(Artikelnr: 79700-61)
“Did you come?”
The (un)importance of the female orgasm during heterosex

Myra Bosman
AMB Diemen 2012
(ISBN 97890 79700 61 5, ca. 160 pp., pdf - ebook, € 6,50)

OxfordEnglish Dictionary:
Orgasm n.
Pronunciation:Brit. /’ɔ׃gaz(ә)m/ U.S /’ɔrֽgæz(ә)m/
Originally: a surge of sexual excitement; the rut; oestrus. In later use: sexual climax, (also) an instance of this.
Orgasm v.
intr.To experience a sexual orgasm.

This study focuses on the way the female orgasm is part of heterosexual sex encounters. In order to understand how conventions and norms influence the position of the female orgasm, a thorough analysis of previous research will be outlined. Previous research does not answer how both men and women view the female orgasm within heterosex, and what influences this may have on their sexual activities. Therefore, the question of this study is:
How do men and women negotiate the norms on the female orgasm within heterosex?
The Fascinating Female Orgasm

On the front cover of the American women’s fashion magazine Cosmopolitan (January, 2011), a black and white heading draws my attention: “Orgasm Virgins” it says. The title refers to an article containing stories of women who share what was “getting in the way for them” to experience a “climax… during sex”. ‘Rachel’ for instance, “struggled to hit the big O” for years, but discovered “one night” that she could orgasm when she is “sitting on top” of her sex partner and bends forward”. The article promises to present “a few tricks” to reach a climax, and appears to suggest that having an orgasm is a desired element of sex.
The particular word choice of “orgasm virgin” has a connotation with naïve and inexperienced women, who need guidance and instruction on how to reach an orgasm. This way, the female orgasm is presented as a target of sex, which is exemplified by the text written next to an erotic picture of a couple in ecstasy: “after all, we love a story with a happy ending”. It made me wonder: why does this happy ending refer to her orgasm? And why is the presentation of heterosex often centred on reaching a climax? These questions are not answered in the Cosmopolitan and moreover, do not seem to be raised at all. In my view, magazines like this one do not present an image of female pleasure which corresponds to the way men and women experience sex. In my opinion, men and women may derive pleasure and feel enjoyment in multiple ways during sex, of which reaching an orgasm is only one.
Like women’s magazines, feminist research presents the female orgasm as the highpoint of sex, and focus on the way women feel pressure to climax during intercourse. In feminist writings, it is often suggested that only women suffer from the normative assumption that sex includes having an orgasm. They relate this assumption to androcentric notions, and leave out an analysis of the way men might feel burdened by a discourse which perceives the orgasm as end and highpoint of sex. As the British research duo Jackson and Scott in 2007 aptly remark: “It is not unusual for feminists to understand the conventional sequence of heterosex - dictated by his erection and his orgasm- as intrinsically male-defined rather than socially ordered.” These researchers hint at a research method which concentrates on the way sexual behaviour is guided by social norms. This latter topic fascinates me as well, and therefore I aim to contribute to the debate on the female orgasm by presenting interview data consisting of thoughts and experiences of five men and five women. I feel that a contribution can best be made by using a gender critical approach to analyse the data, as this will leave room for both male and female perspectives.
: 9789079700615
: Bosman
: AMB Publishers
Prijs per stuk: € 6,50
Aantal: Bestellen
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