Orgasms and how to reach them

As a group, women seem to have more trouble building up to orgasmic levels of pleasure than men. Many of my female friends claim they know how to make their man climax, but men just don’t know how to do the same for them.

The more research I do on the subject, the more I find men trying to give their two cents about a subject they don’t know enough about to make happen. I think it’s time to let women speak for themselves.

According to Heidi Stevens of the Chicago Tribune, straight women are less likely to have an orgasm during sexual intimacy than any other demographic.

So why is this? Personally, I have always thought of climaxing as a physical reaction to a psychological experience.

Laurie Smith-Nelson, a clinical associate professor of psychology, teaches Human Sexuality, or “Dirty 230.” She said an orgasm is a physiological event connected to psychological processes. She explained that stimulating a man’s climax is much more self-explanatory than stimulating a woman’s because men’s anatomy is external.

Despite the popular opinion that women can achieve different kinds of orgasms, Smith-Nelson said that orgasms can only be stimulated through the clitoris, and this is why many women do not reach climax through intercourse.

The clitoris is homologous, or the same in relative structure, to a man’s penis, Smith-Nelson said. Women require as much stimulation to their clitoris as a man requires to his penis in order to reach maximum pleasure. The clitoris has twice as many nerve endings as the head of the penis, but it is often ignored during sexual activity, which results in the woman not achieving orgasm.

This is not to say women do not enjoy intercourse as much as men. There are many women who don’t often achieve orgasm but still enjoy the pleasure of intercourse, according to “Understanding the Female Orgasm” by Seymour Fisher.

Lack of education on female anatomy is a simple explanation for why men don’t know how to get their female partners off, but the problem often runs even deeper. Smith-Nelson referenced how differences in socialization of men and women play a role in women’s struggle to climax.

“We tend to shame women who are sexual or knowledgeable about sex or assertive about their sexuality,” she said.

As a society, we tell women to maintain the identity of a “lady in the streets, but a freak in the bed,” to quote Ludacris. We are then confused as to why women struggle to reach peak performance during sexual activity. With women suppressing their sexuality in their day-to-day lives to fit a social stigma, they may not have the confidence to reach maximum pleasure during sex, even with a seasoned partner.

“It is hard to experience maximum pleasure and fit the gender role of being passive and innocent sexually,” Smith-Nelson said.

So how do we help women to enjoy sex as much as men?

Educate yourself. Take “Dirty 230.” Anyone who enjoys having sex with women can benefit from understanding female anatomy and sexuality. If it is important to you to satisfy your woman, start by understanding her body to know how better to serve her needs.

Smith-Nelson said individuals of any gender or sexual orientation can benefit from understanding themselves and their partner sexually. The course also teaches students how to communicate effectively when it comes to sex, a vital skill for anyone looking to get frisky.

Stop judging women for being sexually liberal. Suppressing any part of our identity is unhealthy, especially when it comes to one of our most basic evolutionary desires. We teach men to fully embrace their sexuality and to seek opportunity for sexual activity at every turn, and we teach women that they are powerless over their sexual habits. We need to educate women to embrace their sexuality and regain their sexual confidence.