Leah tackles the hierarchy of orgasms—and getting there at all. This week women respond to whether they prefer clit or vaginal stimulation, which opens up a penetrating (see what we did there?!) discussion about preferences.

Sex Ed For Adults: “You are the only one who knows what’s right for your genitals.” As long as what’s under consideration is consensual, pretty much everything else falls on a scale from “I desire it” to “I don’t desire it.” There is no norm within that scale—the scale IS the norm. You can be anywhere on it, and still be “normal.” It’s a matter of your (and your body’s) preference, and you alone are the interpreter and boss. Trust yourself and your body.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT (CLICK TO OPEN)

LEAH: Do you remember how fun it was to have teenage sleepovers where we’d do each other’s nails and braid each other’s hair and gossip about kissing and relationships? I’m lucky because I still get to have those fun juicy conversations on a regular basis.

But I know that a lot of you may find it hard to make the time and space to have these intimate connecting conversations with your girlfriends. So, I’ve created a space where you can have that same fun again. It’s an adult PJ party! It’s a whole luxurious evening of girl talk. I’ll lead you in a no holds barred conversation with your girlfriends talking about sex, relationships, toys, kink, orgasms. Anything you can think of, we can talk about it!

Even better, we’ll do it in a way that preserves social distancing and gives you a night of connection and intimacy with your favorite people. Or if you prefer, join a group where nobody knows each other in advance so you can be completely open and honest without worrying about revealing too much to people you see every day.

So let me help you create a space where the conversation can be easy, sexy and fun. Visit leahcarey.com/pjparty for all the information and to book a party for you and your friends. Again, that link is leahcarey.com/pjparty and it’s in the app you’re listening on right now.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Welcome to Good Girls Talk About Sex. I’m sex educator and sexual communication coach Leah Carey and this is a place to share conversations with all sorts of women about their experience of sexuality. These are unfiltered conversations between adult women talking about sex. If anything about the previous sentence offends you, turn back now! And if you’re looking for a trigger warning, you’re not going to get it from me. I believe that you are stronger than the trauma you have experienced. I have faith in your ability to deal with things that upset you. Sound good? Let’s start the show!

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Hey friends. Perhaps you’ve heard or read something along these lines, “A clit orgasm is fine, but what you really want to have is a vaginal orgasm. Clit orgasms pale in comparison to vaginal orgasms.” “But really, if you’re having vaginal orgasms, you should be trying harder, relaxing more, and getting sexier because G-spot orgasms are where it’s at.” Sound familiar? You might have even heard that clit orgasms are “less mature” than vaginal orgasms. Thanks for nothing, and fuck you Freud.

Now, I’m not a biologist or a doctor, so I’m not going to wade into the controversy about whether different types of orgasms actually exist. But I’ve had enough conversations with people who own clitorises to know that the hierarchy of orgasms is complete horseshit. We like what we like. Our bodies respond the way our bodies respond. Period. End of sentence.

In my coaching practice and in the PJ parties that I’ve been running, I’ve talked with more than a few women who are concerned that they’re not having the “right” kind of orgasm or that they’re disappointing their partner because they don’t orgasm from the “normal” kind of stimulation. It’s yet another example of how we’ve been conditioned to think that there is one “normal” and “correct” way and if I experience anything different than that, there’s something wrong with me.

So during the lowdown Q and A, I began asking interviewees if they prefer the orgasm from clit stimulation or penetration. And as I expected, the answers are all over the map. So let’s dive in and in a few minutes, I’ll tell you about my own preferences.

[MUSIC]

SPEAKER 1: Penetration.

SPEAKER 2: Clit stimulation definitely.

SPEAKER 3: Oh. both.

[LAUGHTER]

SPEAKER 3: It’s like chocolate or peanut butter? Give me Reese’s cup, please. [LAUGHTER]

SPEAKER 4: I actually generally find clit stimulation too intense. I love stimulation around it and again the legs, I know people know about those, I’m sure you’ve talked about them. That feels really good but directly on the clit is generally too much. I love penetration, so I guess I’m going to have to say penetration.

SPEAKER 5: Penetration.

SPEAKER 6: Clit stimulation can be too much.

SPEAKER 7: Definitely clitoral stimulation to start for sure. But after I’ve had a few clitoral orgasms, then I’m like, “Okay! Get something inside me!”

[LAUGHTER]

SPEAKER 7: We need to get penetration happening right now! But clitoral stimulation for sure is the number one for me. I wouldn’t get to that point without it.

SPEAKER 8: Maybe clit, I don’t know, because I orgasmed from that but penetration feels good too.

SPEAKER 9: Clit stimulation to get me off although I kind of like both the same time. I’m greedy like that.

SPEAKER 10: Clit stimulation.

SPEAKER 11: Both.

SPEAKER 12: Ooh, I need both or either.

SPEAKER 13: I like it all. It all works for me.

[LAUGHTER]

SPEAKER 14: I prefer penetration. I fantasize about it but the clit stimulation is what 85% of the time gets me to orgasm.

SPEAKER 15: I enjoy penetration.

SPEAKER 16: I have different orgasms. Definitely different. They feel very different but I like both.

SPEAKER 17: I really like both. I need clit stimulation to have an orgasm but I also kind of need the penetration at the same time. Not one without the other.

SPEAKER 18: I need the clit stimulation. It’s non-negotiable but to be fair, I really enjoy the penetration. I think the two really get me to my orgasm faster than either/or.

SPEAKER 19: Both. I can’t pick one.

SPEAKER 20: If I’m by myself, clit stimulation. If I’m with a partner, then both.

SPEAKER 21: Clit stimulation for sure instantly followed by penetration. But I don’t think I’ve ever had an orgasm from penetration.

SPEAKER 22: Penetration.

SPEAKER 23: With a partner, I want internal. With a toy, I want external.

SPEAKER 24: Penetration.

SPEAKER 25: Both.

SPEAKER 26: I can cum either way. It’s nice if it’s both.

SPEAKER 27: Clit stimulation for sure.

SPEAKER 28: Penetration.

SPEAKER 29: Stimulation. Clit stimulation.

SPEAKER 30: I’ve never had one from penetration so I have to say clit.

SPEAKER 31: Yes, both. Yeah, I will say that a lot of trans people do not identify with the traditional words ascribed to their body parts which is probably where the intuition for you to have that hesitation comes from. Yeah, so even just saying penetrative sex or external stimulation. Maybe one way you could say it. It doesn’t have body parts ascribed to it.

SPEAKER 32: Penetration. SPEAKER 33: Penetration.

SPEAKER 34: I don’t have a preference. I would prefer both. The orgasm from clitoris is much different from inside. However, I can cum either way and the closest I feel with my partner when he’s inside me is unlike anything else.

SPEAKER 35: Clit stimulation please?

[LAUGHTER]

SPEAKER 36: It depends on the day but I will evenly interchange between those in terms of what I want.

SPEAKER 37: I would say it’s more about penetration for me. I kind of need both but I can cum without penetration but it’s easier for me.

SPEAKER 38: Depends. I’ll be honest sometimes I’m just too lazy for foreplay and I just want to get off. I just want to have sex and just get it out of the way because I just want to feel good from it. Like it just takes away your stress so at that time, not interested in anything else. Just fuck me, we’re not making love right now.

SPEAKER 39: I would previously say penetration because that feels great. But I actually just got an actual vibrator, my first vibrator. I bought one and started using that on the clit part and that has me rescheduling meetings.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Okay. my turn. Do I prefer to orgasm from clit stimulation or penetration? This is an easy one for me. Clit stimulation, no question. Actually, I can’t orgasm from penetration alone. My ideal is clit stimulation with penetration because I like how that feels. But penetration alone won’t get me there, which also means I can’t orgasm from intercourse without additional stimulation to my clit.

Now, everybody’s anatomy is different. Some people’s clits are lined up in such a way that when a penis enters a vagina, the clit gets direct stimulation from the humping. Some people’s clits are not. I’m one of the nots. I’ve had a couple male partners whose bodies I could grind against in a particular way to get the extra stimulation I needed to have an orgasm during intercourse. But even that took extra thought around positioning and movement so it didn’t just come naturally as it were. With most of my male bodied partners, when they’ve penetrated me with their penis, there’s no friction against my clit at all. This isn’t about their sexual prowess. It’s about the way our bodies fit together because every single body is different.

Of course, different positions can create different internal stimulations during penetration. For instance, I feel a lot more fullness and pressure when I’m on my knees with my partner behind me. If I’m going to have an orgasm during penis and vagina sex, that’s the position it’s most likely to happen in because the internal sensation is great and I can reach my own clit with a vibrator to get the additional stimulation I need. But even in that position, I’m not going to orgasm simply from the in and out motion of his penis, I’ve also mentioned a few times that I don’t have an easy orgasm in general.

It takes time and a lot of concentration. It also often takes a vibrator focused on my clit. This has not always been the case. There was a time earlier in my life when I could use my fingers to get myself there. But in my mid-thirties, I went on an antidepressant and that has affected my sexual sensation and my ability to orgasm. While I would love to regain that sensation, if the choice between easy orgasms while being a raging crying lunatic or working a little harder for my orgasms while being a fully functioning adult, I’m going to choose working a little harder for my orgasms.

And while we’re on the subject of vibrators, I’ve talked to people who are afraid to use them because they’ve heard that they can become addicted to them. So, myth busting, that’s not possible. Addiction is a compulsive use of something with harmful consequences. I hope it’s obvious that achieving orgasm no matter how easy or hard it is, is not a harmful consequence. Now there are people who use sex and masturbation as a means of escaping real life and that could be a habitual action that needs to be looked at, but that’s not what we’re talking about.

We’re talking about whether you can become physically addicted to your vibrator. No, you can’t! Can you become reliant on your vibrator to achieve orgasm because it takes less work than your fingers or other methods? Yes. The vibrations are stronger and faster than anything your fingers can create. But you can be attached to any number of things sexually. A favorite position, a favorite activity, a favorite fantasy, hell, a favorite partner! And no one is saying you should stop using your favorite position because your brain may never again want to use other positions.

So is becoming reliant on your vibrator a problem? I’d suggest that the answer to that is up to you. Do you want to use your vibrator as your consistent means of getting off? If yes, no problem! Vibrate merrily along your way. Do you want some variety in the ways that you get off? Great! You’re already motivated to explore so follow your gut or your clit and trying things that might work for you

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And if you’re someone whose sensitive bits gets numbed out by the vibrator, use your own judgment. You can use it sometimes and then lay off it for a little while or you can eliminate it from your repertoire altogether. But don’t let anyone tell you what you should be doing because you’re the only one who knows what’s right for you and what’s right for your genitals.

As usual, we’ve got some messaging that whether it’s intentional or not has decreased our trust in our bodies and our sexual autonomy. So let’s ignore what Cosmo Magazine says. Ask your own body what it wants. For me, I’ll be over here with my vibrator and I’ll be using it for both partnered intercourse and solo play. If you want to check out the vibrators I have in my bedside table, I’ve included a few of my favorites in the Show Notes.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Before we jump into “Am I Normal?” I want to share something with you that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. For a while, I’ve been feeling a creeping unease about how I’ve got Patreon set up. I know it’s a perfectly standard model. You support the podcast with a donation each month and in return, I provide some extras for you. But for a variety of reasons, it doesn’t feel like a good model for this show or for this audience or for me.

I’ve heard from several of you that you’d love to have access to the extra material because you think it would be supportive for you but you don’t have extra money to pledge each month. I get that. I’m also aware that there may be some of you who listen to this show on the sly because you live in abusive situations and you’re figuring out how to get out of them. Those audio extras may be an additional lifeline for you but putting a charge on your credit card that could lead back to female and sexual empowerment could be downright dangerous for you. As for me, lately it’s begun to feel coercive in a way that I don’t exactly have words for it yet.

But here’s how I’m thinking about it. Healthy sex happens when both people show up to freely give and receive energy without any expectations. The way that I’ve been doing Patreon feels like you could have 80% of me for free but you have to pay for the last 20% and I’m going to give it to you in increments so you have to keep paying more to get every bit of me. Of course, I know this is how plenty of businesses operate. But it doesn’t feel good to me and I also don’t have the sense that those of you who do pledge on Patreon are doing it in order to get the extras. I think you’re doing it because you love the work and want to support me in creating it. So, I’m going to try something new for a while. For the next couple of months, I’m going to switch the Patreon model from pay-me-to-get-access-to-the-extra-material to you- can-have-the-extra-material-for-free. And if you want to support my work, I welcome all and any contributions you want to send my way.

So, here’s how it will go. Just like usual there will be audio extras for the interview episodes. And I will still post them at Patreon because it’s a convenient place to host the files. But, and this is the big but, they will be free to everyone. Anyone can access any of the audio extras at any time going forward. You can get notified when I post any new audio extras by creating a login at Patreon and clicking follow on my page. And, by the way, my page is not searchable on Patreon because I’ve had to mark it as content for age 18+ so follow the link on the Show Notes rather than trying to find it by searching my name or the podcast title.

If my work is meaningful to you and you have a few dollars to support me each month, I will gratefully accept. If you have more than a few dollars and want to sponsor an audio extra or even a full episode, I’ll give you a shoutout using your real name, a made-up name, your superhero name, whatever!

I don’t monetize this podcast in any other way and I do have a lot of associated costs. So that kind of support would be heroic! And if you don’t have the ability to contribute financially, I completely understand and I honor you for taking care of yourself.

So, I’m going to try this out for the next couple of months and see how it feels. I’ll check back with you in September or maybe October with a status report and a re-evaluation of whether to continue in this direction or change course yet again. Because here’s the thing, we’re allowed to change our minds mid- course even after he has an erection, even when she has her hands all up in our business, even when we’re in mid-intercourse. We can always change our minds and do something new.

So, until this subject comes around again, please know that I love you and I appreciate you and I’m so grateful for your support in all ways and at all times. And now, let’s move on to this week’s “Am I Normal?” question where we have a woman is struggling with someone telling her what she and her genitals should enjoy.

QUESTION: I’m wondering if I’m normal because I just can’t get into it when my boyfriend goes down on me. He says his previous girlfriends all loved it when he goes down on them. But I just hate it. What’s wrong with me? Am I normal?

LEAH: Dear listener, there is nothing wrong with you. As we were talking about earlier in the episode, we like what we like. Our body feels pleasure the way your body feels pleasure. And no one gets to tell you that you should feel pleasure in a different way.

Is it okay for them to encourage you to try something new because you might enjoy it? Absolutely. But pressuring you or shaming you in that their previous partners enjoyed something gives the subtext that there’s something wrong when you receive pleasure. And that’s absolutely not the case. I’d be curious to know if you’ve ever experienced pleasure from oral sex in past sexual encounters. If you have, maybe there’s a technique issue that he can address. And if you’ve never enjoyed receiving oral sex, then it’s just not something you’re into. Okay.

For me, receiving oral sex has always been very hit or miss. Mostly miss. I can only remember one partner who I really enjoyed receiving oral from and even with him, it wasn’t a surefire way to get me going. For the most part, it’s something I’ve tolerated with all my previous partners, making the appropriate noises and movements because I didn’t want to “hurt their “feelings” or “damage their masculinity” by letting them know I didn’t like it so I faked enjoying it with the hopes that that would make it go over sooner.

With my current partner, I’ve been upfront with him about the fact that it doesn’t do a lot for me. He still really enjoys it, so I’m happy occasionally to let him go to town with a clear understanding between us that this is for his enjoyment. I’m happy to let him take pleasure in something that I don’t get a lot out of because I get pleasure from watching his pleasure. But I refuse to perform or fake my own pleasure for something that isn’t doing it for me. I have done far too much of that in my life and I’m not doing it anymore.

Now there is another factor that I would remiss in not mentioning, the issue of taste and smell. Many, many, many of us have internalized the messaging that our cooch smells bad. It’s fishy. It’s yeasty. It’s dirty. It’s gross. Whatever those words are that were put on it in your world, if you have a deep belief that your down there is nasty smelling and someone is about to put their mouth and nose down there, it can be next to impossible to relax. And relaxation and a feeling of safety are paramount in experiencing sexual pleasure.

If this is an issue for you, it might be worth having a conversation with your partner along these lines, “Babe, I know you really enjoy giving oral sex and you know it’s not my favorite thing and I’m wondering if all the message that I’ve received about how women’s genitals are gross and smelly might be affecting my ability to relax when your mouth, nose and eyes are down there. Can you tell me what specifically you like about being down there so I can try to understand it from your point of view and what you enjoy about it? Perhaps that will help me to experience it differently. And I also want to say that it’s possible that this is just the way my body is made. And if that’s the case, I’m okay with it. And I hope you will be too. There’s a lot of things we can do other than oral sex and I’m excited to explore them all with you.” So I hope that helps. And I’d love to hear what you find out, listener. Please keep us updated.

And to everybody else, do you have an “Am I Normal?” question. Call 720-GOOD-SEX and leave me a message and I may answer it in a future episode.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: This week I’ve got a wonderful podcast find to share with you, Speak From The Body by Avni Trivedi. I got excited when I discovered it because one of her recent episodes touch hunger, a topic that I have been talking about a lot since the beginning of international lockdown. Here’s a clip from her episode “Craving Touch Whilst Isolating”.

AVNI TRIVEDI: Touch is our first sense. It’s how we engage with and explore our world. Touch is key to survival. We quickly pull away from something sharp or hot but nestle in towards warm and comfort. Right now, we need to be retreating into our homes for the safety of ourselves and one another. I’m reflecting on what it means for touch in a world where social distancing measures are likely to be here for the months to come. How to hold one another when we can’t touch. I tried to limit my intake of COVID-19 news. Some of the stories that I’ve been reading have floored me recently like 13 year old Ismael Mohamed Abdulwahab who died alone, unable to be comforted by his family. His immediate family weren’t able to attend his funeral because of having to isolate from exposure to the virus. It’s heartbreaking to think of the seclusion at a time when people need to be held. Human beings are social beings even if you’re a strong introvert like I am. We need human connection and contact. I worry for those isolating alone, especially older people where touch deprivation can impair mental health. It’s such a weird time to be a body worker because I know how important hands on work are to help people feel settled and connected and to release pent-up emotions. Yet right now, it’s something that’s potentially harmful. For many years, I’ve been so connected to the identity of a body worker, I’m deeply curious about touch and it’s intricate nature. In my regular work, treating pelvic pain or a rib strain or helping to identify and release held emotion all comes from palpation. When I’m treating babies, which is one of my most favorite aspects of my work, I’m still in awe that a calm presence and gentle touch can be so transformative in shifting an unsettled and distressed state. I’m sitting with the idea that my work is likely to be very different in the future. But even if there will be more screen time and physical distance, touch will always be at the heart of who I am and what I do.

LEAH: In addition to short solo episodes like this one, Avni interviews a variety of experts to talk about reconnecting with the wisdom of the body and nourishing the soul. I love the way she forms thoughts and expresses ideas and I encourage you to check her out. Links to Avni and Speak From The Body are in the Show Notes. So that’s it for today. Before we go, I want to remind you to join the Good Girls Talk private Facebook group. On Thursdays, I do a Facebook live where I give commentary on scenes from TV and movies that deal with communication in sex and relationships. So, what are you waiting for? Come join us! The link is in the Show Notes in the app that you’re listening on right now. Until next time, here’s to your better sex life!

[MUSIC]

Bookmarks for this episode:

  • 3:00 – Leah discusses the false hierarchy of orgasms: having a clit orgasm vs vaginal orgasm vs g-spot orgasm.
  • 5:03 – Chorus of voices answering the question “Do you prefer clit stimulation or vaginal penetration?”
  • 9:37 – Leah answers the question and discusses the mechanics of penetration with regard to differences in everyone’s body, and how bodies fit together.
  • 11:45 – Leah discusses difficulties in reaching orgasm due to medication, and myths about using vibrators.
  • 20:22 – “Am I Normal?” This week’s caller asks if it’s okay that she doesn’t like receiving oral sex.
  • 23:20 – Leah discusses worries about the taste and smell of our lady parts.

New podcast recommendation (25:15):

“Speak From The Body” by Avni Trivedi

Excerpted episode – Craving Touch Whilst Isolating

Find Avni at www.avni-touch.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/avnitouch

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/avnitouch

Twitter: https://twitter.com/avnitouch

FACEBOOK GROUP: www.facebook.com/groups/goodgirlstalk

AM I NORMAL?: Leave a message for Leah at 720-GOOD-SEX (720-466-3739)

PATREON: Become a community supporter at www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex

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COACHING: Want to talk with Leah directly? Visit www.leahcarey.com/coaching

Host – Leah Carey (website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, email)

Music – Nazar Rybak