There are so many myths swirling around about orgasms, it's a miracle any of us are having them.
There's a lot of bad information spinning around out there, and there's a lot of male-centered information. Women orgasm differently from men, and in some ways the act of sex as we currently know and accept it is in opposition to women's pleasure.
So, let's start by dispelling some myths about female orgasm. Myths are always dangerous.
A myth isn't just misinformation, but misinformation that's been perpetuated and glorified and trusted and passed on such that people have begun to accept it as truth. Whether they're about a point in history, a group of people, or a certain place or activity, myths leave people confused and disappointed.
There are so many myths swirling around about orgasms, it's a miracle that any of us are having orgasms at all, let alone good ones. So let's get to debunking the most common ones.
1. Orgasming is the only goal when it comes to having sex.
Sex is about pleasure. Sometimes, it's also about connection. Orgasm is a lovely byproduct. But too many people think of sex — and masturbation for that matter — as akin to a road trip. You have a destination and a map and a single tool (your car) to get you there.
Sex should be geared toward exploration rather than destination. There's no map. Even if you've done it a thousand times before, even if you've read it all, done it all, seen it all, each occasion has the opportunity to be a new adventure. So, follow it where it leads and keep at it for as long as the pleasure lasts.
Take advantage of all the tools at your disposal. Your body, your partner's body, tongues, hands, feet, fingers — you get the idea. And don't discount toys. There's no reward for having sex without toys. Using them doesn't mark you as any less competent.
2: All women can easily have multiple orgasms.
Women are a lucky bunch. We have the capacity for multiple orgasms. But don't let the movies fool you. That doesn't mean that all women, or even most women, actually have them. And even for those who do, it doesn't mean that it's easy or that it happens each and every time they have sex or masturbate.
This is another one of those times when comparing yourself to other women can be particularly dangerous. If you're worried about having multiple orgasms, how are you even supposed to manage one?
There should only be one thing on your mind when you're having sex — pleasure. Having an orgasm is like a lot of things: If you stop worrying about it, you'll have one — or maybe even multiple.
3. All women like the kind of sex you see in those romantic movies.
Nice girls want to be f*cked, too. Although porn is dangerous because it implies that women come instantly and multiple times, and that sex with a man is all about the man, romantic films are equally dangerous because they suggest that all we want is to have our hair gently stroked and our backs rubbed.
F*ck that. We want to be f*cked, too! All different types of women like to have sex in all different kinds of ways, and desires change all the time — every time we have sex, in fact.
We want what we want, when we want it. So, don't berate yourself if you get nothing out of all that nicey-nicey, touchy-feely stuff and want your partner to really get to it. But keep in mind that even the very best partners aren't mind readers.
4. It's perfectly fine to fake an orgasm.
Although I can tell you from firsthand experience that no partner I've had has ever known I was faking it, that's nothing to be proud of. I was doing myself a major disservice every time I faked the Big O.
Why? Because I was basically telling my partner that what we did resulted in an orgasm, which implies that said acts bear repeating when nothing could be further from the truth. This is one of the many reasons why we have to take the focus off the orgasm as the end-all, be-all, must-do.
Sex doesn't always lead to orgasm. But it must always lead to pleasure. So, tell the truth every time.
5. Having safer sex ruins sex.
That's just crazy talk. Safer sex is actually sexier sex because 1) it shows that your partner cares about you enough to protect you, and 2) it allows your brain not to worry about pregnancy or STIs, and instead to focus on the important thing at hand: playing with your partner.
One of the times I felt most cherished by a partner was when she got up to wash her hands after having had her finger in my backside. She apologized when she excused herself to wash up, and I said, "Never apologize for taking such good care of me."
6. No woman wants to have a quickie.
Anything that starts with "no woman" or "every woman" is likely untrue, because we're all as different as we are alike. Plenty of women enjoy quickies. It's all about the who, when, where, why, and how.
A quickie doesn't have to result in an orgasm. It can be a lovely tease to keep you on edge until you can satisfy that itch. It can also be a fun way to connect with your partner when there's no time for anything more.
When it comes to female orgasm, it's all about leaving your preconceived notions at the door, learning about what you like, and communicating that to your partner. Whether or not that includes quickies is all up to you.
7. If you have a skilled partner, there's no need for sex toys.
This is bunk. Period. Having an orgasm isn't easy for all women, and there's no shame in using whatever means you enjoy. So, bring on the toys, and the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned.
One of my favorite things is to have a partner penetrate me slowly with Betty Dodson's Vaginal Barbell while stimulating my clit with any number of vibrating goodies. Remember, it's not about the right way; it's about your way. And if your partner has an issue with toy use, you know what I always say: they know where the door is.
8. All women can easily reach orgasm.
Women aren't men. I repeat: Women aren't men. It generally takes us upwards of twenty minutes — at least — to have an orgasm, and that's when we're really both attending to ourselves and being attended to. Intercourse isn't the main event. (I know, I know. Scrape yourself off the floor.)
The biggest problem when it comes to female orgasm is that men and women expect women to be able to come in the three to five minutes that most men last during penetration. But it doesn't work that way for most women.
We need twenty to thirty minutes of clitoral stimulation on average, and a combination of activities is generally preferred — and still, there are no guarantees. Forget hard and easy. It's not about what it takes; it's about wanting it and having it and doing what it takes to get there.
9. Position makes no difference when it comes to female orgasm.
Position makes all the difference when it comes to orgasm, but not for the reasons you might think. It's unlikely that a woman will come from penetration alone. If she does, it will be because everything prior to that was stellar, the penetration was well-timed, and the position allows for clitoral stimulation either directly or indirectly.
Position really makes a difference during sexual activities other than intercourse, because leverage and the ability to see what you're doing are so very important.
10. Penetration is the key for a woman to reach orgasm.
Intercourse alone usually doesn't lead to orgasm. Fewer than 25 percent of women say they can orgasm via penetration alone. Even that number may be high; most likely, those women who reported orgasm from penetration alone were experiencing some level of clitoral stimulation from the thrusting.
I'd argue instead that 99.9 percent of women need clitoral stimulation if they're going to reach orgasm. There are always the outliers. But we're talking about the rule here, not the exception.
11. Male orgasm is primary and female is secondary.
This, naturally, is the myth that burns me the most. If you have a male partner, this is the most important thing you need to know when it comes to orgasm: Yours is just as important as his. Equal. Even if it may take you longer. Even if you can have more varieties, more often. Even if penetration alone doesn't necessarily do the trick for you.
None of that means that female orgasm should in ANY WAY take a backseat to male orgasm. It's no wonder that this myth has become so rampant. The penis is so obvious about its needs and its results; the p*ssy tends to be a great deal more subtle. Regardless, male and female orgasms are equally important. Always.
Excerpt from O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm.
This article was originally published at O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm. Reprinted with permission from the author.