International Female Orgasm Day
(and the Books That Make Sure We Get There)
By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis
*Contains adult content. Not intended for children or those under the age of 18.*
I checked my Twitter feed this morning and was surprised to discover that it’s International Female Orgasm Day. What that means exactly, I’m not quite sure.
How do we celebrate such a holiday?
Masturbation? Pre-scheduled sex with our partner? An impromptu crash-course on the biology of the vagina? A shopping binge on sexy lingerie? Or a guiltless visit to our local Aren’t We Naughty Adult store?
And then I thought,
Yes—and why not all these things?
I’ve never considered myself a prudish character, while at the same time, I’m well aware I was raised quite strictly by traditional, church-going parents, which meant for me, no sex until marriage—or at least in my personal view, not until I was old enough to understand the consequences and responsibilities associated with being sexually active, as well as in love.
I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t a young woman who threw my body around based on the whim of teenage rebellion, hungry sexual desire, irresponsible, heavy drinking, or even loneliness. My standards were fixed on the sentimental idea that my sexual encounters would happen when I felt I was mature enough to not only commit to a serious relationship, but be mature enough myself to understand not only my own sexuality, but my own willingness to be vulnerable enough to someone I not only care about or trust deeply, but also someone I deeply love.
I wasn’t willing to play around with my sexuality to meet an insatiable curiosity or pressure by popular demand. It wasn’t prudish by any means. I recognized my libido as a healthy part of my life, but I simply knew who I was and how important sex was to me to actively decide to wait, not only for the right time, but for the right partner.
While others bragged of their sexual conquests, moving rapidly and almost nonchalantly from partner to partner, I didn’t think of myself as better or worse than my peers, but simply more patient. The saying, “Good things come to those who wait,” was often a personal mantra for me and did in time, eventually prove to be true.
Monogamy, too, while somewhat devalued as a conservative, perhaps “boring,” sexual lifestyle, is something I not only take pride in, but thoroughly enjoy, and honour.
I quite loved the newness of my sexual relationship with my partner and my husband at the beginning—its shyness, uncertainty, and even awkwardness. It meant we were not only new to each other, but that our imperfections, as well as our humility meant we were perhaps a little inexperienced, but also both willing to grow and learn—together.
And after 11 years of marriage, we’re still learning and growing—and enjoying orgasms! It’s nothing to shy about, but in fact, something precious to celebrate. I appreciate my husband more in the sexual journey that we’ve taken together from the very first time we were together, to see how we’ve grown together sexually, to know not only what we enjoy personally as individuals, but also as a couple.
Boring? No way.
What’s boring about knowing your partner’s body and desires intimately?
What’s boring about expressing your sexual inhibitions with someone you trust?
What’s boring about experimenting, and learning, and growing, only to eventually lose those inhibitions with the person you love?
What’s boring about practicing favourite positions and discovering new ones together?
What’s boring about watching your bodies, and moods, and sexual needs change over time?
What’s boring about getting better at sex with one partner over a lifetime than having mediocre sex with hundreds of different partners that you can’t even bother to remember?
I’ll tell you: Absolutely, nothing!
But, the orgasm is not, for me, simply a physical result of provocative, hot sex. It is partly that because the physicality is something you just can’t deny.
But for women (and also for men), a lot of the orgasm itself is also an emotional one. The anticipation, the foreplay, the hunger to be fulfilled physically and emotionally, to be connected in such a physical, yet intimate way, as well as the willingness to give and receive sexually, to want to please your partner as well as enjoy pleasure yourself—the trust and true vulnerability that it requires to have not only great sex, but meaningful sex is not only an art, but a gift that both partners can truly enjoy when both are mature and loving enough to reciprocate.
Can you have great sex and orgasm with a stranger? Of course. But, is it meaningful? Meh. Probably not. Not really. Nor is it really smart. With the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, it’s not only unsafe, it’s illogical. Why risk your health, your body, the possibility of unwanted pregnancy or STD’s, and also deprive yourself of emotional connection for a five-minute, meaningless, “jump in the hay?”
Hay are for horses, not for people. Well, not for me, anyway. I’m not jumping in anywhere with just anybody because I have an itch that needs to be scratched. Sound a little dirty? It can be. Especially when you aren’t clean or careful or (wait for it…)—committed. Who knows where so-and-so has been? And who knows if they’ll be there tomorrow? And if your answer to that is, that you don’t really care, then really, why even have sex with that person at all? There are so many other and much better things to do with your five minutes, I think. (Even if it isn’t sex.) Why waste it on someone you don’t care will be there the next day, the next month, or even the next year?
But, I’m not here to judge.
I’m here to talk about and celebrate the female orgasm! Because ladies, if you’ve had one or two, or even a million, you know like I do, how essential and exquisite—and meaningful it really is.
My only advice to women out there who have not enjoyed their sex lives to the fullest potential is:
1. The bad advice you received from your grandmother or maybe even your mother about sex being “dirty,” or “unholy” is wrong and untrue. Erase it from your thinking. When enjoyed with a person you love, trust, and are committed to, as well as mature enough to share with—especially in marriage, it is exactly the opposite!
2. Make sure you’re emotionally ready to have sex with someone before you go ahead and do it. Don’t judge yourself—just know yourself and be responsible.
—Does that mean I recommend 16-year-old girls to go ahead and have sex because they “feel they are in love?” Um, NO. I also believe in the age appropriateness of sex for women. While maturity plays a large role in the readiness of sex, age also plays a large role in maturity as well.
A 16-year-old girl is still going through puberty, dealing with pimples, prom, and other teenage pressures associated with that age. It’s a tumultuous time for a young woman just beginning in her journey of self-discovery. She should be able to come into a fuller knowledge of herself, her needs, and her desires, before she fully engages in sex to allow her the opportunity to not only grow as person first, but also be prepared for the physical and emotional consequences associated with sexual activity.
And should a young girl accidentally get pregnant, it’s not only unfortunately, a social taboo (not mine, but one that does still exists), it’s simply inconvenient!
A 16-year-old girl has not yet had the opportunity to finish her education should she choose to, or has not had the opportunity to gain full-time employment that reflects her gifts and a career that reinforces her vocation. These tools aren’t there for her yet and getting pregnant at an early age will only stall, if not make life’s choices and opportunities more difficult—and sometimes in such sad events, prevent her from reaching her personal goals or fullest potential—because of her early responsibility of raising a baby first.
Should a child raise a child? While it has been done, in my opinion, it’s not ideal, and if it can be avoided or prevented, all the better for the young woman.—
3. Make sure you and your partner are clean before sex, so take that shower! It’s not only common sense, it’s a sexual courtesy.
4. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You won’t know if you like something or don’t like it, if you don’t at least try it first. Do what works for you and your partner.
5. Empower yourself. Understand that your sexual libido and needs are important and healthy. Allow yourself to really enjoy sex.
6. Be confident in yourself and your body. You are unique and if you’re with a partner who you trust and who loves you, you need not feel self-conscious or that you need to change yourself in any way. Don’t sabotage yourself with poor body image. Our bodies will change especially over time. If you’re married and have been for a while, remember to enjoy your partner when he/she was 26 and continue to do so when he/she is 87!
7. Don’t take yourself or your partner and your sexual relationship so seriously all the time. Part of the joy of sex is fumbling around, making mistakes, learning, and laughing about it! You and your partner aren’t sexual failures or sexual superheroes—you’re human.
8. Don’t pressure yourself or your partner to meet sexual standards. It’s not a competition or a comparison to others. Understand yourself and your partner’s needs and know that they are not always in sync with yours or the same as you imagine or would like. Understand your bodies and appreciate what you and your partner have to offer and accept in one another.
9. Communicate openly with your partner about what you enjoy and don’t enjoy. Be honest and don’t judge. Like food, we’re allowed to have different tastes, including sexual ones. It’s not taboo, if you and your partner are both comfortable engaging in it.
10. Have sex often. And enjoy it!
11. Relax, and most importantly, ladies—let go!
Here are some books that will definitely help you and your partner take you there:
Hot Sex: How to Do It by Tracey Cox
365 Sex Positions: A New Way, Every Day for a Steamy, Erotic Year by Lisa Sweet
Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm by Nicole Daedone
Happy International Female Orgasm Day, Ladies!