“Let’s see how many orgasms I can give you,” he says. “My previous record is nine in one night. But I’d like to try and top that.”
I stiffen. He isn’t talking about me when he references his record. Whether he realizes it or not, he’s implied that I’m in sexual competition with some unknown mystery woman. Who I’m sure is lovely. But still. This isn’t exactly how I envisioned my evening when we started kissing.
And all of a sudden I feel stressed. From the pressure. That pressure. The moment when it all flips around. When suddenly what you thought was about your pleasure is now about performance. His sense of accomplishment. And woefully orgasm centered. Nothing matters but the big finale. Forget the rest of the show or the buildup. No, it’s time for sex that’s like a rushed errand instead of a fun road trip.
He wants a woman who is orgasming, and he wants it now. Over and over again. An orgasm machine.
What to do? I’ve been here before. The options aren’t great:
- Pull away and announce why what they just said isn’t enticing but unhelpful and can even work against your experiencing pleasure. This sounds so noble in theory, like the “correct” answer, but in practice it’s risky. You can spend hours fighting. Chasing down non sequiturs and strange red herrings. “Oh that’s not what I meant. Don’t be so sensitive. You sound like your mother.” My mother? Oh no. It can get pretty weird. Especially if you initiate that conversation right then, mid-sex. I really wished this choice worked out well as often as it should, in an ideal world.
- Enjoy yourself as much as you can given the circumstances and fake the desired number of orgasms. This is actually the easiest route short term but can damage your relationship in the long term. Because they learn the wrong things about your body and end up being a terrible lover. As I previously wrote in another article, faking orgasms “can lead to a vicious cycle where you’re engaging in deception that robs you of actual gratification, wastes your time, and breeds resentment for them.” Once you’ve started faking orgasms, it’s difficult to stop.
- Ignore what they just said and have as many orgasms as your body wants to. Don’t pretend to have a single one extra. Bring up how what they said was weird later, when you have a good opportunity to discuss it with the care and attention that it deserves.
This time, I opt for #3. I let what he said roll off my back and just go for it.
And I have a real blast. I enjoy every sensual minute of the experience, the sweetness, the tension. And yes, I have one very nice orgasm. It’s delightful.
Afterwards we’re cuddling, and I smile. Look into his face.
“You take forever to come,” he says.
I laugh involuntarily — because I assume he’s joking.
“You do,” he says.
“That’s nuts,” I say. I tell him I’ve been with many women myself and that I’ve learned a lot about anatomy and physiology over the years. I tell him I suspect that I’m probably around average in difficulty. That’s also the feedback I’ve gotten from other people I’ve bedded. That I’m about average, maybe a little easier than average to get off.
He tells me that he knows lots of women who get off on brief neck kisses. A quick whisper of hot breath in their ear. Having their nipples played with for 30 seconds or so. With no genital stimulation whatsoever.
While I don’t doubt that these outliers exist, it amazes me that he’s known so many women who could orgasm with so little help. He insists that they weren’t trained to come on command with orgasm control, when I raise that possibility. These are supposedly vanilla women. Coming like gangbusters. On par with or quicker than most porn star depictions.
Now, what he’s telling me is not impossible, but it’s an especially puzzling idea because he hasn’t had all that many lovers. So basically all of them had to have been outliers. How can this be?
The whole thing is utterly mysterious…Until I remember how tempted I was to fake orgasms with him myself. Could it be that’s the path his other lovers took?
It ultimately doesn’t matter. Even in the throes of afterglow, when I should be vulnerable and bonding with him, he’s still measuring me against other women in a way that’s awkward. Uncomfortable. The weird pressure is still there. He’s telling me I come up short. Reminding me I’m sub-optimal by this oddly specific yardstick.
So I suppose it won’t be a big loss — to either of us — when we don’t do this again.
My Orgasm Is Not Your Chance to Level Up – Stephanie Auteri, Kinkly
A Woman’s Orgasm Shouldn’t Be the Goal of Sex – Jessica Schreindl, The Establishment