Evelyn Resh

Sensual and sexual health and satisfaction for teens and adults

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Women’s Orgasms – Still Faking It

file0001545248083In my sexuality counseling practice, women present with all sorts-of difficulties associated with orgasm. Despite how complex some of these problems are the one that strikes me as the most troubling is faking it. Yes indeed, there are women who pretend – on a regular basis – that they’ve reached the “Big O” when nothing of the sort has actually happened.

When I first began practicing over 10 years ago I never imagined that I would have so many women coming into my office admitting that they pretended to be orgasmic when they really weren’t.  I thought this ended by the mid-70’s after Ms. Magazine was up and running and the supposed sexual revolution was alive and well. This is not so.

The false presumption that the majority of women are orgasmic with intercourse is a highly problematic myth that sets the stage for women’s dishonesty. Penetration and thrusting works for some, but the vagina simply isn’t as full of nerve endings as the clitoris is. The women I have worked with who are pretending to be orgasmic and who haven’t come clean about what’s really happening (or isn’t) tell me it’s because they don’t want to hurt their male partners feelings or are simply too embarrassed to admit that having an orgasm has eluded them altogether for their entire lives. Um, can’t he tell the difference between a knock-off and the real McCoy? Just exactly who are these women having sex with anyway?

This is one of those times when it would be oh, so easy to blame men for the whole problem. I can just hear it and sometimes, I do.  However, in my world-view of sex and sexuality, each one of us is ultimately responsible for our own sexual satisfaction – orgasms included. And, while I understand the “logic” put forth about not wanting to hurt your lovers feelings, if you’re faking your orgasms both you and your partner – male or female – are getting the short end of the stick. In this situation, neither of you are experiencing the best of anything.  And by the way, orgasms aren’t necessary for great sex, but honesty between partners is greatly enhancing.

In order for women to be orgasmic, they often need comprehensive sexual health education and support from their partners and their own willingness to transcend into a state of vulnerability and abandon. They also need permission and reassurance that sexual satisfaction – with or without orgasm – is a birthright. We don’t win it because were smart, accomplished, pretty, thin, or successful in our jobs. Sexual satisfaction is there for the taking simply because we’re human and our bodies have the capacity for it. When you think about it, it’s quite a lovely and powerful thing.  So, why the lying?

I know sex is hard to talk about and I also know that if you’re a woman who’s having trouble being orgasmic eking out the truth is rough going. After all, doesn’t every modern woman have death defying, multiple orgasms every time she has sex? We sure are led to think so.
The quality of an orgasm falls on a continuum. Some are C minus orgasm while others go well beyond an A plus, leaving you feeling that death by orgasm wouldn’t be such a bad way to go.

Ideally, every woman would have her own authentic voice when it comes to her orgasmic experiences – including when she doesn’t have one or doesn’t feel she needs to have one to enjoy sex. It seems to me that this, of all things should be left up to each individual woman to assess and critique and not anyone else. Nor should a woman’s orgasmic response necessarily be seen as evidence of her feelings of attachment and loyalty to her partner or acknowledgment of them as a competent lover. And, by the way, if you’re a woman who finds her orgasms to be difficult to achieve without the use of a vibrator don’t worry about it. This isn’t a defect, it is a horse-power issue. Vibrators offer stronger stimulation than any tongue or finger ever could. Who cares if this is what you need to maximize your pleasure? Pleasure is the primary objective here. Vibrators are enhancement tools – nothing more, nothing less. And BTW – if you need to use a vibrator all the time in order to be orgasmic, relax! There is no such thing as vibrator rehab.

The women I see in my practice who are lying to their partners about being orgasmic need help and support to find their way to their very own sweet spot. But first, they must  stop pretending about what’s really happening. If reading books, talking to your partner, or doing Internet searches hasn’t helped, then find a sex counselor or therapist to work with. The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists www.aasect.org provides a registry of sexual health professionals across the US who are trained to help women and men struggling with sexual issues of all kinds.  There is competent help available and given my own experience in practice, should you seek the help of a sexual health professional, it’s unlikely you’ll be the first woman to reveal that she’s been faking it all along.

Copyright: E. Resh,  1/2013

Give the Guys a Break!

men in bar.color10.28I have come to an important conclusion about men and women and here it is; heterosexual women find men with active masculine behaviors – like decisiveness and straightforward thinking – sexier than men without them.  The guys who are really sweet, predictable, great with kids, lively conversationalists, and a bit on the passive side make great husbands and fathers, but their women partners tend not to find them sexy. This is a problem I refer to as: Having married the family dog.  Think Golden Retriever vs. German Shepard and you’ll get my point.  I see it all the time in my practice; the more easy-going and “Sure Honey, whatever you want” a man is, the more likely his wife or girlfriend will be to say: “He’s a wonderful husband and father and I really love him, but I don’t find him sexy.  Frankly, sex has never been great with him, even from the beginning, but I married him anyway.”  Today’s I-must-be in-control-of-everything modern woman often has more masculine energy than her male partner does. This can pose big problems when it comes to sex.
I am not recommending that women choose an up-dated version of Cro-Magnon man. That’s a stupid idea and seems equally inauspicious for life-long sexual happiness as marrying the family dog.  But why do women feel that a good marriage partner and good sex partner are mutually exclusive?  And, has women’s empowerment resulted in some sort-of shift that has changed gender roles so dramatically as to nullify the masculine to feminine sexual compliment?
Personally, I’m not ashamed to admit that I find old-fashioned, manly men very sexually appealing.  Men who wear spicy aftershave, starched shirts, and carry a bill-fold are my kind-of guys.  I love the laconic conversationalist who doesn’t get lost in his own thoughts or repeat himself several times like my women friends are more apt to do.  I also love hanging-out with men who responsibly wear their sexual energy on their sleeve, no shame attached.  Given that the area of the human brain responsible for sex and sex drive is two and a half times larger in men than women, not thinking about sex is hard for them to do.  And since we’re on the topic of sex, I must admit I think men are often working with a natural advantage; sex is simpler for them.  While in the throes of passion, they’re not interrupted by thoughts like: “Did I write the bus note for the kids?”  Or: “Oh no, I left my cashmere sweater in the wash!”  Becoming distracted during sex by kids, and laundry? Never!

This Valentine’s Day, express your love to everyone in your life who has a place in your heart.  And, if you have a husband or male partner step back for a long moment, look at him, find his best masculine qualities, and think about ways to make as much room for them in your relationship as possible. It might be just the aphrodisiac you need. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the aftershave!

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