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The follies of the sexually progressive man

By Louisa Hernandez

For women who sleep with men, it’s an unfortunate truth that it’s difficult to find partners who care much about female pleasure. The porn propagated myth that women reap as much pleasure from penetration as men do, paired with pervasive ignorance of the female anatomy, has left an inexcusably wide gap between female and male orgasm in heterosexual hookups.

Luckily, more and more men are catching on to their miseducation. It's not cool to not care about female pleasure anymore, a fact which is even evidenced in pop culture - remember when DJ Khaled boasted about not going down on his wife, sparking an Internet uproar?

I’ve had a lucky sex life - I’ve definitely benefited from this sexual cultural turn. My sweet, sweet partners have always put a premium on my pleasure. Indeed, many of them seem pretty proud of this fact.

I’ve witnessed more than one guy pull an “I’m not like other girls,” except the straight man version: boasting about how they really, truly care about my orgasm. Unlike those other guys.

However, it was only after the third time I heard such a brag that I started to question if this was really about my pleasure at all.

Don’t get me wrong - I know I’m fortunate in my experiences, but that's not to say all women have had it this way.

One study on university students found that while 91% of men usually or always climax during sex, only 39% of women do. Frankly, I’m not surprised. I’ve heard enough of my female friends complain about the years and years of lacklustre sexual encounters they’ve endured to know I’ve had a lucky streak of sympathetic partners.

But I was becoming suspicious that I was actually secondary to this whole dynamic. Getting me to cum was a sport being played by the guys I was sleeping with: them versus my vagina. And, just like with any competition, it was mired with ego.

Guys doggedly pursued my orgasm, even after it had become clear that it simply wasn’t going to happen that night. Worse, they wouldn’t accept my non-climax as an option. Instead they’d insist on poking around down there, over and over again, long after I had informed them that I really didn’t care that I hadn’t and wouldn’t orgasm, and that we should just let it go.

Even worse? One man complained to me that he simply won’t feel satisfied if I don’t cum. The gall.

This pressure for my body to perform even pushed me to fake orgasms, something I’d promised myself I’d never do. Ironically, I’d made this promise because I didn’t want to let guys off the hook for not tending to my pleasure. I’d never prepared for the moment that they actually cared far too much!

Their hard-nosed persistence in the face of my own ambivalence left me wondering if this was really about satisfying my needs. Instead, I’m left with the distinct impression that it has much more to do with maintaining their self-image as generous and skilled lovers.

To be fair, I’d still rather sleep with someone like that than someone who doesn’t even bother. But the dynamic it creates only reinforces the same old issue which pervades our sexual culture: it puts pressure on women to perform their partner’s prowess.

My orgasm shouldn’t make or break your experience - or your ego.

So, a quick note to the men basking in delusions of sexual enlightenment: stop making it about you!


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