The Big O. To cum/come. Blow your load. Get off. Squirt. Reach the peak. Le Petit Mort (French for “the little death” or a temporary loss of consciousness). Bust a nut. Ejaculate. Climax. Whatever you like to call it, we’re talking about orgasms. Perhaps not the most poetic subject, though with the fireworks show an orgasm puts on in your brain, your body would beg to differ! Due to the way they’re portrayed in movies, TV shows, books, and even pornography, and compounded by the fact that most people just don’t talk about orgasms in polite company, there are a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions about how, exactly, orgasms are supposed to work. Let’s rip the lid off that culture bucket and discuss the truths buried under the myths about orgasms! Hang on tight, because here we go!
Myth #1: If someone doesn’t orgasm, the sex must have been terrible.
Orgasms have been placed on this weird pedestal in the middle of a temple room with a glistening gold light shining down on them…the ultimate goal. But this isn’t the Temple of Doom we’re talking about here; there are no booby traps, no obstacles to reaching that goal. Everyone thinks they can just walk right up to that pedestal and grab it. The ultimate prize! It has become practically a cultural expectation that both partners will have an orgasm every time they have sex, and that’s frequently just not attainable. One or both partners may be too tired, stressed, distracted, inebriated, or just not feeling it. It is perfectly in the norm for people, especially women, to not achieve orgasm every time you have sex (see myth #4), and this doesn’t mean the sex was any less valid or any less enjoyable. It also doesn’t mean you’re necessarily doing anything wrong. Make sure the two of you communicate and do everything you can to help each other truly enjoy all of your sexual encounters, but sex that doesn’t end in orgasm is simply not a failure!
Myth #2: The ideal goal is for both partners to orgasm at the exact same time.
Not only is this not an ideal goal for the sex sessions of a majority of couples; it’s not a realistic one, either. This myth seems to be perpetuated by pornography, but here in the real world, simultaneous orgasms or the “we-gasm” is definitely not something to strive for. If you see or hear about couples achieving this, they are likely either A) faking it/lying, or B) holding their orgasm back until their partner is also ready to come. While some may find pleasure in using this “edging” technique to delay their peak, to most, it sounds too much like syncing your watches for Mission: Impossible…and way too much work! A study done by Brown University reported that, on average, women take about 20 minutes to reach orgasm, while men average two to three minutes after beginning sex…and that’s a pretty big gap to bridge! If you finish at different times (which is inevitable), just spend the rest of your time helping the other person come, or just enjoy your intimate time together (remember, orgasm isn’t always the goal). Guys, you can always go back for round two after a quick recharge, and if you find you come too fast, you can try getting a little help from a c-ring or a delay wipe. Some couples even enjoy “taking turns”, making sure one partner gets all the attention until they reach their happy place, then switching roles. Just do whatever feels good and comes naturally. And remember, sex isn’t over when the partner with a penis comes.
Myth #3: Speaking of “faking it”… :
Women, for obvious reasons, have an easier time “faking” orgasm than men…everyone’s seen that part of When Harry Met Sally, right? Do some women still do this? Yes. Should they do it? NO! No, no no! Women, stop faking your orgasms just to make your partner feel good. It’s just not worth it. Not only is it a form of lying to your partner, but you are neglecting your own needs for true sexual satisfaction and misleading your lover about their role in that satisfaction. Think of how hurt they would be if they found out! Every time women fake their orgasms, they are sadly also contributing to a portion of the cis-het male population who believe they have magic penises and can pleasure their woman in no time flat. Don’t sacrifice your pleasure to boost your partner’s sexual ego. Instead, make the focus on communication. If orgasm for both partners is the goal and you haven’t reached yours yet, tell your lover what you want from them and where you want it. Tell them what feels good and what doesn’t. If you feel like you genuinely need a little boost to help you feel pleasure, you might try an arousal serum or stimulating cream. Little moans and sighs can be used to lead them in the right direction, but don’t go all they way to faking the Big O unless they really get you there.
Myth #4: Penetrative (vaginal) sex is the only way a woman can reach orgasm.
This one is just patently false, and in fact, in many cases the truth is closer to the opposite. Women have a much harder time coming from penis-in-vagina sex alone. Close to 75% of women simply cannot reach orgasm from vaginal sex alone – that is, without the help of the tongue, hands, or toys. This pervasive belief that all sex should lead to orgasm, and that the female orgasm should be reachable after just a few thrusts in missionary, leaves a lot of women sexually frustrated, disappointed, or feeling like something is wrong with them. A lot of men might think the same if they’ve been misled to believe this myth and have been relying on penetrative intercourse only to please their woman. Most women simply can’t come from vaginal sex alone, so guys, it’s time to expand your playbook. Try some new foreplay techniques, kiss and caress each other, use your fingers or tongue to stimulate her clitoris (that’s the real pleasure center, and it doesn’t even get touched during typical sex), and get creative with the use of vibrators or couple’s toys, and hopefully you will both find what you’ve been missing.
Myth #5: Masturbation or using toys on yourself will ruin your chances of reaching orgasm with a partner.
“I don’t want you using those fancy sex toys to masturbate; it’ll ruin you for me”. This statement is not only super narcissistic and gaslighty; it is also false and based on nothing but misinformation. But some people, commonly men, actually think that their woman masturbating or using sex toys will make it harder for her to have an orgasm with his penis, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. Masturbation actually improves your chances of orgasm during partnered sex. Exploring your own body helps you learn what feels good and what gets you to orgasm, so you can coach your partner to fulfill those needs during sex. The more orgasms you have, the more you want, and the more you learn about how to get yourself there. Also, for men, masturbating once or twice during the day will not make it impossible for you to get it up or achieve orgasm during sex later, barring some true medical dysfunction, so no need to quell your personal playtime either. As far as toys go, they are not some miraculous sex robots who replace all need for sexual connection with a human. While some sex toys are very powerful and create unique sensations that can help a person achieve orgasm, the effects are temporary and do not permanently alter the level or type of sensation required to get off. Also remember that some women simply cannot achieve orgasm during sex, but can achieve them solo with manual masturbation or toys, and this is perfectly normal, too. Find ways to join in the fun and everyone goes to bed happy!