SPECIAL SERIES : FROM SPUNK TO SPANK
The Big "O" Debate
October 1, 2004 7:48 PM
SF State creative writing major Kelly Gallagher says she knows both sides of the coin when it comes to relationships and sex.
On a typically busy day by the Cesar Chavez Student center, with other students walking, talking, and passing by her, the 20-year-old bisexual openly confides that she still hasn't experienced the explosive kind of sensation with a woman that she has with a man.
Then again, unlike many other sexually active women her age, Gallagher says she has something with which to compare.
Few topics these days are as complicated, controversial and forbidden as love and sex. And no part of sex is as shrouded in folklore, myth, and mystery as the pinnacle of male and female pleasure.
Orgasm is obviously a satisfying moment in the mating game, but significant physical and psychological differences between men and women often leave lovers short of hitting the big “O.”
For women, orgasm can be elusive or impossible to achieve. But sex experts now say that men, too, may not be tapping their true potential between the sheets.
“We tend to think that sex is natural, but it’s a learned behavior,” said SF State sex expert and psychologist Dr. Jeff LeRoux. “Maybe pelvic thrusting is built in, but the rest has to be learned. It seems to take longer for women to learn how to orgasm. It’s not a given for men either, although men usually have less trouble reaching orgasm than women do.”
Fellow SF State sex lecturer Ann Auleb agrees that women need to know more about their bodies and their minds if they hope to achieve that magical moment during sex.
Auleb said women could benefit from direct stimulation of the clitoris, which may offer what Auleb called a “blended orgasm,” a kind of sexual double-header that foreplay and penetration may provide but intercourse alone doesn’t.
“Women need a lot more time,” Auleb said. “Women are socialized to take care of everyone in the world. They may be more worried about their partner’s pleasure than their own.”
Mookey Goh is a 23-year-old SF State student and self-proclaimed “tranny boy.” Goh prefers to be called "ze" rather than a he or a she. Goh said ze knows a great deal about women and orgasm.
According to Goh, ze grew up in a family of 10 boys who loved watching porn movies. The first film she remembers seeing was “Snow White and the Seven Dildoes.” It gave her some odd ideas about sex and women, ze said.
“Girls with long fingernails and high heals, that’s how I thought it’d be,” Goh said. “Straight porn, that’s really bad. With what they do with the girls’ clit, it looks painful.”
Goh said ze now knows much more about pleasing women, but ze wishes her partners would stay interested beyond the five orgasms ze claims ze usually gives them.
Ze says ze helped one woman reach 12 orgasms, which may explain why Goh said ze’s witnessed on several occasions the very real but frequently misunderstood phenomenon of female ejaculation.
Visually, female ejaculation can look similar to urination, but research shows that the fluid is typically colorless, odorless and chemically distinct from urine.
“[Female ejaculation] kind of freaks me out. It’s like someone peed on me, but it enhances the sexual act for my partner,” Goh said.
According to LeRoux, female ejaculation is perhaps so shrouded in myth that many women never experience it. Even if they do, LeRoux said, it’s rare and it’s only one aspect of the wide variation in human sexual response.
“For most women, it’s not a big thing,” LeRoux said. “It’s kind of embarrassing. It’s not central to pleasure as it is for men. It’s not part of most people’s experience.”
While women reach an orgasmic plateau and stay there, men must climb the mountain of pleasure after each orgasm.
Yoga can help men learn to extend their enjoyment and sexual practice, either by themselves or with a partner, and can lead them on the path towards multiple orgasms which men rarely experience, said Auleb.
Both Auleb and LeRoux suggest that sex education is a good starting point for enhancing orgasmic pleasure for each gender.
SF State students seem to agree. Auleb said she is teaching the basics of sexuality to 900 students this semester, some of the largest classes on campus.
Bisexual student Kelly Gallagher said she has learned a lot in the sex classes she’s taken at SF State.
“I’m not a human sexuality major, but it’s really tempting,” Gallagher said. “I’ve helped other women, but they haven’t helped me back yet.”
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