The Importance (or not) of orgasms

orgasm face

Last week I posted a poll to Twitter and asked about how important it is for women to have an orgasm during sex:

Nearly a thousand owners of vulvae voted, and a discussion thread thirty replies long ensued. After a while, a few common themes emerged.

Generally, orgasms are not absolutely essential but are definitely preferable; more important seems to be enjoyable sex, and/or the personal connection.

On the essential side, one commenter said, “If you get yours and I don’t get mine I’m gonna be pissed.” Another said, “tbh if after 3-5 fucks I still haven’t cum once, I’m probably moving on.¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ” Equality, it seems, is just as important with orgasms as with anything else!

Specifically, I took away three main points:

First – “It depends.”

Sometimes you want to cum hard and often. Other times you don’t want to cum at all, and it might even be preferable to be held on the edge of orgasm for as long as possible. ‘Edging’ is a thing, after all.

For some, it depends on whom they are with. For many sex workers it was not important at all to orgasm with clients, though some will fake it to please their clients. At the same time it tended to be somewhat more important when those same sex workers were with personal-life lovers.

For still others, orgasms are so intense that they can be tiring, and thus cumming to often means having to stop the fun.

Second – Go to the source.

Women & vulva-owners are much better at making themselves orgasm than their lovers. This is probably a simple result of you knowing your body and how it feels better than anyone else. It reinforces the idea that if you want to know how to please someone, ask them how.

There is a lot of variety in experience and opinion out there, though, as you might expect. Other women talked about orgasms being essential, and in some case if they don’t cum they experience pain akin to what men and penis-owners call “blue-balls.”

Third – Orgasm does not always equal pleasure

One person sent me a direct message with a linked article that described how sometimes arousal and orgasm are purely physical, reflex responses, even when a woman is not emotionally or mentally enjoying the encounter. In fact, in some cases of sexual assault & rape, the woman experienced an orgasm, which can be intensely confusing. It goes without saying, though, that this in no way legitimises the assault, and a conscious “no” must always be respected.

Several people commented that an orgasm is not the finish of sex and should not necessarily mark the close of sexual intimacy. For men especially it sounds like there is a semi-cultural expectation that when the penis-owner is finished with their climax, it’s all over. We were reminded that intimacy is not contingent on an erect penis being in-play, and that stimulation of the other partner(s) can still continue. Plus there can still be other acts of a sexual or intimate nature to share, such as massages, cuddling and stroking, or even just talking about the sex you just had to keep the mood elevated.

Further notes on ‘Le Petit Mort’

I’d like to take a minute here to point you, dear reader, to the amazing website “Beautiful Agony.” Users just like you record themselves self-pleasuring and upload the videos – showing only their faces – for your viewing. If you want to know what it looks like when someone cums, this will provide your answers.

Third – Orgasms are awesome, and pretty much everyone agrees. But more important to vulva-owners is the connection between them and their funtime partners.

My orgasm takeaway

So what did I learn about orgasm from this discussion? Probably the most important lesson, while obvious, arguably doesn’t happen enough.

Communicate. There is so much variety not just to anatomy, but more importantly to preference, desire, and need. A frank chat about what works for one person will go differently to a similar chat with someone else. Even if it’s someone you know, asking them “how do you feel today?” might open a brief exchange about what that person needs to orgasm in that moment – or even if they want to orgasm at all.

Thus informed, there is a much, much greater chance that everyone will be all happy & orgasmic.

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