What would Milhouse do?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Question

I have a very close friend whom I love dearly. (Though I'm not going into that mess. My loving her is not the issue.) I've known for years that this fantastic woman has a hard time reaching orgasm. In the last year we have had two sexual encounters, during the last of which I discovered that not reaching orgasm can be just as painful for women as it is for men. To me this will not do.

So early this week I started looking into reasons why some women have difficulty reaching climax. (I've been discussing it with her as well.)

I was hoping you might be able to give me a list of books or videos or published articles about women with difficulty having an orgasm, specifically related to hypersensitivity in the clitoris or which identify mental roadblocks (things that may be mentally holding her back from climax). Please, I really want to help this woman who has found very little sexual satisfaction in life.

Answer

Ah, but your loving her is the issue, so before we get to the resources, let's reflect candidly on your intentions and expectations.  

Do you remember The Simpsons episode called Lisa's Date With Density? In it, Lisa says to a besotted Milhouse, "I like you, too, Milhouse, but not in that way. You're like a big sister."

Milhouse says, "No, I'm not! Why does everybody keep saying that?"

Then Lisa says, "Would you do me a favour? When you get back to class, just give him [Nelson] this note." Then Milhouse groans and Lisa says, "Please?"

Milhouse thinks to himself, "When she sees you'll do anything she says, she's bound to respect you," and then he blurts out, "Sure! What's a big sister for?"

Are you taking on a sexual stewardship role hoping it will set in motion a more intimate relationship? (Cue Yoda voice) If so, beware, Teacher Sister. Many have gone this route and found their Student Lover leaving them high and dry once carnal enlightenment has been attained. Being the one to unlock the secret of her flower does not guarantee that you alone will be privy to its aroma.

A woman may suffer from vulvar sensitivity for a variety of reasons, many of them also very sensitive. As you attempt to squire your friend along on her erotic awakening, keep in mind that men staking claim over women's bodies and the way they think they "should" function can also come across as meddlesome and egotistical.

Off the top of my head I can name three pieces of my business end named after men (Skene's glands, Bartholin's glands and the Grafenberg spot) and frankly, I think that's quite enough. Give her space to make her own judgments and discoveries.  

Taking all that into account, Friend, here are some resources that contain supportive information about female sexual dysfunction: online groups that deal with vulvar pain and sensitivity (http://vulvarpainfoundation.org, http://thevbook.com), books with info on the vagina and its various attributes (The Clitoral Truth by Rebecca Chalker (Seven Stories); Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier (Anchor) and educational films.