1.18.2020

Ribbed For Her Pleasure Is Some Next Level Bullshit



I don't know when the campaign started or which company started it, but at some point in my teens my best friend and I heard or read the "Ribbed For Her Pleasure" condom marketing scheme. To this day, the word 'ribbed' cannot be said in our presence without having to also say 'for her pleasure.' I doubt we're alone in that. We just found it funny - ya know being teenagers and stuff, but the whole thing is really interesting to me now as an adult woman that spends her time writing and thinking about the incredibly fucked up culture around female orgasm.



I mean just out of the blue sky of culture we were fed the idea that the texture of the latex wrapping on a penis would somehow tickle the insides of our vaginas in such a way that it would intensify our 'pleasure' (i.e. orgasm). This idea only makes sense in a world where it is understood as common knowledge that the stimulation a woman gets inside her vagina during intercourse is something that causes physical pleasure and likely orgasm.

 And let me step back here and acknowledge that the marketing line technically says nothing about orgasm. It merely says it'll help with pleasure and really that could mean anything to anybody. If the use of that ribbed condom made the receiving woman a little extra excited because it seemed a little dirtier, a little more risque and naughty, then I guess it did do its part in increasing her pleasure. However, I'm going forward with the assumption that the word 'pleasure' was chosen with the idea of orgasm wrapped within it, and also that when the public hears the word 'pleasure' in this context they too wrap the idea of orgasm in it. Now that's a leap, yes, but I think a small one. The word 'pleasure' is regularly (much too regularly) interchanged with the word orgasm when it comes to women, even though they are different things. I would argue that most people would assume one means the other in the context of ladies and sex without even giving it a second thought, and so to me the tone and insinuation of the marketing campaign is that ribbed condoms can help a woman orgasm, and I'm going to discuss it from that perspective.

Okay, let me say that sentence up there again. This idea only makes sense in a world where it is understood as common knowledge that the stimulation a woman gets inside her vagina during intercourse is something that causes physical pleasure and likely orgasm. To dig in a little deeper here, let's remind ourselves that the ribbed condom is just a thin latex condom that has texture - different kinds of texture, but just texture none the less. For 'Ribbed For Her Pleasuree' to make sense you kind of need to think of the vagina like an inside out penis (as if we were anatomist in the 17th Century). When you think of it that way, it really does make sense. The skin of the penis is full of nerves that when stimulated are related to orgasm, and one might imagine it could feel texture rubbed against it and the person attached to it might enjoy that variety of texture. Relate that to the vagina, as if the inner walls of the vagina are full of sensitive nerves related to orgasm, and yeah, the extra texture rubbed against it might heighten the stimulation of these supposed orgasm-creation-nerves in the vagina.

Big problem here though. The vagina is absolutely not anatomically an inside out penis. Wouldn't it be awesome if it was though? Wouldn't it be easy if the male organ of sexual pleasure stroked and got stroked by the female organ of sexual pleasure during intercourse?...if the lady-orgasm nerve tissue was directly rubbing the dude-orgasm nerve tissue during p-in-v banging? If that were the case, I imagine hetero couple sex would be much more like the hetero sex we see in porn (spoiler alert - a lot of fake ladygasms!), movies, tv, and written erotica -  where sticking a dick in a vag is like orgasm central for the ladies.

But, that's not the case, is it? Only about 30% of women claim to orgasm at all, ever during intercourse.* Think of how much intercourse most hetero women have in their life. That's some sad, unfair shit if you really think about it.

But back to the vagina not being an inside out penis. It's really solidly not, although we as a culture clearly like to think of it that way even if it's kind of a non-logical subconscious way to think of it. The clit is the thing that is anatomically related to the penis, and specifically the clitoral glans and surrounding tissue carry orgasm-related nerve endings like are found in the penis.

So, I'll make this clear, the vagina is not only not an inside out penis anatomically, but very unlike the penis, stimulation to the walls of the vagina don't cause orgasm. I should be more precise when I say that. The vagina does not have any element in it that has been shown to cause orgasm when stimulated and orgasm (which means rhythmic release of pelvic muscle tension and blood congestion brought on by arousal. I'm not using orgasm in the flim-flamsy 'something that feels climaxy to you' way) caused by stimulation on the inside of the vagina has never been physically recorded in scientific literature. So, like, banging a woman to orgasm is a bunch of bullshit, bullshit we women buy into as well but bullshit none the less, and thinking that adding some ribbing will help make a sex act that has no physical reason to cause orgasm, magically increase orgasmic potential is extra bullshit. More info about the anatomy relations between male and female genitals is HERE, and more info about why I am adamant that assuming vag-stimulation will cause orgasm is ridiculous is HERE. And, before you ask, because I know it's the new hot way to try and explain why people claim vaginal orgasm exist when physically there is no sense to that - there is also no evidence and really no anatomical reason to assume that a penis pressing against the clitoral legs that kind of surround the vagina would stimulate orgasm either - and btw even if it did, the ribbing on a condom would have nothing to do with that. Also, stimulation, and really specifically pressure not just tactile stimulation, of the 'G-spot' (female prostate) has been shown in scientific literature to stimulate ejaculation in some women, but it has never been shown to cause orgasm (orgasm and ejaculation are 2 different things just like in men), so don't count on latex ribbing stimulating the g-spot to orgasm either.

All that to say, unless you're using the condom as a glove to rub her clit, the idea that condoms with some texture on them could improve a woman's ability to orgasm is the biggest bullshit. But, the craziest thing is not how scientifically ridiculous the idea is, but how easily that ridiculous notion fits into the ridiculous and deeply embedded narrative of how women 'should' orgasm - from getting banged. Because, even though we might know it's not true, wouldn't it still be nice if the vagina were an inside out penis?  Wouldn't it be convenient for us women to do the sex act men seem to want the most and also be able to orgasm without having to bother our poor partner in any way by making sure the clit, our organ of sexual pleasure, also gets stimulated?


* (I suspect the actual % is much lower and those that actually do orgasm during intercourse with no extra manual stimulation are orgasming due to clitoral/vulva stimulation against the man or something else during the act...but you can read more about that HERE if you want)