Crowds of excited, chattering students crowed together to fill in corners, aisles, laps, and arms of chairs on Oct. 14 to learn about the beliefs concerning, different types of, and ways to have a female orgasm for the program I ♥ Female Orgasm.
The program was led by Marshall Miller and Jocelyn Benson, who travel around the country giving presentations on sexual health. Their goal is to make sure people have access to good health information, so that if someone chooses to engage in sexual activity it can be a positive and fulfilling experience.
Benson and Miller were very open in speaking about sexuality and the female orgasm.
Benson began with a personal anecdote about her early sexual experiences and how they were unfulfilling because she had trouble finding clear information on how to have sex.
The presenters discussed how popular magazines have some information about orgasms and sex, but can create distorted ideas about sex, such as how your face looks while you orgasm or the importance of simultaneous orgasms.
They said that magazines were a little better than sex education in schools in providing usable information about sex. Miller gave the example that in sex-ed you learn about fallopian tubes but you “don’t learn about how sex works.”
These programs also leave out important information about female anatomy, most clearly visible in the dearth of information on the clitoris.
Benson and Miller then said that another problem is people’s views on physical appearance and the ‘right’ way to have sex and that mainstream porn has a lot to do with it.
People get ideas about how their body should look; Benson said, “if your va-jay-jay has a little personality, there is nothing abnormal about you.”
The program continued by touching on what students had learned about masturbation; in order to counter these mostly negative views on female orgasm, they covered the merits of orgasms and masturbation for women.
It can help relieve menstrual cramps, relieve stress and headaches, and help you fall asleep.Then, with diagrams and instructions, the audience learned how women can have an orgasm.
The arousal cycle was discussed, covering how many women reach the plateau stage of arousal, which can last a long time. However, that “is not a sign that you’re broken,” said Benson.
Marshall said, “By age fifteen, only about half of women have had an orgasm,” but most men have had an orgasm by the same age.
Jocelyn said, “When you ask women their fastest and easiest way to orgasm, the most common answer is masturbation … [but] if you ask about their favorite way, the most common answer is oral sex.”
This led into a discussion of women having orgasms with partners. Marshall said “only about 30% of women can have an orgasm from intercourse alone.” They stated that women can and like to touch themselves or have their partners touch them during intercourse.
One important aspect of having orgasms is dialogue with a partner and finding out what feels good.
Close to the end of the program, Benson and Miller broached the mystery of the G-spot. They said it is a bundle of nerves, 2-3 inches inside the vagina on the side closest to the navel and is more sensitive in some women.
In order to stimulate the G-spot, Benson said fingers can be used, specific G-spot sex toys, or even curved vegetables (though be sure to wash and put a condom on them).
Women can also ejaculate by stimulating the G-spot. It presses on the urethral sponge, which produces a fluid (that is not urine) that can be released during orgasm.
The sensation before orgasm may feel like a strong urge to urinate.
After a review of all these different types of orgasms, Benson said, “each orgasm is unique, like a snowflake.” Practicing Kegels was also covered as a way to have stronger orgasms and for men to have multiple orgasms.
One can strengthen the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle by flexing the muscle that one uses to stop the flow of urine midstream; this muscle can be flexed while not peeing also. Miller said, “You can do Kegels in math class!”
The program ended with tips to help women have and improve their orgasms. Benson said that women should start by trying to have orgasms through masturbation. “Befriend your body,… befriend your vulva,…touch yourself experimentally and keep touching,” try using vibrators and fantasies. She said if women kept trying they would be “like the little engine that could have orgasms.”
Student attendees said they enjoyed the program. Senior Hillary Powell said, “It was helpful and useful and a lot of good advice.” Junior Lex Consenze, said it gave “a lot of good resources. It was a good way to get to know about the stuff without it being awkward.”
The Co-Presidents of Feminists United for Sexual Equality (FUSE) also were very pleased with the event. Junior Johanna Galat said, “Way more people came than I expected.”
Senior Sarah Shipley was also pleased by the wide variety of students and said that the resource sheets handed out at the event were available in the Womyn’s Center, located in the basement of Queen Anne Hall near the laundry room, where FUSE meets every Monday at 9 p.m.