Lesbians Report More Orgasms Than Straight Women

Women kissing (Wallhaven)

Women kissing (Wallhaven)

That headline got your attention, didn’t it?

Yes, it’s true: Women with same-sex partners orgasm more than women in heterosexual partnerships and also bisexual women.

A 2014 study by Garcia, Lloyd, Wallen and Fisher examined the orgasm frequency of 6K+ women and men. (No word on how it broke down via gender and orientation identifications.) Participants self-selected to take the 2011 survey. Data was used from 1.4K+ men and 1.3K+ women who’d had sex within the past year.

The study found that heterosexual women experienced an orgasm 61%+ of the time, bisexual women had an orgasm 58% of the time, and lesbian women had an orgasm 74%+ of the time. Needless to say, those are some very large gaps to attribute to orientation.

But why is this? There are a few reasons: First, a woman would theoretically be able to get her female partner off more easily, because she’s working with the same equipment (so to speak). She would also be more comfortable with her own body, allowing her to orgasm more. Another reason mentioned is a bit more about social conditioning in terms of sexual etiquette: A 2013 study reveals that women in heterosexual partnerships don’t expect to have an orgasm during a sexual encounter, whereas women in homosexual partnerships do have that expectation.

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When Do Men Begin Masturbating?

Male masturbation (Lerablog)

Male masturbation (Lerablog)

Did you know that May is National Masturbation Month? Time to (officially) celebrate self-love (though I personally do every day)!

I’m always curious about the different stages of sexual initiation: first kiss, first intercourse, etc. Of course, one more milestone is the first time a person masturbates (and subsequently finds out that touching yourself feels amazing). Conventional wisdom has held that men begin masturbating in their early teens. But is this true?

Weirdly, I couldn’t find much official, hard (heh) data on this. Dr. Alfred Kinsey briefly touched on this topic (wow, I just can’t stop) and found that 92% of men reported that they had masturbated. (Interestingly, Kinsey took a deeper-dive into female masturbation. Pretty surprising for 1953!) But the stat I found didn’t delve into when the first age for masturbation for boys occurred.

I did find an informal poll on a Coachella-related message board. Here are the findings:

Masturbation poll (Coachella)

Masturbation poll (Coachella)

I have no idea how close to the sexual “norm” this is. This data is problematic for a couple of reasons: First, it’s self-reported, and the respondents could easily be lying about how old they were when they first touched themselves. Also, it’s self-selected, meaning that respondents decided of their own accord to answer the question. It’s improbable that the responses represent an even swath of people that would be comparable to that of a formal study.

Again, I’m really surprised that more research hasn’t been done on this topic. Kinsey Institute, get on this!

 

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Banned in Nigeria

Nigerian girl (Higher Perspectives)

Nigerian girl (Higher Perspectives)

Last fall, Nigeria became the first country to officially ban female genital mutilation (FGM). Previously, certain states had outlawed the practice. Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan signed the bill into a law before he left office.

The United Nations banned FGM in 2012.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 125M+ women have been victims of the practice across the world. Nigeria has traditionally had one of the highest rates of FGM, accounting for 25% of cases worldwide.

FGM is used as a way to control a woman’s sexuality. The practice can result in any medical complications, including affecting fertility.

 

 

 

Thursday Trends: Censorship of Cunnilingus on Film

'Black Swan' cunnilingus (That Just Won't Do)

‘Black Swan’ cunnilingus (That Just Won’t Do)

With the announced remake of the 1973 film “Don’t Look Now” on the horizon, there’s a good chance that one of the film’s most controversial scenes will once again make the cut: Laura Baxter receiving cunnilingus from her husband John. (Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland played the roles in the original film.) But this time, it might not raise much of an outcry.

Movies began to be bolder about depicting cunnilingus around the end of the last decade. In the 2009 movie “Away We Go,” the opening scene shows Burt (John Krasinski) going down on his partner Verona (Maya Rudolph). Two years later, “Blue Valentine” showed Dean (Ryan Gosling) pleasuring Cindy (Michelle Williams). However, this depiction led to some pushback on the part of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which tried to give the movie an NC-17 rating. Interestingly, the 2010 film “Black Swan” was in theaters, which also featured an oral sex scene, but with two women: Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman. “Blue Valentine” star Ryan Gosling spoke out against the hypocrisy of rating a film with an oral scene involving two women an R, while a film that depicts the act with a heterosexual couple (as well as within marriage) would get slapped with an NC-17. “Blue Valentine” eventually received an R rating.

Within the past two years, more films involving cunnilingus scenes have been released: “Wild,” “Charlie Countryman,” and “The Counselor.” A very notable example occurred in 2014’s “Gone Girl.” Amy (Rosamund Pike) ecstatically receives pleasure from Nick (Ben Affleck) after their first date, which occurs within the first 15 minutes of the film. There was no pushback from the MPAA regarding ratings for this one (presumably, they didn’t need to fight that battle twice).

It’s great to see cunnilingus depicted as normal within the smorgasbord of sexual acts. Let’s hope media depictions of the act continue to grow so more people become normalized to it.

Dell Williams, Influential Sex Shop Entrepreneur, Has Died

Sex shop founder/entrepreneur Dell Williams (Refinery29)

Sex shop founder/entrepreneur Dell Williams (Refinery29)

Sad news from last week: Dell Williams, founder of the first woman-friendly sex shop Eve’s Garden, died at the age of 92.

Her origin story begins in the early ’70s, when she decided to purchase a Hitachi Magic Wand, “the Rolls-Royce of vibrators” after attending famed sex educator Betty Dodson’s “Body/Sex Workshop.” (Dodson was a huge proponent of the Magic Wand.) When Williams attempted to buy the device at a New York City Macy’s, she was shamed by a younger male sales associate.

She reported her lightbulb moment as follows:

Someone really ought to open up a store where a woman can buy one of these things without some kid asking her what she’s going to do with it.

This experience led Williams to build Eve’s Garden from her kitchen table, pursuing it as a side-hustle while working a 9-to-5 as an advertising executive. She was working on this at an interesting time: Discussions about female sexuality were beginning to bubble up, contrasting with the point that sex shops were run by, and catered pretty exclusively to men.

She showed an aptitude for entrepreneurship, as the thriving mail-order business (founded in 1974) grew into a storefront, and later went online. The site sells condoms, sex toys, and books, including Williams’ biography “Revolution in the Garden.”

Williams quickly became one of the go-to women to comment on sexuality changes amidst the larger society. In 1973, she organized a conference on women’s sexuality that received a lot of attention, and was consulted on sexual matters ranging from how to up the passion during Valentine’s Day to Britney Spears’ own ode to female masturbation “Touch of My Hand.”

But perhaps Williams was destined to go into the sex industry: Legend has it she was named for journalist Floyd Dell, who was an ardent supporter for Margaret Sanger’s work.

Williams started something that (thankfully) continues to thrive to this day: the woman-friendly sex shop, where women can go in and explore without fear of being shamed or side-eyed.

Above all, she knew the power of a sexually healthy and knowledgable woman (and how scared the rest of the world is of her). For her dedication in her biography, she wrote:

It has long been my unassailable belief that orgasmic women can change the world.  By this I mean that a woman who is unfettered sexually is unfettered politically, socially, economically and she is unstoppable.

 

Why is There an Orgasm Gap in Hook-Ups vs. Relationships?

Orgasm (NYC Barstool Sports)

Orgasm (NYC Barstool Sports)

In honor of International Women’s Day yesterday, let’s examine a very real issue that a lot of women face: the orgasm gap in hookups vs. relationships.

There have been a few studies on this. A 2013 study by the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University found that “women were twice as likely to reach orgasm from intercourse or oral sex in serious relationships as in hookups.” The study surveyed 600 male and female college students. A study out of New York University found that only 40% of women achieved orgasm during their most recent hookup that included sex, where 80% of men reported climaxing. This study polled 24K students at 21 colleges.

But when a woman is in a committed relationship, their orgasm rate shoots up to 75%.

Why is this?

There are several reasons for this: more frequent and consistent practice with a steady partner, communication with a partner and/or feeling empowered and confident within one’s sexuality.

Dr. Debby Herbenick of The Kinsey Institute points out that men tend to report orgasms more than women, so the number of women having orgasms might well be higher. Also, the term “hook(ing) up” includes sexual acts that might not result in having an orgasm, such as kissing.

But women can have sex and get pregnant without climaxing. So why are we so worried about having one (or multiples)?

Dr. Elisabeth A. Lloyd, author of “The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution,” puts it best:

“The female orgasm is for fun.”

And she’s so totally right. So get out there and go get yours!

Thursday Trends: Technology in Sex Toys

Crave's Vesper vibrator (Fast CoDesign)

Crave’s Vesper vibrator (Fast CoDesign)

Legend has it Cleopatra may have been one of the first women to use a vibrator. (In her case, it was a calabash filled with buzzing bees.) The legendary queen/sex toy early adopter clearly knew she needed some extra stimulation, and the simple invention paved the way for a future industry.

Now, things have become a little more complex (and thankfully bee-less). Some sex toys have become more high-tech, and take advantage of opportunities within that field. Clearly, when technology enters the bedroom, fun follows.

Below are just a sampling of what tech looks like…in bed:

We Vibe:

The couples’ vibrator We-Vibe 4 Plus makes use of an app designed to maximize each users’ experience. It can used during sex, stimulating both partners. But it can also be used at a distance, with one wearing and the other controlling via the complementary app. The controller can choose the sensations, which the other partner then receives.

Lelo:

Sometimes you just want oral. Enter the Ora 2, which simulates cunnilingus via a rotating hub that stimulates the clitoris.

Crave:

One central component of technology is that it must look good (thank you Steve Jobs for making this commonplace). Sleek is generally the operative term. Crave’s Vesper is a wearable, thin vibrator the consumer can wear around her neck (and only use externally). Creators of the Vesper made sure the product is as elegant to wear as it is useful.

 

…And into the future:

Una:

This company doesn’t yet have a product on the market. But their goal is to sell a “smart” vibrator that learns from what the user likes. It’ll be interesting to see how this one takes shape.

 

As technology continues to evolve, it’ll be interesting to witness how sex toys incorporate the new tech into existing and new toys. Who knows? We could soon see something that looks straight out of “The Jetsons.”