So, Are You a Sexual Housecat, a Tigress, or Both?

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 09:54
Submitted by Anonymous

I post this film with a certain degree of hesitation. It is a French documentary that claims to explain the female orgasm, and naturally it is called "The Female Orgasm Explained". I watched it a few times, and then it hit me -- I realized that this is how western culture often views female sexual pleasure -- in all or none terms. We women are either sex crazed tigresses or neutered housecats. Apparently, there is no in between. I think our society dichotomizes women this way because we don't know what to do with female sexuality. It is too socially and politically dangerous, given that women don't fit the male model of sexuality very well.

This movie seems to view women as hungry tigresses. Much fanfare is accorded the feminine version of "la petite mort" (French for "little death"), and it (the female orgasm) is described as "devastating"and "thunderous". Nubile, young women (almost nobody over 25 was interviewed) yammer on about how they scream and twist about during the "big moment", and female ejaculation is touted as a "superorgasm".

Bullshit. No wonder so many women are confused.

We either blow female sexuality up until it is this mythic thing, or reduce it to rubble. One common stereotype about women is that orgasm is far more difficult for us, but, at the same time, it is purported to be an overwhelming, gut wrenching experience -- replete with bells rings, trumpets blaring, and stars aligning. If your head didn't spin around, and you didn't spit out pea soup, you didn't come. At least that's what I thought when I was 18.

The fact is that orgasm varies from woman to woman and within the same woman over the course of time. No two orgasms are alike. And not all women take forever to come (contrary to popular opinion, we're not all crock pots). Kinsey (one of the greatest sex researchers of the 20% century) found that many women could masturbate to orgasm within three minutes. He also found that only 4% of women were unable to orgasm during masturbation.

Nor is it always an overwhelming, loud, back-arching experience. Sex researcher Shere Hite found that many women reported being still, quiet, and rigid during orgasm. One woman said that her experience of orgasm confused both her and her partner(s):

"Up until my early thirties, I didn't know if I was, or wasn't; having an orgasm, since the type of orgasm I thought I was supposed to have was not what my partners thought I should have."

Another woman said much the same thing:

"A lot of my partners think I'm strange because I'm very quiet and I get very much into my head when I have an orgasm. They think because I don't pant, scream, and claw I haven't had one."

Another problem with our movie is that it implies that a woman must abandon herself to an experienced man to hit the erotic high notes. The sad thing about that view is that our satisfaction becomes dependent on a man's sexual skills. And if he doesn't have any, we are shit out of luck. While this may work okay in the movies and in romance novels; it doesn't play out so well in reality -- particularly when Indiana Jones can't find your temple of doom. More often than not what really works is owning your sexuality, not surrendering it to a lover.

I remember being terribly confused as a young girl about what I was experiencing sexually. Was I normal? Was that a "real orgasm"? I mean I didn't thrash about, or scream bloody murder. I didn't want sex all the time. And my libido came and went. Often, to my great disappointment, sex was better in my head than it was in my bed. As for male sexual expertise, I quickly learned I was vastly more knowledge than any of my lovers. They didn't know shit.

As I grew older and learned more, I realized that I wasn't broken just a little bent. The fact is that we women (like men) come in all flavors. And female orgasm is pretty much the same way. Some women take five minutes to get off, some take over an hour. Some of us scale operatic heights during our grand finale, while others are as quiet as church mice. Some of us move around a lot during orgasm, while others are perfectly still. Some us experience noticeable vaginal contractions, and some don't.

Sexual desire seems to have the same level of diversity, which calls into question the whole concept of "low sex drive". Low compared to what? To whom? Is there really such a thing? We don't speak of low artistic ability or low musical ability and wring our hands. No. We just accept that musical or artistic ability is a human "extra" that doesn't have a distinctive, practical purpose in terms of helping us survive.

Most of our sexuality is an "extra". It is above and beyond what is necessary for procreation, given that we can have intercourse all year but can only get pregnant during a limited time frame. Why would there be a rock solid "average level of desire" behind any of this? So, I believe the answer to my rhetorical question is that we women are both -- a neutered housecat and a tigress, a madonna and a whore. Every woman, at some point in her life, has been or will be, a housecat, a tiger, a lady, a whore, a nun, and a bitch goddess -- all rolled into one imperfect human ball. Anyway, just some thoughts... Here's the movie.

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I had to watch to the end

SexualSelf's picture
Mon, 11/28/2011 - 09:26

A 23 year old has an injection of hyaluronic acid into her g-spot to help improve her likelihood of having an orgasm. *shudder* She didn't even know where her g-spot was before she got to the doctor's office.
I have to report very mixed emotions to this film. On the one hand I'm overjoyed that there are sexually confident and aware women who are willing to share their experiences (-even if they are biased towards the 'earthquake' style orgasms). On the other hand I am so saddened by the statistic of only 1 in 10 women experiencing orgasm with a partner, the woman who had a short-lived affair to have her first orgasm at age 46, and the 23 year old resorting to an injection.
As for the housecat and the tigress: it would seem that sexuality isn't just a spectrum but an entangled, 3-D web, ever shifting and reforming. I reckon that's something worth celebrating. You can join me in celebrating women's sexuality at:

Hi SexualSelf, Yep, that was

Tue, 11/29/2011 - 15:24
LilithLand (not verified)

Hi SexualSelf,

Yep, that was another part I had real trouble with - casual way the gspot shot was mentioned with no discussion of the fact that this is an unecessary, medically dicey procedure. I also agree that sexuality is an evershifting thing. Sex drive comes and goes in most people. 

Not all woman want to

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 23:50
Zoroark (not verified)

Not all woman want to procreate though. There has been an increase in woman who do not desire children and who are even getting their tubes tied. Sex is not just about procreating either now.