Let's End the Debate of Vaginal vs. Clitoral Orgasms

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 14:15
Submitted by Betty Dodson

Recently, I was sent a link to new research on female orgasm. Using MRI scans, science has finally mapped women’s sexual response to clitoral, vaginal, cervical and nipple self-stimulation on the sensory cortex to understand the neural systems underlying female sexual response. Five researchers were involved but one stood out by promoting vaginal orgasms - Stuart Brody.

Once again, the clitoris took a back seat to the vagina.  However, there was one piece of data that made sense to me.  Yes, women can have vaginal orgasms but not with an average size penis.  According to this research, women need an 8-inch penis and 20 minutes of penetration to achieve a vaginal orgasm.  That has definitely been my experience.

I decided to pen a letter to Mr. Brody and address this research head on:

Dear Stuart Brody,

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when you stated in your AIMS: “To examine the extent to which women's vaginal orgasm consistency is associated with (i) being told in childhood or adolescence that the vagina was the important zone for inducing female orgasm; (ii) how well they focus mentally on vaginal sensations during PVI; (iii) greater PVI duration; and (iv) preference for above-average penis length.”

I’m a sexologist teaching women and their partners how to get beyond the restrictions of PVI sex, especially since it rarely or never ends in orgasm for women. What exactly do you mean by “Better psychological functioning?” as the result of vaginal orgasm? Let me guess, could it be that vaginal orgasms support a man’s fantasy that his penis is all any woman needs to be satisfied? And women are relieved to know they are “mature?” Are we really doomed to continue rehashing Dr. Freud’s silly Victorian notion that women having orgasms with their primary sex organ the clitoris are actually infantile?

It’s quite ludicrous for me to visualize my five-year old self sticking my finger inside my vagina to get the same “good feeling” that humping my pillow provided as I pulled the pillowcase up tight against my functioning clitoris. And during my long sex life with an abundance of sexual partners, I’ve only known a handful of men who matched your PVI duration with an above-average penis length. Besides taking women back to the Victorian Age, you’ve eliminated a large portion of our already sexually insecure male population.

Back in the fifties, Kinsey put the national average of penile thrusting following vaginal penetration at two and a half minutes! Since Big Pharma is looking for a pill so women can orgasm in six minutes, I presume the national average of erect penises is up three and a half minutes. However, my clinical experience shows that most women need up to twenty or thirty minutes of stimulation just to get her internal clitoris fully erect. That’s when a woman is ready to enjoy some serious fucking.

Since this so rarely happens, it’s no wonder the sale of electric vibrators has soared along with eight and nine inch dildos. Most women never experience their orgasmic capacity. Once fully aroused, she could easily accommodate several men. The group sex days of the seventies showed us that after having sex with five to ten men, we were finally sexually satisfied.

Am I to assume that society’s recent war against women to turn back the clock on birth control and legal abortions is actually based upon mens deepest fears of being sexually outmatched? It’s true, women are more sexual! My advice to mankind is to relax and accept the truth that women are capable of mulitple orgasms spread out over hours.

The good news is that being with an authentically orgasmic woman riding the waves of sexual ecstasy is a thing of beauty to behold. Any sophisticated lover can enjoy the live action which will fulfill his every visual desire. An orgasmic woman is quite opposite Disney’s romantic image of girls kissed awake by a Prince. It’s far beyond what porn offers with its cartoon-like make believe sex with women pretending to enjoy his cock plunging into her every orifice that ends with her on her knees worshiping his phallus and sucking him off as he spews cum all over her face. That’s pathetic!

Finally, what will educators and therapists tell our already insecure male population with average five and a half inch penises? “Sorry old chap! You’re going to have to strap on an eight inch dildo in order to reach her sweet spot so she can have her vaginal orgasms!”

Instead of coming up with another “theory” or rehashing an old one, wouldn’t you agree that it’s time for sex professionals to ask what we can do to alleviate some of America’s sexual ignorance and misery? It’s way past time for society to get beyond the selfish male model of sexual response that doesn’t work for women who’ve been faking orgasms for centuries just to keep men happy and to keep the peace.

Back in 1995, I first began answering the occasional question online free of charge. On my current website, I’ve spent the past ten years answering from five to ten questions a day. We just reached one million page views so our followers are many with an emphasis on youth. Borrowing a page from the anthropologist Margaret Meade, she claimed that answering questions was the best way to learn about any culture. I agree. I’ve learned that people are totally lost when it comes to sexual pleasures. Our American youth went from “Abstinence Only” to hard-core online porn for their sex education! I can tell you from personal and vast clinical experience that sexual pleasure rarely exists in our depressed and violent society today.

Instead of promoting the androcentric model of sex from the Victorian Era, I propose we create mutual pleasures between women and men by finally ending the debate of vaginal versus clitoral orgasms. Once we combine both clitoral and vaginal stimulation occurring at the same time, we create the Combination Orgasm thereby ending the age-old battle between the sexes.

Add to this the vast array of new sex toys that offer even more pleasurable sensations with an abundance of orgasms and I wager we’ll have a more peaceful society. According to my extensive online research and clinical practice, the combination orgasm has enhanced numerous couple’s sex lives. I’d be interested to hear what you and other sex professionals think about my new paradigm to enable heterosexuals to share orgasms.

Betty A. Dodson, Ph.D. clinical sexologist

Liberating women one orgasm at a time

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Beautiful letter

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 23:26
Shawn (not verified)

What an excellent response to Mr. Brody's misplaced research focus. Your letter eloquently explains numerous points that you have made again and again in your writings, podcasts, and so on. Thank you for being an honest representative of women's genuine orgasmic capability. Much love to you, Carlin, and all women and men who rejoice in the sensations and anatomy nature gave us! <3

what you said :)

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 04:31
Janet M (not verified)

Fucking yay you Betty!! You are my deadset sex hero.

Great open letter

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:58

That should end the debate, Dr Betty. I love your term of 'combination orgasms', too, because that seems to be what really works for women, and for the men who love them.

And men too can be overjoyed at ending the dominance of the phallocentric, penis-in-vagina model of hetero sex, because it also ends forever all the pressure men have felt to 'last a long time', 'keep it up', and limit themselves to only one long-deferred orgasm so that their partners can be 'satisfied'. Since female satisfaction isn't dependent on an erect penis, it follows that men can stop struggling to maintain one. Sometimes they've done this at great cost, because drugs like Cialis and Viagra are associated with heart attacks, stroke, and even death. (Big Pharma again!).

But we won't end sexual strife by ramping up claims that one sex or the other is 'sexually superior'. That's outmoded language from the sexual cold wars, and it doesn't fit a world of equal partners and mutual respect. I've seen numerous videos of men having multiple orgasms, for example---one after another with no refractory period and a constant erection. Multiple orgasm is clearly a shared human capacity, so let's figure out how we can teach it to as many people as want to learn it.

I love what I think is your take-away message, though: A new vision of shared mutual pleasure, with a commitment to genuine equality, peaceful co-existence, and good will. What a better world that will be!

Sex is Magic

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:57
Holly Holmes (not verified)

Betty Dodson is so cool. This is seriously why I chose to do Passion Parties. I get a chance to help women (and men) discover more about their bodies, how they work, and how to get the most pleasure. 
The whole basis of the study is ridiculous. There is no ideal penis size, there is no ideal length of time for intercourse. That's what needs to stop; there isn't an orgasm formula. Everyone is different!!!! Some people like clitoral stimulation, some prefer vaginal/g-spot stimulation, and that can vary from day to day..... On Tuesday you may want oral sex, and on Friday you may want vaginal sex. On Wednesday you may have an orgasm in 2 mins and then on Sunday not acheive orgasm at all..... And that is fine.  Also so much focus on the orgasm, yeah, it's great but it doesn't have to happen everytime. Sex feels good (or it's supposed to) regardless, so what if you don't get the big release..... sex can be about intimacy,  reconnecting with your partner, or simply because you want to focus on their pleasure this time.... it is not an orgasm competition.  "Man I lost at sex today.... yeah I totally didn't orgasm" *sighs* Said, ummmm, no one ever. Lol.
The vagina is this big medical mystery and is amazing how little is truly known about the science behind it's workings. The existence of the g-spot is still debated and the female ejaculation or "squirting" is still somewhat of a mystery. See.... sex IS magic. :)

She needs to get before she can give

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 06:05
Lizzie Smith (not verified)

Betty Dodson is my heroine, too, because as an educator she makes an absolute distinction between two groups of women receiving sex information:
A) Those who have never masturbated or orgasmed (and want to be given proper information precisely of how to learn this), and
B) those who already know how to masturbate and orgasm (and want to improve their overall sex skills).
Partnersex experiences of these two groups of women differ essentially from each other as we  diligent D&R followers know.
The B-group sexproblems may often be so sophisticated and nitty gritty they are called luxury-problems, whereas, a woman of group A, who has become aware of completely missing out on an essential part of life itself, is facing a problem of infitely larger scale.
So, I wonder who is helper Holly Holmes addressing her therapeutic talking-to?
It would not be very clever to comment on H.H.'s contribution if its well-meaning message would not represent perfectly word for word what sexual counseling ideology mostly offers today.
In fact, H.H. sounds in all her perfection more like an over-zealous, poorly informed male. And I want to stress, I have a high opinion of men's willingness to learn, in general:
"Sex is magical", H.H. says. -  I.e. facts are obscured.
"Everyone is different!!!!" - Not so different that sensible how to -instructions would be useless.
"There's no orgasm formula". - Yes, there is. Dr. Betty's Rock'n roll -method. Orgasm response can fully well be taught to women in groups and individually.

And, the following is perhaps the most confusing thing to say to a preorgasmic woman belonging to A-goup (see above):
"Also so much focus on the orgasm, yeah, it's great but it doesn't have
to happen everytime. Sex feels good (or it's supposed to) regardless, so
what if you don't get the big release.....".
Is Holly H. addressing men with this sentence, too? No man would ever consider orgasmless sex on a steady basis.
Could we not reasonably expect from a sexhelper proper information of how to orgasm rather than continue the emotionally burdensome underestimation of a problem?
The encouragement sexhelper Holly H. offers above is something that women in group B already know and scarcely have any use for. A woman familiar with her way of best orgasming, in whichever way, has a lot of leeway in partnersex setting. Precisely like a man has, to take it or leave it, if he wants to.
Let's go on with Holly H.
..."sex can be about intimacy,  reconnecting with your partner, or simply
because you want to focus on their pleasure this time.... it is not an
orgasm competition". 
This has to do with true ability to give. It applies to anyone who can genuinely afford it. You cannot enforce intimate giving with willpower, ongoing. A preorgasmic woman seldom can brush her own neediness aside at will without it all becoming too taxing.
In order to attain a space of giving you have to have your getting in place.
The sentence of H.H. is fully true when a person approaches a lover secure realizing she knows her way of orgasming, granting that in a broader context of partnersex-sessions time span.
And thus her mind is free to experience intimacy and she really has something to give.
Holly H. begins and ends with the theme of sexuality being a great unknown:
"The vagina is this big medical mystery and is amazing how little is
truly known about the science behind it's workings. The existence of the
g-spot is still debated and the female ejaculation or "squirting"...".

As we know, mystery-talk is distracting, not helping, when you need correct step to step information, as available abundantly free of charge in D&R.
A summary:
- A woman who can orgasm, in whichever manner, can many times afford to postpone her climax, leave it sometimes entirely, if she wants to.
- For a preorgasmic woman of A-group the concept of sex is less relaxed. It is an unfortunate idea to ask her to give (intimacy, being continually left withour own sexual release, instead witnessing it in partner every time) when she does not have those particular resources to give. Giving is a consequence of having received at first.
- What women of A-group for sure don't  find helpful is reassuring, well-meaning, it's not a big deal - type of content. 

Dr. Betty is my idol since she is accurate in what she teaches. She never wraps facts in
a pleasant package in order to please the majority of her audience.
She does not dilute the remedy by compromising the truthfulness of the message.

Practical Sex

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:41

It's a shame that we still get pieces of research being carried out into an outdated model of orgasm and sex, more propaganda than useful information. Betty makes the argument loud and clear, with far more patience than I'd be able to manage.

Like an earlier correspondent Lizzie, one of the best ideas I find on the D&R site is that of sex as a practical skill that we can all learn. There is a formula we can all follow in masturbation that will allow all of us to reach orgasm. There is no secret. There is no magic.There is just fun and pleasure to be had by all of us, with or without a partner.

Female orgasm is important. Lots of women do get to the end of sex with their partner with no orgasm, yet again, and they probably do *sigh* They probably do feel they've lost out, again. Partnersex is not a fair competition because for many women they always lose. This website directly addresses that issue. Is sex without orgasm ok? I can't imagine many men even calling it sex if an orgasm wasn't involved. Cuddles? Hugs?

The vagina really isn't a medical mystery. It's workings are pretty well documented. It also doesn't have a great deal to do with women's orgasms being rather lacking in sensation (a really great thing considering the size of babies that barrel out of it). There also doesn't seem to be much mystery left about the g-spot (indirect clitoral stimulation) or squirting (essentially pee after pressure on the urethra).

Whilst it's great that Holly really likes her work, and that she finds the idea of mystery & magic works for her - we're all different.

For me, the best bit is that there doesn't need to be mystery or magic. Sex is practical and like riding a bike, once you've got the basic skills the whole wild wide world of fun is there for us all.

Vaginal Orgasms

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 10:33

While I enjoyed your critique of the recent findings on vaginal orgasms, I must tell you that I have had many vaginal and clitoral orgasms and they can occur quite quickly. I certainly don't need an eight inch penis, in fact anything over seven inches impacts my cervix and spoils sex for me. I have even had an orgasm sitting still on top of a man just concentrating on what is inside me. I've had a couple of whole body orgasms, too. Wish I could have more. The best ever one was with a lesbian lover.
Anyway, thought my comments would be of interest. Some of my experiences and those of my husband are on my homepage.

Journal of Clinical Anatomy Oct 2014

Sat, 10/11/2014 - 05:45
derapas (not verified)

Seems there is a new study saying its all about the clitoris..


How Did I Miss THIS GEM!?

Sun, 01/11/2015 - 11:56

A Standing Ovation - what an excellent, excellent letter. I would have given anything to see Stuart Brody's face - who I never heard of, by the way. Is that man insane, in this day and age still shoving Freud down our throats?  I imagine he did not respond to that letter, it was superb!


"However, there was one piece

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 23:18
anonymouse (not verified)

"However, there was one piece of data that made sense to me.  Yes, women can have vaginal orgasms but not with an average size penis.  According to this research, women need an 8-inch penis and 20 minutes of penetration to achieve a vaginal orgasm.  That has definitely been my experience. "

I scanned the link mentioned, and did not find the data that mentioned that. Can anyone help?


Tue, 04/21/2015 - 04:33
Jacko32 (not verified)

First post: I could have possibly placed my next statement on a dozen different pages.
I was directed to this website from watching many of your videos, I think they're great! Today I spent some time sifting through various categories, but mostly related to orgasm/s
People just seem to be talking about penis length (outside of the D-spot orgasm) and erection time, but no mention of girth? The girls that I speak too, especially the ones that have a grasp not only on their own dimensions, but the various male penis size and shapes ( larger head, penis that curves up) say that after the penis reaches about 'average' length, or a little over/under....they prefer more girth than length to achieve a better sense of  'feeling full'. 
Now that does make sense. In the right position (45 minutes of foreplay) if you have a medium length but thick penis, and its gliding against the roof of the vagina stimulating her g-spot and A-spot, with clitoral stimulation either performed by the male or by her, would  make her pass-out if you could achieve all 3 simultaneously. Is that even possible? And what's peoples perspective on girth?

female orgasm - dicks really not that important

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 11:12

Girth and length make absolutely no difference.

A,D and G spots in vaginas are all essentially myths. Vaginas are built to cope with babies barelling out of them under pressure, head, shoulders, elbows and all - they're really not very sensitive and we can all be grateful for that fact.

In very rare circumstances penis in vagina (PIV) sex will result in a female orgasm; so rare they can almost be called miracles.

They are ofcourse remarkably easy to fake.

The only sure way for a woman to orgasm is through clitoral stimulation. A partner with skilled fingers (tongues, toys whatever) is far more interesting than one with a thick or thin, long or short penis.

And one who is willing to let a woman show him the way, or just take responsibility for her own pleasure is the one most women are looking to find.

PIV sex better for closeness than pleasure

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 15:44

Well said, NLH. Female orgasms during PIV sex are perhaps not quite as miraculous as the Virgin Birth, but only about 20-25% of women are said to have them regularly. So men would do well to stop stressing out about their penile size and 'endurance' (isn't that a relief!) and instead spend all that energy mastering effective oral, manual, and vibrator techniques. No penis or vagina has anywhere near the dexterity of a mouth or hand, so learning varied techniques is a win-win for all concerned. And men, like women, need to remember that every partner is unique and will have their own preferences and arousal patterns. We will all do well if we're sensitive to our partner's responses and directions, whether verbal or non-verbal.