now over 30 years
since feminists set out to educate women about their own bodies and
placed female orgasm on the agenda. Unfortunately, many women today
still experience difficulty experiencing orgasm during sex.
While there are a number
of factors behind this, such as medical or psychological problems,
this column is setting out to address a major and relatively simple
reason why women have trouble achieving orgasm.
There's no way to be
delicate about it: the problem is often ignorance.
Perhaps a lack of
knowledge is a better term. Our society still values penis-in-vagina
sex above all else, and as long as people consider this to be "having
sex", women will continue to miss out on full sexual satisfaction.
While a number of women
are capable of achieving orgasm through straight intercourse alone,
the vast majority need some form of clitoral stimulation to help
them out. Unfortunately, a lot of men don't understand this. If
they've been reared on a diet of mainstream porn - where women come
at the drop of a hat with no clitoral stimulation - then they've
got a lot of catching up to do. Similarly, women also tend to believe
that they should be having orgasms through penis-in-vagina
intercourse, and if they don't, there's something wrong with them.
If you are reading
this, and you've never had an orgasm, relax - you're fine. You've
been a victim of continuing misinformation about female sexuality.
These beliefs are the result of a continuing cultural legacy that
has persisted for over 200 years. Part of this is the way people
always refer to a woman's genitals as her vagina, rather than her
vulva or clitoris. The focus has always been on the vagina, to the
detriment of all else!
The best way to make
women happier in bed is if society as a whole changes its view of
"sex", so that it includes all kinds of sexual contact
AND a guaranteed female orgasm every time.
So what's the best
way to learn how to have an orgasm?
that you probably aren't going to come through intercourse alone.
2. Get to know yourself
"down there". Use a mirror to study your genitals
and locate your clitoris (if you don't know, here's
a picture). Don't worry about how your genitals look. Every
woman's vulva is different, and they're all beautiful. If you want
to learn more about the vulva and clitoris, you may want to see
Betty Dodson's video Viva
la Vulva - Women's Sex Organs Revealed.
3. Learn to masturbate.
A large number of women who've never had an orgasm have often never
pleasured themselves, perhaps through guilt because they were taught
it was a "sin", or because they thought it was something
that women just don't do. The fact is, you know yourself best. You
know exactly where to scratch when you have an itch, and masturbation
is similar in that respect.
a) Manual technique:
Create some time alone for yourself, get naked, get into bed, and
begin to rub yourself on the clitoris. Experiment to see what feels
best. Try rubbing in a circular motion, or up and down. Some women
like to insert a finger into their vagina while they rub. Relax,
and don't worry about it. If you feel an orgasm coming on, don't
fight it, or tense up. If that happens, it's no big deal. Jus start
again, or try again another time. You will get there.
b) Vibrators: This is often the best way to reach orgasm
if you can't do so manually. While any vibrator bought at an adult
shop (or online equivalent) will do the job, I recommend an
electric "personal massager" such as the Hitachi Magic
Wand or Breville Massager (you can buy these from any appliance
shop - many women find this much less embarrassing than going to
a sex shop!). These provide far more intense vibrations and don't
ever run out of batteries at a crucial moment! Again, get naked
and apply the vibrator to your clit. Sometimes direct contact can
be too much, so experiment with positions - put it on your pubic
mound, or just below the clit so you get the "echoes"
of the vibration. If you want to hold your legs shut, or any way,
go ahead. The important thing is finding what gets you going, and
what gets you over the line.
I also recommend reading
the books featured on this page.
Of course, it may be
difficult to "get in the mood" to masturbate in the first
place. Some women find looking at sexually explicit material to
be helpful. There are now a number of women's erotica sites on the
internet. Click here for a full list.
4. Introduce your
partner to what stimulates you. This may mean masturbating in
front of him, or using the vibrator. You may feel a little embarrassed,
but remember, you have to teach him how to pleasure you, in the
same way that you've just taught yourself, and the only way to do
that is to be completely open, honest, and able to trust.
5. Incorporate your
new methods of masturbation into your lovemaking. This may mean
manual stimulation or use of the vibrator as "foreplay"
(I've put the word "foreplay" in quotation marks because
it's an old fashioned term that implies intercourse as the most
important stage. In fact, "foreplay" is often the best
time for the woman to reach her orgasm.)
A small note
for men: Do not let your ego get in the way of this process.
A vibrator is not a rival, it's simply a tool to help your partner
reach orgasm. If she is using the tool, but she's kissing you, then
you are making love. Remember: you want her to come. Be patient,
caring, and eager to please.
6. Learn to orgasm
through different methods. This may mean learning to orgasm
while receiving cunnilingus, or learning to orgasm during sex itself
through constant stimulation of the clitoris during penetration.
Once you've reached stage 5, that may be as far as you can go, and
that's fine. But it's always fun to try and improve on what you
If after all this,
you are still having difficulties, it is time to seek outside help.
This may mean going to see your GP, who can suggest what medical
options are available. You may prefer to see a sex therapist who
can guide you through a sexual self discovery program. It may be
there are other psychological problems that you need to deal with
before you can embark on this journey.
recommend Dr Betty Dodson's guide to masturbation called Sex
for One. This book is devoted to self loving in all its
forms. Dr Dodson was a feminist in the 70's who pioneered many great
techniques for helping women achieve orgasm. Betty has also made
a video on the same topic, called Self
Loving. This film steps inside one of Betty's workshops where
10 women explore their sexuality. Celebrating
Orgasm - Women's Private Selfloving Sessions is in a similar
You may also want
to visit Betty's amazing website here.
First Person Sexual:
Women and Men Write About Self Pleasuring,
by Joani Blank (ed)
First Person Sexual, Joani Blank has collected 43 accounts by men
and women of masturbation experiences, many of them the first time
they "got off," that is, had an orgasm. This isn't your
ordinary Sunday school or public-school fare. Certainly it's the
most talked-about subject on the planet, and next to eating and
breathing the most practiced of all human activities. But talk about
it? For most of us, it's uh, uh
In the foreword, sexologist and author Leonore Tiefer writes:
"Sexuality can be subversive, as activists and theorists on
both the left and right have known. Literary and artistic depictions
of masturbation symbolize resistance to authority and display an
existential commitment to sensory and sensual pleasure."
What Joani Blank offers in First Person Sexual is permission-giving.
Hey it's all right to masturbate. Everybody does it (and, as a friend
of mine once said, if 9 out of 10 guys admit they masturbate in
the shower, it's a good guess that the 10th guy is lying) so why
shouldn't you, and not feel guilty about it? Tiefner says masturbation
should be recognized as a "positive aspect of childhood. While
Blank's book won't be on any Sunday school reading lists, or show
up any time in the next few centuries in public-school health courses,
its publication is another small stamp of approval merely by its
appearance. Blank, with this book, peels back another layer of the
onion of existence of what it means to be human.
- Amazon reviewer
may wish to explore your sexuality and discover arousal techniques
through an adult site. Naturally you want something that caters
to women, and Sssh.com
is an excellent place to get in the mood. Here you can watch adult
films and enjoy pictorials that focus on the woman's pleasure. I
may also want to check out Becoming
Orgasmic (the video)
over in our Adult Video
forget to visit For The Girls, a new ezine and erotica site for
women. Created by women, for women, you'll find lots of pics and
movies here to get you feeling aroused and ready for orgasm!
Plus, plenty of sex advice.
Click here to see more