Being a girl is hard. Periods. Childbirth. Absurd double standards. Pay gaps. Constantly being subject to an uptick or depletion of hormones that impact our appetites, moods, and energy levels. You’d think we’d at least be able to enjoy sex as much as our male counterparts, right? Well according to studies, straight women are statistically less likely to feel satisfied after sex. Let’s talk about it.
Personally, I’ve never understood the taboo around sex. I think it’s fair to say a lot of people are consistently engaging in sexual activity, evident in the world population reaching 8 billion within the past month. Our very existence means someone at some point had to get a little freaky, so what gives? It’s my opinion that our collective aversion to talking about sex directly impacts straight women’s gratification, or lack thereof; if we aren’t made to feel comfortable expressing our sexual desires, how can we expect others to know how to please us?
Ironically, despite this aversion, there’s an entire culture that encourages casual sex. Hookup culture is a concept that glamorizes sex with people you find physically attractive, but what it turns out to be for a lot of straight women is bad sex with random men, apparent in the prevalence of “faking it.” While it’s not my intention to generalize the sexual experiences of every straight man and woman, it’s statistically known that men are more likely to experience an orgasm and experience them more frequently, regardless of how well they know their sexual partner. I have a couple of theories about why this is.
First, and arguably the most obvious, is the widespread lack of knowledge about female sexual anatomy. When we consider how young most Americans are when they lose their virginity, it isn’t very surprising that many young men don’t know, or simply aren’t thinking about, how to sexually gratify their sexual partner. Pair this with the popular and harmful assumption that it’s more difficult to get a woman to orgasm. The clear outcome would be men who don’t bother with learning a women’s body and women feeling dissatisfied after engaging in sex with another man.
The quality of sex education in the United States is also to blame. If I were to objectively rate the effectiveness of the sex ed I received while in high school, I’d give it a solid three out of five. We learned about various STDs and STIs, the importance of consent and how to maintain healthy relationships with others. Not too shabby, especially when we acknowledge that some states still encourage abstinence and neglect to inform students about all forms of birth control. However, there is no doubt that too many young Americans, young girls specifically, are not getting the sex ed that they deserve.
Attempting to enforce abstinence is, quite frankly, a waste of time and resources. Teenagers have always been and will continue to be naturally curious about their bodies and rather impulsive when it comes to certain decisions. What baffles me is when adults, who at one point were teenagers, expect young people to behave in a way that they certainly did not. Young people are going to have sex. The least we can do is equip them with all the information and resources they need to ensure their experience is positive, dare I say pleasurable.
To be clear: I am not suggesting that high school teachers instruct students on the explicit intricacies of sex, as I’m sure this would result in several lawsuits and make all parties involved very uncomfortable. What I am proposing is that we, as straight women, begin challenging what we’ve accepted as normal in terms of our sexuality and become more vocal about what we need, what we like and what we don’t. An orgasm might not be the goal for every sexual encounter, but if a woman wants to experience one, she has every right to get hers. Female anatomy is not complicated and it’s about time we stopped allowing men to act like it is. The only thing that’s complicated is all the wrong things we’ve been taught about our bodies and our sexuality. Enough is enough. #HerNutMattersToo!