Blind Fingering Dates

  
Illustration by Frances Waite via instagram @franceswaite.
 

Yes, they exist. A woman, unclothed from the waist down, stroked by a fully clothed stranger (man, so far) to orgasm is called orgasmic meditation. The purpose is not just to get the woman off, but to exercise mutual focus on one spot–literally–that becomes meditative for both, I assume. There is no information from the the doer’s perspective, only the do-ee’s vantage point in the Dazed article “Blind ‘fingering’ dates are London’s Latest.”

“Learning how to handle her pussy is equally important as learning how to handle the rest of her. Imagine what would be possible if you learned to do both?”

The fifteen minutes of orgasmic meditation costs about £147 for the first session with the exploratory aim of an intensely meditative-orgasmic shared experience–which makes sense if you think about it. What is the hardest part of meditating? Keeping the mind chatter quiet. Getting stroked to body and mind submission–you know that focus that orgasm takes–is a kind of cheat shortcut way of silencing the mind for brief minutes anyhow. And as to the orgasm part, for those who find it difficult to orgasm with a significant other (don’t want to hold lovemaking hostage, fear of hurting someone’s feelings, total lack of knowledge or experience), this seems like a solution.

The other advantage here is the association of orgasm and meditation. I think the author lightly touches on it (pun intended), but my own experience at least proves this true. My meditation practice tails my daily yoga session. So the routine practice, including DR.DREZ music and burning incense, triggers the meditative disposition and my mind quiets quicker due to the association. So imagine the possibilities of an orgasm-meditation reflexive association.

According to the accompanying TEDx talk, speaker and method founder, Nicole Daedone, claims the practice is not merely liberating but culturally transformative, given how women are typically unable to access orgasm for a host of reasons not some of which are schizophrenic societal expectations and unrealistic or harmful portrayals and treatment of women, especially female sexuality. Tapping into orgasm feeds the “hunger” many women feel. Daedone believes if more women were tuned in and turned on, they could change the world.

To my mind, however, just as to Dominque Sisley’s, the writer of the article, the binary underpinning of this practice is exclusionary, and quite frankly, mystifying. If isolating a fifteen minute orgasm into the mechanics of beingness, of the meditative moment, is also a lesson in the mechanics of female parts to orgasm, then what difference does it make whose fingers work the parts? I’m also curious about the giver’s experience, an unfortunate lack in the article. What’s in it for him?

Despite the gaps, the 15-minute TEDx talk is worth watching as Daedone is clear, clever and charming. Enjoy and happy finger-ful Sunday!

Wild, Weird and Wonderful: Trip inside my vagina

Okay, so it’s not my vagina, much to the disappointment or relief of my readers.

So much to be said here but the video says it all. What every growing girl should know, beginning with honest names about body parts, celebrated not shamed. Had I been taught about orgasm as a child, or at least exposed to the concept  pre-understanding, I would not have had to go through unnecessary anxiety and sexual misgivings affecting my relationships.

Why is this such a difficult matter, educating ourselves and our children about their bodies so that they may be more responsible and responsive adults? Why must the idea of a “love your body” explicit video be so revolutionary?

Huffpost’s Poussy Draama’s Mobile Doctor’s Office is Challenging Sex Ed Norms in America merits a reading even if only for the video and colorful pictures injected into an investigative journalism piece on wacky personalities with the right message.

Author Priscilla Frank introduces Poussy Draama, a performance artist, gyno specialist and educator who roams the country introducing those ready to learn to love the beloved female body (enough loving of men’s has been the story of HIStory, she claims), not the one that merely makes babies but the one that has so much more power and pleasure.

She enlightens youngsters through her bizarre videos and also appears live to help groups of women take pictures of their cervixes when she is not celebrating all of the names for vagina. Hey, why wasn’t my personal favorite, twat, on that list? Must be a French thing.

 The bizarro TV show, aimed to teach kids about sexuality and consent, features tripped out vagina suits, lots of rainbows and even more body positivity. Poussy Draama — the babe on the right, in the video above — is a performance artist, a sexologist, an alter-gynecologist and a witch. Not witch, like, black hat and broomstick, though. Witch like witch doctor or healer. “What I do hasn’t much to do with magic,” Draama explained to The Huffington Post. “It’s witchcraft, in the way of empiric, experimental and politically engaged healing.” 


Although in medium and technique Draama’s work is all over the map, her subject matter consistently revolves around educating others on sexuality in an un-authoritative, open-minded and, duh, feminist manner. “Womxn are overrepresented and underrepresenting,” Draama said. “You know what I mean? And as an artist, I don’t wanna play the ‘male-gaze game’ so I have to be careful, cause everything tends to drive you to do so.” (Note: The spelling of “womxn” is intentional, per Draama’s choice.)

The risk takers who challenge the “norm” by exposing sedimented attitudes expose themselves to ridicule even as they gather fame. You know those insecure ones (you know who you are) who do not like to be discomfited will doff off old Poussy as a whack rather than appreciate her creativity and spirit for a good cause.

Fingers crossed for her (riffing on the article opener there).

Would You Watch This Documentary?

  
The divorce rate for first time marriages in the United States hovers steadily at about 50% according to the Census Bureau’s reports over the last ten years. Yet mindlessly and merrily, Americans march to the altar like lemmings to the cliff, only to free fall over the edge into the depths of that statistic. Despite the concerted efforts of great minds in many fields–psychology, law, medicine, sociology, anthropology, to name a few–there has been little progress in lowering divorce rates overall. 


Except for rate shifts with the rise and fall of the economy, most notably couples choosing not to divorce in a down economy because it is cheaper to live on separate sides of the house than pay attorneys, divorce rates fluctuate little. During some periods, marriage trends toward cohabitation over licensing.


Though there are probably as many reasons for divorce as there are married couples, common factors such as communication, religion, finances, childrearing and roles contribute to the irremediable breakdown of marriages. And while cheating is the last straw when it comes to suffering an unfulfilling relationship and often impels filing divorce papers, it is not so much the cause as the symptom of the bases for disagreement. 


Poor communication about feelings, especially about sex, is a significant cause of injury in marriage. The experts, including Esther Perelman, have written about sex as the communication trouble spot, the sensitivity surrounding sex and the expectations of couplehood, in particular: the beliefs that two people merge and thereby are able to read each other’s minds and that sexual performance critique leaves long lasting scars on marriage sex life, are problematic. 


Though male dissatisfaction is not unheard of, the complaints are more likely by or rooted in women regarding men’s inability to sexually satisfy. Reciprocity in the sexual satisfaction arena breaks down.  When one party is getting satisfied while the other is not, resentments grow and withholding sex or certain sex acts the other enjoys, often results. My evidence is anecdotal, but I am fairly certain the data validates my assumptions.


Why is sex so complicated? I suspect sedimented beliefs and inherited cultural myths about female bodies and leftover Puritanical sexual mores contribute significantly to the complexity.  


And though orgasms are not all there is to sex, they are significant, especially if only one of the couple is having them. In any event, the lack of orgasms coupled with the inability to talk about that lack not only to mates but to friends and family for the discomfort we dysfunctional Americans have in speaking about sex generally, circles the perimeter as well as forms the shadowy core of the divorce abyss. 


Perhaps learning about how women orgasm is a key to lowering the divorce rate in this country. And here to educate all of us, people of all genders, about female orgasm is a documentary by an expert:

“Our culture is obsessed with depicting and idolizing both vag-gasms and intercourse as the ultimate in sexual expression,” says Trisha Borowicz, a filmmaker/molecular biologist who studies orgasm ‘just for fun.” “Everyone acts like there is not a definition for female orgasm when there really is a pretty damn good one.”

Science, Sex and Ladies is Borowicz’s attempt at not only dispelling myths about female orgasm but also teaching how they are achieved. She attacks the accepted model of penis in vagina penetration as the “norm” for fulfilling women. By boldly and explicitly explaining how female orgasm is produced with a real vulva to diagram, she supplies important facts to expose the lies many women grow up believing in the absence of valid information.

5. Contrary to popular belief, most women don’t take “forever” to come. Most women come as quickly as easily as men, given the right stimulation. Men would also take “forever” to come if they were only being stimulated by, say, someone diligently rubbing their pubic hair.

That’s number five of four other fantastic facts needing to be known and provided courtesy of Jill Hamilton’s review of the Borowicz’s documentary in Salon.com (The simple “secret” to making a woman orgasm no one understands). A link to the documentary is provided in the article, well worth the read.

While educating the populace with vulva diagrams is not the antidote to divorce, disseminating accurate information–truths about how women work–improves the health of everyone, especially teens susceptible to the porn industry that fills the gaping hole parents leave when they do not or cannot inform their sons and daughters about the wonders of the female body–no easy task. 

I know my own daughters resist the awkward masturbation and sexual satisfaction conversation that they perceive as foisted on them. Disturbing notions of our mothers as sexual beings haunts the deep recesses of our collective subconscious for centuries, one of many deeply ingrained twists to our sexual proclivities. No wonder we’re screwed up.

Is that a vibrator in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?




What I treasure most about blogging is the many contributions from readers whether in thoughtful or supportive comments, or suggestions of what to “gaze” at as today’s content donor put it. It makes my day when someone sends me a bit, a piece, an image, video or an article, some snippet topical to the blog’s thematic interests. Today’s gift is an article in the New York Times paying tribute to Dell Williams, former actress, advertising executive and army WAC, who started Eve’s Garden, a Manhattan sex boutique opened at a time when openly flaunting female sexuality took some daring. 

The story goes that she opened her sex shop after a humiliating experience at the hands of a young “pimply faced” clerk/interrogator when, in 1974, she purchased a vibrator. This spurred her mission to establish a place where women could purchase sex paraphernalia in peace. This kick-ass entrepreneur spent a majority of her life defending the right to open acceptance of women’s sexuality, something perhaps taken for granted today as more of a given than in her lifespan. 

Though it is still not a given even today.

While attitudes about female sexuality have progressed from denial by the patriarchal societies of Western Civilization to acknowledgment that it exists, there is still some distance to go before female sexuality is fully, openly celebrated, let alone discussed, by men and women. 

Thanks to vibrators, and women like Dell Williams who fought for freer access to them, there is an interesting history from which to start a conversation about women’s sexuality that does not seem so contrived, cliché or awkward. In fact, I used today’s research to pique the interest of my 15 year old, a sly engagement of her unsuspecting provincial sensibilities, to talk about sex, something she is loathe to do with her mother.

It turns out the vibrator is the tool that has not only traveled well through the centuries but also one that has propelled female sexuality and feminism into its current state of the question I have heard of late: Do we even need feminism any more? While the answer is yes, for many reasons, economic equality access being only one of them, that is a story for another day. The advent of the vibrator is a story of patriarchy, capitalism and power.

It begins with Hippocrates in 4th Century Greece, or at least he was the first on record to theorize that hysteria, a condition ascribed to women who displayed symptoms such as fainting, nervousness, and bad temper, more commonly known as “dry womb disease,” which seems to me as overall unhappiness most probably due to a lack of sexual excitement (read: not pumping out the lube) or fulfillment with men and the “normative” practice of penis-penetrating-vagina sex, what Rachel P. Maines in her book The Technology of Orgasm terms the “androcentric standard” of acceptable sexual practice.

The medical treatment Hippocrates and generations of physicians thereafter–until 1952 when hysteria was no longer diagnosed–for women experiencing hysteria and dry womb, was manual manipulation of the vulva by physicians to hysterical paroxysm, the medical condition better known as orgasm–in other words, getting women off. This treatment, an ongoing therapy, took up too much time for doctors to make enough money from other patients and was a routine and rote task that clearly could and should have been the work of midwives but for physicians not wanting to forego the income, prestige and power over the female body. As such, devices were developed to facilitate that “chore.”

Coupled with attitudes that women should not be touching their own bodies or have pleasure outside of marriage and what men could provide–androcentric sex–the vibrator was kept in the hands, so to speak, of the medical establishment until 1902 when Hamilton Beach patented the first take home vibrator, a large and noisy (we can heeeeaaaar you) apparatus. The hush of sexual repression quietly deposited these household objects from the hands of doctors into locked drawers, despite their popularity. According to trojanvibrations.com, these early vibrators emerged as one of the most common household electrical appliances invented even before the electric iron:


By 1917, there were more vibrators than toasters in American homes, claiming to cure everything from headaches to polio, deafness and impotence. Some ads for vibrators even claimed to be able to put a glow on your face.


In the radical feminist 70’s, the vibrator came out of the closet and into the hands of women trying to bring all things woman into the forefront, but particularly her sexuality as her power and her own.  Today, approximately half the American population uses or has used a vibrator, according to a survey of statistical findings I conducted on the web, only one of which is livescience.com.

Maine’s first chapter of her book mentioned above is available online and is a fascinating detailed history of the vibrator in context of sexual history from 4th Century B.C. through the Victorian era til modern times, citing wonderful hysteria treatment tools like horse simulators and other early curative devices designed for women’s orgasm, wickedly delightful apparatus to an unappreciative audience, my guess.

The covert manipulation (pun intended) of attitudes toward women’s sexuality–sexual pleasure that demanded more than male vaginal penetration as well as women’s ownership, participation and education (To know why, see Huffpost’s 13 Reasons Every Woman Should Masturbate Regularly)–derived from what Michel Foucault, French philosopher and author of the History of Sexuality, deemed the male medical establishment’s “hystericization of sexuality” (using their authoritative power to keep women’s sexuality as well as homosexuality in the realm of disease vis a vis the normative sexuality of the culture), patriarchy and capitalist greed.

Thank you Hippocrates for taking the time to notice, for kickstarting the vibrator’s journey to women, promoting sexual health for both men and women, and for getting all those women off, a trend that persisted even if disguised as medical treatment (wink, wink). He was hip to the truth he and his cronies kept mum, I suspect: most women, producers of the only organ designed for pure pleasure, maybe don’t need men so much to get off once they figure out what they have and how to use it.

Doubting Women’s Sexuality

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And in a world where women’s narratives about their sexual experiences are routinely called into question, the debate over female ejaculation serves as a reminder that, when it comes to sex, we still don’t believe women. Even when they’re literally wetting the bedsheets with proof.

Lux Aulptraum, a self-proclaimed squirter, questions in The question isn’t if female ejaculation is real. It’s why you don’t trust women to tell you the attitudes toward women’s perceived sexual experience and women sexuality overall. She claims women’s sexual pleasure is suspect because it is hidden, imperceptible to her partner and herself.

What miffed me a tad was learning that Australia has a ban on female ejaculation in pornography on the chance that the ejaculatory substance might be urine and so obscene. Meanwhile, there is no scientific confirmation, according to this article, that female ejaculation is merely urination. Just goes to show you how much there is still a need for feminism.