can’t orgasm?

Did you read the 11/10/12 “Sex and the Smithie” column?

The author is a pre-orgasmic woman. She writes:

I would be lying if I said that not being able to orgasm didn’t make me feel extremely insecure about myself sexually. Being incapable of having an orgasm is not, in any way, related to how I feel about my current sexual partner, or even my past sexual partners – it has everything to do with me being discouraged and thus embarrassed by my inability to, well, come.

Which is totally normal, totally exactly the kind of thing people experience. And then – oh gosh! – she writes

But there aren’t any excuses – I’m going to invest in some Grade A vibrators and some Grade A lube and get the job done once and for all.

Which makes me want to write a letter to the editor! I can help! I know the answer! I mean, imagine sitting in class and knowing the answer to a question and wishing someone would just ask you! Just ask, you think, and I can make your life better!

But since it’s a student newspaper and I totally don’t want to intrude on that student space, I’ll just post my letter here. How about that?

I would write:

To the editor:

I write in response to the 11/10/12 “Sex and the Smithie” column. The author is indeed correct that she is not alone in being pre-orgasmic – 1 in 4 college age women reports never having had an orgasm – and she also correct that masturbation with a vibrator is often (though far from always) an efficient route to learning to orgasm.

Yet sexual response for female-bodied, feminine-socialized people is exquisitely sensitive to context, including relationship, health risks, stress, mood, body image, and, not least, worrying about whether or not you’ll have an orgasm. The writer will have the greatest chance of orgasming if she approaches sexual pleasure not as a “job” to get done, but as an end in itself, with orgasm a “fantastic bonus” in the words of Elisabeth Lloyd, or a “superadded component,” to use the research phrase.

Julia Heiman’s Becoming Orgasmic is an evidence-based book that supports pre-orgasmic and conditionally orgasmic women in experiencing pleasure and reducing the interference of the cultural and contextual factors.

Thank you very much,
Emily, local sex nerd

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