Not Oprah’s Book Club: I Love Female Orgasm

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It was the night before I had the awesome opportunity to see Barack Obama in-studio on The Daily Show. I got my The Audacity of Hope and my Obama biography and curled into bed, thinking I would read some passages and get excited about seeing the man with the otherworldly charisma the next day. But I also had a stack of books that authors and publicist have sent me to review for feministing, so I thought, “Mmm…maybe I’ll just flip through a few.â€? Two hours later I was still engrossed in I Love Female Orgasm and the Obama books remained unopened. Even super charismatic Obama didn’t stand a chance against female orgasm.
Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller (imagine how explosive their sex must be!) are sex educators and Brown graduates who have pretty much dedicated the last few years of their lives to educating people about the complex and wonderful female orgasm.
What I really like about the book is that it is incredibly inclusive—no heterosexism here, no assumptions that their readers are sexually-active or experienced, no intimidation factor. Instead reading I Love Female Orgasm is like having a little sex therapy session with the least judgmental guru on the planet.


To be fair, some of it will seem basic to the “I already have my tool box of sex toys and I know how to use them� set, but for the rest of us, I think I Love Female Orgasm is filled with really important tips about some of the more elusive kinds of orgasms—multiple, during intercourse, and that old unicorn in the sky, female ejaculation.
By the by, 70% of women, despite Hollywood’s portrayal, don’t come from intercourse alone. I find this fascinating—why is it that the image-makers (screenwriters, directors etc.) continue to promulgate the myth that every woman has orgasmic intercourse? Women are made to feel “broken� and men are made to feel inadequate. Who’s benefiting from this continued misinformation?
I also think the book has exciting potential to be a much-needed resource for men. Sometimes heterosexual or bisexual women get tired of articulating exactly what gets them off. Hell, sometimes they don’t even know. This book allows men a window into some of the lesser know possibilities. And let’s face it, dudes definitely need some sex ed beyond fake-ass porn, the embarrassed dad sex talk, and the locker room.
Thanks Dorian and Marshall. You guys are making the world a better place, one female orgasm at a time.
Next week: Miranda July‘s No one belongs here more than you. I promise I’ll get to that Obama biography one of these days.

Join the Conversation

  • http://librarytavern.blogspot.com/ Liz

    70% of females do not have orgasms from intercourse alone? Hell, I would have said something more like 99.9 % of female orgasms are not from stimulation of the vagina. Of course, stimulation of the clitoris can happen during intercourse, so perhaps that explains the supposed 30% of females actually having orgasms from intercourse alone.

  • Kimmy

    Please don’t use the term “supposed” when referring to orgams from intercourse. Some of us do achieve them, and occasionally in positions in which clitoral stimulation is impossible.
    Naturally, there’s nothing wrong with being unable to achieve orgasm that way. Everyone is different, and everyone deserves to have their needs met in whatever way possible. I agree that the mass media focus on penetration related orgasm is extreme and unfair to those women who don’t achieve them. But let’s not try to cast those of us who do in a suspicious light.
    You probably didn’t intend to do that, but I’ve had enough conversations of the “Oh, you do not really come that way” variety to be annoyed at the mere idea.

  • http://profeministmale.wordpress.com ProFeministMale

    Oh, I have both the shirt and the book! It’s freaking awesome. I actually got to hang out with Dorian at the NOW conference, and she is quite the expert on things!
    Just a suggestion: if you want to raise money for your feminist organization on campus, buy these shirts and sell them on campus for a profit. My God, everyone wants one. :) Plus, it makes for a great conversation at the bar.
    Random girl: Nice shirt, I want one!
    Me: The shirt or the orgasm?

  • UCLAbodyimage

    “Of course, stimulation of the clitoris can happen during intercourse, so perhaps that explains the supposed 30% of females actually having orgasms from intercourse alone.”
    Some women orgasm primarily through clitoral stimulation. Others don’t – focusing on the clitoris is definitely the wrong way to go with some women. There is no “one way works for all women” strategy” – some general things that generally work for most people, but you just need to figure out what works through talking and experimentation.

  • http://librarytavern.blogspot.com/ Liz

    Has a study ever been conducted to determine what percent of men are frigid? By frigid, of course I mean, do not have tongue-gasms? After all, it is a tongue on my clitoris that I find stimulating, so if a man doesn’t achieve orgasm that way, he must be frigid. There must be something wrong with him. His sexuality is immature.
    Of course I’m being sarcastic. Anne Koedt was able to be a little less sarcastic about the topic.

  • The Brawn

    I just checked out the sexualityeducation.com web site. How likely do you think it is this tag team of sex educators would speak at a Jesuit university? =)

  • johanna

    hey Brawn – they came to our Benedictine college. Dorian and Marshall are very good at meeting the needs of student organizations at religious colleges. And they are two of the most fun and interesting people I’ve ever met!
    I have the button pictured above and a couple of their “expression” buttons. Great conversation starters when one is in line for the bus. ;)

  • sleipetorva

    I love these folks. They came to the University of Delaware last year and they’re coming again this year on October 15th. I bought my then-boyfriend a t-shirt last year, which he still wears regularly (even ending up on the Kathy Griffin show over the summer! It was awesome to see that message displayed on cable TV).

  • sleipetorva

    I love these folks. They came to the University of Delaware last year and they’re coming again this year on October 15th. I bought my then-boyfriend a t-shirt last year, which he still wears regularly (even ending up on the Kathy Griffin show over the summer! It was awesome to see that message displayed on cable TV).

  • http://www.bitchkittie.blogspot.com NewsCat

    I remember watching the Director’s commentary for “A History of Violence” and the director said he thought he’d been told his film was one of the first (non-porn) depictions of cunnilingus in a major box office release.
    He’s probably wrong but it did make me realize how rare that particular sex act is ON SCREEN even in R-rated movies. In fact I think the “c” act is usually cut because the ratings board considering it obscene to see it.

  • Blitzgal

    Newscat, I remember being perplexed by how many people I talked to thought that scene was completely “unnecessary” to the plot. When I watched the film I was impressed by it because we see all kinds of simulated blow jobs in regular movies, not to mention random female nudity when it truly does have no relevance to what’s going on in the scene. I was surprised when several friends (male) expressed their displeasure with that scene.

  • http://blogingfemme.insanejournal.com moriath

    Newscat – Have you seen the documentary “This Film is Not Yet Rated”? They have a section in that about how the ratings board seems to consistently deem any depiction of women actually enjoying sex as obscene, ditto to most non-mainstream sex acts (meaning you can do missionary and woman on top – want to show anything else and you’ll get slapped with an NC-17).
    I did a speech two years ago for our speech team on the female orgasm – it was some of the most fun I ever had!

  • http://profeministmale.wordpress.com ProFeministMale

    Liz, what did you think of Koedt’s “Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm?” I remember that started almost a riot in class. Personally, I found the article to be insulting to women, as to say that SHE knew more about women’s bodies than the women themselves, and that somehow if a woman has a vaginal orgasm, that she’s really “tricking” herself into believing in such.

  • http://www.bitchkittie.blogspot.com NewsCat

    I bet the list of non-porn, *american* films with cunniligus in them is probably a short list. And films in which cunniligus is not used as a joke is even rarer.
    I believe the director’s cut of Basic Instinct had it (the theater version didn’t). It’s in American Pie and mentioned in Cruel Intentions.
    That’s my short list. And context is key. In Basic Instinct doesn’t it make it “deviant” to have the evil bitch character engage in it?

  • dhsredhead

    Just because most women don’t ‘enjoy’ intercourse doesn’t make the possibility of a vaginal orgasm impossible. It’s far from the easiest way to orgasm, but it is physically possible during intercourse. I also think there are lots of men out there who prefer to orgasm through methods besides intercourse as well, maybe they wouldn’t say it’s impossible to orgasm from intercourse, but may not be preferred. Which brings up all sorts of interesting questions about sex for the point of pro-creation.

  • http://librarytavern.blogspot.com/ Liz

    dhsredhead,
    You said, Just because most women don’t ‘enjoy’ intercourse doesn’t make the possibility of a vaginal orgasm impossible. Actually, my guess would be that most heterosexual women enjoy intercourse. And a lot of men enjoy performing cunnilingus. I also think that it’s within the realm of possibility for vaginal penetration to bring on a woman’s orgasm and for performing cunnilingus to bring on a man’s orgasm! After all, there’s something to be said for the right mental state and enjoying physical sensations. So is it possible? Yes.

  • Corinna

    Hey, they’re from Albany, NY–same place as the driver of the “dyke bug!” Yay for the most unexpectedly pro-woman town in upstate . . .

  • equityforbothgenders

    When are we all going to stop following the gender roles suggested to us by mainstream media?! These people feed us BS on everything else, why do we take what they say about sex so seriously! The MSM, of which I would include movies in, are designed to make both men and women unhappy or insecure about pretty much everything in their lives, sexual or otherwise.
    If the internet has taught us anything about sex(scary sentence, I know), it is that there is a wide spectrum of behaviors exhibited by women and by men, some with wider audiences and some with a smaller crowd attached to them. Hopefully the generation of people growing up with this on the net will internalize it, and stop with broad generalizations about the ways women and men get off, and what they are or aren’t willing to do to help their lovers do the same.

  • http://marnanel.org Thomas Thurman

    This is irrelevant, really, but it made me happy to see the merchandise page called ilovefemaleorgasm.com/merch.html (merch is Welsh for woman).

  • http://victoriamarinelli.com Victoria Marinelli

    Even super charismatic Obama didn’t stand a chance against female orgasm
    That’s quite an amusing sentence.

  • Unree

    As if this book and the college speaking circuit weren’t awesome enough, Solot and Miller are also the founders of the Alternatives to Marriage Project, which advocates for the rights and interests of unmarried people, both singles and couples: http://www.unmarried.org. In their spare time–ha!–they strengthen their downtown Albany neighborhood.

  • Piranha

    Can someone please point me to the scientific literature that cites the 70% statistic? (I have access to all the journal databases, so subscription status shouldn’t be a problem.) Both my boyfriend and I have science backgrounds, and he won’t believe that statistic unless he sees it in the literature. It never fails to amaze me how many guys think that women who only get off clitorally are just “tough nuts to crack”…

  • oenophile

    Piranha,
    Here are a few links:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,158859,00.html
    http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/11/27/big.o/index.html
    Check out Whipple’s “The Science of Orgasm,” if you can find it.
    I don’t know what you want for scientific literature, but you can do a literature search for the studies mentioned there, or you could look through the Kinsey reports.
    Now, not to get in your business, but if your boyfriend doesn’t believe that, he’s not worth dating. I mean, skepticism is one thing, but, honestly, I did a quick google search and saw nothing BUT the 30% figure. I have an engineering background, and, IMHO, anyone who rejects one hypothesis but fails to put forth another one (with more evidence than the rejected one) isn’t playing at science, but rather at agenda-setting.

  • Piranha

    Thanks. I suppose I should have typed more carefully – it’s not that he doesn’t believe the statistic, he just wants a more thorough explanation. As do I – and I’ve actually come across some fascinating scientific studies today – this whole topic is apparently a lot more complicated than the binary vaginal-clitoral construct would suggest. B/F loves me the way I am and I think we’re going to enjoy investigating this topic further… :)

  • http://librarytavern.blogspot.com/ Liz

    Piranha is approaching this scientifically. I applaud her for this. But the studies about it are based on questionnaires. I would like to see a more scientific explanation of the physiology of female orgasm, but I think the topic is so politicized that anybody who has a good grasp on the biology is afraid to speak up.

  • Alison

    I have actually seen both authors and met them personally. They tour colleges and present everything about sex ed, women’s empowerment, and of course, female orgasms. If you like this book (as I’m sure you will!), consider going to one of their events. Both of them are the sweetest people I’ve ever met and I would also like to say “Congrats” – as Dorian is pregnant with the couple’s first child!!!

  • oenophile

    Both my boyfriend and I have science backgrounds, and he won’t believe that statistic unless he sees it in the literature.
    That begs the question, “So what statistic does he believe?”
    If the only stat around is 30%, does he choose to believe 90% without any evidence?
    My issue: yeah, it’s hard to find scientific literature (and not a news mention thereof) that says 30%. HOWEVER, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to find any other stat. If this guy doesn’t believe 30%, what does he believe? And where’s the evidence for that belief?

  • UCLAbodyimage

    “Piranha is approaching this scientifically. I applaud her for this. But the studies about it are based on questionnaires. I would like to see a more scientific explanation of the physiology of female orgasm, but I think the topic is so politicized that anybody who has a good grasp on the biology is afraid to speak up”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masters_and_Johnson
    I believe that the 70% came from Master’s and Johnson’s lab studies of sexuality in the 70s, and Hite’s response to them.
    Also, there are people still doing work on the biology of sexual response and orgasm. For example, Cindy Meston.
    http://www.psy.utexas.edu/psy/clinical/faculty/meston.htm

  • tigerlilywobo

    While I can’t remember specifically where I got this, I do remember it was from a credible source, and I thought it was quite interesting. Maybe some googling will get more sources…
    The clitoris forms from what is, in men, the penis, only there are incredibly more dense nerves in the clitoris. There’s evidence to suggest that this nerve-dense clitoral area continues up into the vaginal area, explaining the multiple locations for female orgasm.
    Again, sorry for the lack of sources, but I found this very intersting.

  • http://www.1stop4femaleorgasms.com/blog Harry

    The main reason why 70% of women don’t orgasm from sex alone is because only 5% of men know what they’re doing.
    Check out this G spot success story from a woman and then watch the video demonstrating the technique.
    http://1stop4femaleorgasms.com/blog/2009/07/13/g-spot-success-story-from-woman/