When a TV programme called “How to Have a Better Orgasm” airs, of course we had to watch it… so in the name of research and intrigue, we pressed play. The Channel 5 episode opens up conversations that we try to shout about, and we urge every woman to watch. It is empowering in its purest form; interviewing seven women of all ages and sexual preferences, documenting their intimate experiences. They chat about their paths to having better orgasms - a topic which is still taboo.
Do you have really really honest conversations with your friends about your sex life (the good, the bad and the messy)? Do you discuss masturbation? Based on research the answer is, probably not. There has been progress from previous generations in normalising these topics but there is still work to do which is why we think programmes like this are amazing and forward thinking.
Throughout the episode, some interesting facts relating to the sex lives of women popped up, so here they are in all their statistical glory:
Some of these facts are more surprising than others such as the amount of women not being able to locate the clitoris on a diagram. We already recognise a lack of knowledge surrounding the clitoris (which is why we wrote our WooWoo Guide to Cliteracy) but it’s still a shock to hear what a high number of women are out of touch with their own anatomy.
If you’re reading this, and you relate to some of the above facts or if you are struggling to orgasm/never have, there is hope.Throughout this blog we tell you of the very real and relatable experiences of the women featured in the ‘How to Have a Better Orgasm’ programme. Some of them didn’t experience an orgasm until later in life and some never thought they’d be able to at all. It takes exploration, patience and a soft approach.
We heard similar stories from the women who admitted to faking orgasms that they felt that that’s what you’re ‘supposed to do’. This desire to perform is largely based on the learnt assumption from movies and porn that girls can come from a few pumps. If making all the right noises and faces, telling them what they want to hear and copying what you’ve seen from porn sounds familiar, then you know exactly what we’re talking about. Faking an orgasm and having sex that probably wasn’t too satisfying for you can leave with you with an overwhelming feeling of disappointment. 81 year old Beate said that she’d faked orgasms to please men for their sense of manhood i.e. she did it for them. An overriding theme was the obligation to fake an orgasm so the other person doesn’t feel bad.
Women have wasted years of their life feeling pressure to override their own need for pleasure for the sake of someone else. Luckily, due to the sex postiive movement, we’re waking up to the fact that female pleasure is linked to wellness and that exploring yourself is completely normal (and should in-fact be encouraged). Ladies, you are important too. Your pleasure is equal. Communicate and let your partner know what you like, and what you don’t - the chances are you will have better sexual experiences!
We wanted to share their stories with you.
Kelly referred to orgasms as the mystery of life. As a woman with a disability, she thought she was somebody who simply couldn’t orgasm, but oh how wrong she was! She first had an orgasm from a sex toy after years of searching for this mystery. It wasn’t like she had seen in porn *shock*, and it was better than she’d ever imagined. Her first orgasm happened when she least expected it - she’d stopped pressuring herself.
A lady who didn’t have her first orgasm until the age of 38. She remembers looking in the mirror and feeling intrigued by her natural urges as a teen, but as a Christian at the time, female pleasure was very taboo. Women were expected to be in the kitchen and the ‘naughty side’ of women wasn’t explored. Losing her virginity was beautiful and her marriage was filled with wonderful sex, but alas, no orgasms. Following the breakdown of her marriage she took ownership of her sexuality and found a lover. She was previously used to just penetrative sex but this was different. She describes her partner using his hands and mouth which led her to have a feeling like no other, a feeling she wanted more of! Beate describes how sex gets better with age and she still has sex once a week with her partner - what a woman. When asked about her sexual preferences she describes how for her the clitoris creates the explosive feeling it doesn’t come from penetration. She likes to be on top and describes it as using her partner's body (as opposed to the other way around). Beate we salute you, and hope we’re as fabulous as you in our eighties. We can only hope.
A lady struggling with body image and acceptance after having children which affected her ability to enjoy sex and reach orgasm. She remembers thinking, “My children have fucked up my sex life and my ability to orgasm”. We’re sure this rings true with many of you reading. The sleepless nights, body changes and new priorities? She talks about her struggle to find pleasure again after having children. Going on top was a no go as she worried about cellulite and stretch marks which made her feel disgusting. The turning point? Asking herself if she would be happy if her daughter was constantly thinking about diets and engaging in self-derogatory talk. This led her to a revolution. She’d previously felt that masturbation was shameful, but it has evolved into something that is uplifting and needed for her wellness.
Helen chatted about exploration as a teenager and when she began indirectly touching herself. It felt nice and she would sleep better. She felt she couldn’t speak about it with her friends even though she had an idea that they must be doing the same. She had sex with a woman for the first time at 17 who made her come, something which had never happened before with a man. She describes the differences in this relationship; there was communication in that they spoke before, during and after sex. She was turned on for the first time and it felt so right.
Emily described her journey so beautifully. She’d previously thought of sex as something that gets done to you - you ‘get fucked’. She copied how she should look and sound in her sexual encounters (learned through porn). She began experimenting with her girlfriend by touching her how she knew she liked to be touched. They were experimenting and doing what they knew they liked on their own, just with each other. She describes how being around someone the same as you, with a vulva and the same body, makes you feel safe and calm. Emily discussed how sex ed taught her that penetrative sex is ‘sex’ and anything else is foreplay, which suggests it’s something you have to do before sex. This is untrue. Sex can be intimate touching, kissing and playing.
Neha explained how in her culture in New Delhi, India, you’re not supposed to express sexuality. After moving to the UK at 23 she felt free and described it as the best decision of her life. Showing skin is largely acceptable in the UK and she felt angry for being told to cover herself. She wasn’t allowed to explore her sexuality. Masturbation put her in touch with her desires and what kind of sex she wanted.
Sam described her first sexual experience at 19 years old as ‘rubbish’ and remembers thinking “oh, is that it”. She encountered some vaginal health issues and constant painful sex through thrush and cystitis. This led to her emotional revelation about vaginismus. She wanted to have sex but she didn’t understand why her body wouldn’t let her. She never communicated this with her husband, although she wishes she had. The lightbulb moment was when she switched to a natural lubricant and stopped having infections. Not having painful sex anymore led her to be more experimental and enjoy sex more. As an older woman she says she feels more sexual and has stronger orgasms than ever before. She also feels more confident to communicate what she likes. When she had her first orgasm she was so happy that she thanked him.
What is an orgasm, and what does it feel like?
We loved the way the women described having an orgasm. Many of them described a mind and body unity - like there is nothing else in the world apart from that moment. A warm sensation that leaves you feeling good and wanting more.
“The absolute absence of any anxiety.” - Emily.
“You just melt into the other person.” - Beate
Squirting: AKA, female ejacultation
A few of the women discussed squirting. It was still a mystery to most, and happened unexpectedly. They described the feeling of release, and remembering how good it feels when it does happen.
So, how do you have better orgasms?
The environment you’re in and trust were mentioned a lot. Trust with your partner but also trust in yourself. The girls mentioned it was important to feel comfortable in the situation, be it alone or partnered. Emily and Beate explored how one night stands simply do not do it for them - they believe intimacy leads to better orgasms and an overall better experience. Beate summed it up beautifully when she said that she blossoms into her sexuality when in love! The more intimate you are with somebody, the more the intensified feelings can create passionate moments. Continued sex with the same person gives you time to learn and understand each others bodies and desires.
Making time for yourself
After discovering the benefits or orgams on your personal well being, the women made it part of their regular lives. Whether it was masturbating in the bath where they had a moment alone or at the end of the the work day they made the time to get in tune with themselves.
Emily swore by using a wand for clitoral stimulation and said she could stay there all day. Obviously we had to make a list of a few for you to check out:
Natalie, said one that goes around the clit and does the job “really fucking well” - HA we loved this! Here are a few we’ve found:
One theme was common - soft, ‘barely there’ touches. Many of the women explained how fast, hard penetrative sex just didn’t do it for them. They liked softer touching and edging towards orgasm. Edging is where you almost reach the point of orgasm, stop and go again. You do this until you’re finally ready to orgasm and the build up makes for a stronger, more intense experience. Helen said she liked holding her breath to heighten the sensation.
It would be great to have less shame surrounding masturbation and orgasms. More conversations with friends; to discuss any issues so that you don’t feel alone, and to celebrate how great loving yourself really can be. Your bodies are for your own enjoyment and not for other people.
In 2020 sex and relationship education is due to become compulsory in all schools in England. As part of this, it’s hoped that a campaign for female sexual pleasure will be included - HALLELUJAH! This will be revolutionary. It will hopefully give the next generation some real power to create their own pleasure, have better sex lives and communicate their needs better.
If you’d like to keep up with all things WooWoo, be sure to follow us on social. We’re all about putting the female sexuality taboo to bed! If there’s a topic you’d like us to explore, please let us know.