There are so many misconceptions about female orgasms making the rounds these days. You'd think after thousands of years of people having sex, people would know more about a woman's reproductive health and sexual response. Unfortunately erroneous claims and theories sometimes gain popularity, and before you know it they're passed off as fact. In order for everyone who seeks sexual pleasure in the form of the big "O" to be informed, there are some myths about orgasms that need to be debunked. And soon.
Whether you strive to have more orgasms or even just have one for the first time, the complex nature of climaxing can be so unsexy. Candid conversations about sex with your partner can be awkward, trying out different things in the bedroom can be nerve-wrecking, and exploring your sexuality (especially when it feels taboo in our culture) can feel like strange territory. There is nothing to be embarrassed about when it comes to sex and orgasms. After all, your sexual health is part of your overall health. You wouldn't be embarrassed to talk about a cold or a stomach ache with your partner or health care provider, so it shouldn't feel weird talking about your body's sexual response. Talking about female sexual health is the first step towards dispelling lies and misconceptions about female orgasms. So, to get you started, here are ten myths about orgasm that you need to debunk now.
Myth #1: Sex Should Always Lead To Orgasms
"If an orgasm is the only aim of sex then why bother, " Elaine Wilco, a Sexual Therapist at Intimacy Atlanta says in an interview with Romper. She goes on to explain that sex — and not just intercourse — should be a shared connection and pleasure between partners. No one should feel pressured to do anything regarding sex, because the point is to have fun.
"When orgasm becomes the aim of sex it becomes something that's not there for it’s own sake, it becomes part of the performance," Wilco says. "When a person feels they must produce an orgasm for their partner, and to protect their partner's ego, it takes the fun out of sex." She adds that when women feel pressured to have an orgasm, that in itself, the pressure, gets in the way of the orgasm.
Myth #2: All Women Can Orgasm Easily
According to data from Cosmopolitan's Female Orgasm Survey, which polled more than 2,300 women from 18 to 40 years old, only 57 percent of women usually have orgasms when they have sex with a partner. That means roughly half are not orgasming.
Many medical professionals would say these women who don't orgasm suffer from Sexual Response Dysfunction, which according to Web MD, is when a body doesn't respond to the sex cycle of excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. The site estimated that 43 percent of women suffer from this medical dysfunction, but Wilco doesn't like how a perceived lack of sexual response from a female is categorized as a medical problem.
"If sexual dysfunction applies to roughly 50 percent of the population, is it really a dysfunction?" Wilco says, adding that society should look at it more as a difference in the way men and women respond sexually. Instead of measuring a woman's pleasure and comparing it to a man's sexual response, we should start researching and educating ourselves about female sexuality in itself.
Myth #3: All Women Can Have Multiple Orgasms
According to Health Central, women physiologically can have multiple orgasms because they don't require a refractory period (the period of time after men ejaculate when they can't be aroused). With continuous stimulation, women can have more orgasms after the initial one.
The reason "all women can have multiple orgasms" is a myth is because, as explained earlier, achieving one orgasm can be hard for many women. Therefore, experiencing multiple orgasms is probably very challenging for most women if not impossible.
Myth #4: You Can Tell When A Woman Is Faking
I'll admit — I've faked an orgasm. As a more seasoned sexual being now, I don't know why I did it. Probably because Hollywood and the porn industry have shoved glorified versions of sex down my throat for years. The reality is that sex is not a performance — not everything your partner does or tries will feel good, and faking it doesn't do anyone, any favors.
Technically speaking there are some dead giveaways that a woman is having an orgasm. According to Women's Health a woman's breathing gets faster, her pelvic muscles get tense, nipples become erect, and the big "O" moment happens when the uterus, vagina, and anus contract simultaneously in .08 second intervals. If your partner is not paying attention or doesn't understand the anatomy of an orgasm then they probably will have no idea that your fake oohs, aahs, and screams are an act.
Myth #5: Toys Aren't Necessary If Your Partner Is Good In Bed
Sex toys can enhance the experience for both partners. Using sex toys doesn't mean one person is bad in bed or not giving adequate pleasure. Our bodies just respond differently to different things.
Women's Health noted that researchers from Indiana University's Center for Sexual Health Promotion found that 41 percent of women and men have used a vibrator during foreplay and 37 percent have used one during intercourse.
Myth #6: The Position Doesn't Matter
There are different ways for women to orgasm so position absolutely matters when trying to reach the big "O." According to Women's Health there are clitoral orgasms, vaginal orgasms, and orgasms that are a blend of both. One position may provide certain pleasures that another position doesn't, so it may be a good idea to try different positions out to see what feels best, and who knows, you might get an orgasm out of one.
Myth #7: Penetration Is The Only Way To Get The Big "O"
As stated earlier, it's possible to have orgasms by clitoral stimulation alone which means you don't need to have actual intercourse or penetration. According to Psychology Today most women's erotic pleasure doesn't come from a penis (or penis size) and intercourse, but rather from the clit being stimulated with fingers, a palm, tongue, or sex toys.
Myth #8: Condoms Impact The Quality Of Orgasm
According to Woman's Day wearing a condom has nothing to do with whether or not you orgasm, or the quality of orgasm. Researcher Debby Herbenick, author of Because It Feels Good, told Women's Day that condoms may help a couple spend more time having sex, as a man doesn't have to "pull out" quickly.
Myth #9: A Male's Orgasm Is Primary, A Female's Is Secondary
Not everyone is in a heterosexual relationship, but it's important to remind hetero people that equal pleasure is the goal of sex.
"Each person should identify what a good sexual experience is for them," Wilco says. "For women, it's about them reclaiming their sexual pleasure and not seeing sex for a man's satisfaction."
Wilco explains that women should understand that sex belongs to them and the male. When they have sex together it's for each other and for the relationship. Equal focus should be placed on pleasure for both partners.
Myth #10: There's Something Wrong With You If You Don't Orgasm
There are plenty of factors that impact libido and climaxing. According to Woman's Day your sexual response could be impacted by a wide range of things including medication, alcohol, and your oxytocin levels.
There is nothing inherently wrong with anyone that doesn't orgasm. Your body's sexual response might just be different than someone else's and that's OK. Understanding that women climax and experience sexual pleasures differently than men, and even differently from other females, will help everyone explore sexual intimacy and maximize potential pleasure, whether or not an orgasm happens.