So, I was masturbating last night and set a timer. It took me under two minutes to orgasm. However, when someone else in involved, it takes forever or doesn’t happen at all. I can count the times it’s happened on two hands.
Every time I masturbate it’s like clockwork, and I wish I could experience that with a partner! I’ve heard from various ladies and witnessed firsthand that orgasming seems easier for them with partners than it is for me. Is this why some women fake orgasms? Is this something I need to see a psychiatrist about or just live with? Or is it some Kinsey situation where my vaginal measurements aren’t conducive to orgasming? Help!
— Clit Out of Luck
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, probably for the rest of my sex educator career: your vagina is not broken! It’s the metaphorical vaginal “user manual” we’re handed via school sex ed, social stigma, and our peers!
That manual is seriously flawed – it’s stained, ripped, even missing whole chapters. Our current sex education system pretends that our clitoral and/or vaginal orgasm is unimportant or non-existent. Our social system convinces our sexual partners that asking us outright how best to pleasure our clits and vaginas is not the sexy or slick or cool thing to do. Simultaneously, this same system shames us into not speaking up about our own desires or how exactly to do our bodies right.
Yes, these flawed systems are why some women fake orgasms. Yes, these systems have convinced you that you have to see a psychiatrist to “fix” yourself and/or smoosh yourself into an outdated concept of “ideal vaginal measurements,” a la Kinsey.
But you, COOL, are perfect! Your experience of sexual pleasure is perfect. Your two-minute self-curated climax is perfect.
So, if our formal and social sex educational systems are screwing it up so hard, who’s supposed to do the real educating about your orgasms to your partners, COOL?
First, there’s you! You can give yourself an orgasm in two minutes flat. You timed it. You’re the expert on your own body and pleasure. You hold the keys. Teach your partners how to drive your unique machine.
Give an introduction before (“The easiest way to give me an orgasm is with your hands on my clit but my favorite way is via cunnlingus”), give encouragement and directives during (“The dirty talk you’re dishing is so hot! Can you put less pressure on my clit, though? A little less. Yes perfect! Thanks!”), and give feedback afterward (“My favorite part of our sexcapade last night was when you used that new flogger! Next time I’d love to use my favorite vibrator, too!”).
Normalize your experience. Key readings such as Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski will equip you with empowering information. It’s absolutely natural for it to take longer to climax with partners than it does on your own; over 70% of vaginas require over 25 minutes of direct and consistent clitoral stimulation (rather than penile penetration) in order to climax. Also, our experience of sexual pleasure is mitigated by physical, environmental, social, and mental/emotional cues (not vaginal measurements).
Share sexual information with your partners. Kickstart these conversations by inviting a partner to one of my sexual pleasure workshops, or by reading a V-Spot together during Sunday brunch! The surest way to experience sexual pleasure with a partner is to talk about it. If you busy yourself waiting for them to get it right, dropping hints, or trying to fix what isn’t broken (again: your vagina, your clit, your sexuality, your mind, your body, you!) you’ll be waiting a long time.
Everyone’s body is a unique machine that experiences sexual pleasure in a variety of ways. Everyone’s vagina is different, and difference is entirely normal. It’ll be a process to teach a partner to beat your two-minute record, COOL, but starting a dialogue about your sexual pleasure will hopefully make the lengthier experience well worth the journey.
Yana Tallon-Hicks is a pleasure-positive sex writer and educator living in the Pioneer Valley. She has a website bursting with sexual advice, workshops, and resources at yanatallon-hicks.com.