The “Orgasm Gap.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s been in magazine articles as of late. Well, if you haven’t and you’re a woman, you most certainly have experienced it.
According to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, 91 percent of men reported climaxing in their last opposite-sex sexual encounter compared to 64 percent of women. What’s more, only about 8% of women report being able to consistently reach orgasm through intercourse alone.
What’s Going On Here?!
Are women just more “complicated”? Are we less inclined naturally toward sex than our male counterpart? Are orgasms just harder for us to come by?
For #@&%*!’s sake, No.
Think about it for a moment. Would God/dess create one gender to be more enthusiastic about sex and more naturally orgasmic than the other? Of course not! That would be a poor design indeed.
The Elusive Female Orgasm
If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced men just about all your life pressuring you to orgasm during sex and then blaming you, either explicity or implicity, if you couldn’t–as if it were a “problem” and you were the source of it.
Even one of my early tantra teachers conveyed the attitude that if women weren’t having orgasms, the issue resided with her (i.e. that she needed more “sexual healing”) rather than with her partner’s lack of presence, for instance, or the approach in general (i.e. too genitally focused). At his beginner tantra weekends, which I regularly attended as an assistant, there was a “homeplay” assignment Saturday night which involved women receiving a full-body massage, including genital (or “yoni”) massage. On Saturday morning, he would ask women, by show of hands, how many had a “peak” or “best-ever experience.” And then he wanted to know how many women had ejaculatory orgasms.
Every workshop, I loathed these questions. Each time I felt shame because I never got to raise my hand. I didn’t have anything that could be considered a “peak experience,” at least according to his book. I’m sure lots of other women were feeling “less than” in those moments too.
Those kind of quantity-over-quality questions suggest a dualistic mindset, as if there were winners and losers – a total set-up for women to feel bad about themselves or “not enough” and to compete with one another, rather than to be in sistership together. Questions such as “What did we find exciting or surprising about the process?” or “What opened up for us? What did we learn?” would have been far more useful questions that actually supported us on our sexual healing and awakening journey.
As a result of such pressures and expectations, I came to resent the men in my life for needing me to perform so that they could get a boost to their own ego. Even when I spent time in tantra communities, where I assumed there would be more awareness about unconscious programming around sex, I recoiled at the phrase, “Goddess Worship.” For me, it rang as a euphemism for, “Can I diddle your genitals, while disconnected from my heart, and do stuff to your body that I want to do, regardless of what you want until you come, and then I get to feel good about myself to compensate for my deep-seated sense of inadequacy?”
I’m not saying this was my experience of all men, however it was and still is a common pattern. While the “worship” was supposedly “all for her,” the inauthenticity of it was that it was still ultimately about him. In other words, the emphasis was on his performance, rather than on a giving that flows from love, an act of devotion, that fully takes into account her authentic desires.
For an act of sexual loving truly to be a gift to a woman it requires his sincere curiosity to know her and her deepest heart and soul desires. And then it requires sincere desire on his part to give that to her, to the best of his ability. It’s the difference between giving her what he assumes she ought to want only because that’s what he’s seen in porn or that’s what he actually wants himself versus what she actually wants (even when it has nothing obviously to do with her genitals). Ideally, a woman would do the same for her male partner too, have that same sincere, open curiosity and desire to love him the way he wants to be loved. Sex IS about love, afterall.
Why has it been so hard to advocate for our own pleasure?
Women have been socialized to defer to men. Patriarchal paradigm gave the reins of control over to men, including what to do in the bedroom. As women, most of us never got the message that we could know more about our own female bodies and sexual responses than our male partners. It’s time for that to change. In my own challenging past with partners and lovers, I thought that once I had discovered what truly turned me on and communicated that, I could finally find satisfaction and fulfillment. But it wasn’t that easy. If my desire didn’t fit the box of what he already thought of as part of “how you do sex,” it’s as if my request didn’t compute. He either judged my desire, invalidated it, indulged me once and then forgot, or ignored it entirely. It terms of asking for what I want, it’s been complicated.
The Problem Is…
What we think of as “sex” is male-centered sex. It’s been a man’s game. If you are honest with yourself about the quality of sexual love and intimacy you’ve experienced so far in your life and, so far, it’s been less than exquisitely connected, loving, ecstatic, joyful, and deeply nourishing, this is why. The default “sex script” that most all of us have unconsciously inherited growing up in this Western Culture (i.e. the “baseball diamond approach) favors and expedites the male experience, to the detriment of female one.
Men and women are not created the same way when it comes to our emotional and sexual responses. After 18 years of my own passionate research and inquiry into the source of authentic feminine sexual satisfaction and fulfillment, my own and others, I now know there are other pathways to women’s ultimate pleasure and bliss than “running the bases.” There are alternative templates to follow that honor most women’s natural energy flows and that result in plenty more ecstatic pleasure and orgasms! I teach these in my classes. None of these are taught in our culture. It is as if “feminine sexuality” has been a completely invisible thing.
My Path to Breakthrough
It wasn’t until I completely gave up on trying to have orgasms during sex, reconciled myself with the possibility that I never would, learned how to connect with my authentic pleasure and goddess energy, discovered my unique erotic-love blueprint, and learned how to communicate to my lovers about how my BlissBody works, that all of that changed–COMPLETELY.
The source of orgasm inequity doesn’t lie on the individual level. No man deliberately means to short-change his partner of her pleasure and satisfaction, even though that’s been the result. Bless their hearts! They really DO want to see us happy and experiencing great pleasure. Blaming any individual man for less than deeply meaningful, connected, joyfully pleasurable, mind-blowing sex and lovemaking won’t get us anywhere. It’s a collective shift that’s needing to happen, one woman, one couple at a time.
It’s a shift away from a Power-Over paradigm (patriarchy) to a Power-Together one (peace and partnership) that is just beginning to happen. The #metoo movement has been our watershed historical moment.
Now, our society is beginning to honor diversity in all kinds of ways. This, in time will include sexual diversity, that is the understanding that there is more than one “Human Sexual Response Cycle.” While this classic 4-stage model, discovered by Masters and Johnson in their research (excitement-plateau-orgasm-resolution) reflects of most men’s sexual response, it does not reflect most women’s experience.
One of the next steps in this shift toward the Peace and Partnership Paradigm, is for us as women to discover and own the power our femininity, our sexuality, and our embodied Divine Feminine knowingness. By us learning to trust the voice of our own embodied wisdom, we will discover our unique erotic-love blueprints that are free from the limits of patriarchal consciousness. And everyBODY will benefit as a result 😉
A New Sexual Revolution Is Afoot!
It is a holistic one where women, based on our own embodied wisdom and knowledge of our authentic sexual self, will be enrolling our opposite sex partners into a style of sex and intimacy that is a true win-win-win. A win for us, a win for him, and a win for the world.
Until next time Dear One, Enjoy Yourself, for Goddess’s Sake!
P.S. Can you relate to the “baseball diamond approach” to sex in your past experiences? You can identify it as foreplay which starts out with making out, then goes to breast fondling, than to oral or manual genital play, then to intercourse with the idea that it leads to orgasm (his and *maybe* yours).
Has this been an ultimately satisfying approach for you? What’s been missing? What would you like more of? Less of? Please share in the comments below!