NIAMH HO­RAN: In search of the fe­male or­gasm

... and why it’s a more press­ing is­sue than the gen­der pay gap

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - City Final -

Women have used their voices for pos­i­tive change — the last fem­i­nist fron­tier is the bed­room, writes Niamh Ho­ran

THE lat­est re­search on the fe­male or­gasm has been re­leased, and if more de­press­ing data on sex­u­al­ity ex­ists, I’d love to see it.

Ac­cord­ing to The Jour­nal

of Sex­ual Medicine, 87pc of hus­bands say they “con­sis­tently ex­pe­ri­ence or­gasm” dur­ing sex — com­pared with only 49pc of their wives.

What makes the ‘or­gasm gap’ so frus­trat­ing is that the cou­ples ques­tioned weren’t liv­ing un­der the same roof for 40 years, sick to the teeth of each other’s habits and foibles — these were new­ly­weds.

So then, if over half of these women have dif­fi­culty cli­max­ing with the man they have cho­sen for life, what hope have the mil­lions of awk­ward young girls and women in the big bad world of Tin­der hook-ups and onenight stands?

No won­der so few young peo­ple are hav­ing sex —they’re not en­joy­ing it!

The ‘or­gasm gap’ is a fem­i­nist is­sue, far more im­por­tant than even the gen­der pay gap, be­cause it cuts to the very heart of our hu­man­ity: in­ti­macy, re­la­tion­ships, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pri­mal hap­pi­ness.

And what makes the gulf be­tween men’s and women’s plea­sure so un­nec­es­sary is that phys­i­cally, women are bet­ter built to en­joy sex even more than men.

Sure, anatom­i­cal dif­fer­ences play a part — a woman can or­gasm only if there is some sort of rhyth­mic pres­sure on her cli­toris (un­for­tu­nately, there is no ref­er­ence to this in the mil­lions of porn videos con­sumed by men, and it’s also the rea­son why a good lover will al­ways mas­ter the art of oral sex) but once that body part is in some way stim­u­lated, most women have ev­ery­thing go­ing for them to have, not just any or­gasm, but an even more ex­plo­sive fin­ish than their part­ner.

For a start, women’s brain­waves are 10 times stronger than men’s dur­ing or­gasm and, un­like men’s tough bod­ies, even just touch­ing or run­ning your hands over other ar­eas of a woman’s body will ex­cite her more sex­u­ally than a man. As for the 4,000 nerve end­ings found in a pe­nis, women have 8,000 — and that’s just the cli­toris. The av­er­age fe­male or­gasm also lasts four times longer than a man’s, while women pos­sess the only body part (the cli­toris) that solely ex­ists for the pur­pose of plea­sure. Un­like men, women can also en­joy mul­ti­ple or­gasms in a very short space of time. (And yet still they claim God is a man!)

So why then, as one guy put it to me, is the fe­male or­gasm “like chas­ing mer­cury around a saucer with a pair of chop­sticks?”

This is where a sep­a­rate re­cent study might shed some light.

Ac­cord­ing to the find­ings in The Jour­nal of Sex

Re­search, a man’s sense of mas­culin­ity is en­hanced when he is able to make his part­ner or­gasm.

Af­ter in­ves­ti­gat­ing the re­sponses of 810 het­ero­sex­ual men aged 18 or older, re­searchers found that “men state that women’s or­gasm is one of the most sex­u­ally sat­is­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ences that men can have”, study au­thors Sara B Chad­wick and Sari van An­ders, both of the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan, stated.

Men across the board re­ported feel­ing more mas­cu­line when they had helped their fe­male part­ner achieve or­gasm. And women in­nately un­der­stand this. So no pres­sure then, ladies!

It may ex­plain why al­most 70pc of women have felt com­pelled to fake an or­gasm, com­pared with just 27pc of men.

In fact, the longer these women were in their re­la­tion­ships, the more likely they were to pre­tend. — 20pc of women have faked it dur­ing a one-night stand, 29pc have faked cli­max­ing with a new part­ner, and 31pc have faked it in a long-term re­la­tion­ship.

For all our talk of fe­male ad­vance­ment, it seems many women are still putting their con­cerns about men’s feel­ings — and their egos — be­fore their own per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion.

While writ­ing this piece, I asked a cou­ple of women if they ever had trou­ble or­gas­ming. They were sur­pris­ingly can­did.

One woman told me she didn’t or­gasm un­til her late 20s, an­other said ‘la petite mort’ came only when she was 32. There were sim­i­lar “I do, but only once in a blue moon” ad­mis­sions. And this was just a quick straw poll.

But it was one woman blessed with the abil­ity to or­gasm more than once in the same ses­sion that re­ally made me think we need to ad­dress the in­equal­ity.

She said: “Some­times I feel I could or­gasm a se­cond time in one morn­ing when he’s about to get up to go to work, but I am too shy to ask.”

Now, can you ever imag­ine a world where a man would be afraid to ask for a se­cond whirl if he were in the mood?

So why aren’t women talk­ing to their lovers?

A friend who en­joys a sat­is­fy­ing sex life and is in a long-term re­la­tion­ship with her part­ner, said: “The most dam­ag­ing myth out there is that it’s ‘all down to the man’s size’ or that some­how the abil­ity to sat­isfy a woman is a re­flec­tion on his man­hood in gen­eral. It means that, if a woman raises the is­sue, then she’s in­sult­ing his ego and ques­tion­ing his prow­ess.

“And there are lots of men who would feel hurt if you brought it up. When the re­al­ity is it has got noth­ing to do with them. It’s all down to in­ti­mately get­ting to know a woman and the unique­ness of her body. And yes, that can hap­pen at any stage. Even af­ter years of go­ing to bed to­gether, skills al­ways need up­dat­ing, and you can dis­cover how to please some­one all over again.”

Peo­ple aren’t min­dread­ers. It is each per­son’s per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure they do what they can to or­gasm and if this gen­er­a­tion of women are so gung-ho about em­pow­er­ment in the out­side world, then surely they can ex­tend their voice to the sanc­tity of their bed­room.

The truth is, if it’s ap­proached in the right way, men want to know. In fact, this is prob­a­bly the only area where men want to be told what to do by a woman, so for the love of God, make the most of it!

Even if you have to talk them through it, even if it takes time (the av­er­age woman takes 20 min­utes to cli­max), the right guy will want to know the best way to get you there.

Life is too short. And, if re­cent re­ports of a sex re­ces­sion are to be be­lieved, our time for hav­ing sex has got even shorter.

Women have al­ready used their voices to change so much. Let’s stop us­ing them to fake it in bed and — in a gen­tle way — start us­ing them to im­prove our sex lives. There’ll prob­a­bly be re­lief all round that you brought it up.

“Sex ought to be wholly sat­is­fy­ing link be­tween two af­fec­tion­ate peo­ple, from which they emerge unanx­ious, re­warded and ready for more.” Alex Com­fort, au­thor, The Joy of Sex

‘Why is it like chas­ing mer­cury with a pair of chop­sticks?’

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