That Old Problem: Sex
The Sex eZine - Sexuality


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By Lorna - 1972.

(Note: This article from Womankind explodes the myths surrounding female sexuality that have been created by our male dominated culture.)

No one knows as women do what a problem sex can be. Many of us have heard of orgasms but never had them. We have been afraid to let our excitement carry us away because the movements and sounds we might make may not be appreciated by our partners. Yet we have been blamed for not accepting our bodies and our "womanly destinies” by Freud and his followers. They insist we must not only have vaginal orgasms to be women but also must accept their opinions of what all of our actions should be (loving babies, letting men win arguments, liking men better than women, typing well, and baking whole wheat bread).

But we are not necessarily all these things, and who knows it better than we do! We have known all along that we do not have vaginal orgasms, and recent studies by Masters and Johnson prove that the vagina is not the most sensitive sex organ, and certainly incapable of orgasm. Like nearly all organs within the body, the vagina is poorly supplied with endorgans of touch, in this way similar to the rectum and other parts of the digestive tract. The vagina is so insensitive that among women tested by Kinsey in a gynecological sample, only 14% were aware of being touched.

It is the clitoris that is the one area for sexual climax, and though we may be aroused elsewhere, the orgasm originates there. The clitoris is almost like the penis on a smaller scale, except for the fact that the urethra does not go through it as in a man's penis. It's erection is similar to the male erection, and the head of the clitoris has the same type of function and structure as the head of the penis. Our capacity for orgasm is greater than men's and we are able to have multiple clitoral orgasms to a man's one. A woman can reach orgasm far more frequently quaintly than a man can, so it can be said that her sexual power, if she is attracted to her partner, is stronger than a man's. There is no truth to the myth that we are either sexless or less sexy than men!

While the vagina functions as the birth passage, holder of semen and the penis, the menstruation passage, and some pleasure, the clitoris is purely for fun. There is no other purpose for it. People have known this for a long time. In the U S. in the 1890's and in Mid-Eastern countries, women who masturbated or strayed from their husbands were forced to have their clitorises removed. The Germans know about it called it the "ecstasy organ." Freud recognized its importance to women, but expected women to somehow shift the clitoral sensitivity to the vagina. If not, they were not "real women." It was even suggested in Freud's time that the clitoris be moved closer to the vagina so a woman could have her "vaginal orgasms." Changing women's anatomy to fit their theories!


[Above: A plate from Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party".]

Why, with all we know, are women still having the same problems? Partly because everyone does not know about the clitoris, and partly (mainly) because use men get the most pleasure from penetration into the vagina, an ideal way for them to gratify their needs. The usual sex positions do not provide for the clitoral stimulation women need. Men will still disagree with the fact that what pleases them most does not satisfy us. Is it too much to ask for the satisfaction men demand? Man still considers sex a "victory" over women, some women are still called "pushovers," and many men still consider "having a woman" a military strategy. Men who hurry to "get it over with" and "conquer" a lot of women show their guilt which they have tried to project on women. Heterosexual women can make demands, for a change, for less of a battle and more of a mutually satisfying love-making which takes both people's needs into account.

Many women have discovered that the most natural form of sex for them is loving other women. The lesbian has the advantage of understanding her partner sexually and emotionally better than a man could. Gay women do not have some of the problems "straight" women have with their men, who may not take their sexual and emotional needs seriously, or respect their thoughts. Despite the joys of lesbian relationships, lesbians do not always get along perfectly naturally. This can be dealt with, but the persecution the lesbian has to face is sometimes almost too much to bear. She has problems ranging from losing her job if she is "found out" losing her "friends," persecution from her family (parents and/or husband - yes, some lesbians are married). Perhaps the worst reaction is that of the straight male liberal who accepts her lesbianism, even encourages it, but insists she must "look into men" and not "limit herself to women." Any lesbian knows what a ridiculous statement that is.

This pushing bi-sexuality or heterosexuality on the lesbian shows her the reality of her "second sex" position in a society which refuses to take her sexual life seriously unless she has a man. She is supposed to be a doll that the liberal male can fantasize as having this incredible lifestyle of jumping from one bedroom to another, "trying" a woman here, a man there, and so on. Most gay women just want to live their lives without criticism from all sides.

Even through the "sexual revolution" , we have still not lost our guilt over sex, and have we accepted it as natural and necessary to the peace of mind and health of each person. This could be because men have not changed, only some women have: we may "give in" where we wouldn't have before. We may need and want sex as much as men do, but we are still punished for our "sins." Clearly we need a more basic sexual revolution than this has been. The "pill" has not freed us mentally and will not as long as men are as insensitive to our needs as we are sensitive to theirs. When heterosexual sex ceases to become a “conquest” and an upsetting struggle, and finally becomes the source of mutual guiltless joy it could be, we will be freer to solve our other concerns with clearer heads.

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