Argentina embraces the gay!  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38251758/ns/world_news-americas/

The passage of this law will mark the first time a Latin American country has allowed gay marriage.  The title is rather self-explanatory, but it’s nice to note the pocket of acceptance in an area of the world largely dominated by a highly anti-gay machismo culture.

In other news, a Rutgers researcher has built a machine for studying the way the female brain reacts to arousal and  orgasm.  http://www.nj.com/insidejersey/index.ssf/2010/04/science_consciousness_and_the.html

This research is interesting on a number of fronts: from just the scientific perspective, the neural stimulation from sexual arousal can ease pain and might be able to help inorgasmic women to orgasm by comparing biofeedback of “normal aroused brains.”  The article talks about this at length.

HOWEVER, what’s more interesting is the sociological implications of the need for an “orgasm machine:” chiefly how disconnected most women are from their bodies.  80-90% of women who say they can’t have an orgasm are actually “pre-orgasmic,” meaning that they can, but have yet to learn how to orgasm.  On this level, I can speak from personal experience.  In a society where understanding yourself sexually is regarded as taboo and yet orgasming is considered tantamount to a positive sexual experience, there’s a lot loaded on “getting it right” quickly.  Because so much of a woman’s ability to orgasm relies on mental and emotional components (rather than 90% physicality for males), this pressure only makes it harder for women to just RELAX and ENJOY SEX.

I will note, that in my personal experience, a same-sex partner can mitigate some of these pressures.  Of course I can only speak in terms of female partners (but then again, I don’t know that many males with problems orgasming!).  In such instances, another female can help to relieve the pressure associated with sex precisely because she knows how it feels to be subject to the same stresses.  A woman understands that you can be sexually pleased without orgasm (and that once the pressure to perform is relieved, its more likely to happen on its own), and that exploration of a woman’s body is just as important as the end goal.

I’m sure there are lesbians out there who still have trouble with inorgasmia (and plenty of straight women who don’t have trouble with it…), but overall, I think a lot of partners can learn from the sexual dynamics that ended up helping me.  A lack of pressure, a focus on exploration and mutual understanding will go a long ways towards making sex better for both (or all) people involved!  So hopefully one day women will be able to understand and come to turns with their own bodies and an orgasm machine won’t be necessary for helping teach women do what they are meant to do naturally.

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