyny. It doesn't pass the Bechdel test (*edit: My bad. It does barely make it), and there's female nudity but not male nudity, but what movie doesn't have all those problems - am I right? It does have some progressive aspects, and I have always liked this movie, so I have a soft place for it. Plus, it is chock full of famous people who were not famous at the time which is kinda fun....and there's McDowell's....and the line "Your royal penis is clean, Sire" that me and my cousins said a like hundred times after we saw it.

So, because Coming to America plays for laughs on an old incorrect understanding of female orgasm and because I would argue the insinuation around ladygasms about what is and is not desirable promotes a culture of faking, this movie gets 2 vulvas. I would give it just 1, but you know, i'm going easy on it and all.


P.S. I was looking for the link to the IMDB for the woman who played the above quoted lady, and I saw her character name was "Big Stank Woman" which to me says the makers of this movie (Eddie Murphy) really assumed that this character and what she was saying was like, THE WORST, and that's pretty much uncalled for, so I demote this movie down to a 1 vulva rating.



Frigidity, Kick-Ass Colombian Journalists, and Some Thank Yous

I woke up Tuesday to a tweet from a lovely woman named Patricia Sulburan who is an international editor for a big Colombian radio chain called W Radio. She was interested in doing an interview, and after I realized she meant the country and not like Columbia University or something, I wrote back and she asked me to do a live radio interview the next day. I'll be honest, I don't feel like speaking is my forte. I'm much better at writing, so I was super nervous and I was practicing in my car and trying to figure out what they'd ask, but in the end it was actually really fun. Patricia was my translator and Claudia Palacios and Rafael Manzano interviewed me (You can hear it HERE...I didn't realize till later that something I think might be The Love Boat theme played behind the whole interview...which is about as awesome as I could imagine). How many times are you interviewed on Colombia radio, am I right?...so I was really stoked that I got that opportunity, but I wasn't quite sure how they heard about the movie and why they wanted to interview me. Turns out a Colombian journalist named Paola Ochoa wrote an editorial in the the largest circulating newspaper in Colombia, El Tiempo, about Science, Sex and the Ladies.

Patricia Sulburan - International Producer Extraordinaire!
Paola Ochoa - Journalist Extraordinaire!
Feel free to Google translate this article...oh wait, I already did, and ya know, it kinda made sense. From what I could tell it had a really fight-the-power, let's-start-a-revolution kinda tone to it. She started out talking about how far women have come and how many amazing, important things women have done this year, but then she says some really, really, really nice things about Science, Sex and the Ladies.

I'm quoting this below as a Google translation of Paola Ochoa's article, so it's not great English, but I didn't want to try and clean it up and misrepresent something she was trying to say, so just take it for what it is...a bad translation (and BTW, Google Translate doesn't really do gender pronouns right...it's a gender revolutionist I guess). ***Edit - I found out the article is in English on Ochoa's Tumbler. Check it out HERE
But if something has seemed truly representative of the new feminine power is a much talked about documentary females (see the trailer at this link: https://vimeo.com/32292858). Lasts 1 hour, 40 minutes, and it is a phenomenon in Apple TV. Trisha Borowicz his production is a brilliant scientist biologist who has dedicated his life to studying the female orgasm, tired of so many bad powders. 
With a fabulous visual narrative, Borowicz achieved what seemed impossible: 2,000 years of sexism shake off and demonstrate scientific evidence that there are no frigid women. On the contrary, that there are ignorant men or bad lovers. 
The documentary is awakening a quiet revolution. And nothing reveals more women on the planet that the topic of anorgasmia. We all at some point in life we ​​are unable to have an orgasm. We feel a huge embarrassment and even think we are factory defective. And then we pretend. And then we lie. All because of the alleged frigidity, the lapidary notion that men invented to hide their own incompetence lovemaking. 
Borowicz manages to remove that plaque off and testing with several scientific studies, frigidity is not a problem of the genital organs of women. Frigidity does not exist. It is a term that men invented to maintain appropriate misogyny of Aristotle and Augustine for another couple of centuries more. It is the most powerful weapon of machismo and, simultaneously, the most power over us.

She goes on to discuss in a very hopeful way that men have had control of women's sexuality for years, and they are still very much in control of the imagery in porn, but we ladies dominate most social media. We have a place now to discuss our sexuality freely and take back control of our own sexuality and our own sexual images. She ends with this (in bad Google Translator speak)...

Fortunately, women are facing a new world that empowers us. Thanks to the freedom of social networks, we have a space where our opinions are expressed without male issue. 
It is time to take away the yoke off. Finally we have a voice. And finally we have also the ultimate proof that the best orgasm is only in our hands: Science, Sex and the Ladys; True Story About the Female Orgasm.

I mean, this was a little overwhelming. I am so thrilled that SSL made her feel this way and excited to see that there are women all over the world that are ready for a change. I also think that Paola is totally brave and bad-ass. From what I can tell from her article, from the comments on the article (I google translated them too..and people are just as ass-hole like in Colombia as they are in USA in case you were wondering) and from the interview I did on the radio, Colombia has all the same problems and misunderstandings about female orgasms and female sexuality that the U.S.A does, but that maybe the idea of women being frigid is a little more ingrained in their current culture.

Now, I say that with hesitance, because in the USA the idea that women should orgasm from only vaginal stimulation and that if she doesn't she is lesser in some way, is very much alive and well.  The word Frigid, which is a Freudian term for women that cannot orgasm vaginally and thus have not matured fully, is used sometimes in the USA now, but more with a connotation of just a not very sexual woman. In the USA in the 70's, frigid was still very commonly used in the Freudian way. I see it all the time in books about female orgasm from the time. However, just because frigid isn't used in this way doesn't mean it has left our culture. Saying a woman is frigid is a very straightforward way to say a woman is broken sexually, and that is not common in the USA, but saying women are sexually broken in all kinds of backhanded, subtle ways is very, very common. We say women who can't orgasm during intercourse are hormonally imbalanced, too stressed, not very sexual, or emotionally distracted. We still act as if it is their fault they can't orgasm this way, and if they just tried harder they could do it. So the more subtle ways we speak about women being sexually broken in the USA seems less harsh, but it is no less harmful.

But, I think the word "frigid" hold more power there. In my radio interview, the journalists kept asking about if women were frigid or not. They wanted a clear answer, and I guess I didn't realize until then how new saying women weren't frigid was. And knowing that now, I feel like Paola's article is even more revolutionary. She straight up said that women are not frigid and that it's bullshit that women were ever even made to endure that title.

To Paola Ochoa: Thank you, thank you thank you! You introduced the ideas from Science, Sex and the Ladies to a huge group of people who may have never heard of them. You were bold and straightforward and honest, and I could not agree more with you that this inequality that exists between women and men due to misunderstandings about female orgasm and female sexuality is the most powerful and has the most power over us. That is why it is so hard to confront but so important. You are awesome, and a true Orgasm Equality Hero!

To Patricia Sulburan: You didn't have to take Paola's article seriously, and you didn't have to find me and do all the work it takes to get this story on the radio, but you did. You brought the message about Frigidity being bullshit to lots more women.  I want you to know it means a lot to me and to the Orgasm Equality Movement. You also are an Orgasm Equality Hero!

*Oh - and I actually didn't realize you could get the movie on Apple TV. It's only available on Vimeo On Demand. I guess you can access that through Apple TV, but I'm not sure. Here's the actual link to the movie at Vimeo On Demand  https://vimeo.com/ondemand/26160


Ultrasounds of clit and vaginal stimulation: A Journal Article I Read

 I know you want to know about more Journal Articles I Read. So, I will give that to you. Today we have:

Pilot echographic study of the differences in clitoral involvement following clitoral or vaginal sexual stimulation.
Buisson O1, Jannini EA.
J Sex Med. 2013 Nov;10(11):2734-40.

This is a worthwhile and interesting investigation. It doesn't though, give us any real insight into vaginally activated orgasms - not what they look like when they happen or if they really do happen, but it is a step in the right direction for further investigation.

Basically 3 women, all medical doctors (I don't know why, but there seems to be a trend in using medical doctors for these human lady-gasm studies. It must be easier to use doctors for some reason) who claim to orgasm both through vaginal and through clitoral stimulation, volunteered to stimulate their outer vulva/clitoral area and then also their vagina while their insides were being recorded using ultrasound technology. Turns out, when these women were stimulating their clitoral glans, only the glans and the raphe get jostled (*I have actually never heard that part called raphe before. I generally see it called the shaft - the part, about the circumference of a pencil, that extends back from the glans and can be felt by rolling your finger back and forth just above the clitoral glans. In fact the only other time I can find it called a raphe is in another ultrasound study by these exact 2 authors. We'll use their vocabulary though to keep things consistent). The inner clitoral parts aren't jostled at all. When these women stimulated their vaginas by moving an object it in and out, the clitoral body (I often see these parts called the clitoral legs or crura, but we'll use body) were jostled along with the raphe. The glans was not jostled. This led the researchers to conclude that the two different types of stimulation might explain why women describe 2 different types of orgasm.

From ScarletTeen:sex ed for the real world  http://www.scarleteen.com/article/bodies/with_pleasure_a_view_of_whole_sexual_anatomy_for_every_body
The interesting thing about this study is that although the paper claims that the women reached orgasm during both clitoral glans stimulation and vaginal stimulation, it simply doesn't give any data for this. It merely mentioned that these women did this and then writes "data not shown." Only data that showed what was happening in their bodies during both types of stimulation was shown in this article. It tells us something about arousal in these women, but nothing about what happens up to and during orgasm...and frankly, given that the authors said the women did orgasm in the lab each time they were asked to, it seems super odd to me that they chose to not record and report on this quite possibly revolutionary data. In their conclusion they indicate follow-up studies to do that, but why not not do it in this study? I think that at least deserves and explanation.

And before I go on, let me just put a disclaimer here. I can't read ultrasounds. I don't fully understand how they could identify the movement in these women's lady parts. The pictures just kinda look like unidentifiable blobs, and so I am just reporting and accepting their findings exactly as they describe them.

The intro tells us male orgasm is pretty well understood, but female orgasm is controversial. It concedes that undoubtedly most women need external clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm, but then gives a wildly high estimate for the amount of women who can orgasm vaginally, saying around 60 to 70% and citing a debate article on the G-spot that is in no way a good reference for that number. A widely agreed estimate (and Lloyd's book, The Case of the Female Orgasm is probably one of the best researched authorities on this out there if you want to check it out) is about 2/3 of women who cannot orgasm vaginally.

The authors later in the intro give us a little bit of their bias, I would say, when they say, "Moreover, the existence of a 'vaginal' orgasm (more correctly named "vaginally activated orgasms," VAO) has often been rejected, more for political than for scientific reasons," and backs that statement up by citing that same debate article. Both the authors of this article actually co-author that article 4 other people. It's called, "Who's afraid of the G-spot," and the 7 different scientists debate the existence of the G-spot in terms of the data presented thus far, and the conclusion of the piece is...we need more data. First off, the article is about the G-spot and not about VAOs. Secondly, that article in no way supports a claim that politics are a bigger factor than scientific data for rejecting the idea of VAOs. I'm getting heavy into the intro stuff here in this article because I'm just starting to get a annoyed with the citations authors use in some of these articles to support the claims they make in their introductions. It's like they are putting no thought into it - like what I would do writing some stupid paper in high school or college where we were told to have a certain amount of citations.  I'd just find anything that kinda included the same keywords I was speaking about and put it in there as support for whatever it was I was saying.

Also, in the introduction, the authors tell us about VAOs, "Furthermore, this type of orgasm is sometimes considered to be associated with better psychological health than the orgasm triggered by external stimulation of the clitoris." I will grant that the 1 book and 2 articles that are cited for this, do indeed argue this, so at least they are using relevant citations there. However all three works have a strong Freudian influence and then this article goes on to mention that
1. Freud made a claim that VAOs are mature and clitoral orgasms are immature
2. "Kinsey and many sexologists have asserted no such link" 
3. but there's actually not a lot of data about whether that's true or not
It just makes me wonder why this Freudian stuff is brought up at all in the introduction for this article. He was just a dude that had some idea. His ideas about female orgasm had no scientific base, so it boggles my mind that orgasm scientists continue to discuss it like it has some scientific validity that needs to be taken into consideration. I can see why one would want to discuss that there is controversy about whether there really is 2 separate types of orgasm, as Freud suggested, since some women do claim this to be the case, and that this study may help clear that up. However, talking about VAOs causing better psychological health is so Freudian inspired and so not even remotely related to the contents or possible insinuations of this study and its results. Honestly, it makes me really wonder whether the authors are truly just interested in learning more about women's bodies during sexual arousal and orgasm, or whether there is also some type of larger interest in validating Freudian thought on female orgasm....and if that's the case, then I think there is some extra bias that should be considered here.


  • The 3 women were medical doctors between 27 and 33, never had babies, healthy in body, and found to be sexually healthy after taking the Female Sexual Functioning Index questionnaire. 
  • None reported releasing fluid during orgasms (so no ejaculators/squirters in the group) 
  • All "claimed to a achieve vaginal orgasm during coitus without external clitoral stimulation. As previously described, we mean by VAO the orgasm experienced after direct stimulation of the anterior vaginal wall by penetration, without concomitant stimulation of the external clitoris." So...these 3 doctors could pop off from a straight up bone-ing that included absolutely no touching of the outer clit area.
  • The women were all in the normal gynecological position during the study
  • They used a Voluson sonography system and a 12-MHz flat probe and a vaginal probe
  • "To ensure good skin contact, the vulva was covered with a sufficient quantity of sonographic gel to avoid possible interference from air between the labia. The probe was placed sagittally on the Labia majora to obtain a sagittal scan, because when a volunteer's hand is stimulating the genitals it is difficult to obtain coronal or transversal views". (I honestly cannot visualize how this was set up because I can't really figure out how the sagittal view that they get below happens from placing the probe against the labia majora, but I imagine this is just because I've never done this type of work before, and if it makes sense to you, please let me know how to understand it better.)

So, this is the view they got, it really seems to be fully sagittal, so again, if you can imagine how the flat probe was placed on the labia majora to get this, give me your insight.
  • A wet tampon was placed in the vagina. It was useful because it clearly marked where the vagina was in the ultrasound. It stayed in the vagina during the external stimulation and was the object used to stimulate the vagina during imaging of the vaginal stimulation. It was used instead of a dildo because it produced less shadowing in the ultrasound. It was "sufficiently rigid to stimulate the vagina"
More sonograms from the study, but with the wet tampon in this time.
  • There were 2 sets of experiments. In the first set, the subjects performed stimulation externally and internally each for exactly 5 minutes. In the second set, the subjects could stimulate themselves for as long as they needed to orgasm. "However, echographic evaluation was always performed before orgasm, when the subject felt sufficiently aroused." Echographic is basically another word they use for the  the ultrasound technology in this study, so...the orgasms simply were not recorded for some reason that is not discussed.
  • The authors tell us that the time to reach orgasm through vaginal stimulation took longer than through clitoral stimulation, but ends that sentence with (data not shown). They give no reason why it is not shown.
  • Each volunteer replicated the experiment at 4 different sessions, inverting the order of stimulation (clitoral stimulation first vs. vaginal stimulation first).
  • They authors warn of a possible but not too likely issue that could have occurred during that vaginal stimulation portion. "the finger, pushing the tampon, could have inadvertently have touched and stimulated the clitoris, urethral orifice, and periurethral glans; this could be regarded as a possible limitation of our technique. however, we and the volunteers paid close attention to avoid any contact with the external clitoris and the urethral meatus during the experiment."
  •  Another measure was taken during the time the women were stimulating their genitals. "Color Doppler scans of the veins located at the junction of the cavernous bodies and the vagina were obtained, and velocimetric data were collected twice for each subject."


  • The sonogram showed three parts of the clitoris which the authors describe as the glans, raphe, and body. 
  • The vestibular bulbs could not really be visualized in this study because limitations to the placement of the probes.
  • External stimulation jostled the glans and the raphe, but not the body, and the wet tampon in the vagina didn't seem to move (except in the case of voluntary perineal contractions). 
  • Internal stimulation showed something different, "during vaginal stimulation, when the tampon was pushed upward, the clitoral body slid down (figure 3). The pushing of the tampon elicited reflex perineal contractions, that together with the voluntary contraction, generated a descending movement of the cavernous body. On the sagittal scan, the root of the clitoris was seen descending and making more contact with the anterior vaginal wall."
  • "Color Doppler scans showed that the flow velocity in veins located at the junction of the cavernous bodies and the vagina was enhanced at each contraction and after 3 minutes of vaginal stimulation...The same vascular reaction was not seen during external stimulation of the clitoris."

  • The vascular and anatomical changes were comparable across all 3 volunteers.
  • "In all sessions, when proceeding further with the externals or internal stimulations, the volunteer was able to reach orgasm or VAO respectively (data not shown)." So, again, it apparently happened, but they don't really want to talk about it.


  • The authors say that both bidimensional and Color Doppler ultrasound are a "useful tool for conducting dynamic imaging studies of female genitalia during sexual stimulation." 
  • They again describe the different ways the the lady innards moved in response to vaginal and external stimulation, and then propose that the different stimulations and body movements that vaginal vs. external stimulation elicits could be the explanation for why women describe two different orgasms.
  • They go on to say, "Our study was limited to ascertaining anatomical changes during arousal due to different types of stimulation. Further studies are ongoing aiming to correlate functional anatomy with different types of orgasms." 
  • They tellus that it is possible anatomical difference in women, including relative position of that vagina and clit could make be important.
  • They also believe this study is further evidence that the g-spot is not a "single, discrete area of nerves" but rather a "complex anatomical area encompassing the anterior vaginal wall and the embedded structures (urethra, female prostate, inner clitoris, muscles, vessels, and nerves) that my functionally stimulate the whole clitoris when properly stimulated." They think this whole area should be called the CUV instead of the G-spot. *The best evidence out there for a G-spot, however, does not indicate that it is a "single discrete area of nerves" at all actually. The best and most robust evidence out there indicates that it is the area in the vagina where the female prostate (which wraps around the urethra) can be felt through the wall. It also indicates that ejaculation can be elicited but not orgasm. Again, the word G-spot is used in all kinds of different ways, so it's hard to compare what different researchers mean when they talk about it.

"...our findings suggest that external and internal stimulation of the female genitalia could involve differnt anatomical structures, supporting the idea that the female orgasm(s), not only psychologically but also functionally , should be considered to be of more than one type."

This is a useful study. It does show some interesting things about what is happening in the female body during different methods of genital stimulation. It is particularly cool because it is getting data during the movement that is necessary for stimulation and eventually orgasm, and I think it can help indicate for other scientists how they might further investigate. It has given us better understanding of what is happening in the compact area in our pelvis when we rub our clit and penetrate ourselves, and gives some interesting insight into how arousal looks and contributes to movement in there. It doesn't really say anything about orgasm though. It doesn't give any data about the orgasms that were claimed to have happened, so it is of no use on the question of vaginal or even clitorally induced orgasm.


Randome Hite Report #12

RANDOM HITE REPORT is back. This is where I take one random page, and one page only, out of The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality and transcribe it for you here on the blog. This  important book from the 70's should be read...and you can buy it online for 1 cent, so go do that. Anyway, it is an incredibly insightful book that should have become more a part of our sexual culture. It involves women answering detailed questions about their sex lives, masturbation practices, orgasms, and all that good stuff. It was and is revolutionary. Here ya go.

 The following is from the section "Women Who Never Orgasm"
 Pg. 209 The Hite Report Dell. 1976.

 "I have to consider (at this point, it seems to me) that maybe I'm  just not very orgasmic, and that it's nobody's fault, including my husband's" 
One woman who never orgasmed gave a description of her feelings during sex with her husband:
 "At first during foreplay it is pleasurable, usually - but sometimes there is no sensation - except like rubbing - I hate that. I feel so defeated. A couple of times as I got more excited I felt as if I might urinate. It was like a welling over. Then later it felt like something is happening to my body, but I'm not always in it, sometimes it feels a little like pain. I used to never have anything or else have pain which was quite severe. It is a lovely feeling to be held and to hold my husband." 
Some other women weren't sure if they were having an orgasm or not.    "For a long time I didn't know if I was having them because of verbal myths surrounding them and no means of comparison with other women."
    "To tell the truth, I'm not really sure. I have read so many descriptions and heard so many concepts of what an orgasm is and should feel like. I used to be terribly worried because I didn't think i could have one. I was expecting something really exciting and dynamic to happen - you know, bright lights, psychedelic flashes - but they never did. Also I read, I think in Dr. Reuben's book that your back will arch and you'll have uncontrollable vibrations in the vaginal area. I never had this happen either so sometimes I would fake it and almost really believe it was happening. Now I say - whatever happens, happens. It's usually quite nice, but I don't know if it's an orgasm. I always know what I'm doing and I'm always in control of my facilities.
    "I get very wet, then start getting dry. I don't know what an orgasm is, and occasionally I feel slightly unhappy or cheated after sex, but if the wet/dry happens, I always feel tired, relaxed and content. Is this an orgasm?"


Vaginal Erotic Sensitivity By Sexological Examination: A Journal Article I Read

If you remember, I recently reviewed a journal article I reluctantly paid $40 for. Well, there was one more that I paid that stupid money for, and I'm going to review it now (I will share this one too - just write me at trisha att ancmovie dott com). It's another article that is often brought out when trying to prove something about the validity of vaginal orgasms because is says in the abstract that 64% of the women who couldn't vaginally orgasm before were shown how to stimulate the vagina correctly and then could vaginally orgasm through either coital or direct digital stimulation of the vagina. Sounds pretty promising, yes, but as is the norm with vaginal orgasm studies, it actually still doesn't record or observe any actual orgasms. I'll certainly give it to this study for being a sensible enough study. This one was published in 1986, not 2 years after the hot mess of a study I just wrote about, but it takes much more care with the scientific method, even though it mentions that hot mess study as a possible control for this study...but we'll get to that later. Here, for your enjoyment, is:

Vaginal Erotic Sensitivity By Sexological Examination
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 1986;65(7):767-73
Hoch, Z.

We studied vaginal erotic sensitivity by vaginal sexological examinations as part of the evaluation and treatment process of couples complaining of female coital anorgasmia but readily orgasmic at female self--or partner-performed external genital stimulation. The existence on the anterior vaginal wall of an anatomically clearly definable erotically triggering entity, termed "The G Spot", was refuted by our findings. The entire anterior vaginal wall, including the deeper situated urinary bladder, periurethral tissues and Halban's fascia, rather than one specific spot, were found to be erotically sensitive in most of the women examined, and 64% of them learned how to reach orgasm by direct specific digital and/or coital stimulation of this area. All other parts of the vagina had poor erotic sensitivity. This supports our conceptualization of a 'clitoral/vaginal sensory arm of orgasmic reflex' including the clitoris, the entire anterior vaginal wall as well as the deeper situated tissues. Instead of looking for a 'vaginal (coital) orgasm' distinctly different from a 'clitoral orgasm', this concept speaks towards a 'genital orgasm' potentially achievable by separate or, most effectively, combined stimulation of those different trigger components of the genital sensory arm of the orgasmic reflex. The format and technique of the vaginal sexological examination are described, and its possible applications and limitations are discussed.

  • Okay, so there is this Center for Sexual Therapy in Israel where couples were referred for sexual problems. The study was conducted on 56 of the 59 (3 couples declined to take part in the full study) hetero, married couples who came into the clinic over a period of 1 year. These couples were ones in which women could orgasm through outer genital stimulation, but not through intercourse alone. 
  • This group was 49% of the total number of women in that clinic over that year who complained of sexual dysfunction. 
  • The women in this group ranged in age from 19 to 64 years and the men from 21 to 64. Their average age difference in the couple was 2.8 years and their average age at marriage was 22.4. 
  • They were also described as "with a generally good relationship between the partners," and I would guess they have good data for that because the couples (along with all other couples that came into the clinic) were put through a battery of tests including, the Israeli Minnesota Multiphasic Psychological Inventory, the Bem Sex Role Inventory, the Sim-Fam (a game application of decision -making within the family), anthropomorphic measures of sexual dimorphism, a detailed sociological questionnaire, and the Leif and Ebert Sexual Performance Evaluation Questionnaire. 
  • They also, "underwent a detailed clinical and sexological interview and physical examination, all performed by the present researcher - a gynocologist also trained in sex therapy- who classified them according to Safir-Hoch Couple Interactional Classification of Sexual Dysfunction." Present researcher meaning Zwi Hoch, the sole author of this study and apparent creator of the sexual dysfunction classification system above.
  • "All interviews, physical examinations and classifications were done independently from, and ignoring, the data content previously gathered by the battery of tests."
  • These 56 couples who complained of female coital anorgasmia (cannot come from intercourse alone, but can come with external genital stimulation) also took part in vaginal sexological exam. The purpose and techniques were discussed with and agreed upon by the couple.  "It was understood that, in addition to the insight and learning experienced by the couple, as a result of the vaginal sexological examination, the conclusions reached would also be included anonymously in a continuing prospective research study on female genital sensitivity." 
  • Following their vaginal sexological examinations, the couples were each interviewed at least 3 more time, in 10 day intervals, to follow up on their at-home experiences with vaginal erotic response brought on by direct stimulation performed by the partner. Experience with outer genital sensitivity was not researched for this study.

The Vaginal Sexological Exam

  • The partner is present for the whole thing
  • The female is in your basic gynocological position, the the feet up in stirrups but sitting up a bit instead of layed all the way back, and with the shirt no pants situation. (oh and she peed before the exam to empty the 'ol bladder)
  • 5 women had severe vaginismus (the vagina tenses up during or in anticipation of certain kinds of penetration and causes pain) and it says that the doctor did not "first proceed with the gynecological examination," with these women, but it give no more details about this. I don't know if they were excluded from the study or simply changed procedure for them.
  • The couple is informed of any organic pathology down there. 
  • The author points out that, "Inspection and palpation of the external genitalia may reveal involuntary contraction of the pubococcygeal (PC) muscles, in which case it is advisable to ask the patient to contract and relax the anal sphincter, thhus teaching her how to control at will her perivaginal musculature."
  • The woman introduces first her own finger and then the examiners finger into he vagina, with proper lubrication of course. 
  • The examiners fingers are then gently moved around and the woman is asked to indicate the sensory feelings during stimulation of different parts of the vagina. "Her reactions are recorded. If she indicates discomfort, pain, or no special sensation, the fingers are slowly moved on, until an erotically reactive area is identified. Stimulation is then continued on this area for a while, but never longer than required for reaching the excitement phase or beginning plateau phase of her sexual cycle. 
  • When stimulating the anterior wall, pressure applied with the second hand on the suprapubic (the low, low belly - like at the upper pube-hair area) region proved to be very helpful in enhancing the patient's sensation. This bimanual stimulation is performed in a steady circular fashion, almost bringing the two examining hands together. 
  • The doctor's external hand is then replaced by the patient's hand, teaching her how to locate, through her abdominal wall, the intravaginal examining fingers. 
  • The partner then takes the physician's place and, under the patient's instructions, proceeds with similar stimulation. 
  • The stimulation, now performed by the sexual partner in the clinical setting, should preferably also not surpass the primary learning phase of a beginning-plateau level of sexual response. Instead, they are "advised to apply in the privacy of their own home the same form of vaginal stimulation which was found to evoke erotic sensations, this time obviously continuing it until the woman reaches, if possible, orgasmic release."
  • The insights learned from the vaginal exam are carefully discussed with the couple, emphasizing the woman's particular areas of erotic sensitivity and the correct technique required for "successful vaginal stimulation." "Repeated technical instruction is sometimes needed at their next visit to the office.


  • As in the last study I described, most of the women found the anterior (towards belly) wall of the vagina to be erotically sensitive (85% - highly erotic, 11% slightly erotic). Most women found the posterior (towards butt) and the lateral vaginal locations (at 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock) to have no erotic sensitivity (97% and 98% respectively). And stimulation of the cervix area was either not erotic (27%) or uncomfortable (67%). The table is below.

  • "In a constantly repetitive manner, 96% of the women examined indicated almost immediate erotic sensitivity during stimulation of the entire anterior vaginal wall, generally accompanied by some sort of involuntary rhythmic circular pelvic movements and/or slight tremor of both thighs. This sensation was generally described to be quite similar in quality, although lower in intensity, that clitorally evoked erotic sensitivity already familiar to them. Most of them have been previously unaware about the potential existence of erotic sensitivity int he anterior vaginal wall region."
  • "At subsequent follow-up visits, up to one month postexamination, 64% of the couples reported achieving orgasm by specific continuous anterior vaginal wall stimulation performed digitally or by anteriorly directed intercourse."
  • However, most of the women reported that combined clitoral and vaginal wall stimulation was the best - even better than stimulating either are by itself.
  • Of the 36% of women who did not later report achieving orgasm through vaginal stimulation, "the majority stressed the fact that this form of stimulation, as to now, became an important addition to their sexual excitement techniques towards the achievement of orgasm by simultaneous clitoral and vaginal stimulation."

In the discussion, the author points to how the "sporadic" clinical studies regarding subjective erotic sensitivity of the vagina compares his own findings.

  1. One study saying the muscle laying behind the 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions "contains sensory and motor elements of the female orgasm and that the use and training of this muscle is significant in helping clitorally orgasmic women become orgasmic by penile/vaginal stimulation." Obviously, this study identified little to no sensitivity in that area.
  2. Also, Singer&Singer, Tordjman, and Kikku all say that the cervix and posterior fornix (depth of the vagina) are erotically important, but this study disagrees - since that area was generally either not erotically sensitive or even painful to women in this study.
  3. Kinsey observed erotic sensitivity on the anterior wall of the vagina, but "concluded that this was of minor importance and that the clitoris was the prominent female sexual organ, being her homologue to the male penis." The author thinks his conclusion differs from Kinsey's because Kinsey used metal, cotton-tipped, and plastic probes to test for sensitivity, and this author used lubed, gloved fingers stimulating in various ways according to patient instruction.
  4. Grafenberg and Whipple, Ladas and Perry, who named the G-spot (after Grafenberg actually) and introduced it to the masses not a couple years before this study was released, say there is a distinct spot on the anterior wall that raises and can be specifically felt after she is aroused, and that this spot is the "most important site of vaginal erotic sensitivity." However, the author found no "spot" like this, only sensitivity on the entire anterior wall.

In light of this study, the author would like to "include the anterior vaginal wall and the more deeply situated tissue, together with the clitoris and introitus vaginae (outer vag-hole area), as separate but potentially integral components of the sensory arm of the female genital orgasmic reflex." In other words, he believes that his study could prove that vaginal stimulation could be another method for making women come besides outer vulva/clitoral stimulation.

The author then goes on to say that the proposed idea above brings to light what he believes is "an important aspect of female sexuality." Probably, he tells us, many of the women who could orgasm, but couldn't orgasm through vaginal stimulation lack the "awareness and understanding of the importance of anterior vaginal wall stimulation." Normal intercourse doesn't do much for anterior wall stimulation, and without it, he tells us, intercourse orgasms may not be achieved. However, he proposes that, "after adequate evaluation, including the vaginal sexological exam, a substantial group of patients can be identified in whom the teaching of the importance of anterior wall vaginal wall stimulation before and during intercourse, by manual and anterior wall directed penile intromission, will help help them reach orgasm during coitus." In fact he thinks that it is "reasonable to expect" that as time goes on and they gain more experience, more than the 64% of couples in this study will be able to reach orgasm this way. "It should be emphasized, however, that even then, simultaneous anterior vaginal wall and clitoral stimulation has the potential for best results."

Also, this author does not feel "that failure to reach a climax during intercourse should be regarded in all cases as normal variation of female sexuality." - cause, you know, them ladies can be taught the right way to stimulate that vag into an orgasm.

The Control Group Situation
It is also mentioned in the discussion that there was no control group used. A control group could have been, the author writes, a group of women who were just told how to stimulate the anterior vaginal wall or a group that only received a normal pelvic exam. The author could then have checked back in with these ladies up to a month later to see if they were able to achieve vaginal orgasms and compared to the women who did receive the vaginal sexoogical examination. However, the author doesn't see these as very useful control groups.

He then says that, "under the circumstances, Alzates' work on paid and unpaid volunteers undergoing a researcher performed vaginal sexological exam very similar to our own, provided, we felt, the best albeit partial and temporary, solution to our 'control group dilemma..." That's right, the hot mess of a study I last overviewed is pointed to as a control group. It's not completely clear to me why this would be an okay control group, but I think it is because those women were just a group of women (so maybe a control in that way), and this study is all women who specifically have never orgasmsed vaginally and came to a clinic to help remedy that situation.


  • The author believes women who are orgasmic ONLY through stimulation of the external genitals should not be considered sexually dysfunctional, but as functional, but "often misinformed, and therefore unaware, with regard to their sexual anatomy and physiology. The new form of vaginal sexological examination described in this paper has proved to be, in our experience, an educational tool in helping such individuals."
  • They reject the idea put forth by previous researchers about the orgasmic merits of the 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock areas of the vagina. 
  • They also think 'The G Spot' label "should be avoided by professionals and lay people alike in order to prevent the unfortunate appearance and perpetuation of a new sexual myth." This, they say, because they found the entire anterior vaginal wall to be sensitive and believe it can be stimulated to orgasm. However, they did not find a particular spot that is sensitive and can be stimulated to orgasm, as Whipple, et al did in their G-spot-introducing book not 2 years earlier.  I'd like to quickly point out that this disagreement about a spot vs. a large area being the place where vaginal orgasm is stimulated from is still a huge issue today. In fact the word G-Spot since then has come to mean both those things depending on who you are talking to, yet people are rarely specific about which they mean. So, like the word, 'orgasm,' 'G-Spot' now tends to mean whatever the person saying it wants it to mean, and it's confusing as hell. So, maybe this author was on to something about not using the word anymore. (p.s. I always use the word to mean the raised area felt through the vaginal wall where the tissue surrounding the urethra and containing the female prostate exist - if stimulating it leads to any kind of sexual release, it would be an ejaculation - given that this is the only observed and recorded scenario - never yet an orgasm.)
  • Oh - and again there is an emphasis that a combo of vaginal and clitoral stimulation is most effective.
  •  "There is no such thing as a 'vaginal orgasm' distinctly different from a 'clitoral orgasm', but rather a genitally evokable sexual orgasm brought about by separate or combined stimulation of the different trigger components of the genital sensory arm of the orgasmic reflex." So, in this, they are saying that a vaginally evoked orgasm is no different than the universally agreed-upon definition of the clitorally evoked orgasm that Masters and Johnson identified and described...with the rhythmic muscle contractions and all that. Thus, from my understanding, the orgasms attained from stimulation of the anterior vaginal wall, should include those rhythmic muscle contractions. This study does not check for that given that the orgasms happened in the privacy of the patient's home. However the Alzate study, identified here as a possible control study; specifically said there didn't seem to be those rhythmic muscle contractions during the time women claimed to have orgasms from anterior vaginal wall stimulation, and actually suggested that the vaginally stimulated 'orgasm' might be something different. So my point is, this study didn't observe any actual orgasms, and a similar study, identified here as a control to this study, that included the researchers hand in the woman's vagina at the time she claimed to orgasm (not a great standardized measuring tool, but something none the less) said that no contractions were felt and that the vaginally induces orgasm is not the same as a clitorally induced orgasm. So, there is a discrepancy here, and I would think, since the other study is indicated as a control group, this discrepancy should have been discussed, but it was not.

Special Comments
The author wanted to note the sensitive nature of this vaginal sexological exam. It should be done with consent, in a normal medical area, with a female nurse or partner present - all that fairly basic stuff. He goes on to say, "special care should be taken to limit the vaginal stimulation to the shortest time span necessary for arriving at a diagnosis, thus avoiding high levels of sexual excitement, which could evoke guilt feelings in the patient and unnecessary fears in the partner of having to 'compete' with the more knowledgeable (and often male) physician." So, he believes only physicians trained in management of sexual problems should do this therapy.

My Final Thoughts
So there you go. I have a couple things to get out real quick.
1. This study is so typical of vaginal-stimulation-causes-orgasm studies. It shows clear observations that vaginal stimulation can be pleasurable and arousing, but then simply doesn't get clear observations that an orgasm can also occur from vaginal stimulation. Generally the researches simply ask the woman while in a clinical setting to say when she orgasms, but do not use any way of recording the physical things happening in her body while she says this (that study discussed here as a possible control is one of the very, very few exceptions to this), or as in this study, they simply ask the woman if it happened sometime while not in the clinical setting. I get the reasons why this author did not attempt to take women to orgasm, but I think it would have been a better study if he had tried. As it is now, this study did not give us any new information about what a vaginally induced orgasm might be.

I also want to take a minute to point out some problems with simply asking these women if they came. 64% said, in the presence of their male partner and the authority figure who showed them how to achieve vaginal orgasm, that they did in fact come this way. One possibility is that these 64%  of women did orgasm, and that is the assumption this study takes without question.

However, there is another, not so wild, possibility; anywhere from some to all of those 64% of women didn't orgasm, but said they did. Think about it. A woman can orgasm, but not the way that makes her a full mature women (it's 1986 - Freud is still looming large), not in a way that is easy or convenient for her husband, not in a way that makes her husband feel like a stud of a man, not in a way that seems 'normal'. It is such a problem, that this couple comes to get therapy for it. The doctor they meet, indicates, maybe not with words, but from the sexological exam that he does and the homework he gives them (to continue the stimulation till orgasm occurs) assumes that is it certainly possible for the woman to orgasm vaginally if she and her partner work at it hard enough. The whole situation points to the problem being her and her alone, if it still doesn't work when she gets home.  So, what I'm saying here is that this particular situation puts a lot of pressure on the woman to achieve the goal she came to that clinic to achieve. A professional has shown her how to do it, and her partner is probably trying his darndest to get it done. It would be a shame if she still couldn't do it, now wouldn't it?

I am not saying this is definitely what is happening, but it is not so far fetched. It is a possibility that should have been considered in both the methodology creation and the conclusion, but it is not considered at all, and that, my friends is concerning.


Frank Schaeffer - Orgasm Equality Champ, With A Little Religious Flair!

What I love is when other people see Science, Sex and the Ladies, or this blog and do something interesting with that experience. It's fun and exciting to see the movie and this topic from other people's perspectives, to see people take this topic and make it personal. I guess part of it is that I've been living with this topic in my head for so long. I see the causes and implications of this large misunderstanding about female orgasm poking their heads out in all parts of our culture, and it seems so important and clear to me. However, also for so long I've looked around and seen that nobody else seems to give a shit. Even though there have clearly been people along the 10 years I've been doing this who do care a lot, it just starts to feel like it's a never ending uphill battle to make people care, ya know. It feels like people refuse to really look at the situation, and it gets frustrating sometimes. So, my point is, it is awesome when someone seems to get the point and gets passionate. It's even more fun when they are passionate in a way that's different from me. It means that other people are really thinking about this, and it really means something to them, personally. So that's what happened recently when a writer named Frank Schaeffer who saw an article about the movie, watched the movie, and then wrote an article called, "If God Created Women to Make Babies Why Does the Female Orgasm Have Nothing to do With Procreation?"

To be completely honest, I don't really think about a god much at all, and so I don't think of what god has to do with this whole ladygasm topic really either. However, plenty of people do, and I'm clearly not the one to write about it, so it's fantastic that someone took up that challenge. Thanks Frank, you are this weeks Orgasm Equality Champ, and I recommend everyone check out his article.
Here's a little tidbit from Mr. Frank Shaeffer to tide you over till you go read for yourself.
The clitoris is outside the vaginal canal. So if God made us, or if we evolved by chance, either way the lesson is the same: Female sexuality is about pleasure. 
Men have to orgasm to make a baby. No orgasm, no sperm going into the right place. Not so with women.