In our society women have been socialized to think that male pleasure is more important than female pleasure. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Don’t believe me? Would you think it weird if, during a steamy sex sess, the man came and the woman did not? No, this happens all the time. Of course, there are a hundred factors that could play into this: some women are pre-orgasmic so an orgasm isn’t currently on the table for them at all. Perhaps they take a long time to reach orgasm, or their partner isn’t sure how to get them there, or the communication is off, or or or! But what I asked was would you think it WEIRD? No, probably not.

Now, would you think it weird if the man didn’t come? I polled some friends, male and female. They guys said—aside from factors like drunkenness or medical conditions—it is unlikely that they have sex and don’t come. The women said it is unlikely they have a sex session and come “from sex alone.” So if they or their partner don’t put in a little extra work to get them there, they don’t come;  this seemed to be a widely accepted thing.

Okay let’s put it another way. Women: how often have you gone down on your guy without ever receiving or expecting anything in return? Just a playful early morning blow? Yeah? How often has your guy gone down on you without the situation ending in reciprocation?

Many relationships work this way and because our society has been trained to think this is alright—that male pleasure takes precedence over female—not many people seem to openly voice their issues. Additionally, it makes sense from a biological point—men need to produce semen (typically, but not always, accompanied by orgasm) for conception. Women don’t need to come for conception to occur—although some fertility studies find that it may help.

I always hear men complaining about how much easier it is for women to have sex. The whole stale argument: Most women can walk into any bar and find someone to have sex with if they really want. Men have to work harder for it. Well, fine. But once a man and a woman are in bed, women have to work a lot harder for their orgasms. Stereotypically, if a man and a woman get into bed together, it can be assumed that the man is going to come. It can only be hoped that the woman will.

Part of this problem is because of how we have been trained to think this is alright, and part of it is due to lack of communication. It is surprising how many couples are fine with having sex but are scared to talk about it. If a woman isn’t coming regularly, this is often not discussed for fear of bruising the male ego or because the woman thinks there is something wrong with her. This is also why orgasms are faked.

I’ve only been having sex for a decade; but I spent the majority of those years pre-orgasmic, thinking I was one of the small percentage of women who simply cannot (or just do not ever) orgasm. It turns out no one (myself included!) had taken the time to patiently get me there—and no one had really understood that they should. I didn’t understand, either. In long-term relationships this type of sexual dissatisfaction (even when it isn’t fully understood) will harbor as resentment, bubble up to the surface and spoil things faster than a car full of milk in July.

I am not blaming any gender for this. I have talked to guys who had no idea if their girlfriends were coming at all, or how regularly, simply because nobody is addressing it. In a balanced sexual relationship, both men and women should be coming regularly.  Orgasms for equality! Stop the oh-oh-oh-pression!  Okay, that’s enough now.

Take on this? Have women been socialized to focus on male pleasure? Why?

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