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Posts Tagged ‘orgasm’

I understand why professionals fake orgasm, but why do women in committed relationships do it?  Isn’t that kind of counterproductive?  Wouldn’t it be better to be truthful and tell the partner what would get them off?

Sometimes I wish the myth that men don’t give a shit whether their partners climax or not were true.  Maybe it was at some time in the past, but in the present day most men I’ve been with (and that’s a very large number, as you can probably guess) care very much about it.  Now, that may be because many men feel they have “failed” at sex if they can’t get a woman to climax, due to copious messaging that men are “selfish” or incompetent or both in that department.  In other words, for some (many? most?) men it may not be about whether a woman is actually enjoying the experience, but rather about coddling his insecurities (such as worrying that she’ll run off with some other dude who can “do it better” or whatever); in other words, for these men (however common or rare they may be) a woman not orgasming during sex may poke the same emotional vulnerabilities as having a penis he believes (correctly or otherwise) is “too small”.  However, even men who are genuinely concerned for their partner’s satisfaction for reasons that couldn’t be called “selfish” without considerable logical contortion, generally labor under the delusion (cultivated by popular media) that most women are able to climax dependably if only their partner does everything “right”, as though a woman’s body were a video game which spits out the prize called “orgasm” once the player reaches a high enough total of points.  I once explained it this way:

The competitive, result-oriented male mind sees female orgasm as the target, the goal, the finish line of the “game” of sex, so his sexual pleasure is greatly enhanced if he can “score” it.  However…it isn’t that simple.  For many women orgasm is more like hunting than it is like football; it’s not just a matter of aiming a shot with proper force and accuracy into a static area, but rather of hitting a moving target which may or may not elect to show itself on that occasion…But…the average man…just can’t comprehend that the right combination of moves and techniques could through no fault of his own somehow fail to achieve what it was intended to achieve…

Because of this, men will annoyingly delay their own climax or even pepper a woman with questions about what they “did wrong”; a fake therefore acts as permission to the man to orgasm himself (rather than forcing his partner to endure tens of minutes of pistoning because he thinks that’s what women want and won’t listen if told otherwise), and fends off pointless questions and the need to perform emotional labor by explaining that it isn’t his fault and he’s not a caricature.  But before my lesbian readers get too smug (as so many do every time some report says lesbians climax more frequently than straight women do):  female partners can be just as annoying for women like me who A) simply aren’t very orgasmic; and B) dislike whatever it is that the female partner wants to do to her (often cunnilingus).  In other words, a lot (though by no means all) of fake orgasms (outside of work) are motivated by a desire to spare the partner’s feelings and circumvent the common but erroneous perception that a woman not orgasming is always due to some failure on the part of her partner, when often that may have little or nothing to do with it.
(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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I’ve never been with any kind of sex worker before, and I’m planning to book an escort in a couple weeks.  I asked for a three-hour date because I wanted there to be plenty of time; longer appointments seem to be what high-end escorts generally prefer anyway.  I imagine the first part of the date will be getting acquainted, having a drink, etc, but I’m a little concerned that when things turn physical I might climax very quickly; if that happens, is it OK thing to to go again, or is it better to try and prevent it from happening?  Or would you suggest I shorten the date to two hours?

It would be pretty rare for a “high-end” escort to do a la carte pricing; we charge only for time, though most of us do have separate rates for purely social dates (no intimate contact at all) and “full service” dates.  So it really doesn’t matter what y’all do with the time, and most experienced escorts aren’t going to be surprised if a guy wants to go twice in a three-hour date, especially if the first one is accomplished fairly quickly.  That having been said, don’t try to spring a second round on her with less than half an hour in the session, unless of course you want to piss her off.  With the exception of Tantra, “edging”, etc, the preoccupation with delaying orgasm is purely a male one; men seem to imagine that women like interminable pistoning, and nothing could be further from the truth (especially with a pro).  When a man expends effort in attempting to delay orgasm, all he usually accomplishes is annoying his escort and (if he succeeds too well, which I have seen happen innumerable times) frustrating himself.  I suggest you spend the first hour chatting and relaxing, then let nature take its course; if you climax quickly and want to do it again, try to start around the beginning of the third hour.  But if you are satisfied after the first (and most men are), just spend the rest of the time enjoying a beautiful lady’s company; most of us are quite good at entertaining gentlemen in ways other than having sex.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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It would have been better to be in prison, at least you can meet with your family there.  –  a former victim of what Prajwala calls “rescue”

Lack of Evidence 

Persecution of sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

Police have confirmed a female reporter’s claim that she was subjected to surveillance and a hotel room inspection like a “prostitution bust” while she was covering a chemical leak in southeast China…The Quanzhou Public Security Bureau…issued an apology and said four [cops] – three of whom were from an auxiliary unit – had overstepped their jurisdiction and “caused negative social effects”.  A deputy bureau chief had been “punished”, while another local police station chief would “make amends” to the local Communist Party committee…One of the [cops] involved has also been suspended…

Case Study

One day, “businessman rents workspaces to small businesses” will be recognized as the non-news it is:

Prime Minister Theresa May is being urged to give back hundreds of thousands of pounds donated to the Conservatives by a property tycoon who owns a London apartment block…[because] more than 100 sex workers have been listed online as working [there]…Chelsea Cloisters…is owned by wealthy property tycoon Christopher Moran…the sex trade is so extensive at the Sloane Avenue building that punters booking prostitutes online refer to it as “Sodom and Gomorrah” and “10 floors of whores”.  Reporters were able to [waste the time of 23 sex workers there with] [f]ake bookings…Some of the woman were found to have come from Romania…

To Molest and Rape

Another example of the McNeill Rule following his bliss:

…Neil Kimball, a…sex crimes investigator, [has been arrested for raping a 14-year-old girl]…and is being held on $2 million bond.  He has [also] been [granted] paid [vacation]…

Against Their Will (#736)

May this be the beginning of the end for the evil, deranged Sunitha Krishnan:

Prajwala…[incarcerates] thousands of women and girls…each year [in India] under a draconian anti-prostitution law.  Sunitha Krishnan, Prajwala’s leader, has won numerous international awards…But interviews with sex workers, activists, outreach workers and police paint a picture of life inside Prajwala’s secretive shelters very much at odds with the one Krishnan has presented to the world.  Former [prisoners] describe an atmosphere of fear and despair, where those who rebel against their detention are beaten, and where there is virtually no contact with the outside world.  Self-harm and suicide attempts are common…Krishnan denies the…beatings, but acknowledges that [prisoners are forced into slave labor, claiming they only resist because]…“they are not used to daytime activities”…Krishnan said holding women there against their will is justified because “they are indoctrinated to believe that they have to get out”.  [Prisoners] are denied phone calls if a woman’s family…wants to get their relative released…because [Krishnan fantasizes that]…an “innocent” family would reject a relative involved in sex work…“We do not allow journalists…If people think we are not transparent, so be it”…Prajwala does not distinguish between women who enter sex work voluntarily and genuine trafficking survivors, nor between those who consent to being “rescued” and those who do not…

Broken Record (#848) 

I think this might just be the second stupidest claimed “cause of sex trafficking” of all time, right after “summer”:

…a [Florida prohibitionist fantasizes] this is prime time for sex crimes and there’s a tactic criminals are now using that parents need to know about.  Young faces, including teens, are being used as recruiters…they’ll ask for a cell phone number…“because they can use GPS coordinates to locate the child,” said Lynne Barletta, [DBA] Catch The Wave of Hope.  Barletta is on a mission to [spread hysteria] about sex trafficking…and her message to holiday bargain hunters is don’t leave your daughters on their own…Barletta cites a…[thoroughly debunked] statistic: 300,000 children in America are victims of human trafficking …[her vibrator hums loudly as] she [masturbates to]…the thought that a teenage girl just window shopping at a mall could be lured into that world or shoved into the back of a car…[She also bizarrely claims that] “I saw it happening in our own backyard”…

Feminine Pragmatism (#850)

Why do people have to be branded “victims” and subjected to police theatrics to get help?

Colombian police have rescued 43 Venezuelan women held captive and forced into prostitution after being lured by the promise of a new life.  The women were “recruited” in Cucuta…and taken to Bogota…It was here, police say, where their “nightmare” began…Police said the women were given just 15 minutes of freedom a day and were “constantly threatened and tortured” by thugs in the gang…Police said the rescued women were being treated as victims and were been given food and humanitarian aid…

These women were recruited (why the scare quotes?) in Cucuta because hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have crossed into Colombia there.  Though the conditions may have been worse than they expected, the idea that they were “slaves” who were lied to about the work is absurd.  Women are not stupid; they knew very well what kind of work they would be doing (see item at subtitle link).  The reason they were able to be exploited isn’t because of “sex trafficking” mumbo-jumbo; it’s because they were desperate and on the wrong side of magic lines drawn on a map by pompous control freaks, and shitty employers have been taking advantage of such desperation since the beginning of civilization.

Uncommon Sense (#869) 

As usual, the mainstream media is a font of disinformation where sex work is concerned.  The New York Times advertised its own prohibitionism in its lede, “Spain’s National Court has outlawed a union of sex workers, saying that recognition of the group amounted to making the exploitation of prostitutes legal“…but as Dr. Laura Agustín explains in her thorough article on the topic, “despite misleading press headlines…the [court] annulled the group’s statutes but hasn’t the power to dissolve the union“…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#875) 

Pigs and prohibitionists say one is “as many as 150”:

As many as 150 teens in Santa Barbara County have been identified as “commercially sexually exploited children”…since the launch of the Human Trafficking Task Force in 2013…a public-forum panel…began with a video of a [single] teen who was rescued from human trafficking, which doesn’t happen often, according to…p[rohibition]ists …”We need more [money],” [a pig oinked]…To…organize…sting operations…

The spectacle of grown adults sitting around telling each other such fantasies will make fascinating material for the appendix of some future ethnography of the strange tribes of the American Decline period.

Watershed (#885)

It’s a rare thing nowadays for an organization to prioritize ethics over the heckler’s veto:

Quebec’s most prominent women’s group continues to lose members after it passed a resolution last month recognizing that women [own their bodies and are not moral imbeciles].  The resolution approved by members of the Federation des femmes du Quebec has split the organization between pro[-violence busybodies] and those who believe [in human rights]…

Kudos to FFQ for standing up for women against the demands of misogynistic control freaks.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#885)

The weird, dangerous belief that masturbation is harmful to men continues to increase in popularity:

…Growing out of…internet message boards…[and] deeply traditional, historically puritanical views, the movement has grown to the tens of thousands, with hundreds posting on the sub-Reddit every single day.  The forum is No Nut November: the internet challenge encouraging men not to ejaculate (or “nut”) for an entire month…NNN came out of the NoFap “movement”, which…has become linked to wider sexism and misogyny, reducing women to sexual objects to be attained or abstained from and shaming sexually active women…the origin point of Not Nut November came from pick-up artist and conspiracy theory sites – ones where the forums’ influential leaders  argued that there was some inherent power in men that could be “focused” by not masturbating…[some even believe] that semen has magical properties, and by storing up as much of it as possible men will become more attractive to women…

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I’ve been seeing my favorite lady for two years.  We have a great rapport; she enjoys hard, fast thrusting and can achieve multiple strong orgasms.  However, I am uncircumcised and struggle with premature ejaculation, so I have to go very slow for a good while until the sensitivity dies down, and then I can engage in more energetic thrusting without risk of going too soon.  But my lady friend has become increasingly demanding that I perform energetically from the beginning; in our last encounter, she even told me that I was “killing her” by taking her so close to orgasm and then backing off (which I had to do to keep from orgasming myself).  I want to tell her that I need to take things slow for the first 10-15 minutes, and that I can give her the kind of sex she wants later if she can only be patient.  I know I shouldn’t say that I’m paying for the time and she should do it how I want, and that’s not how I feel anyway.  But on the other hand, I can’t help but feel that she is prioritizing her pleasure above my own, and that kind of hurts my feelings.  How do I broach the subject with her in a manner that won’t offend her?

You’re absolutely right that as a professional, she’s there to give you pleasure and not vice-versa, but at the same time I understand that y’all have developed a relationship in which you value her feelings and needs as well (and most men also find the idea of making a sexy woman orgasm to be satisfying in itself).  So I have a few questions for you.  First, is penetration the only thing that makes her climax?  Because if she can also come from clitoral simulation (oral, masturbation or vibrator), you could certainly give her a couple of orgasms that way and then proceed to take care of your own needs.  Second, what do you mean by “too soon”?  A lot of men labor under the misapprehension that all women want to be pounded for a very long time; you mention 10-15 minutes, which believe me is a very long time.  Though there are certainly some women who want to be penetrated for that long, most women prefer an extended stretch of kissing, touching, oral sex and other foreplay (a term which isn’t really correct because it casts penetration as the “main event”, which it doesn’t have to be), followed by maybe 5 minutes or so of penetration.  So unless your lady has expressed disappointment at your “coming too quickly”, her vocal urging may be intended to get you to fuck harder and faster for a shorter time.  I know that long, slow fucking sessions exasperate the hell out of me; in my teen years I once snapped at a guy, “Are you going to actually fuck me or just fuck around?”  (It was a bad strategy because the poor guy lost his erection right there & couldn’t get it up again).  It may not be easy for you, but you might try asking her outright if she’d prefer a shorter but more vigorous pounding followed by a quick orgasm on your part, or a longer, more languid session such as you’ve been doing.  Her answer may surprise you.  Third, you haven’t mentioned your age or refractory period; if you don’t take an exceptionally long time to recover, the answer might be as simple as starting your sessions by going at it very hard and coming quickly, then enjoying an extended period of touching, kissing, etc until you become erect again, followed by another bout of fucking (most guys take a lot longer the second time).  If you’re past 40 that second erection may take a while, in which case it might be better for both of you to book longer sessions in which you have more time to recover.

In any case, I think it’s very important that you include her in the discussion rather than attempting to fix it all by yourself (you can show her this letter if you like).  Good communication is essential for good sex, and it would be a rare sex worker who was offended by a client telling her clearly and without criticism what he wants, and asking her clearly what she wants.  We have to be good at such communication to do our jobs, but we aren’t mind readers; I think it far more likely that she’ll be relieved than offended when you bring up the subject.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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Two days ago, Dan Savage shared this letter on Twitter and asked a number of sex workers he knows for their input: 

There were a lot of answers you might find interesting, and a lot of interaction between posters; you might like to check out the thread.  But this column has limited space, so I’m just going to reproduce two answers here.  The first is from my dear friend Mistress Matisse, who saw the tweet an hour or so before I did:

It’s not about “fair”, that’s a false equivalence. It’s about: what do each person needs to be happy, and can the other person support that.  Polyamory is not supposed to be a strictly tit-for-tat situation (no pun intended).  If this man feels that he wants to be polyamorous, then he should do that, and his partner should decide whether she’s OK with that or not, and either stay or go.  If this lady wants to do sex work, and it has nothing to do with polyamory for her, then she should do it.  And her partner can decide that he is or is not OK being partners with a sex worker.  But these two people are comparing apples to oranges, and they need to unhitch these two completely different concepts from each other and work them out separately.  Because you can’t pretend they’re the same.  To me (and this is just me) being reluctantly monogamous OR polyamorous because your partner wants it is right up there with having a kid when you don’t really want one, but your partner does.  It’s not really fair to anybody, and it’s just going to poison the whole situation.  And as you may well imagine, I don’t think anyone has the right to tell you that you may not use your body to make a living in any way you see fit (short of violence) just because they bought into some meaningless societal dictates that have been force-fed to us all.

The rest of the column is my answer:

I really like Matisse’s answer to this, but I’d like to add that I see both parties being unreasonable here in different ways.  He clearly doesn’t see her work as work, but as recreational, and that’s going to cause problems down the road NO MATTER HOW they resolve this situation.  I absolutely guarantee that whether she quits working or not, he will at some future time hold her sex work over her head, because 1) he clearly equates it to promiscuity, and 2) he thinks of promiscuity as something “lesser” if not quite “bad”.  Furthermore, what’s her alternative if she quits sex work?  Doing some shit job in an office working for a boss for far less money?  That’s going to breed resentment.  I quit sex work TWICE for “love”, and it was a bad idea both times.  At the same time, I don’t think she’s really being reasonable either.  So what if his reason for having other partners is different from hers?  Setting up a hierarchy of motivations (“My reason for doing X is more acceptable than your reason for doing a not-dissimilar thing”) is also a recipe for resentment in the relationship.  People are different; they have different views and different priorities, and comparing them to one another is just as damaging to a relationship as demanding that both parties get exactly the same thing out sex or other cooperative activities.  As a woman who has a lot of difficulty achieving orgasm, should I demand my partner not climax until I have, and that each of us has to have sex for personal pleasure and only for that reason each time?  Of course not; that would be unreasonable and sabotage the relationship.  Yet our culture worships “mutuality” in sex as though it were a cultic totem, even though it’s as undependable and ultimately meaningless as “love at first sight”.  So what I’m saying is, as Matisse pointed out, each person has to conduct themselves as they feel they want and need to, with honesty and without unrealistic expectations of some kind of parity.  And if the other person is OK with that, then the relationship will work.  But the second either of the parties starts bean-counting or saying “you can’t do that”, or “if you do that I’ll do this”, or “it’s not fair!”, that relationship is headed for a really rocky road without a spare tire.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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Regular readers know that I’m not usually one for giving testimonials, and never unless I actually try and like a product.  And that doesn’t happen all that often for the simple reason that I’m rather set in my ways, so it isn’t often I actually try a new product to discover whether I like it or not.  But when the product A) was developed by a very dear friend; B) is derived from cannabis; and C) is intended to intensify orgasms…well, obviously I was much more motivated than usual to try it.  The product, as most of you can probably guess, is Mistress Matisse’s new Velvet Swing, a cannabis-infused lube which enhanced orgasm in 80% of the women who tried it during the testing phase; I bought some at the official product launch three weeks ago, but it took until last week to try it because I really wanted to give it a fair test.

Many of you may recall that I don’t orgasm easily or often; I have a recessed clitoris (which makes external stimulation generally ineffective), plus most people aren’t willing or able to give me the kind of stimulation I need for long enough and hard enough to actually get me where I need to go.  And to make things worse, it’s extremely difficult to get my overactive brain to relax enough for me to actually achieve the proper headspace unless one or more of my kinks are engaged intensely enough to nullify my high distractibility.  So needless to say, I wasn’t sanguine about the possibility of any lube, cannabis-infused or otherwise, doing much for me; I’m used to being a statistical outlier in anything to do with sex, so I figured it was very likely I’d be in that 20% the product didn’t do much for.  On the other hand, cannabis tends to have very strong effects on me; 20 or 25 mg of edible and I’m good for the whole evening, and my trips are very intense and border on the psychedelic, including full audiovisual effects (visions and hallucinations).  So if any sexual product could enhance my orgasms, a cannabis-based product would probably have the best chance.  Given all those facts, I figured it was best I try the product with someone I’ve been with often, and whose primary interaction with me is vanilla instead of kink (so that I’d be able focus on what was happening in my genital region rather than on my endorphin high).  On the 31st I spent the night with one of my favorite regulars, and I knew he wouldn’t mind (because SCIENCE!)

I used 10 pumps, the maximum regular dose, because I didn’t want there to be any doubt in my mind; I rubbed it onto my clitoris, between my labia and into my vagina, and then we kept ourselves occupied for 40 minutes to allow it to achieve maximum effect (as recommended).  By the 30-minute mark I experienced a distinct tingling, and when he started to touch me I found the sensation much more intense than it would normally be; he was able to give me six orgasms with manual stimulation alone, a feat which nobody (male or female) has ever achieved before.  The first orgasm was a fairly big one and the other five were just little ones, but given that external stimulation doesn’t normally result in any orgasms, big or small, that’s pretty damned impressive.  I didn’t really notice a lot of difference in the stimulation resulting from penetration, though my labia & vagina did seem “fuller”, more engorged.  As the old commercials used to say, Your Mileage May Vary; however, if you live in or can travel to Seattle (it’s not sold anywhere else yet), I’d definitely recommend trying it.  I plan to again at the next available opportunity; next time with a woman, I think!

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This essay first appeared in Cliterati on January 25th; I have modified it slightly to fit the format of this blog.

group sex statueEvery generation thinks it invented sex, or at least non-vanilla sex.  And I don’t just mean teenagers who are squicked out by the idea of their parents shagging, either; among vanilla folk and/or those outside the demimonde, the delusion seems to persist through life that nearly everybody who lived before a moving line (hovering like a will-o-the-wisp exactly at the year the believer reached puberty) only had missionary-position sex for the purpose of procreation. Even if the individual is familiar with the Kama Sutra, knows about classical Greek pederasty or has seen the menu of a Victorian brothel, these are likely to be dismissed as islands of kink in a vast sea of unsweetened vanilla custard stretching back into prehistory.  Even doctors quoted in newspaper articles are wont to make incredibly stupid, totally wrong statements like “the concept of having oral sex is something that seems less obscure to you than it did to your parents or grandparents.”  Well, my dears, I’m old enough to have given birth to many of you reading this, and I can assure you that oral sex was not remotely “obscure” to us in those long-ago and far-off days of the early ‘80s; nor was it “obscure” to any of the older men I trysted with in my late teens, many of whom are now old enough to be your grandfathers; nor was it “obscure” to my own grandparents’ generation, who came of age in the Roaring Twenties; nor to the 5.5% or more of the female population who worked as whores in every large city of the world in the 19th century, nor the 70% or more of the male population who had enjoyed their company at least once; nor to any of the long procession of harlots and clients stretching back to before busybodies invented the idea of policing other peoples’ sexuality.  Know what else wasn’t “obscure” to them?  Anal sex.  BDSM.  Role-playing.  Exhibitionism & voyeurism.  Homosexuality.  Cuckolding.  I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.  Here’s a hint:  most lawmakers have always been pompous ignoramuses too obsessed with telling other people what to do to actually have normal lives, so by the time they get around to banning something it’s a pretty safe bet the majority of everybody else in that culture over the age of 16 already knows about it, and many of them are doing it.

Chief among the popular sex acts that modern mythology pretends were “obscure” is masturbation, at least for women.  The common delusion is that because a culture didn’t like to talk about something, it must not have existed; accordingly, the idea has arisen that Victorian girls were somehow so carefully controlled that they never discovered that touching oneself between the legs (or riding rocking horses) feels good.  And because many women have difficulty reaching orgasm without some form of masturbation, that must mean that pre-20th century women all went around in a perpetual state of sexual frustration.  In the past few years, the ridiculous myth has arisen that Victorian doctors actually gave women orgasms without knowing what they were, and that the vibrator was invented to speed up what they viewed as an odious task.

Where do I begin?  In the first place, this tale is so incredibly recent I never heard of it during any of my extensive sexological reading in my teens and twenties; it seems to date to the nineties at the earliest.  Next, it’s a lovely example of Anglocentrism; just because Britons and Americans were so publicly hung-up about sex in the 19th century, doesn’t mean everyone else in Europe, Asia, Africa and the entire Southern Hemisphere was; are we to believe the bulk of female humanity was bereft of the blessing of orgasm until wise white sagesVictorian dildo ad bestowed the gift of the vibrator on their benighted nether regions?  Furthermore, the idea that public posturing actually indicates private feelings, to the point that those who spread this legend actually imagine that dudes were strenuously trying to avoid touching strange women’s twats, is just so colossally dumb it could only be believed in the middle of the neo-Victorian Era.  And a brain has to be pretty deeply mired in 21st-century chauvinism to actually believe that those silly old Victorians didn’t know what a freaking orgasm looked like.  But you don’t have to take my word for all that:

…some historians have claimed women were brought to a “hysterical paroxysm” (supposedly an orgasm that nobody wanted to admit to), by their doctors through “pelvic massage” (masturbation).  To aid them, a vibrating device was invented because there were just so many women who needed this form of treatment that the poor doctors’ hands were getting tired, and they had to use a machine…this…idea…seems to have taken root in our popular culture, helped by “shock exposés”, a few books, and the 2011 film Hysteria, where…Victorian doctor…Mortimer Granville, turns his 1880s invention of a muscular massage device into a sexual awakening for his female patients.  So did the real Dr Granville invent an electronic device for massage?  Yes.  Was it anything to do with the female orgasm?  No.  He actually invented it to help stimulate male pain relief, just as massage is used today.

Victorian doctors knew exactly what the female orgasm was; in fact, it’s one of the reasons they thought masturbation was a bad idea…Marriage guides…often claimed that a woman in a sexually satisfying relationship was more likely to become pregnant, as the wife’s orgasm was just as necessary to conception as her husband’s…The Art to Begetting Handsome Children, published in 1860, contains a detailed passage on foreplay…A Guide To Marriage, published in 1865 by the aptly named Albert Sidebottom…[advises] young couples…that “All love between the sexes is based upon sexual passion”…In 1877, Annie Besant, a one-time vicar’s wife, helped to publish Fruits of Philosophy, a guide that set out every possible contraceptive method available…its British circulation reached over 125,000 in the first few months alone.  So can we please stop saying Victorian women were having unknown orgasms stimulated by their doctors?…

Unfortunately, most people value the truth far less than they value the ability to feel smug.  And people several generations dead are so easy to feel smug about; after all, they aren’t around to tell you that you’re more ignorant about their lives than you pretend they were about sex.

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