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What Ever Happened to the Female Orgasm?

Posted: 03/06/2012 4:00 pm

By Cara Dorris

This is Brown ­­­-- Land of the Liberal. While we may find religion too backward, we unanimously accept all races, all sexual orientations and the traditionally taboo activities of masturbating and watching porn.

How could we not? We showcase our nude bodies on online subreddits like "BrownBares." The question is, while we may go to sexual empowerment parties like "Sex Power God," are we really as open-minded as we believe?

Let's take an example. Men watch porn. We know this. We accept this. At the most recent Brown Stand Up Comics performance, almost every male performer had a joke about masturbation, and most told personal anecdotes about watching porn.

Now imagine if a girl told these same jokes. Let's be honest: It would probably be sort of gross, potentially very gross. Yet we all have seen and heard -- and maybe even smelled -- very gross men before, and we automatically assume and accept that they probably watch porn. In fact, we automatically assume and accept that every guy watches porn. So why is the pursuit of sexual pleasure so taboo when it involves a woman and not a man?

In the age of the Internet, female sexuality is only permissible if it can be sold. Female homosexuality is cool as long as there is a chance for a threesome. Female masturbation is fine as long as the girl is hot, and there is a camera nearby. But without a male audience, it's just plain bizarre.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt was twenty-two, he met Eleanor Roosevelt, and ignoring the disturbing fact that they both shared the same last name, the two cousins married. Though Eleanor had six children, she famously hated sex, calling it "an ordeal to be endured." That was 1905. Since then, we have created automobiles, televisions, computers, petrochemical technology, agricultural mechanization, high performance materials and the iPad. We have successfully transplanted one person's face onto the severed face of someone else. But now it's 2012, more than a century later, and we still can't figure out how to have good sex?

The problem is that many girls still see sex as something solely to please a partner. They see their bodies as dark and shadowy things -- female masturbation is for sex addicts and sluts and barbarians and wackos. Why are we so afraid of the female body?

The popular '90s televisions show, Sex and the City, was such a hit because it broke some of these stigmas -- the characters openly spoke about masturbation, cunnilingus and libido. They spoke about their own sexual pleasure independently from the men involved. That's because the men in their lives were as interchangeable as their bags and Manolos.

Yes, the show may have been delusional, but the point was revolutionary: Men may seek sex more avidly, men may have higher libidos -- but women still have libidos.

According to Dr. Phil's health education website, while it may take men two to three minutes to achieve orgasm, it may take women closer to 13 to 14. So that leaves 11 minutes during which the guy has to figure out something to do. And even though he should do something, sometimes he doesn't. But, many women do not know that.

So women have sex. They have bad sex. They have bad sex and accept that they will always have bad sex. That just sucks. I once talked to a girl who was not sure if she had ever had an orgasm. Remarkably, she was not a virgin. She was probably the farthest thing from a virgin.

Yet aside from physical intimacy, isn't achieving an orgasm the point of having sex? 50 to 75 percent of women cannot orgasm from vaginal penetration alone, and up to 15 percent of women have never had an orgasm at all, according to Dr. Phil's website.

Now try finding a guy who has never had an orgasm. You won't.

As women, we should not be ashamed of not being able to orgasm during sex, and we definitely should not fake it. But if we aren't getting what we want, shouldn't we at least try to figure out why?

It's like our bodies have become beautiful, useless things. We paralyze our wrinkles with Botox, but then lose the ability to smile. We pump our lips with fillers until they go numb. We get surgery to make our boobs bigger and then lose all sensation in them. It's all for show and no play.

We need to stop fearing our bodies. We need to start learning about them, in whichever way that might mean -- reading a book, teaching our partners or even practicing foreplay that is more than just, "Ready or not, here I come!"

After all, even though some may be disturbed by the practices, female masturbation and porn-watching are mostly stigmatized because women are afraid to speak about them. I am not suggesting all women retire to lives of auto-eroticism and serial smut. I am suggesting that we become more comfortable with our bodies and figure out what makes them feel good.

No matter what gender or sex we are, we all deserve three unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of sexual pleasure. Life is too short for bad sex.

This post was authored by Cara Dorris.

 
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