Orgasms: A Response

A while back, I read an article on Elephant Journal entitled What our Orgasm Type says about our Personality. In it, the author(s) describe different types of female orgasms and what type of person you are based on what type of orgasm you have.

While I don’t think this article was written with bad intentions, and I often love the content posted on Elephant Journal, I took issue with some of the assertions made—as did a lot of other readers, judging from the comments.

It’s very easy to take this article personally, especially if you’re a woman experiencing the orgasm types listed, so I wanted to address some of the issues I noted in the article, that I believe also caused offense to female readers.

The Clitoral Orgasm

The article dubs the clitoral, or external, orgasm as the “teenage” orgasm. It claims if this your primary go-to for pleasure, you’re likely just living externally and afraid to “go deeper” into your life and life issues; you just like instant gratification and immediate results.

I have a feeling most women who experience clitoral orgasms, and those for whom its their primary means for achieving orgasm, had a shared “WTF” moment.

The idea that the clitoral orgasm is shallow-living is pretty offensive when you consider that many studies have shown that women do need—or, at least, enjoy—clitoral stimulation for the purpose of intercourse and orgasm. Past studies have shown it to be the majority of women, but according to this recent study, it shows that of the 1000+ women involved, only 18.4% could orgasm from intercourse alone, with 36.6% needing clitoral stimulation. An additional 36% reported that while clitoral stimulation wasn’t necessary, it did feel more enjoyable.

Those numbers might not indicate a massive majority of women needing clitoral stimulation for orgasm, but it does indicate that the majority falls between needing and wanting/enjoying—whereas it’s the minority who can orgasm solely from intercourse alone.

While our understanding of the female orgasm continues to expand from studies being done now, and while we’re seeing that clitoral stimulation isn’t always needed, it certainly contributes to more enjoyment.

And I ask everyone: what is wrong with that?

The external clitoris’s ONLY purpose is pleasure. That’s the sole reason it exists: to provide sexual pleasure for women. To state that it’s the inferior orgasm, the immature orgasm, is almost insulting the female anatomy as a whole.

And considering we’ve had decades of people believing (or at least insisting) that women didn’t enjoy sex; or that they couldn’t climax from it; or that the only reason women even had sex was for babies (man, that Victorian age…), I’m quite happy with the fact that women are now enjoying sex AND orgasming—in any way!

The insinuation of the inferior orgasm also has the potential to hurt women who have struggled with achieving orgasm. The world puts so much pressure on women in the bedroom. It often insists that satisfying our partners includes both a) making sure they orgasm and b) rewarding their ego by letting them know we’ve orgasmed. And if we haven’t, then still we‘ve failed.*

In addition, many women need to be in the moment to orgasm, so if your mind drifts off (what did I need to get at the grocery store?), you could potentially lose your place. And sometimes you can’t bookmark that stuff.

With all that pressure on our heads, no wonder orgasms aren’t always achieved every sexy time.

Orgasm Via Vibrator

Further, the author(s) go on to put down orgasm via vibrator, which I imagine many women resented as well. We’re living in a world where we’re better understanding sex and sexuality, and with that, we need to accept that some people will not want to engage in sex.

Sure, most people probably will at some point, but each person is different. Some might like casual hookups, and those people will probably engage in sex more. However, many people may not be interested in casual meetups, and they may not be in committed relationships. What options are available for orgasm for these women?

For example, say we have a woman who is demisexual (one who does not experience sexual attraction unless there is an emotional connection) and is not in a committed relationship. Perhaps she hasn’t found someone, or she’s really not interested in a relationship at the moment. Being that she’s demisexual—and she knows what she wants and needs when it comes to a romantic/sexual relationship—she’s not going to want to engage in casual sex.

What is she meant to do?

The article states that vibrators should not be relied on, as it will take away the thrill of a penis, but again: if a woman is not inviting anyone (or, thus, any penis) into her life for whatever reason, then is she not worthy of receiving orgasms? Should she refrain from all forms of physical pleasure because she’s not engaging with a man?

Or is the article telling her to forsake her conflicts and dislike of casual connections just to get the D?

Part of the problem with the article is it assumes that everyone is having sex; they’re in a relationship and having it, or being casual and having it, but no matter what: everyone is having it.

And I’d like to stress to everyone something that was instilled in us as teenagers when our parents were discouraging us from having sex: not everyone is having it.

We can see this from the arising awareness of asexuality and all that exist on that spectrum; or from the fact that some people decide to be celibate, whether for just a part of their lives or even all of it; and even the people who decide they are not having sex until they are married.

Shaming Orgasm and Pleasure?

Moreover, when I read statements like “vibrators are inferior and you should not use them regularly”, or “the clitoral orgasm is really a ‘teenage’ orgasm”, I can hear shame in those statements. This is likely not the intent (I hope it is not), but to be insulting to orgasms that do not involve penile penetration, one can’t help wondering if the purpose is to shame.

It begins to read like the only way sex is good and right is when you’re having it with a man and he’s getting his enjoyment out of it—because he’s obviously not getting physical pleasure from working with your clitoris, even if that’s what you need to get off.

But women don’t get off from giving oral sex to men. They do it because they want their partner to experience pleasure, and if you’re a loving partner, I would think that’s your ultimate goal, even if it means sacrificing yours for a hot minute. But perhaps it’s not a sacrifice if you like to give your partner pleasure.

Besides that, the person who is going to know what gets them off the best is the woman experiencing the orgasms, not their partner (or lack thereof).

And if they’re having an orgasm to begin with, why insist that ‘No, that’s not the best kind of orgasm’? Sure, if we can all get a bit more pleasure in our lives, why the hell not try for it, but to insist that women have to, and to make it seem like the pleasure they are receiving is childish as opposed to the “mature” way of orgasming, again, it just seems shameful of physical pleasure entirely.

All of this assumes that the women experiencing these orgasms are heterosexual. If you’re a lesbian, then the “thrill” of the penis is not and will not be there, so it seems like this article only considers women who have heterosexual encounters as women who experience orgasm.

A Counter-Article

If you primarily have your orgasms via clitoral stimulation:
This means you are AWESOME. GOOD ON YOU, GIRL! Isn’t the world of orgasms an awesome place to be? I hope you continue to join us here.
Now, some people would tell you that this orgasm doesn’t count, but I’m here to say that if you’re feeling good, you’re feeling high, and your body feels alight, relish in it. No one can take that away from you, and if that’s how you want to keep on doing it, no one can stop you.
But if you decide to branch out and try for orgasms in other ways, that’s all good too! You decide the pacing, you decide what you want. The power is all in your hands (literally).

If you primarily have your orgasms via penetration:
This means you are AMAZING. Damn, girl, how you doing that? Seriously, major props to you because you’ve done something that not every woman can achieve. Cheers to you!
Maybe you’ve done it with a bit of clitoral stimulation as well, or maybe it’s just through penetration, but either way that is pure awesome sauce. You keep on getting that good stuff. And, remember, if you want to go back to those clitoral orgasms once and a while, there’s no shame or issues in that! Sometimes these require a bit of extra work—or maybe you’re a master and can let loose each time you go for a ride—but no matter what, stick to whatever works for you in the moment.

If you primarily have your orgasms via vibrator or other toy:
This means you are FIERCE. Seriously, you know what you want and you’re not going to let anyone tell you you can’t have it. I toast to you, girl, for not letting those around you make you feel low because you like your body getting the sexy-high.
And don’t let the world tell you there’s anything wrong with hitting up the handy-dandy handy-dandy. Whether you’re single and looking, single and not-looking, or in a committed relationship but really just need some me-time, orgasms are the birthright of humanity, so do what you gotta do.

Final Thoughts

All of this being said, I do recognize that the article—as stated at its start—is not meant to be taken too seriously. Sex and sexuality is one of the gifts we receive in life, so we should be able to have fun with it, laugh, and enjoy it. I totally agree with this, and I feel the author(s) had some interesting points to make. My overall issue is that it felt like it ignored the experiences of many women, or the variety of sexual experiences and orgasms were overlooked or not considered.

The problem is more with how it was written. Perhaps it could have done with being a bit longer to clarify things. You can tell by the length of this piece that I am not shy about writing a lot (I’ve been told too much), but by writing more, you have more ability to expand so that your meaning isn’t misinterpreted by your readers.

But to close out this entry: There has been a significant lack of orgasms in the world for too long, so to put any sort of label or insult onto any type that women can experience is silly and unnecessary. Let women have orgasms however suits them best because at the end of the day, we all deserve that release.

*Please note, I am not stating that all men think or believe that women are responsible for providing them orgasm and then not reciprocating. I do believe that most men want women to 1) willingly share sex with them and 2) want to ensure that the woman enjoys the experience by giving orgasm as well. But I do believe that society as a whole has pressured women into believing that orgasm, both his and hers, is on her shoulders, and it can be very difficult to work through and change that mentality, especially when society has also historically told women they don’t enjoy sex.