Let’s talk about sex. Sex itself is a topic that is heavily debated by some and underrated by most. While the mechanics are quite simple, actually achieving orgasm can be quite difficult.
“Mystery,” “elusive,” and “misunderstood.” What am I talking about, you may ask. Why, none other than the female orgasm, a phenomenon that has only recently been recognized and, even more recently, actually prioritized. While females have been able to orgasm since the dawn of time, acknowledging that females do in fact experience sexual pleasure is a relatively new concept. According to an article on Bustle titled “A brief history of the female orgasm, from Medieval to Modern Times” written by JR Thorpe in 2015, the female orgasm was believed to be necessary for reproduction during the 13th century.
Thus, the orgasm was only children into the world. The concept of women’s sexual pleasure was not taken into consideration. This was problematic because prioritizing the orgasm for childbearing purposes rather than sexual enjoyment perpetuated the notion that female orgasms useful only for the sole notion of procreation. That idea alltogether happens to be completely false.
Upon realizing that the female orgasm was indeed not linked in any way to childbearing, the lack of orgasm soon after became linked to a neurological disorder classified as “hysteria” in the 1800s. Thorpe notes that this condition women insane and required alleviation of the more tender areas. What is considered normal sexual frustration for men was considered a serious disorder for women. The solution to this disorder was to “massage” women’s pelvic areas to relieve the tension.
Inadvertently, this particular “sexual problem” led to the invention of the vibrator. While it is associated with giving women pleasure nowadays, it was actually created to relieve the sore fingers of the doctors and nurses who were performing these duties for their patients. The female orgasm became a solution to the problem of sexual frustration. While this seems like a no-brainer, the bigger problem was within the orgasm not being recognized as a part of the pleasurable aspect of sex but rather an easy fix to a mental disorder.
Up until the 1940s, the female orgasm was still a topic of confusion. Scientist Alfred Kinsey conducted a sexual survey in 1940 and came to find out that — surprise, surprise — women masturbate, which meant that the female orgasm was just as important in the activity of self-gratification that just sex itself.
This all means that the female orgasm is a literal and symbolic representation of the underrepresentation of females as sexual beings, beings who — shocker — actually enjoy sex. This means that since the idea of females enjoying sex and enjoying the pleasure they receive from sex is still only decades old, representations of the female orgasm are quite limited. While sex can be found in almost every movie, the sex scenes that show the female orgasm, and do it well, are few and far in-between, meaning that women’s sexual pleasures are still seen as secondary in the grand scheme of sexual intercourse.
Not only is representation limited, but the actual knowledge of how to get anyone, let alone a woman, to climax is often skipped in sexual education classes. According to on ABC News article “Female Orgasm May Be Tied to ‘Rule of Thumb’” written by Susan Donaldson James, a study was done to determine the climax rate for women in intercourse-only scenarios. The study found that “about 75 percent of all women never reach orgasm from intercourse alone — that is without the extra help of sex toys, hands or tongue. And 10 to 15 percent never climax under any circumstances.”
Obviously, the best way to achieve the female orgasm is through clitoral stimulation since so many women are unable to climax through penetration alone, this is a fact often overlooked in Sex Ed classes, everyone should be able to locate the clitoris, especially if you plan on sleeping with women.
The Day Without A Woman strike happened yesterday. Imagine if all women were to disappear suddenly. The men in the world who have sex exclusively with women would have to throw their hands up in the air before returning to their new, more permanent location—below the waist. Though there is no actual foreseen apocalypse of women leaving the Earth in a mass exodus, we should be sexually appreciated, nonetheless.
What important to understand about all this history about the female orgasm is that we, as women, need to be recognized as sexual beings. Not only do women enjoy sex, but we also receive the same amount of pleasure as males do. While we have made tremendous progress in understanding the female orgasm, we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it. Sexual pleasure for females is not a magical unicorn waiting to be found. It is a common occurrence and it needs to be recognized as such.