Before my three years here at the University of Michigan, I could have never predicted how many conversations I would be having about the female orgasm, and honestly I am not complaining. Like most students entering college I was naïve to the sexual world around me, highly unprepared by my “fresh-off-the-boat” parents. Sex was a word never used in my family home, except that one distinct time when my twin brother and I turned six years old and my father asked my brother how to spell six. He smiled through the holes in his teeth and said, “S-E-X”. Being the tom-boy I was I smacked him and said, “That’s not six! That’s sex! You know, when you go under the covers and go mwah, mwah, mwah!” I proceeded to smother my face in my arms and make sounds that my six-year-old mind thought were kissing sounds.
As you can see, sex wasn’t a topic for us. However, like any other hormone-enraged college student, the thirst of my curiosity left me parched. So naturally I dove into my painful unknown: clumsily, drunkenly, and shamelessly, like many other freshmen college students. Soon I found myself listening to the most interesting sex stories around campus. I like to the think it was my friendly demeanor that encouraged friends and strangers alike to open up about their vulnerable nights spent in between these sheets and those sheets. But who really knows?
Recently my sophomore roommate texted me extremely concerned. She said, “there’s something wrong with me.” Being the friend that I am, I immediately assured her there’s nothing wrong with her and asked for details. “I just had the best sex of my life last night and didn’t orgasm.” This isn’t the first time I’ve heard my friends talk about their insecurities about being unable to have a vaginal orgasm. I assured her that it was normal – ranted facts about how 80 percent of women don’t have vaginal orgasms—however I was unable to convince her self-conscious mind.
Since when is it okay for society to determine the appropriate manner that one experiences pleasure? Clitoral orgasms are nothing to be ashamed of, and to ask your sexual partner to provide manual stimulation should not be embarrassing or uncomfortable. Being comfortable with my own sexuality and my own definition of pleasure has taken a very long time, and isn’t something that happens over night. Between restless nights and long phone conversations with my experienced older sister, I realized that no one but me determines what is “normal” between the sheets, or the stacks, or that one bathroom in North Quad. I decided that I, and I alone, am responsible for determining normalcy in intimate situations, not Cosmopolitan, and definitely not the individuals I bring home.
I realize that this isn’t an easy feat. Even being the open, confident female that I am I still struggle with the same issues. During my most recent sexual encounter, my sexual partner told me that it was “weird” that I don’t climax during sex. He said, “you’re the first girl I’ve been with that hasn’t orgasmed during sex.” I laughed and told him that the people he’s been with were most likely faking it. Unfortunately, even after this situation, and after knowing the statistics and truths about female orgasm, I was left feeling slightly embarrassed, and desperately wishing I could be “normal” and have a vaginal orgasm.
The final question is how do we, as females, combat this idea of normalcy? How do we break the common misconception that vaginal orgasms are “normal”? How do we stop the constant feeling of shame and embarrassment that comes with our demands for pleasure? My answer for now is honesty. My answer for now is to be open with everyone who comes into our path. My answer for now is to break my silence and silence the voices that tell me I am not normal because I require clitoral pleasure to climax. What’s your answer?
For more information about clitoral and vaginal orgasms feel free to contact the Sexpert team or refer to the attached link.