Orgasms Aren’t My Favorite Part Of Sex, and My Chastity Urge

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About Clarisse Thorn

Clarisse Thorn is a feminist sex writer who has given workshops all over the USA. She wrote a book about masculinity, dating dynamics, and sex theory called Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser; she’s also got a best-of collection called The S&M Feminist. Recently, she released an anthology about sexual assault in virtual worlds called Violation: Rape In Gaming. Clarisse has also explored fiction with short stories like The End Of An Age: A Ramayana. To stay up-to-date with Clarisse’s work, visit her blog or follow her on Twitter.


  1. This is a fantastic article. I think most women will be able to identify with at least one part of this.

  2. “although I wasn’t especially interested in having an orgasm, I still closed my eyes and flicked through fantasies with a kind of panic…until I managed to kick-start my body into coming. Isn’t that messed up?”

    This isn’t just a female thing; I’ve done exactly the same. I think the pressure to orgasm regardless is even greater for men since Western culture seems to have built up this myth that male orgasm is the ultimate goal of sex. Even though, logically, I know its not necessary I still feel ashamed if I don’t have or don’t feel like having one. My current partner is very accepting but I’ve run the gamut of responses from previous (female) sex partners, from rage to frustration to misery (in all cases because they assumed it indicated how I felt about them; i.e. that they were found lacking or sexually unattractive). “Isn’t that messed up?” Indeed.

  3. I thought about it a lot, and I concluded this: We felt like we didn’t own our sexuality. We felt like our sexuality wasn’t for us. Or at least, that’s how I felt.
    I can imagine that being the case. When talking about sex (and therefore sexuality) for most part we are talking about something that involves other people. By having other people involved I think that inherently introduces feelings that leave people thinking that they are losing themselves (or a part of themselves). But I’m nowhere near an authority on the subject.

  4. Aaaaand…here’s the most painful, ridiculous, circular irony of all. Ready? Here goes: now that I’m capable of having orgasms, I’ve found myself occasionally having orgasms only to satisfy my partner. How absurd is that? Plus, I know I’m not alone, because I’ve talked to other women who do the same thing!

    I relate really strongly to this too, so you can add at least one man to the roster of “people who do the same thing”. :-)

    I actually struggle with this quite a bit, even with my awesome girlfriend, and even with all the thinking I’ve done around this very issue. I still very frequently don’t feel like my orgasm belongs to me, and is instead something I feel like I’m obligated to do.

    Oh well, life isn’t interesting if you don’t have things to continue working on! ;-)

    so let me just say here that although I’m all about people giving each other orgasms…it’s no good if my partner’s desire to give me an orgasm turns into pressure for me to have an orgasm!

    Good god, quoted for agreement!

    For me, another way of thinking about it is that I’m really into being teased — and I’d rather experience hours of being teased without an orgasm, than have a quick encounter that ends in orgasm.
    For example: if I go to sleep so turned on that I can’t dream about anything but my partner, and then I wake up in a damp mess, and then my partner makes my life difficult all morning, it’s pretty awesome.

    It’s amazing how much people’s tastes in sex can vary! :-)

    For me, that kind of long-form sexual teasing/denial is something I really, really don’t enjoy.

    Although… then again, my only experience with it so far was with a woman who did it to me regardless of and despite my expressed wishes. Ugh. Perhaps I should give it another go with someone who cares about my sexual enjoyment. :-)

    In any case, I do enjoy short-form sexual teasing–i.e. teasing which is ultimately satisfied within a single session. It can really amp things up.

  5. I used to get hung up on the performance aspect of sex, and really overrated the orgasm. I still very much like them, of course, but I have found that I really enjoy feeling my wife’s desire as we are kissing and writhing around, and it’s wonderful not to be in a hurry.

  6. ” I think the pressure to orgasm regardless is even greater for men since Western culture seems to have built up this myth that male orgasm is the ultimate goal of sex.”

    Exactly. As long as our culture remains male-dominated, it will think that male orgasm is the ultimate goal of sex.

  7. Here’s the issue. It’s very demeaning when the man has an orgasm but the woman has none, especially if she is taking all the responsibility for birth control (and has given up her career and income to take care of the house and kids).

  8. There is a lot of pressure to orgasm both from society, and potentially a partner, too. If you don’t orgasm and your partner does, one or both parties will feel bad. Sex can be so complicated!

  9. I want my partners to orgasm, OR at least feel pleasure. I don’t want to be selfish and enjoy it alone, I want us to share something beautiful. Sure it’s nice to know you can make your partner orgasm, but that’s only part of the reason I want her to have one, two or however many she wants. I guess it’s best to find out from your partner what they would like, in my bed I want everyone to get their desires where possible. :D

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