Clit Counselor

Come Early, Come Often

Rebecca Chalker, author of The Clitoral Truth: The Secret World at Your Fingertips (Seven Stories Press, $19.95) teaches "Historical and Modern Sexual Revolutions" at Pace University. She addresses a reader's problem:

Neither man nor machine can make me come. But leave me alone for a minute and I'll bring myself to climax. Here's my formula: I flip over on my stomach, clasp my hands together (in a kind of reverse volleyball serve), and rub hard in a circular motion, simultaneously wiggling, pressing, and grinding the full weight of my body on my hands, while whipping my legs back and forth like a pair of spastic scissors. I've been bringing myself to orgasm this way since I was 11.

Unfortunately, the position is non-negotiable. If I duplicate the hand motion but lie on my back—nothing. If I replicate the movement with a vibrator—only tiny reflexlike spasms devoid of cathartic power. Oral sex? Sign me up, but don't expect it to do the trick. Intercourse? Bring it on, but I've had sex with about 20 different men and no one's been able to push me over the edge.

Clit lit: health educator Chalker at home.
photo: Jennifer Altman
Clit lit: health educator Chalker at home.

Now, technically, I have come while being fucked. Several eager-to-please lads have watched me bring myself to orgasm. Catching on, they entered me from behind while I was doing my thing. It's a tricky enterprise, coordinating their forward thrusts with my circular wriggling; sometimes their cocks slip out and the jumping-jack movement of my legs interferes with their continuous insertion. With a live penis deep in me, I have orgasmed, but it's always been caused by my OWN hand. And I've always felt that I'm cheating—that it doesn't really count.

Even though I'm physically finicky, I enjoy sex. I don't fake orgasms, though I often think I should. My lovers offer up their amateur postcoital analysis—that I'm psychologically or emotionally unwilling to lose control. I don't buy it. I believe my malfunction is purely mechanical. If not, wouldn't I be able to come while masturbating in another position?

Maybe I should just be satisfied that I can come at all. Still, I can't help but feel that I'm damaged goods. That ultimately whoever I'm screwing won't be able to stand not being able to do it for me and that his attendant feelings of inadequacy will drive him to another bed. Or that the sole goal of every liaison will be to make me come. "Move your leg higher, honey! Spread wider! Clinch harder! That's my girl! Relaxrelaxrelaxrelax! Breeeeathe, baby." I appreciate the effort. But I don't want a coach and I don't need the pressure—I need a partner. And I'm not willing to become someone's little ego-fueled sexperiment. —Ula R. Goamran

Intercourse was designed by men for men, with short shrift given to the needs and preferences of women. The vaginal opening provides perfect stimulation to make a man come, but the exquisitely sensitive little nubbin everybody calls the clitoris (it's really only one of 18 working parts), isn't inside the vagina where it could get the right stimulation to make you come. Go figure. The clit is outside and it needs direct stimulation. This isn't cheating and you're not damaged. You're just doing what women who don't routinely orgasm from intercourse—the majority—do. There's an alternative to the male-centered intercourse script, designed by ancient Tantric and Taoist gurus who believed men should learn to postpone their ejaculations and use their tongues, hands, and your choice of sex toys to please, tease, titillate, and stimulate every nook and cranny of your body until you beg for mercy. If you can orgasm one way, you can orgasm another. First off, get down with your clitoris and figure her out. Then get your brain, the biggest sex organ, tuned in. Watching others have sex is a superb aphrodisiac, so indulge in a sexy video before you even touch yourself. Check out Betty Dodson's video Celebrating Orgasm: Women's Private Selfloving Sessions, experiential workshops given by Body Electric, and books and Web sites on Tantric and Taoist sex techniques.

 
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