What’s Sex Got to Do with… Orgasm?

Monday’s discussion, along with the assigned article and film, brought up the idea that sex=orgasm.  Not only is sex required to elicit an orgasm, it must do so through vaginal penetration.  (This sounds vaguely heteronormative.)  Any other form of orgasm does not count.  And without this specific orgasm, sex is seen as a failure.

The creation of Female Sexual Dysfunction and pharmaceutical companies in Orgasm, Inc. creating pills to allow this specific orgasm are just more examples of the medicalization of desire.  What gives anyone the right to tell me or you that how we come is incorrect?  Does it really matter if I reach orgasm?  Sex is about pleasure.  Orgasm can be included in that idea of pleasure, but by no means is it the only pleasurable part of sex.

Personally, I was drawn to a quote within Juliet Richters article, “Orgasm”.  In it, a person states that “orgasms are overrated.  When I masturbate, it is to achieve orgasm, but with my lover I really don’t care if I do or not.  I just want to feel warm and close” (102).  There is something to be said for sex without orgasm.  It can create a greater level of intimacy knowing that your partner enjoys sex with you, not just the release of an orgasm you provide.

Does an orgasm count if it is not elicited by vaginal penetration?  Obviously medicine is discounting those created by manual and oral stimulation, but let’s think outside the box.  What about orgasm through the manipulation of nipples?  Or use of sex toys, such as a riding crop (a lá Christian Grey)?

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