A lesson in orgasms and inclusivity

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By: Taylor DeVille, Assistant Arts & Life Editor 

Stephens Hall Theatre house was packed Wednesday night as students gathered to discuss sex, masturbation and the elusive female orgasm during “I Love Female Orgasm,” organized by Center for Student Affairs and University Residence Government (URG).

The program was presented by Rachel Dart and Marshall Miller, sex educators who have been touring college campuses for about a decade.

“Usually presenters will ask you to ‘silence your phones’,” Dart began. “We’re sex educators, so we’re gonna ask that you put them on vibrate.”

Dart and Miller began the discussion by using pictures of vegetables that resemble genitalia to explain the “spectrum of gender” and what it means to identify as female and male. Throughout the program, Dart and Miller addressed heteronormativity and made a point to be inclusive of all genders and sexualities.

Miller addressed the lack of comprehensive sex education programs in high school, describing what driving school would be like if it was taught like sex ed: “You need to know that driving is very, very dangerous. You could die. So don’t drive. And if you absolutely insist on driving anyway, please wear your seatbelt.”

The focus of the event was (you guessed it): the female orgasm.

Attendees were asked what they’ve heard about the female orgasm. Answers like “it doesn’t exist” and “squirting is peeing” caused audience laughter before Dart and Miller addressed the myths (spoiler alert: female orgasms are 100% real and no, squirting is not peeing).

Dart and Miller also discussed the double standards of (heteronormative) female vs. male sexuality in the media by showing the way media focuses on male pleasure often at the expense of a woman’s reputation—a practice known as slutshaming.

“Call me a slut all you want, I’ll be in the back of this car with my boyfriend having an orgasm,” Dart said to audience cheers.

Another double standard that was addressed was male vs. female masturbation. Audience members said that they had heard women don’t masturbate or women who do masturbate are “bad people.” Dart and Miller, of course, put these thoughts to rest, and offered tips and toys to women who are unfamiliar with masturbation (apparently, the vibrating Nimbus 2000 broomstick from Mattel could be a girl’s best friend).

“I learned that masturbation is a lot more normal than people make it out to be,” freshman Colleen Adams said. “I had talked to a couple people about it before, but I’ve never really done it, so just to see the community being open about talking about a subject like that was really cool.”

The speakers laid out some statistics to combat peoples’ preconceived notions about sex. For instance, the average amount of time a woman needs to achieve orgasm is about “20 minutes of direct stimulation”, and only 30 percent of women have orgasms from intercourse alone.

Unsurprisingly, lesbians report that they achieve orgasm and are sexually satisfied significantly more than women in a heterosexual relationship (Men, get it together).

“I learned a lot of stuff to tell my boyfriend,” freshman Samantha Castaneda said with a laugh.

In the spirit of inclusivity, Dart and Miller discussed achieving orgasm after gender reassignment surgery, and how to refer to a transgender partner’s genitalia (by simply asking them what to call it).

Another prevailing message of the night was body positivity about women’s genitals. Doctors have seen an alarming increasing in teenage girls asking for labiaplasty, a surgical procedure that involves trimming of the labia (source: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/04/25/increase-in-teenage-genital-surgery-prompts-guidelines-for-doctors/). This insecurity stems from a false idea of what a vulva should look like, when the reality is that vulvas come in different shapes and sizes and are all normal.

This is the first year that the program was presented for a second night on Oct. 6. If you missed “I Love Female Orgasm,” don’t worry. They’ll be back next fall.

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