Opinion | Your penis still isn’t God

By Genna Edwards, Senior Staff Columnist

Another Valentine’s Day is upon us, which means another reason for me to deliver a reminder about the still-pervasive orgasm gap. Men both online and offline have called me sexist for pointing out that they’re probably, most definitely not as sexually smart as they think themselves to be. Gents — that’s a false equivalency. Put aside your ego for a second and please listen.

Since the publication of the first Your Penis Isn’t God, the world has become a scarier, darker place — due to the pandemic, that riot at the Capitol, hate groups growing, states still trying to restrict abortion access — for almost all of us, especially women. The majority of jobs lost during the pandemic belonged to women, in particular Black women and other women of color. So we’re all a bit fed up right now. Our country hasn’t moved much in a positive direction towards equality for all sexes and genders in the past year, which in my humble opinion means we need to start doing more work on the homefront.

That work includes you, Chad and Brad and Tyler. That work entails, well, orgasms. This pandemic has had a debilitating effect on most everyone’s mental health, and for women who often struggle with doing the bulk of emotional labor in heterosexual relationships, this means your vagina-having friend definitely deserves extra love right now. 

I know, I know. You’re thinking, “But Genna, I know where the clitoris is, and I do pay attention to it. I’m definitely making my vagina-owning lovers quite satisfied, if I do say so myself.”

You may wholeheartedly believe this, but again, judging by the comments I received after the first Your Penis Isn’t God, y’all aren’t listening to me. Your partner may say that they’re satisfied, but there is huge pressure on women to please you, Mr. Man. I myself have fallen ill in the past of telling a dude he’s got me seeing stars when really he’s got me, like, fantasizing about a world where I don’t feel rushed to completion. 

Here’s the deal — if you were raised on mainstream American media and porn, you have no idea what real sex actually looks like. There. I said it. You can’t touch someone for two milliseconds, stick your pole in them, jackhammer for a bit and then assume they’ve orgasmed. It’s far easier and less time-consuming for many penis-owners to reach orgasm. That’s just a fact, but it’s a fact that many of you seem to coincidentally forget when it comes time to put some work in.

We all need to go back to the basics in the bedroom, renegotiate how we discuss consent and for the love of God, talk to each other. Our culture’s lack of open discussion about sex leads to countless situations where men treat women like pornified sex dolls and women don’t feel they have the agency to ask for what they truly desire and deserve.

I cannot tell you how many times, over quarantine, men have thought I’d be willing to contract coronavirus over their wee-wees and their sick one-liners, like, “Hi I want to choke you.” Holy cow. The entitlement and the implicit violence here has me super worried about the sexual health of men today, as well as the safety and pleasure of my friends.

So, without further ado, here are some updated tips on helping your vagina-owning pals reach orgasm just as often as you do and feel safe doing so.

First, single men of the world, stop with the pornification of our bodies. While there are definitely people who enjoy being choked consensually, that kind of act is super dangerous and should only be done after complete trust in a partner is established and the choker has done extensive research on how to not, you know, kill their partner. In one of my sex columns I said it’s totally okay to hit a woman if she wants to be hit, but being back in the single world and seeing how things are playing out, I’ve changed my tune. Do not do anything to a sexual partner that you have not talked out with them beforehand, ideally at length, ideally after said partner has researched the reasons they may be drawn to this kind of stuff and they know they aren’t trying to self-harm through engaging in it. Women face enough violence in the world and in the media. There’s no reason to bring this into the bedroom unless she specifically asks and knows exactly what she’s signing up for. It’s that simple.

Second, try to imagine for a second that your phallus isn’t the focal point of sex. I know it’s hard, because you’ve been taught all your life that you and your penis are God, but think really hard. Consider the clitoris. American sex education doesn’t tell us that the clitoris is actually way more powerful than your weiner — it has two to three times as many nerve endings as a penis. This should make you excited — do you know how much you can do with that? The amount of pleasure you can give someone by focusing on their clitoris rather than solely their vagina? Remember this the next time you’re getting hot and heavy — while you may be focused on the vagina, because you’d like to be inside it, your partner’s primary sexual pleasure comes from their clitoris.

Third, just be kind. Be open to criticism and advice from your partner. Be willing to start a dialogue about sexual needs and wants, and actually start that dialogue yourself. Vagina-owners who identify as women have been told our entire lives that sex is something that is done to us, not with us. This has created generations of women who don’t know their own bodies, who can’t even conceptualize their own pleasure. Help your partner with this. Understand where they are coming from, the expectations that are placed on them and how all of this may mean that sometimes they lie to you so you won’t feel bad about yourself. It isn’t personal — it’s a protective measurement against a society that tells us that if our man isn’t pleased, and we don’t gas him up, he may leave us or, in worst cases hurt, us. This is a lot of baggage to carry into the bedroom. Lighten your partner’s load. 

Sex should be fun, enjoyable and safe for everyone involved. You, esteemed sir, can help make that world a reality. Remember, your penis still isn’t God. 

Genna writes about media, sex and culture for The Pitt News. Drop her a line at [email protected].