I should probably be writing this under a pseudonym but I’m a messy bitch who lives for drama. And I’m shameless. And I love attention. But mostly, I’m writing about this topic with my real name because it is an important issue that affects so many women and is so rarely acknowledged in this context: the all-important ~orgasm~.
If you know me, you probably think of me as a sexually liberated beautiful goddess queen… or at least you think of me as sexually liberated. I’m chronically the “Samantha” of any group, and since puberty, I’ve always made the first move. My reputation makes this even harder to admit, but I’ve never had an orgasm. Nope, never. Yes, I still enjoy sex. Yes, I’ve come close. Yes, I give guys direction. Yes, I’ve tried masturbating.
This problem is especially frustrating because you can just look at a guy and bat your eyes and all of a sudden he has a sticky mess in his boxers. I guess this makes sense evolutionarily: a man needs to orgasm to procreate and a woman doesn’t. “The Gender Orgasm Gap” is real. While the statistics vary, according to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, about 55 percent of women usually reach orgasm from intercourse (with a male partner), compared to 95 percent of men. The rates are significantly better through oral or manual stimulation but still, five to 10 percent of women just never orgasm ever. Period. This statistic keeps me up at night… masturbating… hoping to make it into that 90th percentile.
It’s even rarer as a young adult: 15 percent of women never orgasm before age 28. So if my situation isn’t even that weird, why do I feel like every woman on TV, in the movies and at my table for brunch is having mind blowing, toe curling, vomit up your breakfast spectacular orgasms?
The first time I told my best friend from high school, Laura, that I had never orgasmed, she responded by sending me an Amazon link to a vibrator and some invaluable words of encouragement: “Will, maybe this is why you’re such a bitch! Your gunna be a new person once you cum!”
Is that possible? Could I really “be-cum” a new person? I decided from that day to make a more concerted effort to have an orgasm. My sexual journey started with not faking it. Through my research online and from talking to friends, I’ve realized that “faking it” is really common. About 85 percent of men report that their partner had an orgasm during the most recent sexual event, whereas only 60 percent of women report having an orgasm during their last sexual experience. Clearly there is a disconnect.
Since my first full penetration at age 17, I had pretty much faked an orgasm every time I had sex. But, I’m not alone. Women are faking all over town. The Cosmopolitan Female Orgasm Survey says women fake it either “to make my partner feel good or spare my partner’s feelings” or “to end sex more quickly because I knew I wasn’t going to orgasm” or both.
So, with Laura’s support, I was ready to assert myself in the bedroom. It got a little awkward. First there was my hometown fuck buddy who had to come to the realization that I’d been faking it all those years and that he really wasn’t the sex god I’d acted like he was. And then there were all the guys who assumed my problem was caused by the fact that I had yet to experience the magic of their wonderful and life changing sex skills. Some took it as a challenge, spending hours with their head between my legs (God bless ‘em) until I got so bored I started eating chicken wings and scrolling through instagram — true story.
So, my question is, why? Why haven’t I been able to orgasm? Why are so many women sacrificing their own pleasure for the feelings of some guy? Why does society value male pleasure over female pleasure? I obviously don’t have the answer to these questions, but I believe they deserve discussion.
There are a lot of possible explanations and many of them have to do with being comfortable in the bedroom and being able to fully relax. Women who have experienced sexual assault are far less likely to experience orgasm, especially with casual partners. Women who report being uncomfortable with their bodies, genitalia, gender or sexuality also report having much more difficulty reaching orgasm. By refusing to acknowledge the issue of the Gender Orgasm Gap in regular conversation, we are confirming the societal ideal that a man’s pleasure really is more important than that of a woman.
Ultimately, I’ve learned not to be ashamed of my frigid “Benedict Arnold” of a clitoris. She will ring her bells when she is good and ready. Or she won’t and I’ll die a miserable bitch just like I was born. Only kidding. Maybe I need to find a guy I really love or maybe I need to splurge on a $175 vibrator or maybe I need to go to sex therapy along with the talk therapy my sister says I desperately need. Whatever the solution, at least I’ve learned I’m still a sexually liberated beautiful goddess queen — hold the “O.”