A Bad-ass Letter from a Bad-ass Woman About Her Orgasms and My Post

About a month ago (4-17-2018 to be exact), I had an experience talking in a group that put my mind on the dynamics of orgasm talk between women. I just wanted to write a quick thing about it, so I tried out a kind of free-flowing-straight-from-the-brain-to-the-page writing for the post. I named it "Those Ladies Putting On Bravado About Their Orgasms - A Free Flowing Writing." Feel free to check it out.

I wanted to point out that sometimes women who have not gone through the personal and often hard work of understanding/experiencing their physical orgasm and bringing their understanding into their partnered situations are sometimes the loudest women in a group talking about their orgasm experience. Unfortunately these women are being loud and overly confident not about their own concrete physical experiences of orgasm, but about the social (mis)understanding and myths of orgasm that they have somewhat blindly but deeply clung to. I'm not mad. These women are all of us. We've all clung to these same myths and misinformations in some ways and at some times. In our world full of inaccurate physical information about female orgasm, ridiculous depictions of our orgasms in the media and all the ways our society tries to detach us ladies from our bodies, it makes sense that a lot of us will cling deeply to these for long periods of times, and that some of us will be loud and proud about it. I just wanted to say, in that post, that it's okay to note to yourself when these ladies are taking over the conversation, that they may not actually be the ones you should be listening to. They are the ones you hope, for their own sake, will do some hard personal introspection and learning about their orgasm in a different, more personal, body based way.

That all said, I also would love to see women who have done the work on figuring out their physical orgasm talking loudly and openly in groups. We need some real talk and vulnerability in our lady orgasm convos. What I didn't realize when I wrote all this (but I should always realize) is that I'm not always very clear and I don't always portray correctly in my writing what I mean. And when I got this awesome letter (please write me letters, I fucking LOVE to get letters), from this lovely women named Anna worried about if she was one of these women I was speaking of, I asked her if I could publish it, and she agreed. She is not one of these women. She is a woman who has put thought and work into making sure her orgasm is a priority even in partnered situations. Granted, she may have had an easier road to get there than a lot of us, but no female orgasm road in this world is a breeze. She and all the women who get to some kind of point where they can have an actual, physical orgasm by themselves and/or with a partner should be goddamn proud of their journey so far and if you ask me, should share that journey in an honest, vulnerable way with their friends.

So, I probably wrote too long of an intro, but here's Anna's letter. I think she is ab fab, and I loved hearing about her thoughts and experiences and believe they will be worthwhile to some of you out there as well (and also I'm so with you, Anna, on your assessment of what was going on with your partner's past intercourse-orgasming partner btw).

Dear Trisha,
I'm a long time reader of yours. Sex is a hobby of mine, both doing it and studying it. I love how you get past the common misconceptions and take a scientific view of sex, and how you make the sciency stuff accessible for enthusiastic amateurs like myself. I also love your discussions about how popular culture perpetuates myths about sex. 
I've been reading and re-reading your post from 4.17.2018 and it makes me a little sad.  I guess I could come across as one of those ladies you write about. I don't want to shut down any conversations. I just want to give you my perspective. 
I discovered masturbation in early childhood, and I've been having orgasms ever since. Alone and with partners. Real, distinct orgasms with the pelvic floor contractions and everything, not some vague, interpretable "wave of intensity" or whatever. I came to partnered sex with the expectation of orgasms, and I made sure I got them. Maybe it's because I'm autistic - I have an analytical mindset, and giving priority to my own pleasure as well as my partner's is the sensible thing to do. Sex is a collaboration, not a zero sum game. 
Collaborative sex is a win for both men and women. Allow me to use my partner of three years as an example: 
My partner has had a LOT of girlfriends and casual partners in his 54 years (I'm 47). His mental script was rooted in the commodity model of sex. He felt that he had to "pay" for sex in some way, since "women don't want or need sex the way men do" - by paying for dates and giving gifts, by flattering and complimenting, by helping out, by giving in when there were disagreements. He felt resentful and manipulated, but since he wanted sex and companionship, he did what he believed needed to be done. 
If he successfully tempted a woman to his bed, he felt it was his job, and his alone, to give her an orgasm. If he failed, he hadn't fulfilled his part of the unspoken bargain. Performance anxiety was interfering with his erections. Since he didn't realise how unimportant erections are to women's orgasms, this was a huge problem for him. The transactional view got him more orgasms than it did his girlfriends, but it wasn't very good for him either. 
What I'm trying to say is that women being "selfish" in bed is a good thing for both men and women. The cooperative model of sex relies on both parties asking for what they need. I don't neglect my partner, but I allow myself to focus on my orgasms as well. There is pleasure enough for everybody, and when we cooperate, it eases the pressure and we both get what we want. 
Again, I don't want to shut down the conversation. The orgasm gap is very real. My partner stubbornly believes that I'm exceptional, that ladygasms usually take a lot of work, and even that many women aren't capable of having them. Some men I have known didn't even try. They were confused or amused that orgasms were important to me. One even assured me I didn't need to orgasm, he was happy anyway - as if my orgasm was somehow for his gratification! Also, my partner refuses to believe that banging doesn't cause orgasms in women, because "if that were true, we would all know about it, and besides, I've had women come just from intercourse lots of times". (I, on the other hand, am convinced many of his previous partners faked their orgasms to satisfy his need to be a good lover and get him to stop already. Especially his first girlfriend, who he claims would consistently orgasm as soon as he put it in.) 
This is getting long and rambly, so I'll summarize: I don't want to put on bravado, but I exist and my orgasms are real. I do see myself as a sexual person, but I don't think that's necessary for having orgasms if you want to. Giving priority to your own orgasms is a good thing, and not in conflict with being a generous lover. It can even be beneficial for your partner. 
Maybe I'm over-simplifying. There are men who react badly when women ask for what they want and insist that they get it. There are men who get off on inequality and see the orgasm gap as a feature, not a bug. There is harassment and coercion and rape, and, speaking of personal beliefs, I think every single woman has had such experiences, at least to some degree, whether or not she interprets it that way. 
I don't think this was what you were writing about though. 
We all have a lot of shit baggage. There is a voice in my head telling me how pathetic I am to enjoy make-up and sexy lingerie when I'm pushing 50, with a body shaped by pregnancies and yoyo dieting. "Mutton dressed as lamb", indeed. Changing one's own internal discourse is hard. 
Pretending that orgasms are easy for all women is disastrous, but telling ourselves that struggling is inevitable isn't helpful either. 
Thank you for a wonderful blog,


Random Hite Report #27

Hello, welcome again to one of my favorite segments on the SSL blog, Random Hite Report! (And sorry for the 12 day lull in posts. New job, stolen computer, new city...I just decided to chill 'til I got a new computer and wasn't as hectic) It's simple really. I flip through the pages of the The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality  (or sometimes The Hite Report on Male Sexuality) by a one Ms. Shere Hite and copy the contents of the page where I land - no more no less. Anyone who reads my blog will know that this 1976 book is a fave of mine; not only because of its realistic and progressive insight about the female orgasm that is still shockingly relevant 40 years later,  but also because of its very touching insight into the lives of the women who took part in this huge, comprehensive survey. This is an under-appreciated and under-read book if you ask me - I suggest you buy it online (seriously, you can get them for like 1 cent) and read it.

 So, sit back, getcha a beverage, and enjoy a little...Random Hite Report.

The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality Dell. 1976.
Pg. 482  From the chapter "Sex and Emotions" in the section SEXUAL REVOLUTION. These are survey answers related to, unsurprisingly, the sexual revolution and emotions related to sex, under the heading, "Overwhelmingly, women wanted sex with feeling."

...together. No one knows where the other person is at, and what attracts one may turn off another. Everyone wants to try everything, but not stick to any one thing, so they change from day to day, and are bewildered by the way they and their friends reverse opinions and trade partners. I'm not saying the old way was better, but I'm afraid of what kind of life I can look forward to. I'm not married, but even if I do get married it seems that my marriage has a small chance of surviving. And I don't see the advantage of this style, frankly."
    "I'm confused as hell about the 'sexual revolution.' My husband and I lived and slept together for over a year before we were married -- and that was fine. We loved each other and was some kind of commitment between us. The summer before I was married, my (then) fiance was away and I slept twice with another man because I was curious. Fine. As I mentioned earlier, I lost my virginity to a friend, a bit of a cold way to start out, but I was scared and wanting to get laid, so he helped me out. Fine. But extramarital sex after a man and woman have made a big commitment to each other - I can't buy. I moved out on my husband when he took on a girl friend because I couldn't stand the pain. A year later, right no, we're negotiating. We seem to be at a stalemate. I hate to think of myself as behind the times, but I can't hack anything but monogamy."
    "I still believe the greatest sexual satisfaction comes from having a partner you care about. I've gone through stages of having several lovers and thinking I was really liberated. But I'm much more fulfilled now with one caring partner."
    "I went along with the sexual revolution quite a while until I realized that holding my feelings back was causing me a lot of anguish. I was very depressed. I tried opening communication lines up -  that was part of the problem but not all of it. Now, in love with my lover and trusting him, I can see how all that damaged me - made my trust mechanisms inhibited by sex.For a while I stopped having sex with him because I couldn't..."


Put Your Dicks Away, Like, For Real.

Here's a retro post from April of 2016, about the best comic Orgasm Equality song I've yet to hear. Enjoy 'Put Your Dick Away.' 

At the end of Amy Schumer's last episode of Season 3, there was an absolutely spectacular celebration of female-centered sexuality by comedian Bridget Everett called, I believe, Put Your Dick Away. And, I'm going to go further and tell you that it's straight up revolutionary shit she's doing. I'm adding her directly into my Orgasm Equality Hero list - because she deserves it.

Bridget Everett

The beautiful part is that it was funny as shit too. Like I'm always saying, truly lady-based sexual humor is a largely untapped area of comedy. Although talking about sex is nothing new for the ladies, strangely, talking about hetero sex in a truly selfish yet horn-ified way and keeping it clit instead of vagina centric is still super shocking and edgy...In a way it's really that women talking about sex that truly uses men is still really wild and scary (and btw - comedy about making a man fuck an insatiable vagina until he's tired out doesn't count - that's like saying you're 'using' your friend by obsessively cleaning their house to fulfill your cleaning fetish until they're kinda bored of you being around their house).

Can I just say again that I LOVED this goddamn Put Your Dick Away song. It was so on-point, funny, and deeply true - as some of the best comedy is. I really find it exciting to see more and more comedians expressing in this way about sex and masturbation.  Amy Schumer's got the triple crown of 5 vulva ratings in podcastsTV and Movies, so she is doing her part. The ladies of Saturday Night Live are tappin' in from time to time. Margret Cho did her part back in the day (although I think the world wasn't quite ready yet). Of course they're others too -add 'em in the comments if you got 'em.

So, here's my favorite set of lyrics. It brings a little revolutionary tear to my eye.

When I come home at the end of the day and my fingers are down to the bone. My back is achin' don't there be no mistaken, I'm gonna call my girl on the phone.Then I'll pour a glass of wine. I'm gonna take my time. I'm gonna get my shit relaxed.And when I say it's fucking time, you're gonna lick my valentine, and don't forget the crack. So put yoooooour diiiick, puuuuuut your diiiiick, put your dick away.


Anyway, I think humor is probably the best path to Orgasm Equality. For instance: Some dudes don't want to believe that you might GREATLY prefer for them to mouth-fuck your clit instead of gettin' that dick up in it, but if they hear it as a joke, it lubes the idea up just enough to slip it in the back door...just enough to wonder about if the next girl they hook up with even actually cares to see or touch his junk at all. The way I see it, if we ever want orgasm equality guys need go into a sexual encounter just as worried about the possibility that they'll be used for their mouth and sent on their way as women are about getting a terrible, orgasm-less bang. We are not to that point yet. I mean guys pretty much assume an orgasm in any  sexual situation, so we do have a long way to go yet. But one day, with everyone equally scared they could end up giving more than they get, maybe everyone will start putting in equal effort, and orgasmic joy will reign on earth - amiright?

But seriously, check this woman out. There's no official video of this song up on YouTube that I can find. So you're just going to have to watch her on Inside Amy Schumer S3 E10 (3 Buttholes) or watch her recent Stand-up (which I'm gonna do tonight). Do it.


MeTelling Cosmo Readers to Rub on Stacks of Laundry in Their Panties

If you read this blog you know that I have some straight up love for some of the Cosmo sex writing. Yes, cool people are supposed to make fun of Cosmo Sex Position lists, but that's stupid because the Cosmo Sex Position lists have been bringing their A-game, full on clit focused and yet still often hilarious shit. It's actually at the forefront of the Orgasm Equality Revolution, so suck it. Jill Hamilton and the editors and illustrators that support her are bringing that Revolution, ya'll.

So on that note, I would like to introduce to my SSL world Lane Moore. She's the Sex and Relationship Editor at Cosmo. From my understanding, she wrote a post about ways to masturbate, and Jill was tasked with doing some additions for an updated version to put out there. So, Jill asked me if I would like to be one of the experts in there and I of course said yes. I mean, I am not going to turn down the chance to have my name in Cosmo because that's awesome motha fuckas. Plus, I like thinking of clit-tastic things to do while alone or with a partner. So she sent me the link to the original, because my solo-sex position couldn't be something already in there. What I found was clit focused stuff, which was awesome as shit. They even talked about penetration, but didn't act like you could forget about the clit stimulation during it. That's big. I mean you'd think that talking about masturbation of course it'd be clit-focused, but sadly that's not usually the case.

So, I was super stoked about being part of that, and decided to talk about rubbing your underwear covered vulva against something soft. It's how I masturbated from about 4 to 18, and it's awesome. They didn't have room to add in my advice about keeping a hand under the soft thing to push up against you as you grind down on it, so I thought I'd add that in here. It's a journey, people. Try different things until it feels right.

This whole thing reminded me how much I love this way of masturbating. I actually felt weird about it after I started being sexual with a real live person in my late teens and felt like I needed to teach myself a more 'correct' way of masturbating. So, I started using my hand on my clit until I was able to come from it. I am pretty adept now 20 years later, but it took me a couple weeks of trying before I was able to make it work. It was too intense for me at first. Anyway, I think about that sometimes and how sad it was that I thought the way I masturbated wasn't cool enough because it's not what you see on TV or movies or porn. It works like a motha fucka though, and to all my sisters out there who come this way, high fives to all of you. I don't do it this way enough. I may hit it this way tonight.

So, check out the article. You'll enjoy.

How To Masturbate For Women - 12 Masturbation Tips by Lane Moore and Jill Hamilton


Sex And The City S1 E1-2: A Retro SSL Review

My new little segment is back for a another round (Here's the others). It's a modified, lazy version of an SSL Review. It's just me transcribing my notes, page by page, on all of the Sex and the City episodes. I watched them all - not necessarily in order - during 2007 and 2008, and I took notes on the depiction/discussion of female orgasm and female masturbation. It was my early attempt at this type of lady-gasm review stuff. Anyway, I never actually created reviews from these notes, but since they exist, I'd like to get them out there on the interwebs before they get burned in a house fire or something...thus this series.

Ramona and my SATC Notes

Anyway, the fun of this will be that I will transcribe these as word for word as I can while still trying to make it be a sensible read. I'll post a pick of the notes for your reference. I'll do one or more episodes at a time - from the beginning of the notebook to the end. I may add notes for clarification or add my SSL-Review-style comments.

Hopefully the notes I took privately 10 years ago won't make me look like a dumb asshole. I will add them in the TV SSL Review Master List  (of course you are also welcome to check out the Movie SSL Review Master List as well). Here we go.

Sex And The City Season 1 Episodes 1 and 2

Season 1 Episode 1
- Go have sex "like a man"  - meaning withouth feelings
-Carrie doing guy who was best sex of her life  - she orgasms off camera, he comes up from under covers. He says, "My Turn." She says, "no - gotta go." V.O says it was good especially without all the emotional shit.
    very good
Except - the dude sees Carrie later and says it's awesome that she understands the sex relationship he always wanted  - but in V.O. she says she doesn't get it.
-Samantha goes home with guy then he looks like he's going down on her.

Season 1 Episode 2
-Some dude Carrie's talking to showed her sex tapes w/ him and models, looks like porn - he's self-involved and the girls seem to be enjoying themselves.
-Samantha being fucked. They tape it - she's looking at the camera like he was (me: in the model videos).

My Thoughts
I actually just watched these episodes again recently with a friend, so I'm pretty familiar at this moment with what was happening in them. I really LOVED that when Carrie decided she should try to 'have sex like a man' they depicted it in what I think it the most important and kinda least discussed aspect of 'having sex like a man' - which is getting your orgasm without your partner not getting one.

She got her orgasm from a little oral and said - 'see ya.' I. Love. That.

They talked a lot about sex like a man being about lack of emotion, but I think that's just something this world tells itself to sooth the deep sad fact that men have the luxury of pursuing sex with the opposite sex just to get off and women really don't have that luxury...I mean we can, but it's just so fucking hard to do it.

We can get off, it's not like female bodies are less capable, It's just that the 'normal' sex scripts are not focused on the clitoral glans (which is what women need stimulated to orgasm) and uber-focused on the penis and intercourse (which is shit at getting women off). For a woman to orgasm with a man, she needs to be very specific and direct and have a man that doesn't get offended or confused in order to move past the basic not-great-for-lady-gasm sexual scripts that we all tend to just move through without much discussion. Plus, even if the guy is cool to try whatever and the gal is very clear and knows what to tell him to get her off, there's this weird thing where maybe being so specific and detailed and worrying how it might be received gets her into her head and out of her arousal, and maybe even if the guy is cool with it, it's not something in his normal sex toolbox and he feels a little in his head and out of his arousal as well.

I'm just saying it's an up-hill battle for women. However, for men, the normal sexual scripts, if everyone plays along - and we all often do, are great for his orgasm. And a vagina to put his dick in, even if there is no sexual skill in that woman with the vagina, is a FAB masturbation tool for a dick, so there's a lot going right for the dude-gasm.

Point is, I think it's a bunch of B.S. to pin the way men have sex on a lack of emotion. Men have the luxury of not having to focus so much on the emotional parts of sex because they, unlike women have the orgasmic parts of sex so available to them that they can hang their hats on that in a way women can't. That's the real story you should be writing about, Ms. Bradshaw. (but she doesn't, buy the end of the episode she just kinda ignores the whole orgasm aspect and brings it back to emotion - Blah)

Other than that - I liked seeing Samantha's sexual encounter allude to some cunnilingus. I just obviously appreciate 2 pussy-eatings in the first episodes in the first episode of a female centric TV show about sex.

Also, there was no orgasm in the model tapes or the Samantha and model-guy tape, so I can't really SSL review it. You're free to make your own thoughts up about it.