It’s 2017, but some parts of our sexual culture are still stuck in the past. The orgasm gap, for example. Yes, even though it’s been more than half a century since the supposed sexual revolution of the 1960s, there is still a significant disparity between the number of orgasms men are having and the number women are having.
Various studies have found that men orgasm during heterosexual partnered sex much more consistently and more often than women do. This is especially true of casual sex, though the gap exists to a lesser extent in committed relationships as well.
The main reason for this – according to trailblazing books on female sexuality like Sarah Barmak’s Closer and Laurie Mintz’s Becoming Cliterate – is our culture’s insistence on prioritizing penile stimulation (especially intercourse) over clitoral stimulation. The clitoris has been widely known about in public discourse for many decades, and yet it still takes a backseat in hetero sex a lot of the time. Porn and pop-culture narratives still predominantly insist that only intercourse “counts” as sex, and that everything else is merely “foreplay,” even though it’s statistically likelier for women to come from clitorally-focused sex acts like cunnilingus or fingering than from intercourse.
The problem is not only that men aren’t putting in the effort to figure out what gets women off and then do it, but also that women don’t always feel comfortable asking for what they need. Again, in a culture which prioritizes penetrative sex over all other pleasures, it’s easy to feel “broken” or “weird” for needing additional clitoral stimulation – even though that’s a totally normal thing to need.
Here’s where vibrators come in. For many women, vibration on the clitoris is the quickest and most efficient route to orgasm. It may not necessarily be as sensual, gentle, or intimate as the touch of a lover’s tongue or fingers, but if you struggle with anxiety about “taking too long” or being “too much work” for your partners, using a vibrator during sex can be a way to mitigate those worries while also increasing your likelihood of orgasm.
Compact clitoral vibes like the We-Vibe Tango and Lelo Lily 2 are ideal for this purpose. They fit neatly between bodies without getting in the way, and they’re less intimidating to pull out of your purse than, say, a Magic Wand!
If turning off a partner by bringing a vibe into the bedroom is a concern of yours, keep in mind that there are ways to make it hot. “Let me get my vibe; I want to come for you,” you could whisper coquettishly in your beau’s ear, or, “Do you want to see me come?” No half-decent partner could say no to that! If you get out your vibe and your partner does indeed balk, that could be a good moment for a brief anatomy lesson on the importance of clitoral stimulation – or it could be a sign that you and this person just aren’t meant to be.
Once you’ve gotten off with a new partner a few times using your vibrator, you might feel more comfortable asking for other things that get you off, and relaxing into receiving pleasure instead of worrying about taking “too much” effort or time. But it’s important to remember, too, that orgasm isn’t necessarily the most important goal. If you have fun and feel good during sex, you’re doing it right – regardless of what boxes you do or don’t tick.