A Cliteracy Conversation with Dr. Laurie Mintz
Why are women having fewer orgasms than their male counterparts, and what is “orgasm equality”?
I recently had the pleasure to discuss these important questions with Dr. Laurie Mintz, author of Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters and How to Get It. Mintz is a feminist therapist, a tenured Professor of Human Sexuality, and an awesome advocate for female pleasure.
Thanks for sitting down with me to talk about this important topic, Dr. Laurie. What exactly is "orgasm equality" and why should we be concerned about it?
Orgasm equality is pretty simple. Right now we have an orgasm gap. Heterosexual cis gender men are having substantially more orgasms than the women are. Orgasm equality is closing the gap. The gap is a result of an overvaluing of men’s sexual pleasure and a devaluing of women’s pleasure. The orgasm gap isn’t the result of women’s orgasms being elusive or difficult. It’s the result of women not getting the clitoral stimulation they need when they have sexual encounters with men. Orgasm equality is equally valuing men and women’s surefire roots to orgasm.
How have we been viewing "sex" all wrong, and how long have we been doing so?
We’ve been viewing sex all wrong almost since the dawn of western civilization. And how we view it all wrong is the focus on penetration. By defining sex as intercourse we are revolving the definition of sex as being around men’s pleasure We use the words sex and intercourse as if they were one and the same, and we call everything that comes before intercourse “foreplay” implying that it’s just a lead up to the main event despite the fact that foreplay includes the type of clitoral stimulation most likely to bring women to orgasm. By doing so, we devalue women’s pleasure. Very few women orgasm from just penetration alone.
What are the main hinderances to female pleasure?
Culture. This pervasive cultural myth that the way men orgasm should be the same way women orgasm. Women learning to focus on how they look instead of how they feel. Women not learning or feeling entitled to ask for what they want. Slut shaming. Expectations for casual sex. No training in sexual communication. A terrible sex education system, and people turning to porn as a role model for what sex should be like. What we see is very little fooling around, the man putting his penis in the woman’s vagina and she’s instantly like “Oh, Oh, Yes, Yes!”
Is it ever okay for a woman to fake her orgasm?
No, no and no. By faking you are training your partner to do exactly what doesn’t work for you. Great sex requires communication, and so I never advocate for faking it ever. It gives the guy the impression his penis is doing it, when that doesn’t work for most women.
How can couples best address these issues to ensure that they are both sexually satisfied?
Knowledge and communication. Contrary to popular myths, sex isn’t something you’re good or bad at. It takes learning and having accurate knowledge of your own body and your partner’s body. Communication is the bedrock to make your bed rock.
Thanks again for taking time to chat about cliteracy, Dr. Laurie.