Check out the following excerpt from Michael Kimmel’s new book, Guyland:
Most hookups are not great sex. In our survey, in their most recent hookups, regardless of what actually took place, only 19% of the women reported having an orgasm, as compared to 44% of the men. When women received cunnilingus, only about a quarter experienced an orgasm, though the men who reported they had performed cunnilingus on their partner reported that she had an orgasm almost 60% of the time.
The orgasm gap extends to intercourse as well. Women report an orgasm 34 percent of the time; the men report that the women had an orgasm 58 percent of the time. (The women, not surprisingly, are far better able to tell if the men had orgasms, and the reporting rates are virtually identical).
The data Kimmel is referencing appears to be representative of heterosexual contact only, though it could use some clarification. In any case, HOLY SHIT.
It’s not that I’m shocked by these numbers. I’ve heard enough horrendous hetero hook-up stories to know that they’re usually not all that orgasmic, or even all that pleasurable, for the ladies involved. I’m one of those who believes that long term relationships (or at least multiple hook ups with the same partner) are pretty necessary to figure out how your two unique chemistries best match up for good sex (widely defined). This, of course, goes for queer lovin’ as well.
What really made my jaw drop was the discrepancy between the way women reported orgasms and the way men reported women’s orgasms. As Kimmel put it, “Many women, it turns out, fake orgasm.”
Okay, so let’s talk about this. Again. (Samhita and Jess have already written great stuff on this in the past.)
First and foremost, you deserve pleasure. You deserve orgasms. You deserve to be honest about the presence or absence of orgasms. And of course, every sexual encounter doesn’t have to lead to orgasm. Sometimes it’s not happenin’ for various reasons. You don’t have to explain yourself. You don’t have to perform some sort of ego saving climax.
I know, I know, sometimes it seems like it’s easier, especially with someone you don’t know, to just pretend that the hook up is awesome so that you don’t have to explain why it’s not, teach some guy about basic female anatomy, or deal with his frowny face grumpy pants routine. But the path of least resistance, my feminist friends, is not cool in this case.
It’s not cool for a couple of critical reasons. It’s not cool because you deserve better–both physically and in terms of your own integrity. But it’s also not cool to the rest of the poor gals who might be next in line with this poor fool who doesn’t know where the frickin’ clit is. Or whatever. You see where I’m going with this.
It is your feminist duty to 1) seek pleasure and feel entitled to it and 2) to make the world a more orgasmic place for other women.
If the last girl that had taken that dude home had taught him a thing or two about a thing or two, you wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. You hear me?