I just rarely hear anyone admitting that the actual sensation of p-in-the-v can be kind of meh. And since only 25% of women consistently orgasm during vaginal intercourse, I have to believe I’m not the only one who feels that way. Nobody else imagined something way awesomer before they had sex for the first time?

I tried to explain myself, as tweets poured in firmly disagreeing with my conclusions and lamenting my stupidity.

Let me be clear here: I really like having a penis in my vagina for lots of psychological reasons. REALLY LIKE IT. I would be unhappy in a relationship that didn’t include frequent intercourse. It just doesn’t physically feel like all that much. As one respondee put it, it basically feels kind of like putting in a tampon. And then I guess pulling it in and out repeatedly? I mean, really, what’s so different about doing that with a penis?

I don’t think that means there’s anything wrong with me or other women who feel the same way. I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with the men I’ve been with or any part of their anatomy or performance. I use my clitoris to cum and that’s better than OK. But [when I tweeted about it,] people seemed to really want to fix this for me, to get the root of the “problem” somehow.

–Emily, of xojane, “Everyone Got SO Mad At Me For Suggesting Penis-In-Vagina Sex Maybe Doesn’t Feel That Great

Okay. So. When I read that headline, I was like, ‘Who is this woman? What is she talking about? I fundamentally don’t understand.’ But then I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and actually read the article, and it’s like, okay,  I can kind of see what she’s saying, but I disagree with her in a lot of places too.

As a statement, “the actual sensation of p-in-the-v can be kind of meh” has truth to it. If that had been the title of the article, I would probably have just scrolled past it on my dashboard like, yeah, sometimes it bes like that.

But I dislike the logic behind the next statement, that “since only 25% of women consistently orgasm during vaginal intercourse,” p-in-the-v must therefore be kind of meh some significant portion of the time. That logic depends on the idea that an orgasm is the end-all be-all of sex, and that without it the act is basically twiddling your thumbs or something, and that’s just not something I can get behind. I mean, obviously, orgasms are great. No part of me will ever deny that. But in my opinion, the physical act of p-in-the-v is just as great in its own right. I’ll get into this in more detail later, in response to something else.

Next, to answer her question, “Nobody else imagined something way awesomer before they had sex for the first time?,” I have to say no. Having sex for the first time was underwhelming for me in the sense of its meaningfulness, or lack thereof–from all the rhetoric about virginity and the degree of importance we place on sex as a culture, I expected to feel that it had in some significant way CHANGED me or the relationship I was in. It didn’t, and above all else I remember feeling an intense disappointment in myself that I had bought into these cultural ideologies about sex, because all it was was some damn good fun that I had been depriving myself of for years for no good reason. Since then, I have definitely had some less-than-awesome sex from time to time, but p-in-the-v sex that leaves me wanting has definitely been the exception rather than the rule.

And then she goes on to say that the only reasons she likes having a penis in her vagina are psychological. And that’s where she totally loses me. There is nothing psychological about the wonderful feeling of being opened up, stretched out, and filled up. And that just feels lovely. And then squeezing on it on its way out feels even more lovely. Hell, just doing my Kegels and squeezing on nothing feels lovely. So this whole “It just doesn’t physically feel like all that much. As one respondee put it, it basically feels kind of like putting in a tampon. And then I guess pulling it in and out repeatedly? I mean, really, what’s so different about doing that with a penis?” thing, I just fundamentally do not understand. The only time I’ve felt anything close to like, ambivalent about a penis being inside of me was the one time I slept with someone that to this day, I don’t think I should have slept with. And even then it physically felt good–I was just too in my head with confusion about whether or not I wanted to be doing what we were doing and if it was a good idea or not to be like, into it.

And then in her last paragraph, she gets back into this whole idea of cumming as what’s important about sex with the statement “I use my clitoris to cum and that’s better than OK.” Again, she’s right, somewhere around 70% of women can’t orgasm from penetration alone, so do what you need to to get off if getting off is your goal. Like, when I’m having solo sexytime, I am all about my clit. I know myself and my body well enough to know that if I press here and move my finger in x direction with y amount of pressure, I can get off in z seconds. It is intensely pleasurable for all of 15 seconds and it is very, very predictable. And when other people try to use their hands or their mouths, they don’t know the combination of pressing the exact right spot and moving their finger/tongue in x direction with y amount of pressure for z seconds, so the whole experience is most often summed up to teasing, frustrating, or just weird. I always feel like I’m faking it, and I know the response to that is well, why don’t you teach the people you’re sleeping with the magic formula? Well…because I just don’t like it that much. I would much rather have the people I’m having sex with do things for me that I can’t do for myself, like kissing and surprise touching and opening and stretching and filling. It says good things to me about a partner when he (or theoretically she) is willing to go down on me, but I’ve only ever gotten close to cumming from oral once in my life. I would really just rather skip it and go straight to p-in-the-v, because while I might not orgasm from that, I find it so much more satisfying than just getting off. I don’t want to treat sex like I’m looking for a release–I want to treat it like an enjoyable recreational activity to share with my partner.

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