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Did you know that when having sex, different women prefer different kinds of touching and have different kinds of orgasms?
I don’t normally enjoy saying “no fucking shit” to good research, even when it tells us something obvious. After all, there are many things that seem obvious until research proves that we just think something is true because our brains and experiences are fooling us.
In this case, though, the “study” in question is a load of utter bullshit, which I could tell within 30 seconds of reading the popular article about it in PsyPost. The 6th sentence in the article points out that the study was commissioned by “OMGYes,” and it even helpfully links to their website. “OMGYes” is a website where people can pay money to learn how to touch women. That’s right, for $39 you, too, can interact with “touchable videos” where you can, presumably, make digital women orgasm.
The study was published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, which is a real journal though it has an SJR indicator of .772. Impact factors are a way to tell how respected or useful a journal is by figuring out how often its studies are cited by other research. They’re not a perfect way to rank journals but it can give you an idea of what’s going on. The journal “Porn Studies” has nearly the same ranking. Okay, admittedly I’m just being catty because this study annoyed me.
Anyway, on to the study itself. It was a survey of about 1,000 American women aged 18 to 94, which I must say is an impressive range. The study found that 77.5% of women reported that some orgasms felt better than others, which IS a truly stunning finding. I mean, seriously, nearly one out of four women surveyed have only experienced one level of orgasm ever? They’ve never been super exhausted and felt like they just really needed to get one out before bed only to spend 40 minutes getting their fingers all pruny before a tiny little shudder happens and they fall asleep? Seriously? And then they’ve never gotten high the very next night and used a vibrator while being penetrated only to have the most mind-blowing orgasm possible? I mean, just to name one potential scenario.
But that’s doesn’t seem to be what the researchers or the popular press find surprising. They seem surprised that 3/4s of women have different kinds of orgasms. Can you imagine if this study was about men? ¼ of men have the exact same feeling every time they orgasm, whether they cum every day or once a month? That would be completely implausible, but I guess because women’s sexuality is seen as so mysterious, we just accept that that must be true.
To be fair, I believe the 23% of women who say they only experience the same level of pleasure in every orgasm. I also suspect that they’re not having orgasms very often, or at all, which is something I hope changes as women’s sexuality becomes less stigmatized. And I believe the researchers thought they were helping women’s sexuality become less stigmatized by doing this research, but I don’t think that it is actually helping. “Women like being touched in different ways at different times,” another finding of the research, may be true but it’s still dehumanizing women by suggesting that that’s a shocking finding. Guess who else likes being touched in different ways? Men. But no one thinks that’s strange, because men aren’t seen as a mysterious puzzle. They’re humans, and humans are sometimes ticklish, and sometimes like things rough, and sometimes like things gentle, and sometimes don’t want to be touched at all, and that’s fine.
I guess what I’m saying is that I’d be totally fine with this research if the reporting wasn’t just “women like different things,” but if it was instead “women like different things because they’re humans, you fucking idiot.” There. I fixed it.