I wrote about women claiming pleasure six months ago--and said I would report more stories. As so often happens in developing a blog, I let that slide as I created new segments, like "Ask Auntie Sue", my Monday advice column wherein I reprise the role i once played as "Dear Superlady of Sex" for the Penthouse magazines. I folded the stories that women sent into the column and other posts. This morning my pal Steve Otero at Sexy Spirits said, "I just discovered this post on women claiming pleasure and it's great! It would make a good topic for my show."
"Claiming Pleasure" grew out of the stories women tell me on how finding their sexual pleasure changed their lives in other ways. In discovering orgasm, for example, they found their self-confidence and became more effective at work and in all their relationships. After finally asserting their needs and desires to longtime partners, they knocked down the barricades standing between themselves and their partners--and found the intimacy they craved. Or, they realized they would never find it there but they did have the courage to move on. No woman is truly empowered unless she is sexually empowered.
Steven, thank you for reminding me of that story file and why sharing it matters.
You can listen to his Mondo Eros show every Thursday night and also, of course, access the archives online. Steve has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things sexual. He can recall what guests said on Bob Berkowitz's shows "Real Personal" and "Naked New York", knows all the players in sex world, past and present, and keeps up with the latest sex research. Nearly everyone writing books and blogging about sex today has turned to Steve for research help. Many of the posts you read here and on other blogs (where, sadly, he is rarely credited) are inspired by something he e-mailed. Steve is the unsung hero of our sex information industry.
Steve, once again you have inspired me. Here is another reader story on Claiming Pleasure:
"I had my first orgasm--and it not only rocked my body, it changed my world," Caitlin, 28.
"I lost my virginity and faked my first orgasm when I was 15. I knew how to fake an orgasm from watching movies, not even porn. It didn't occur to me that the women probably had to fake because they weren't getting clitoral stimulation. I thought she was supposed to come from what her lover did to her, especially intercourse. I didn't have skilled lovers; I was playing with boys and whatever they did to me, oral or manual, wasn't enough.
"I thought the problem was me and I kept it to myself. You may find this hard to believe, but I didn't really masturbate! I stroked myself a little bit, sometimes in the shower or alone in bed. But I never carried the stimulation on long enough to come. I could get excited squeezing my breasts and pinching my nipples and rubbing my labia lips--but I didn't focus on the clitoris, which was an anatomically descriptive word to me, like pancreas, not a real place I could see and touch and manipulate to pleasure.
"In college, I had one boyfriend for two years, then another for two years. It was just like high school except I learned how to give a better blow job--or at least I think I did. After graduation, I moved to New York City, shared a tiny apartment with two other girls, spent all my money on shoes and clothes. My sexlife was what you call 'drunken hook-ups.' I went out with the girls, got drunk, met a boy and gave him a blow job at the club or his place or ours. Sometimes there was intercourse. Occasionally I had dates with guys that didn't lead to sex or other dates. It sounds crazy, but I thought I was wild and free because I was on my knees blowing strangers in rest room stalls. I read the sex tips in Glamour and Cosmopolitan, but I didn't really get the underlying message: Girls are supposed to come too.
"Honestly, I think I would have experimented with masturbation at that point if I'd lived alone. Three girls in two little rooms? No privacy.
"My roommates bought me a copy of your book The Sex Bible for Women on my 27th birthday. It was an impulse buy, something naughty to have on our coffee table when we had a party. One Friday night, they went out and I stayed home. I started reading the book. I was mesmerized. Nobody ever talked to me like this about sex. I went online and ordered a vibrator from Babeland. When the package came, I said it was a gag gift for my best high school girlfriend's wedding shower.
"Two weeks later, I had the opportunity to use it. Omigod, I came and I came and I came. Multiple orgasms the first time out, at the flip of a switch. My whole body felt changed. Everything shifted inside me. I haven't had drunken hook-up sex since then because I know what I have inside me, what is possible with this body. I've dated a few guys, had sex with orgasms. I'm not worried about finding Mr. Right. He will find me. I have that inner glow."
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