If you’re a college student engaging in sex with someone, you may have heard of the elusive female orgasm or g-spot. You may have also been thrown statistics such as “70% of women cannot finish from sex.” Hearing these words and stats may be confusing, overwhelming and extremely stressful. Well, take a deep breath, and let’s take a step back. It’s time to do some un-learning.
Female orgasms are considered “intense pleasures” for those who have vulvas and clitorises. There is a misconception that people with clits and vulvas cannot orgasm as easily as others. Additonally, the general culture in the United States creates a stigma surrounding female-identifying people enjoying sex. However, it seems as though what is portrayed in the media may not be the right message.
“There is still shame around those with clits and feeling pleasure. There is also this mentality about having to finish, and the goal of sex is to lead to this end,” Jackie Velez said; she is the Marketing Coordinator and former in-store worker at As You Like It, which is a local Eugene sex-positive store that has body safe sex supplies, toys and much more.
People tend to look at female orgasm as the end goal. However, Velez likes to tell customers that pleasure is a spectrum. While having an orgasm is one way to experience pleasure, it is certainly not the only way. Teenagers and college students have been force-fed the idea that the only way to have a good sexual experience is to cum. But, according to Velez, that notion stems from a heteropatriarchal viewpoint.
“Orgasms are not the end of sex, and sex does not have to include having an orgasm; it’s about pleasure and what feels good,” Velez said.
Instead of viewing sex as a means to end, people who follow a sex-positive framework want to emphasize the importance of being immersed in the pleasure of the sexual process. Sex-positivity means promoting healthy sexuality that is free of judgement and recognizing all sex is good sex — as long as it is consensual. Velez also mentioned “there is this hierarchical view of sexual activities, which can be harmful because that means one experience is more important than the other.” With stores such as As You Like It, the goal is to create a safe space to enjoy sex and pleasure in all its forms.
Similarly, Kathleen Rodriguez from the UO Women's Center said “female orgasms are misunderstood; sometimes people do not take the time to know about it or their partner.” Rodriguez went on to explain how there is this “big expectation around sex around orgasming especially with people with vaginas. If you don’t get there, it’s not successful. But it doesn’t always have to be like that.”
Sex is about the experience and being in the moment. It is nice to have a partner who is engaged and wants to help the other orgasm, but the pressure to make someone orgasm can be overwhelming. Velez and Rodriguez both mentioned the stress around orgasming usually leads to not being able to finish. Both Velez and Rodriguez want people to see sex as more than just a goal to reach and for everyone to appreciate sex in all forms.
While it is important people want to help their partners orgasm, experiencing any form of sex is about pleasure and intimacy, which can look different for different people. So, if you are someone who is constantly hearing about finishing and orgasms, take a deep breath, talk to your partner and remember sex is more than just a means to an end.