Do you ever feel like you can’t figure out where your orgasm has gone? Do you feel pressured to quickly find it during the peak of a sexual encounter?
Sex educator Georgia Grace explains why some might feel this way. She speaks on inviting pleasure into your life, why we should do away with the faux-gasm and offers tips for finding your own version of orgasmic.
Filling the orgasm gap is one small step in our current sexual revolution, and one giant leap in our demand for equal access to pleasure. With the awareness of the orgasm gap, there’s also been an increase in the pressure put on women and people with vulvas to reach climax, but there has been very little education on how to actually “get there”.
Sex ed has failed us (Giphy)
We’ve acknowledged it’s important to feel good during sex, but we’re still stuck in heteronormative sexual habits without asking women: what is orgasmic for you? Sexual pleasure has dozens of dials, switches and connections and is influenced by biological, biochemical, psychological, social and lifestyle factors.
Orgasms tend to be multifaceted, there is no quick-fix but with intentional practice, there are things you can do (today!) to feel more orgasmic and prioritise pleasure rather than fake it.
Get to know your genitals
Many women are disconnected from their bodies, especially their genitals, so much so that they don’t know what they look like, they can’t label specific organs and they still use the incorrect anatomical name (what we commonly refer to as the vagina, is actually the vulva, that’s all of the external organs, the pubic mound, the inner and outer labia, the clitoris, the external openings of the urethra and the vaginal opening. The vagina is the muscular canal that connects the uterus to the vulva. It’s where fingers, a sex toy, a penis, a tampon or moon cup can go).
At a fundamental level, knowing the specific and correct terms for body parts empowers people to take full ownership of them; knowing what they do and don’t desire. When we can acknowledge that women are beings who want/need to experience pleasure, that they have organs that exist specifically for pleasure (the clitoris), we can overcome shame, stigma and squirminess.
Sex is about pleasure, not penetration
Have sex that doesn’t just involve penetration. The narrative of sex begins with erection and ends in ejaculation. Along with this many believe that women climax from penetration alone. But only a minority can. One landmark study found that when masturbating, 95 percent of women reach orgasm easily- within four minutes. They know how to make themselves feel good but this doesn’t translate to partnered sex.
Another study found that when women pleasure themselves, almost 99 percent stimulate their clitoris. So, why do we still associate sex with penetration? If Sex is penetration that excludes a whole group of people who don’t have sex in that way. For example, how is a lesbian couple to know when they’ve had sex for the first time?
What if you could say you’ve had sex once you’ve had an enthusiastically consensual, highly pleasurable desired experience, that may or may not end in climax. By failing to teach this, we leave people to rely on and compare themselves to media images.
No longer are people heading to the bookshelf, pulling out the dictionary flipping to “s” and looking up the word sex. They’re turning to google, to the internet, to porn; this has become their new sex ed. One of the damaging and false images portrayed in mainstream porn and media is that it’s normal, in fact ideal, for women to be wildly horny and climax from intercourse.
This false belief is a culprit in women not getting the stimulation they need. Perhaps they’re uninspired by sex as they’re not seen as people who have their own desires, and deserving of pleasure, rather they’re the objects in these fantasies.
Invite pleasure into your life
This seems so simple, but I see it changing people when they truly believe they deserve pleasure. Study after study shows sexual pleasure, self-esteem and satisfaction have profound impacts on our physical and mental wellbeing. It’s a natural and vital part of our health and happiness. Scholars connect pleasure equality and sexual consent; they say learning about sexual pleasure empowers someone to communicate desires to others, and have fulfilling sex.
Don’t fake your orgasm
It’s not good for you, or for the people you’re having sex with. By faking an orgasm you instil the belief that sex is goal oriented and only ends with climax. This goal can put pressure on you, distract from sensation in your body and make it harder to experience orgasmic states.
If you are in a habitual process of ‘faking it’, it’s important to understand why. Are you faux-gasming because you don’t want to upset your partner/s? If you feel you’re allowing someone else’s gratification and sexual ego to be more important than your own pleasure, perhaps it’s time to share how you want to be touched, licked, held, fucked.
Or maybe you’re faking it because you just want it to end. If this is the case, it may be useful to practice embodied consent and boundaries with your partner/s so that you can communicate sexual satisfaction, fulfilment and pleasure – rather than just playing the motions in narrative of sex.
In order to increase pleasure during sex, people must be in the pursuit of fulfilling sex rather than orgasms. One deeply passionate, highly pleasurable, consensual experience is far more fulfilling than begrudgingly squeezing in a session all the while hoping your partner will cum quickly so you as a way to tick it off the list and fall asleep.
In reframing the definition of sex, people will start having sex because it’s pleasurable, explore outside of habits and will learn more about their orgasmic potential.
To find out more about Georgia, and her sexual intimacy coaching sessions, visit her website.
This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on Twenty Something Humans. You can read the original piece here.