by KARLEY SCIORTINO
As a culture, we have an embarrassingly simplistic idea of what sex is. Essentially: dick in vagina. When there’s no dick involved, our brains short-circuit, and sex becomes literally incomprehensible. This is why, when you’re a woman dating another woman, you often have to put up with drunk guys asking you, “But wait, how do lesbians even have sex, anyway?” They’re usually half-joking, half-serious. I’ve now honed a stock response: “It’s just like in lesbian porn,” I say. “We 69 wearing stilettos on the kitchen floor, and then after about five minutes, our landlord comes in and fucks both of us.”
Some people even believe that if you hook up with someone outside of your relationship, and do everything except sticking it in, then it wasn’t really cheating. Right. I find this bizarre because in my experience, penetration is often the least intimate part of a sexual experience. Even the word “foreplay” — fore meaning “at the front of ” — suggests that that all nonpenetrative acts are just the appetizers, whereas penetration is the goal of sex. But what is sex, if not an intimate sexual experience with another person? Maybe if we started to think of all intimate acts as equal, then we could actually slow down and enjoy the entire process more. When we focus solely on penetration, we forget about the pleasure of simply rubbing against someone.
In his book Sex Outside the Lines, sextherapist Dr. Chris Donaghue writes,“The concept of sex as penetration,with genitals as the tools, has vandalized the sexuality of all individuals…
We determine which body parts are sexual by social definition and socialization, and we prioritize specific procreative-based anatomy as sexual parts while illegitimizing the rest of the body. When pleasure, and no procreation, is the main goal of sex, the genitals are irrelevant, as erections and vaginal penetration are not required.” Essentially, expanding our idea of sex would make sex a lot less norm-y, and a lot more pleasurable — especially for the woman.
I’m not saying that penetration is always bad. Clearly, being inside someone and/or having someone inside you can be a very satisfying, pleasurable, and intimate experience. And when you’re ready for it, taking a dick feels like the best thing in the world. The problem is that some guys (and some girls, too) are so obsessed with getting it in that penetration happens far too fast, and far too often. Because when you’re not turned on, being fucked either feels painful or like inserting a tampon over and over. Depressing.
Penetration should never be the beginning of sex, but we shouldn’t automatically assume that it’s the end of sex, either. It’s okay to fuck, then pull out for a while and go back to kissing and hand stuff, and then to come back to fucking again later on (just make sure you carry multiple condoms in your bra). Sticking to an itinerary is not sexy.
There are certain times when penetration is simply a NO. For instance, in the morning when I’m half-asleep and vaguely hungover and my mouth tastes like death, and the guy in my bed is trying to shove his penis into my desert vagina. It’s like, bro, if you literally can’t get it in, there’s a reason — that’s my pussy telling you to get the fuck away from me.
I primarily date men, but my most recent longterm relationship was with a woman. In the years we were together, it felt like literally once a week someone would ask me, “But don’t you miss dick?” As if the penis is the holy grail of pleasure.
As if dicks are the only dick-shaped things on earth. As anyone who’s ever thought about anything knows, hands and a mouth and toys can do everything that a dick can do — and far more. Straight people can learn a lot from queer communities, who have created myriad ways of having sex and getting off that don’t involve putting a dick in someone.
Most women can’t orgasm from penetration. In fact, only 25% of women are consistently orgasmic during vaginal intercourse. In other words, dicks aren’t what make women come. (Honestly, the dick is usually the thing getting in the way of my orgasm, not causing it, sorry.) But because sex is often primarily about what feels good for the man, men don’t use their hands or mouth that much because those acts are solely about the woman’s pleasure. While the increasing cultural conversation around female pleasure has genuinely helped this issue, statistically, women who sleep with women still report to having far more frequent orgasms during sex than women who sleep with men.
It almost seems redundant to say it at this point, but just to hit it home: when the women you see in porn have those screaming orgasms while being bent over a couch and pounded repeatedly by an eigh-tinch dick … yeah, that’s fake. She’s actually screaming in pain. I wholeheartedly love porn and probably watch too much of it, but porn is entertainment. It’s fantasy. Being fucked really hard can be hot for psychological reasons — maybe because we want to emulate porn, or because we want our male partner to feel good, or because we’re turned on by the power dynamic. But it can only feel good for, like, max four seconds at a time, and when we’re already super-turned on. The idea that repeated pounding feels like anything other than hell for a woman is simply a myth.
One of the hottest things about penetration is when you want it but can’t have it. Being teased and denied dick makes it so much more desirable. Basically, for a guy to put his dick in me, I should be begging for it. The moment when a woman is dying to be fucked is a rare and precious moment — guys should be on call, but not overeager.
[Table of contents]
No AgencyRead the article
by Karley Sciortino
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