The Big ‘O’

Published July 20, 2009 by Patty Brisben

When I was writing my book, Pure Romance Between the Sheets, it was really important for me to help women feel comfortable about what is normal for their sexuality. Too many women measure themselves on their ability to orgasm. Did I have one? Did our partner have one? Was it good? Did we have simultaneous orgasms? When we measure our sexuality by orgasm, however, we discount activities that do not necessarily lead to orgasm, such as touching, caressing, and kissing. The mighty “O” has long been mythologized, feared, and considered elusive by many and it was my goal to change that!

Being orgasm-focused can discount other pleasures a woman and her partner might experience together. I have found that so many people today tend to identify “sex” with “intercourse”, but we know that isn’t truly the case!

I so often see couples pressuring themselves and one another to be “successful” lovers through orgasm. Men talk frequently of performance anxiety and society tends to evaluate a woman’s sexual self-worth in terms of her being orgasmic. Although during sexual intercourse women are not as consistently orgasmic as men, there is considerable pressure on them to be so. In one study, college students were asked whether they had faked orgasm; 60% of heterosexual women and 71% of lesbian or bisexual women said yes, while only 17% of heterosexual men and 27% of gay or bisexual men acknowledged doing so (Elliot & Brantley, 1997). The reason most women fake orgasm is not to protect their own feelings as much as to protect those of their partner. They want to please their partner and avoid hurting or disappointing them.

If having an orgasm is a challenge in your bedroom, remember that I believe that when there’s a will, there’s a way! But it’s important to keep in mind that having an orgasm isn’t an achievement – it’s a process. Another important aspect is that orgasms come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one way to have an orgasm, and there is no one place from where an orgasm emanates. How you achieve your orgasm is entirely personal and unique to what feels good to you.

The most important step to overcoming the pressures and fears associated with orgasm are to first become comfortable with your own body and your own sexuality. My goal throughout the first half of my book was to help women understand their sexual journey and to be comfortable with what they need to experience true pleasure. I believe that openly communicating with yourself and with your partner about what arouses you will help you find real sexual pleasure every time!

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