A few weeks ago Unicorn and I watched a documentary on Netflix called Orgasm, Inc. The film discusses the unnecessary medicalization of the inability of women to attain orgasm. In essence, (spoiler alert — but women already know this) the problem women have with reaching orgasm have nothing to do with their bodies and everything to do with our society and our minds.
First, from the time we are young we are taught that we are not pretty enough. Media images, our peers, every where we look there are messages about beauty standards and how we aren’t attaining them. This causes unrealistic expectations for women (and men) regarding female attractiveness. It is also part of why I love this internet meme (aside from the fact that they are all femme and white):
Bottom half, way hotter.
Secondly, one in four women are the victims of sexual violence in their life. And these are just the women who report it. Of course women are going to have a difficult time reaching climax if sex has brought pain, shame and powerlessness to them in the past.
Finally, women are taught that we are the arbiters of sexual relations. Our society argues that men want sex, sex is bad, and that it is the job of women to police sexual activity. I call bullshit.
In the 1950s Alfred Kinsey’s famous study of sexuality was released. In addition to finding out that straight people like to have gay sex (gasp!) he also discovered that women enjoy sex (interestingly, this was the more shocking finding at the time). Nevertheless, so many women are taught that sexual pleasure is wrong and that they should work to prevent it.
Anyway, all of this to say that it is no wonder women have such messed up relationships to their bodies and sex. It is heartbreaking.
Last night I was at a dinner party with some friends and a few acquaintances. During the dinner we played a board game version of Never Have I Ever. As the game went on I learned that none of the other women at the table had ever used sex toys – even a vibrator – and none had ever seen pornography. I was shocked! It makes me so sad to think that so many women are so unaware of their bodies. So unaware of what they like, what they don’t like. So ashamed of sexual pleasure.
So, it is my plea, that all you women out there get down with yourself. Get to your nearest feminist sex shop and do some exploring. You can thank me later.