The lens with which we view our bodies and sexuality has been quite influenced by many ideas and “discoveries” that have been made throughout history. These ideas and notions derived from history can often be misleading and harmful. Just to name a few - the early invention of the vibrator and its association with “female hysteria”, the “discovery” of the G-Spot by a penis-owning doctor named Ernst Grafenberg, the complete erasure from science of any sexual behavior that deviated from cis-and-hetero-normativity, oh believe me when I say I could go on. One idea that originated in the early nineteenth century is particularly harmful and pertinent today. This is the idea of the female orgasm existing in a hierarchy, with different types of orgasm being superior or inferior. For this idea, we can thank the good ol’ father of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud. His influential work deemed clitoral orgasms as inferior to vaginal orgasms. He explained that if a woman were to orgasm via the clitoris, she was immature in her sexual development. He said that a proper, sexually developed, and mature woman would orgasm via penetration of the vagina. Now, if this idea seems somewhat silly to you, you’re not alone. However, this idea has echoed. It’s made such a lasting impact on how science, academia and WE see our bodies and orgasms. I’m about to lay out all the connections this idea has to modern, even “progressive” ideas about female sexuality.
Clitoral, vaginal, G-spot, A-spot, cervical…. How many freakin types of orgasms are there?
If you have ever read cosmopolitan or any other popular “women’s” magazine you’re probably familiar with how many different “types” of orgasms that are possible for your body. A workshop I once attended spent a good majority of our time listing and describing all the different types of orgasm one could achieve. Almost like they were objectives to unlock in a video game. Anal orgasms, cervical orgasms, G-spot, P-spot, A-spot, etc. For some people hearing this news can leave them with feelings of inadequacy, and for me, well it left me skeptical. Science has mostly ignored female sexuality, but based on what is out there - what I understand is that most vagina-owners need clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm (70% of them, that is). I also understand that based on the anatomy of the clitoris, it’s possible to stimulate it from multiple different angles. Vaginal penetration can stimulate the internal legs of the clitoris. Anal penetration can stimulate the clitoris, and the G-spot is located internally near the head of the clitoris. Are these really all different “types” of orgasms or are they just different ways of stimulating the clitoris? Many educators claim that all female orgasms originate from the clitoris no matter which angle you stimulate it from.
I’d like to make it clear that wanting to explore different areas of your body, learning about different erogenous zones and wanting to try new things to stimulate them is NOT something I would ever discourage. It can be a fun, adventurous game to try to achieve orgasm in a new way! The issue here is not naming multiple types of orgasm, but rather categorizing and ranking orgasms and the feelings of inadequacy that could come along with trying to get your body to perform in a certain way.
I’ve also seen a lot of conversation surrounding these different types of orgasm geared towards which one is the BEST. “Learn how to unlock the amazing and full-body CERVICAL orgasm this way”, “Ditch your vibrator for a crystal wand dildo that is guaranteed to give you an A-Spot orgasm”, etc etc… They all sound very Freudian in my opinion. Again, wanting to explore different methods of stimulating your body is always a good idea - but keep in mind that your body is your own and it is unique and whatever way you can achieve orgasm is AMAZING and REVOLUTIONARY! I promise :)
Vibrator shame and myths
Another time I hear these Freudian ideas come into conversation is when talking about vibrators. People often feel shame for using vibrators or sex toys to achieve orgasm, I sense because they feel the orgasms achieved via a vibrator are inferior to orgasms achieved via sex (this idea is rooted also in heteronormativity). One way of expressing this is the fear some people have of causing nerve damage or desensitization by using a vibrator. While some people can get used to the sensation of a vibrator and therefore find themselves in a habit… no physical damage is being done to you by using a vibrator and there is nothing inferior about cumming from a vibrator. I mean seriously… if we take out all of the associated notions out of the conversation, vibrators are objectively awesome.
Listen, pleasure is important and valuable and unique to each of our bodies. However you enjoy your body is valid and important. I’d rather spend my time helping people actually learn how to find pleasure in their bodies than deciding which way to orgasm is the right way or the better way! ALL ORGASMS ARE AWESOME
I feel broken because I can’t orgasm from penetration
This last way that Freud has skewed our perspectives is probably the most common. When people come to me and say “I’ve never been able to have a vaginal orgasm and I want to” or “I can only cum if I use a vibe on my clit and I want my partner to be able to make me cum” or any other version of that question I always want to ask… why? If you have a sure-fire way to experience orgasm why is it important to you to change that? I do indeed have tips and there are ways to help your body experience orgasm-variety. But first I want us to get clear on the why.
If your goal here is to increase your pleasure, to explore and try new things for the pure fun of it, to switch it up and tap into your body more intimately… then YES! However, if you want to experience a “vaginal orgasm” because a) my partner doesn’t like to use toys b)I feel shameful that I need a vibrator to cum c)I feel like I should be able to cum during penetration d)I want my sex to look like porn… then I don’t think the issue here is your body but rather your preconcieved, freudian, limiting and heteronormative ideas about your body.
To boil this all down, what I wish for us all as sexually liberated people, is to abolish all of the limiting ideas we have about our sexual bodies. Let’s work with our bodies instead of against them. Instead of adopting all of these structures and hierarchies when it comes to our orgasms, let's use our own bodies as reference points. Let’s normalize vibrators and clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex. Let your partner hold the magic wand! Try mutual masturbation! Open up your horizons and explore your body without the preconceived ideas about how it should behave.
Our staff believes that experiencing the unique pleasure that is accessible in your body is more important than having it look any certain way. Our main goal is always to help you find something that works the best for you, your body, and your experiences. At Excitement you will never find yourself feeling judged or inadequate for the way that you experience pleasure, sex, or orgasm. You will always find an open, inclusive, and free environment. Stop in, we can’t wait to have you!
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