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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Sex Column: You Forgot My Orgasm

I’ll let you in on a little secret: sex is great. It relieves stress, boosts your immune system, lowers blood pressure, and, if you’re doing it right, it’s one hell of a work out. Sex is also a great way to connect with someone. It’s about mutual pleasure—or, it should be.

But more often than not, the climax of said pleasure is not shared, but one-sided. It seems like every time I—and I know I’m not alone—give any indication that I’m close to an orgasm, that indication is almost always followed (often immediately) with a very particular sigh of release from the male counterpart that can mean only one thing: no orgasm for me.

This abrupt ending always leaves me thinking a myriad of thoughts, one of which is: “I should have kept my mouth shut.” But like the key to any relationship, the key to good sex is also communication. So, why? What the fuck, man?

It would be reductive to say that most men just don’t know how to please women. And though it is true that women’s orgasms are much more intense and can be much more difficult to achieve, it is important to look at exactly why the latter might be the case. I think it actually has less to do with anatomy and more to do with mentality.

I think (and just roll with me for a minute) that it has something to do with shame and double standards. I think that—ultimately—it has to do with the fact that sexuality has been ascribed a very complex and confused gender dynamic; men are the sex seekers and women are the gatekeepers.

Let’s look at an overly simplified, homogeneous first date scenario. Man meets Woman, asks Woman out, Woman says yes. They go on a date. The date goes extremely well. Things heat up, Man initiates sex. Woman also wants sex, but what does Woman do? If Woman goes for what she wants—what they both want—Woman runs risk of being “easy.” But what about Man? Why is it only socially acceptable for him to be sexual, to act on his sexual desires? Why are women so often shamed for acting on theirs?

Now let’s look briefly at the concept of “the walk of shame.” What do you picture when you hear that phrase? I picture a woman walking down a dorm hallway with heels in her hands, hair a mess, and makeup under her eyes. She looks worn down, her posture is guarded, her eyes to the ground. I picture this, and then I picture a man back in his dorm room lying in bed with his legs stretched out and crossed in front of him and his arms crossed behind his head, a big, satisfied smile stretched across his face.

I have heard people talk of “the walk of shame” in regards to women countless times. I have never once heard this phrase used to describe a man.

Now let’s say the Woman from the first date scenario considers the fact that this Man’s pursuit of her might end there if she has sex with him, says, “fuck it,” and goes for the gold because she, like the Man, has a sex drive. That kind of consideration and worry can really get in the way of enjoying the moment. If she’s thinking too much about it—or about how she looks, because women are held to an unrealistic standard of beauty, don’t you know (which is a topic for another article)—than the chances of her achieving an orgasm are probably pretty slim. The Man, presumably, has none of these worries. He knows he’s cumming (must be nice), and soon enough, he does. There are no worries of the social repercussions of his actions to keep him from achieving his desired end.

Now, I know there are probably lots of men reading this and thinking, “not really,” or, “really?” And most women reading this are probably thinking, “yup.” In terms of what is socially accepted, men are allowed to enjoy sex and women are only allowed to enjoy sex under very particular, rigid circumstances that have been laid out for them by society.
And that is a sin, because there is nothing shameful about enjoying sex. The only thing that is shameful are the double standards ascribed to it.