Where did This Idea that the Penis is the Sole Instrument of Pleasure for Women Come From?

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Betty Dodson

Hello Doc Betty,

I'm a 23 year old girl who loves self-pleasure but has never had penetrative sex. I hate using the term 'virgin' because of the image it carries. You say "Virgin", and the first thought that comes to mind is a naive girl who knows nothing about herself, her body, or her desires and simply waits in angst for her "dream" man to show her the wonderful world of ecstasy and pleasure. I'm ashamed to admit it now but, for a long time I did have that mindset. It's sad really, to think that so many females think that pleasure comes only from a partnership. While partnership isn't something I'm against, I've simply opted to not have penetrative sex because I don't feel as if I need to at the moment.

When I tell people about my "virgin" status, they are always shocked because I don't "look" or "act" like a virgin. You can't even begin to imagine my aggravation. Apparently, it's a shameful thing to covet your own vagina. I love my vagina and I have had many beautiful experiences with the Wondrous Lady (as I like to refer to her) without having a penis or partner in, near, or around me.

Where did this idea that the penis is the sole instrument of pleasure for women come from? Why do people think that you can only have orgasm through penetrative sex? I can't speak for the nature of the penis being that I have never had one but, I cannot begin to imagine that the experiences I have had with myself are comparable. I can't think of the validity of the relationship I have with myself being less than what it is through the act of penetrative sex. It isn't so crazy of me to think that, is it?

Dear C,

If only more young women had your attitude which is so intelligent. I just answered a question from a college student along these lines. She's been having a wonderful sex life with herself but doesn't count masturbation as important as partnersex. Our entire culture which is shaped mostly by men is why a penis inside a vagina is seen as the "real thing" because of men's sexual conditioning and the fact that testosterone hard wires men towards procreation. We are after all, still apes and we forget the biological imperative for the continuation of the species. However, we are currently way over populated so we desperately need to separate giving birth from enjoying the pleasure of orgasms.

Since women are the ones who get pregnant, it's up to us to set the record straight. Most women do not or can never have an orgasm from penetrative sex without some added form of direct clitoral stimulation. I always recommend that each woman takes control of her own clitoris just like guys control their penises in the way they fuck.

I so agree with you about the term "Virgin" which originally meant a woman who took a vow to never marry. The Vestal Virgins were the priestesses attending to the Temple of Goddesses. All that wonderful history happened before humans knew how to write but we still have sculptures and art in the pyramids. So continue to honor your vagina and enjoy your orgasms. When the time comes and you have your birth control in place, make sure the sex you have with a young man is on your terms. He'll also be thankful because guys are even more lost than we are when it comes to sex.

Doc B


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