Vibrators. Dildos. BDSM. Orgasm; words or ideas that I used to think were dirty (or at least in any media I saw called them dirty). For example, I remember the scene in the 80’s movie Parenthood when Steve Martin’s character finds a vibrator when looking for a flashlight. The owner of the vibrator was mortified and embarrassed, but so was everyone in the room. Up until my 20’s, I felt the same way. I felt that a vibrator’s use was something to be kept quiet and not discussed, just like looking at pornographic magazines or videos. This begs the question: Is anything sex-related still taboo? If not, why don’t we talk about orgasms?
Lately, the only time we see the word “orgasm” is when we talk about eating the foods we enjoy. People have food orgasms all the time. We see them all over Instagram and Tik Tok; food porn. A warm brownie with ice cream and a glass of cold milk does it for me! If we can talk about the foods that make us feel good, shouldn’t we be able to have open, honest conversations about other things that make us feel good, like an orgasm?
Naturally, my knowledge about orgasms was built on what I saw on cable television and at the movies, and even they did not mention the word “orgasm.” It was always understood that something pleasurable was happening during a sexual scene. That pleasure was characterized by the man or woman moaning, sometimes groaning, in the scene. In fact, the first time I heard the word orgasm was in the movie When Harry Met Sally. We did not talk about orgasms in high school, where boys were characterized as more “advanced than girls” and that “no sex was better than any sex.” Abstinence trumped safe sex with condoms. It wasn’t until I was in college that I had even begun having conversations with my college roommates about sex and orgasms. I never truly knew what an orgasm was until I had one in my twenties with my then-boyfriend (now spouse).
And you know what, ORGASMS ARE AMAZING! It’s one thing to enjoy sex; it’s another to have an orgasm. Sex is certainly enjoyable without having an orgasm, but it’s exponentially better when I’ve had one or more. That all-body, tingly feeling is a pleasure unlike no other, yet it still feels difficult to discuss or even write about. Just like other things we don’t like to talk about out loud about our bodies, like body odors or the size of body parts, I think it’s time for us to normalize talking about orgasms. It’s okay to have them or not to have them. It’s okay to use a vibrator or a dildo to achieve one. It’s okay to engage in BDSM with your partner. It’s okay to get excited (or not) about them. Most importantly, it’s okay to be curious and talk about orgasms. While what can give us an orgasm is personal and individual, we don’t have to navigate the discussion alone.
How do you feel about them?