I can’t remember the last time a guy said ‘I demand an orgasm during sex’, and I’m sure if he had the reaction to it would have been one of confusion: “you demand an orgasm? But… you get one as standard!” Yet when Nicki Minaj said that she ‘demands orgasm equality‘ during sex, it was considered big news.
The Mirror opened their coverage with the line: “We always suspected Nicki Minaj was a bit of a diva and it seems she is in EVERY aspect of her life.” And don’t get me started on the Daily Mail comments – one commenter even suggested that “climaxing is unnatural for women” because it serves no reproductive purpose.
There was such outrage over something that, to me, seems so obvious: of course women should demand pleasure from sex.
Orgasm during sex
Let’s start with the disclaimer that not all women can orgasm from penetrative sex. I wouldn’t want anyone to think that an orgasm is compulsory. In fact, sex can be incredibly enjoyable even if you don’t come – but why do we only give that message to women? Sex can be enjoyable for guys if they don’t come too, it’s just that most of our narratives tell us that the whole point of sex is the male orgasm. Porn which ends with the compulsory money shot, one-night stands that are cut short because the guy has finished, that kind of thing – it all contributes to this idea that ‘sex’ is only ever penetrative, and only ever done in pursuit of the male orgasm.
While there are some medical and emotional reasons why it can be tricky for some women to come during sex, perhaps one of the biggest contributing factors is this idea itself. The constantly reinforced message that female orgasm is, at best, a bonus – as Petra said to me a ‘kind of cherry on the top of the cake’, but not vital. As soon as someone is told that their orgasm is unimportant, is it any wonder that they’d settle for sex in ways that don’t make them come?
This isn’t just a challenge for women, though: it’s a challenge for everyone who has sex with women. Nicki Minaj isn’t ordering women to have more orgasms, she’s encouraging everyone to think about sex as a mutually orgasmic experience. This might include lots of things that fall outside the traditional ‘penis in vagina’ sex.
Porn sex, and faking orgasms
The worry when we talk about things like this is that it’ll increase pressure on women to ‘fake it,’ but I think Nicki Minaj’s comments help a lot with this too. She’s encouraging women to be more vocal in the bedroom – not with big fake Meg Ryan type screams, but with instructions on how best their partners can get them off. In a lot of mainstream porn, we’re treated to women screaming the place down at the slightest touch – even just a few seconds of a guy rubbing their clit, or shagging them in a new position – so is it any wonder so many guys think that this is enough to get a girl off? Petra mentioned that
“Porn usually shows immaculately styled porn stars that look “perfect” even at the point of (faked) climaxes when in reality women just like men might sweat, get red patches on their neck and chest and distort their faces. Real faces of orgasm and ecstasy are wild and wonderful and not the perfect porn masks a lot of films make us believe to be the acceptable norm.”
If there were more porn films which focused on female pleasure and showed authentic orgasms, then perhaps we’d be able to drop some of these myths that women can and should be able to come just from penetration and will scream at the top of their lungs every time they come whilst looking immaculately styled.
In reality, humans can be very good at giving each other pleasure – and most considerate partners would respond well to Nicki Minaj’s demands for orgasm. I don’t know about you but everyone I’ve ever slept with has wanted me to have a good time. They want to see me have a real orgasm. That might mean sex in a particular position, where I get just the right kind of stimulation.
Orgasm equality: everyone’s pleasure is important
Of course it’s never compulsory for anyone to have an orgasm – men and women sometimes struggle to climax, and it’s not like the Sex Police will knock on your door if you fail to orgasm in any given shag. But let’s never allow people to write off female orgasms as unimportant – everyone’s pleasure is important, and asking your partner to spend more time on the things that make you come should be greeted by them with enthusiasm.
Sex isn’t just about the male orgasm: it’s about pleasure. And the pleasure should always be mutual.