Tag Archives: sex

Learning How to Orgasm

I just read a very long (for  the internet) and very wonderful piece on learning/trying/struggling to orgasm as a woman with a non-normative sexuality in this world. The whole story is a great read with lots of insights, but here are some of the things she shares to try to help other women who aren’t able to orgasm and really wish they could:

When women ask me for advice on how to have orgasms, I feel helpless because there is no “one true way”. I don’t want to fall back on the old “let go” and “keep trying” that I received — it’s decent advice, but it’s so vague. Perhaps something more useful would be this: first, it really helps to have an idea of what you want. I know this can be hard in a society that soaks us with sexual images designed for stereotypical men, rather than images for women (and especially not for non-normative women like myself). And I feel so aware of how patronizing and useless the “you aren’t in touch with your sexuality, that’s why you can’t come” argument can be. Remember, I had that argument used against me by my lesbian friend. But it was, in fact, kinda true for me — just in a different way: I need BDSM.

If you’re not sure what you want, don’t panic. Just keep your eyes and ears open, and try to monitor your reactions. It may surprise you. If it does, don’t worry — just research it! No matter how unusual your sexuality, there is probably information on the Internet about it. (And even if your sexuality is unusual, odds are it’s not nearly as unusual as you think it is.)

Secondly: it may help not to prioritize orgasms. I am not saying orgasms aren’t important; I just don’t want the importance of orgasms to wound you, the way it wounded me. For me, it is helpful to imagine sex as a journey. For me, it helps to focus on having fun throughout, instead of doing what it takes to reach the “goal” of orgasm. If you’re not taking pleasure in the journey — or at least indulging some curiosity — then why keep going? Why not stop and try something else?

Experimenting sexually in an open-ended way has been, for me, the most productive possible attitude. And in fact, once I knew how to make myself come, I discovered that — though it’s helpful to be able to attain that release if I really want to — orgasms aren’t actually my favorite part of sex! There are lots of other things I like better.

It’s also worth noting that our definitions of “orgasm” are fairly narrow. Some research indicates that there may be other ways to conceptualize orgasms than the stereotypical genital-focused approach.

Sexuality is so complicated. Sex cannot be reduced to bodies, or hormones, or psychological stereotypes. Sex cannot be reduced to certainties, to shoulds and shouldn’ts. If I could destroy every force in our lives that drives home ideas of sexual “normality”, I would. Which leads to my final piece of advice: don’t let me tell you what to do. This is just my experience, just my ideas. As with everything, I want you to do whatever feels right for you — as long as it’s among consenting adults.

I highly recommend reading the whole thing, regardless of whether you have a personal investment or are just interested in a good, compelling feminist story!  AND if you are like the woman who wrote the piece, and really want to learn some more about BDSM, the Traveling Tickle Trunk is offering a number of related workshops. Check them out here.

Links: Feminist Non-Fiction Book List, Disability Back to School Guide, How to Get Laid Without Being a Jerk,

  • Ms. Magazine is counting down their list of the top 100 feminist non-fiction books. If you’re looking for something to read, start at 100-91 and follow the links on their site to move down the list.

Links: How to Address Sexual Violence, Feminism and Dating, and Being Better Allies

Combating sexual violence is a key part of the movement for social justice.

Why is it so important to remember these connections? Because it has a big impact on our tactics. Without understanding the broader connections, combatting sexual violence gets simplified into just educating women about safety when going out at night.

Combating sexual violence gets simplified into telling young girls not to talk to strangers.

Combating sexual violence gets simplified into telling women to dress more modestly.

Combating sexual violence gets simplified into relying on the criminal (in)justice system to protect us from violence.

Combating sexual violence is not simple, and its elimination is going to require a big picture strategy that takes into account all of the factors that contribute to its existence.

I had a friend who gave me a copy of Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov. I was frustrated that an intelligent, independent woman was getting her advice from a book like that. There are also plenty of books written by men about dating for women. [Travis L. Stork’s] Don’t Be That Girl was probably the most appalling book I’ve ever read. Each chapter was a caricature of a woman – Busy Girl, Needy Girl, Whiny Girl – and advice on how not to be that girl, including, “Don’t talk about your job too much” and “Don’t ask when he’s going to call.” These dating books fall into a long tradition of men diagnosing women and their nervousness.

It glosses over substantial differences in experience in a way that can be hurtful, insulting and alienating.  After Prop 8 banned same-gender marriage in California, gay news magazine the Advocate published a cover story that declared that “gay is the new black.”  The problem is, this is frequently stated by white queer people.  And while white queer people have historically experienced hate crimes, police raids, and a whole lot more, we haven’t been lynched, been forced to sit at the back of the bus, or experienced the accumulation of oppression over generations on a single family or neighborhood.  Black/African-American communities have.  Intentional or not, claiming that “gay is the new black” is deeply disrespectful, and it’s often experienced as such.

News: Prisoner Justice Day, Sex+Motherhood, Fat+Health

-August 10th was Prisoner Justice Day. I very strongly suggest listening to the most recent edition of GroundWire on the topic of prisoner justice to learn about prisons in Canada, and why progressives, feminists, etc. should be very concerned about the rights of prisoners.

-Great article on our discomfort with sex and motherhood mixing on Salon: “When porn meets real motherhood.”

-A recent study out of Edmonton suggests that being fat isn’t actually inherently unhealthy (what!?!?!??), being unhealthy is what is unhealthy. Emily over at Feministe breaks it down. The original article that she quotes has a bit of trouble fully comprehending the idea that fat is not the same thing as unhealthy, but that’s what Emily is for – she italicized the good parts.

News: BDSM and abuse, Lesbian heroes ignored by mainstream media, and Sexual violence and mental illness

On BDSM and abuse – how they are not the same thing but do, of course, at times cross paths. The author, in response to a comment, said this:

I really really really want to feel sure that as BDSM becomes more destigmatized — a process that appears to be happening independent of me and other feminist BDSM writers — that its communication/consent techniques are popularized as well. I want people who engage in these relationships to be understood, but I also really really really don’t want BDSM to be used as a shield to cover abusers.

By and large, in the wake of the tragedy in Norway the mainstream media has ignored the fact that a married lesbian couple saved 40 teenagers.

The tie between mental illness and sexual violence is strong in survivors. This is one way of many which sexual violence is terrible for your health (I wouldn’t be surprised if physical illness what also connected).