Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blogging from A - Z Challenge April 17 O

O is for Orgasm.

Of course.

According to Foucault, it is not the restrictions we have placed on discussing sexuality that have caused problems in our sexual lives, but rather the way we approach the conversation. Sex is one of those things that is talked about almost constantly, and yet everyone has an experience of it being unexpressed. This is Foucault dilemma, citing problems such as labels as part of the misscommunication about sex, so that people need to "understand" what something like "homosexuality" is, rather than dealing with these connections in different ways.

No where is this more accurate than in the area of orgasms.

Even though orgasms have been studied and talked about in the most exhaustive fashion, they are still a giant mystery. I am old enough to have lived at a time when many women didn't have orgasms. I haven't done the research, but I would hope that even if a partner can't provide, that women are able to get an orgasm from their own bodies these days, and are far more willing to try than they were decades ago.

Female orgasms are still filled with a radical mystery, however, especially when we try to use pop-scientific explanations for their existence. Male orgasm is easy to explain, because it is accompanied by ejaculate, but why do women orgasm? I have been told it is because it opens up the womb to be more receptive to sperm etc, but what remains confounding is the niggling problem of the clitoral orgasm, that happens without penetration. Why is there a part of the body that provides the height of sexual pleasure that has absolutely nothing to do with getting pregnant?

It is for this reason, the clitoris remains such a problem, and why for years it was ignored, and even in some cultures removed. It is a subversive little organ whose existence stubbornly insists that we look at sexuality differently from our safe definitions around reproduction. No matter how you explain it away, it is still there, and it still defies rationality. Even Freud, one of the first to openly say women experience orgasms, considered the clitoral orgasm to be juvenile, and the height of sexually mature fulfillment for a woman was to experience orgasm with a penis inside her.

This seems like a joke now, and yet the female orgasm remains a problem because of its refusal to be easily categorized.


  1. It's funny that women were not supposed to have pleasure but was supposed to just please the man-ughh. Why then did God make a woman and have her experience this pleasure? So sad that some cultures physically deform a woman's privies-it's disgusting and those laws were made by men. I have no idea why we get to have them but who cares-thankfully we do:)

    1. I agree - they defy "logic" in every conceivable way and that is one of the best things in the world! It is certainly a strange thing to be afraid of.

  2. But, the clitoris can be stimulated with the penis inside, just depends how it is all going on. Very interesting post! If you have time, and want to, you can check out my O post.

    1. Thanks Lisa - I agree you "can" stimulate the clitoris while the penis is inside, but it's awkward and not something evolution has made obvious and simple. Thanks so much for the link to your post. I'm going there now.