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We’ve all at least heard of it.
We’ve overheard the low whisperings in bathroom stalls. We’ve seen mention of it on the 6 PM news, citing some tale on Egyptian hieroglyphs we’re only now deciphering.
There are Tabloids filled with hysterical eyewitnesses, stone monuments erected and eroding in the desert, and half-torn illustrations in the Book of Kells. There are entire backwoods communities committed to preserving the heart of a legend threatening to flicker into extinction.
Viewed aerially, even Easter Island becomes a conspiratorial roadmap.
But have any of us really witnessed it for ourselves?
Has anyone ever ACTUALLY experienced the elusive female orgasm?
The Great White Whale of sex à la female?
From my experience, too many of the fairer sex have ceased to believe in it. Like the L.L Bean clad parents of the claymation-lookin’ boy from the Polar Express, we have yet to hear the bell ring. We have reached a thorny point in history where asking a cousin to recount her hedonistic semester abroad in the enlightened lands of Europe is no longer satisfying.
Don’t get me wrong, we have come pretty far. Women are no longer supposed to suffer sex as a necessary evil– loathing the humdrum habit while trying to calculate how many candles we have left burning in our entirely wooden home.
Or, more likely, trying to find the balance between being too bad at sex thus losing his interest, and too good and being burned at the stake for lying about being a virgin. It’s been a fine line, historically.
We’ve reached a milestone. Undressing in front of our husbands is no longer seen as an act of terror, meant to elicit satanic-grade lust (i.e. the Victorian era). The last thing I want to come off as is ungrateful.
But we haven’t quite reached the mountaintop.
It could be better.
I can’t say if the mechanisms of the female lady business are made up of the same advanced, mystical science that produces the golden ratio in nautilus shells, but something isn’t quite as intuitive or easy as it should be. Right?
Part of this social conundrum makes me feel like a beautiful unicorn, as in… if you ever actually caught one (just walk with me in the garden of possibility here)… you wouldn’t have any idea what to fucking do with it. You would stand there like a fucking idiot utterly unprepared.
Or even like the Mona Lisa, if that’s more your thing — a timeless muse of inaccessible complexity.
But then come the other times, when a woman feels like the one Rubik’s cube that got messed up at the factory. Instead of a Red three squares to the left, there’s a Blue.
Now think about giving just one person that Rubiks cube to figure out.
Now you’re married.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can live alone and accept that ice cream cones and mild July mornings will continue to exist as the most condensed form of joy you will experience until the day a neighbor finds your body.
Or you can find the instructions. If I could ask anyone, dead or alive, one question… it would be:
“Moses… did you flip the tablets over?”
OR you could contribute to ending the endemic– and restoring the faith:
You could stop faking it.
Unlike most instances in which women are at a disadvantage, in this one we already possess most of the tools needed to return balance. Because at the heart of the orgasm deficit is a misunderstanding perpetuated more by our fellow women than our fellow men.
Men truly are invested in being as good at sex as they think they are. I honestly do not believe that the endangered female orgasm is fighting it’s way out of extinction because of men’s unwillingness to experiment. And in a bittersweet way, I think it feeds more from a place of misguided compassion today.
We work under the misconception that if men are good at sex, then we will orgasm from that alone. And since we work off this assumption, when we don’t orgasm we don’t mention it — because it feels like basically just saying: “you aren’t good at sex.” Of course, with this worldview, the absence of the female orgasm is emasculating.
In order to make our partners feel good, many of us “fake it,” instead of offering guidance. Or, it’s as simple as wanting it to be over.
But this silence is what helps to create the absence. Every man I’ve discussed this deficit with seemed to be hearing it for the first time. They had never before been notified that this was a challenge for most women, an ongoing joke between us, or even that most of the girls they had slept with had almost definitely been faking orgasms most of the time.
In which case, congratulations: you could act your way out of a paper bag.
To put it into perspective, I know many girls who have been having regular sex for ~5 years and never had an orgasm. And from inside the control group, I’d say that’s looking pretty normal from here.
Why is that ok? Why are women getting less out of sex?
If they don’t know it’s a problem, they can’t try to fix it. If they don’t know how to fix it, they won’t.
On the men’s part: you can ask her how. You can set the precedent that her pleasure is just as important as yours. It’s not a failure if it doesn’t happen every time (for either one), but it should be as much of a priority as your own O.
If it isn’t talked about more, it’s because we haven’t started the conversation ourselves.
Go out and save the Great White Whale, and do so with the blessing of your friend and co-author, Mr. Moby Dick.