This article largely discusses heterosexual relationships, and uses the terms “men” and “women” when talking about people who have been raised male and female. This is not meant to be exclusive and can apply to any person who has been raised this way, no matter what terms you currently use to identify yourself – please take from this only what works for you.
People have been taught pleasure through a patriarchal lens.
This means that the majority of the world thinks that orgasms are one defined event.
It means that the majority of the world thinks that a man having an orgasm constitutes the end of sex.
It means that most people think men cannot learn to control when they ejaculate. That orgasm and ejaculation are the same thing.
It means that women are taught that their orgasms aren’t that relevant.
I was in a relationship with a man once who told me I shouldn’t expect an orgasm every time. Because he “didn’t feel” like always giving me one.
It was my fault I took so much effort to please, and I should expect that because of that, I wasn’t going to have the same experience as him.
Sex was designed more for his pleasure than for mine.
I believed this.
I saw his side of the story (why should he have to do things he didn’t want to do?), and I believed he was right.
Most women are not satisfied during sex.
We believe that we don’t need to be. Or we believe that we’re just “not that sexual.” Or we believe that it’s not possible for us to have multiple orgasms or internal orgasms or anything else.
Even our doctors tell us only a certain percentage of women are capable of having multiple types of orgasms. Never mind that these studies are based on women who have grown up in this sexually-repressed society.
On one hand, we are “normal.”
On the other hand, we learn that inability to experience wild pleasure is what’s “normal” for most women.
How do women react to this?
We settle for having sex without orgasms.
Or we have one orgasm and think we should be satisfied with that (we wouldn’t want to be too demanding).
Or we have partners who think that it’s natural for a woman to not have an orgasm every time.
Some of us decide just to not have sex at all.
We’re taught to think that the man’s pleasure is what’s most important. We’re not allowed to get him too worked up and then decide not to have sex, because that’s unfair to him.
We learn that sexual pleasure for a man should end in his ejaculation. We learn that it is our responsibility to make sure our man is always sexually satisfied, and if he’s not, we’re not being a good partner.
If you have a male partner, the reason that he thinks that it’s okay if you don’t orgasm every time is because he’s been taught that his orgasm is the most important, defining part of sex.
It’s actually not his fault. It’s just what he’s been taught.
But if he’s not open to considering the other side of the story, he doesn’t deserve to be your partner.
There can and will be times when women might not feel like having an orgasm. But it should be just that: an educated, conscious choice.
Women are capable of having mind-blowing, ecstatic states of pleasure that make them shiver and burst into tears and scream out to the universe. They are capable of having 20 orgasms in a row. They are capable of having orgasms that are like gentle waves of pleasure, and they’re capable of having giant climaxes that leave them trembling and quiet. There are infinite types of orgasm. Every woman is different, but every woman can experience their own, personal kinds of orgasm. No matter what.
You might be blocked from accessing these parts of yourself because of trauma, because of your partner, or because of growing up in a society that teaches us that our pleasure is not important. These things can be worked through, if you decide you want to do so, and they are not permanent.
I invite you to question what you have been taught about your own pleasure. I invite you to explore your capacity for orgasm. And I invite you to ask and to expect more from your partner.