TLDR: Do you think that extreme focus on achieving strong female orgasms can cause undue sexual frustration in both men and women?
I've recently become much more sexually active, and I've noticed a recurring trend for the first time, or rather I started paying attention to it for the first time. (I'm a 25 year old female for the record.) Everywhere I look online or even in casual conversations, I am constantly bombarded with toys, tips, anecdotes, and images that all point the power and the drastic need for the female orgasm. Many of these articles generally start off with the ubiquitously quoted *most women can't get an orgasm from vaginal stimulation alone. They NEED clitoral stimulation!!!* I'm not contesting this per se, not the science of that statement. I am however questioning the psychological harm which dogged pursuit of that statement can cause to both men and women.
I've never been a particularly "orgasmic" person. I've masturbated since time out of mind (since elementary days) but my orgasms always left me with a general "sated" feeling rather than blinding waves of ecstasy as seems to be the "proper" experience. Direct clitoral stimulation also does nothing for me, but indirect pressure does much more. Moreover, my ability to enjoy sex and feel fulfilled from it is completely independent from having strong or constant orgasms. If my partner is happy, if I feel close to him, I honestly don't care if I have an orgasm or not. Enjoying sex is my goal and that is not necessarily the same thing as "always having an orgasm."
I point this out because I have observed firsthand the perception that "women should have explosive orgasms or you're doing it wrong" can have on both women and men. It can leave men feeling pressured if they don't achieve it, like they are doing something wrong or are unacceptable lovers. It can make women feel pressured to fake them to please her partner and avoid frustration. It can make perfectly healthy and happy women wonder if there is something wrong with themselves and their inability to experience "normal" sexual feeling. I think focusing on the female orgasm as the mystical holy grail of sex can cause a lot of problems. Thoughts?
It all depends on your view of evolution and science. Do women orgasm by accident? As a byproduct of fetal development? Or does female orgasm serve a purpose?
Why does one halve of identical twins achieve an easy orgasm, while the other twin is anorgasmic? In theory for a woman, orgasm plays no role in reproduction. You can have 50 kids without ever having an orgasm. The hormones secreted in her brain during orgasm do however make her bond with her sexual partner. The female orgasm probably stems from a time when humans lived off the land and in caves. When women mated at the whim of the most dominant cave man. When mate selection was a matter of survival for her, not a luxury. When how she acted, and how fertile she was, made the difference between dying without children at age 14 or 14, or at age 25 or 30 with genetically healthy kids. Did an orgasm increase her chances of survival? Did it improve her chances of mating with the alfa male? Did it have anything to do with sperm selection to make her fall pregnant with the best genetic man, rather than every man that mated with her?
Since there is no way to know, it is one of the big arguments in science today. And no one side can be proven correct or incorrect. It is all a matter of your viewpoint and logic.
So if I understand your argument correctly, you think that a woman is not entitled to an orgasm? She has to take what she can get from her male partner and not put any pressure on him to satisfy her own needs. She should not even seek sexual orgasm by herself as it would place an undue pressure on her to 'perform'?
This is pretty much representative of thinking in the 1800s up to the 1950s. During this time women had to visit doctors to be treated for 'histeria' (hornyness beyond comprehension). The treatment was that the doctor or his nurse would finger the woman until she orgasmed. This was done for the rich and the poor alike (read 'The History of Orgasm'). It got so bad that vibrators were developed to allow the doctors and nurses to actually treat real sickness. Vibrators were sold as a household appliance like a washing machine, freezer or telephone.
So the ultimate question today consists of two parts:
1) Is a woman entitled to an orgasm, or is she there just for the pleasure of the man, or only for reproduction? Is the only enjoyment she is entitled to her partners enjoyment? Should she be satisfied with intimacy as reward for sex? Or is she entitled to have pleasure in her own right - an orgasm?
2) Who is responsible for her orgasm. Is she just a helpless participant in sex, taking whatever she can get from her partner with her orgasm at his whim? Or is she responsible for her own orgasm with her partner just there to help her achieve it?
Personally I believe that it is somewhere in-between. A woman is responsible for her own orgasm. Just like a man is not going to have sex and if he does not orgasm, roll over, cuddle and live happily ever after. He is responsible for his orgasm and he will go to great lengths to get it. If he does not, he will think something is wrong. The woman's partner is however there to assist the woman to achieve orgasm, either through her direction, plain luck or 'training' by his various partners over time. He cannot know how a woman orgasm. For that reason the woman is responsible to teach and show him. He is responsible for giving it a fair try to make her orgasm the way she wants to. The result is a relationship where BOTH partners are satisfied physically and emotionally. This will in turn lead to a closer relationship, bonding and more and better orgasms for both. This way both partners are equal during sex. One is not more important, or one's needs are not optional or at the whim of the other partner.
Of course I am not saying that a woman should orgasm every time, or that sex should continue until she orgasm. It should be the woman's choice. Sometimes I know I am not going to orgasm, but I still want to satisfy my partner's needs. Sometimes he is happy to just do oral sex on me to satisfy my needs. It is all good and well. When I want to orgasm, I know what to do, and he knows how to help me. And he gets as much enjoyment from making me orgasm as I get from orgasm.
The argument that you make moved on somewhat since the 1990's when the g-spot, female ejaculation, squirting and gushing got popular. It is clear that only some women can do 'it'. Great pressure is however placed on young women to per form for her partner, and there is a perception that ejaculation/squirting/gushing is superior to a 'normal' orgasm. In the process, great pressure are placed on young women to perform and become a member of the exclusive 'club' of women that can. Who knows, in a 1000 years women might have developed through evolution to the point where we can squirt like a fountain. In the mean time, it is probably doing more harm to women's self confidence and sexual well being.
The best part is that this is just my opinion, just like you expressed your opinion. There are no facts to be checked, no scientific evidence that can prove anybody right or wrong. Just many hours of interesting conversations and arguments in classrooms, laboratories and households around the world. Recent science came a long way to study our brain function, nerve function, blood flow, electric activity and many other functions. So we are constantly getting a better picture of how female sexuality and orgasms work. But still now indication on why.
I'm actually not advocating the 1950s argument that women are there purely to gratify their partner. I am saying that the idea that "women are entitled to an orgasm and tremendous effort should be undertaken to secure one for her" is a counterargument to that 1950s claim, a counterargument that can be taken too far, a potential overcorrection if you will. It isn't wrong for a woman to want orgasms, and she is "entitled" to them in this sense; she isn't wrong for wanting to actively work to get them. However, being entitled to one and actually being able to achieve one aren't the same thing. My experience has led me to believe that women are vastly different in terms of what they find arousing, what their orgasmic response is, how frequently they have orgasms, and how potent those orgasms are. And the fact is that some women are satisfied without having them that often or without having the "potent" ones that are so often described. Some women don't get much from clitoral stimulation. My point is that focus should be just what you said, attaining whatever method is most pleasing for both partners involved, the "proper" method be damned. Yet there is a model being held up of what a female orgasm should look like, how it should be achieved, and all the various things that must be "wrong" if this model isn't matched. I think this can be very destructive.