Welcome to Orgasm Etiquette 101! Class is now in session.
1. The goal should be at least one orgasm per person per sesh, bare minimum.
We hope we don’t need to point out that an orgasm for just one partner is not the finishing tape of a sex run. Instead, think of sex as a three-legged race — your partner can neither compete nor cross the finish line without your help, and vice versa.
Each partner should make a concerted effort to satisfy their partner before throwing in the towel.
2. Ladies first.
Because a woman’s post-orgasmic resolution phase is slower and more gradual than a man’s, it makes sense that her orgasm come first: she can often continue to receive and enjoy stimulation, including penetration, long after her first O.
In fact continued attention may result in multiple orgasms for a few lucky bitches… excuse us, women. In contrast, men who have climaxed first may consequently struggle against their own quicker resolution and its attendant urges toward sleep and TV watching.
However, this is no excuse for shirking sexual responsibility. Men can and should continue to pleasure their female partner until she is satisfied (whatever “satisfied” means to that individual).
3. But don’t make your partner’s orgasm a holy grail.
A word of caution, though: The only thing worse than a man who does not care about a woman’s orgasm is one who cares about it to the exclusion of all else.
This is the man who heads downtown and vows not to come up for air until his girlfriend does her best Meg Ryan. He approaches handwork like weeding (“Must. Dig Up. Orgasm!”) and swears, in dulcet tones an octave lower than his usual voice, that he is dedicated to “female pleasure.” He wants to be a super-lover — his ego depends upon it. He covets her orgasms like a Boy Scout covets merit badges.
While the intention is indeed admirable, all that pressure can leave a woman wishing she had just played golf instead. Plus, giving her performance anxiety is the best way to ensure she won’t reach orgasm.
Don’t worry guys, you won’t lose your “Sensitive Guy” merit badge if you believe her when she says that she’s happy with the sex for sex’s sake, and you give up graciously. Sometimes, the fat lady simply will not sing. But that doesn’t mean everyone can’t still enjoy the show.
4. And don’t assume the worst about an O that’s not forthcoming.
Of course, straight gals aren’t the only ones whose orgasms occasionally go missing. Lesbians and men (both gay and straight) are mere mortals too.
Sure, men’s equipment is fairly straightforward and therefore more easily manipulated. However, factors that may inhibit “the little death” — dry skin, urge to pee, spinning room, trouble at the office — are not always discriminating. And of course there’s always a chance that — stop the presses! — he might not be in the mood.
5. Also, don’t apologize, throw blame or pout about a missing O.
No matter who you are, if you find yourself unable to O, never apologize. Don’t blame your partner or yourself for this perceived “failure”; so long as you both enjoyed yourselves, that’s all that counts.
6. Whatever you do, don’t fake it.
This is the most important rule.
Many women and men (yes, men) think that putting in an Oscar-winning performance is simply the nice thing to do. However, like any deception, this leads to no good. You may ultimately find yourself backed you into an orgasmless corner, forced to keep up the charade because of your partner’s heightened expectations, unable to openly explore different techniques with them that may ultimately work.
Everyone needs their little secrets, but ones about your sexual needs should not be kept from your lover. As long as you sincerely express your thorough enjoyment of your partner’s oral acumen or anal ability, there is no need for garish displays of false ecstasy.
7. Finally, ask if your partner climaxed, but don’t badger them.
What if you can’t tell whether their “Oh, yeah, oooh, uh, more, oh, yeah, baby, god!” is an expression of thorough orgasmic enjoyment or simply thorough enjoyment?
While we don’t recommend making it a constant topic of conversation during your session (“Did you come yet?…How about now?…Anything?!”), it’s perfectly acceptable to ask your partner — once gently mid-sesh or more directly post-romp — if they climaxed. After all, people’s orgasms come in all manner of shapes, sizes, and expressions. Asking shows that you care about their satisfaction, and may help you better provide for them in the future.
Just try to avoid the cliched, “How was it for you?”
This article was originally published at Em & Lo. Reprinted with permission from the author.