COME AGAIN: YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF SEX & WELLNESS
The female orgasm is not nearly as elusive as the old wives’ tale suggests — if you’re willing to look for it. But for millions of men and their long-suffering partners, the orgasm gap is still very much a thing — a deeply regrettable one.
There are theories about why this gap is so prevalent — cis-male privilege/selfishness, lack of communication, shame/anxiety and the oft-touted myth about how complicated it is. Sure, making most men come is as easy as deftly handling a martini shaker, but just because women’s bodies are slightly more complex doesn’t mean our pleasure should be shunted to the side. No, you will not roll over and go to sleep when you finish, mister.
In the last few years, feminists have started a movement to educate straight men about our bodies. The word has gotten out that most women do not orgasm from penetrative sex, yet the next logical step, learning to make women come by other means, is not even close to ubiquitous knowledge. Anecdotal surveys (of my friends and partners) suggest that most guys at least know where the clitoris is these days, even if they don’t all know exactly how to work that thing. Thanks to sites like the Cliteracy Project, the wonders of female anatomy are no longer so mysterious.
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Until now, we’ve had to teach every new partner how to properly pleasure us, if we are so inclined. And because not all women are exactly the same when it comes to getting off, new partners can get confused and frustrated — not a good combination for arousal. So some of us teach, and some of us have learned to do so in a sexy, patient manner.
But not all of us want to go into pedagogic mode when we’re turned on. Wouldn’t it be lovely if our bedmates had some training?
Enter OMGYes, a San Francisco startup like no other. Founded by Lydia Daniller and Rob Perkins, old friends who started talking about sex in college and never stopped. They shared a frustration about the lack of research into female sexuality and pleasure, and set on a course to change that. In conjunction with researchers from Indiana University and the Kinsey Institute, Daniller and Perkins launched their site late in 2015, culled from data from more than 2000 women ages 18 – 95.
Much is revolutionary about the OMGYes interface. You access it through your browser and there’s nothing to download. Once you log in, you are presented with an array of explicit (yet not pornographic) videos from real (and awesomely diverse) women. Friendly, approachable and softly lit, the women talk about what gets them off in great detail. Each woman describes a different technique, from edging, hinting, consistency, surprise, rhythm and multiples (more on this in a bit). Then you watch them masturbate. That in itself is a pretty big deal, but the pièce de résistance is the touchscreen vagina.
Yes, this is an actual video game dedicated to making women come. A real image of a vagina — the vagina of the woman you’ve just watched masturbate — fills the screen of your smartphone or tablet. A voiceover tells you what to do, and using the touchscreen, you attempt the technique you’ve just learned to provide an orgasm. If you do it right, the voice gives you the verbal equivalent of a high five and the screen fades out. If you don’t manage to provide an orgasm, the voiceover will say, “Let’s try again later.” Then you move on to a new technique, until you’ve mastered them all and feel like a champion.
I tried it, and it was both fun and enlightening. Since I’ve never brought a woman to orgasm before (other than myself) it was extremely educational. Learning the different techniques other women use made me curious about stepping up my game.
I also wanted to know exactly how men might interact with OMGYes, and if it would indeed teach them something they didn’t already know. I asked a few straight guys to help me out. They all generously obliged, and one even tried it out with his girlfriend. I chose a 46-year-old, a 35-year-old and a 29-year-old for a little generational variety. Bottom line: They’re all totally down.
Everyone, including the girlfriend, agreed that OMGYes is an incredible tool. My 29-year-old tester’s immediate response was, “Wow wow wow. This is amazing.”
I asked each of the men to reflect on how they would have felt if they had something like this when they were younger and inexperienced: They all said they wished they did. They told me it would have saved time, energy and left their partners far less frustrated. The girlfriend of one tester told me, “I think it’s a great way to describe what you might like to a guy… It gives you words to express what you like. I like how it doesn’t put women in one category. The point is we all have different likes/needs/wants and it makes that clear. Our bodies are not cookie-cutter bodies and we don’t all enjoy the same techniques.”
My male testers told me that they liked how straightforward the videos were — not intentionally titillating but subtly erotic. One told me he thought it might bring out a man’s competitive streak — which would be a tricky way to get him to practice until he learned every technique. It certainly brought out my inner competitor, the one that beat one ex-boyfriend at pinball and another at Legend of Zelda. I even challenged one of my testers to a virtual orgasm duel.
Perhaps the most revolutionary thing about OMGYes is that it has created a language that we’ve lacked until now — ways to describe the specific techniques that lead to women’s orgasms. Edging, hinting, consistency, surprise, rhythm (and more) — the words chosen to describe the basic techniques, are super intuitive and will hopefully become household names. So you might be able to tell a new partner, “Hey, I like edging” and he’ll know exactly what you mean. Less fumbling, more pleasure means everybody wins.
You can purchase an OMGYes membership for a one-time fee $39, with gift memberships available, and more “seasons” of content coming soon. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and this is way better than flowers and/or chocolate — it’s a gift that will keep on giving, and giving, and giving…