As I walked around campus this week, I couldn’t help but notice all the signs and posters celebrating the “Female Orgasm.” Now, don’t get me wrong – I love orgasms, and I wish more people would feel open about exploring and discussing how they like to get off.
Part of me cannot help but wonder, does this focus on the female orgasm undermine the battle that Colorado College’s feminist groups are fighting? More specifically, does beginning a conversation about “orgasms” by focusing on the female experience create a one-sided discourse about sex and play into our problematic gender binary?
Before we begin, I need to make this clear: I am NOT saying that CC doesn’t need to address sexism. I understand that even at such a “liberal” school, we still have a culture that plays into the patriarchal system and can leave women feeling disenfranchised and oppressed.
Instead, I merely wish to raise the question: Would an “OrgasmiCC” that focused less on one gender’s enjoyment of sex, and instead catered to all us sexually active students, increase awareness about the positive aspects of sex –– mainly, how great orgasms are.
By avoiding the gender binary all together, we would undermine its very existence by creating a dialogue devoid of “female” and “male” perspectives – instead focusing on what “OrgasmCC” should be about how it is that we as sexual beings can best satisfy one another.
Personally, I felt alienated from this week’s “OrgasmiCC” events for two reasons: I’m a man and, on top of that, a gay man.
As a man, I passed posters, read emails, and saw events that constantly reminded me that this week, while ostensibly celebrating all orgasms, was really only being advertised to the women of CC. The student digest greeted me on the morning of April 24 with an invitation to the “Haiku to the Female Orgasm” event, reading “To the CC men/ Who objectify women;/ Clitori exist.”
If this was supposed to make me feel welcome to come and participate in a discussion on women and sex, I think it’s safe to say it missed the mark. Implying that the only men who can benefit from a discussion on female orgasms are those of us who don’t know that “clitori exist” alienates not only us feminist allies who happen to be men, but also the very people who this week should target: men who objectify women.
Did they really think that such an abrasive statement would change any misogynists’ minds? If the problem lies with these men and their society as a whole, why would you immediately cut them out of the conversation?
More importantly, though, this focus on only the female orgasm alienates a (albeit incredibly small) minority at CC: gay men. As someone who prefers to, for lack of a better term, “catch” – it’s hard for me to discuss my own orgasms in most contexts. It’s taboo for me to tell my peers, male or female, that yes, I enjoy it when my prostate is stimulated.
And this is not only a gay problem – plenty of straight people enjoy anal stimulation. By focusing solely on the wonders of women’s orgasms, we’re ignoring a part of our community, straight and gay, who might not feel comfortable discussing the still-taboo aspects of male sexuality.
I do, in spite of all this, think that “OrgasmiCC” is an incredibly important event. The organizers are right to recognize that women at CC are still fighting a battle for fair and equal treatment.
I’m merely suggesting that it would better serve the CC community as a whole if the discussion was not focused solely on the female experience. If we opened up the dialogue to include all perspectives of sexuality (male, female, straight, gay, etc.) instead of just the female, we could allow for a dialogue across all genders.
We could allow men and women to come together to declare their love for one another’s bodies, and to explore how it is we can all work together to create a world where any individual is allowed to cum in exactly the way they want, free of shame or humiliation. Unless, of course, you’re into that.