Disclaimer: College students have sex. So do professors, coaches and administrators. Knowing this, Clarion editor-in-chief David Tate and opinions editor Melanie Gudino have joined forces to create Writers With Benefits, the newspaper’s first mixed-gender sex column. The topics we will cover may be explicit and/or offensive to some, so we ask that readers proceed at their own risk.
David Tate: I’ve always wondered about women faking orgasms, which can be a touchy subject sometimes. So my question for you, Melanie, is have you ever faked an orgasm?
Melanie Gudino: I was with someone on and off for six years, and I faked it about 80 percent of the time. He was learning, you know? I felt bad for him.
DT: At least he got a B- in consistency. Why put yourself through that?
MG: I just wanted to get it over with. The thing with sex is that it’s an exercise in sharing. When two people have sex, ideally the goal is for both parties to achieve orgasm. It has to be equitable. It may take a little extra work at times, but women are more willing to put that work than men.
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Both writers agreed that nobody should have to try to win an Oscar in the bedroom—sex is already complicated enough. So in an effort to help solve the mystery of the fraudulent “O,” we met with human sexuality professors James Skalicky and Rick Brown.
According to both professors, communication, whether it’s verbal or more visually stimulating, is key for both parties to reach climax.
“Women, you are responsible for your orgasm,” Skalicky said. “What that means is you’ve got to know your body, you’ve got know what you like and that includes having the balls to tell your partner what you like.”
“It’s the guy’s responsibility too,” Brown added. “It’s up to the woman to communicate to the guy and let him know what pleases her, but it’s up to the guy to pick that up and develop his skills. It’s really about being comfortable communicating.”
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MG: I think that guys are still going to try and make sure that the girl feels good; they’re just not willing to go the extra mile sometimes. I just love making a guy feel good when I fake an orgasm and he walks around feeling like Ron Jeremy.
DT: That’s terrible. Just because of that, I’m going to send my former partners post-coitus evaluation forms—an “AfterTate,” if you will.
MG: I think that if you tell a guy they’re bad at sex, that’s one of the worst things you can tell them. Where would Anakin be without his lightsaber?
DT: We’d certainly have fewer Star Wars sex puns going around. Personally, I’ve asked each and every one of my partners if they came (or didn’t) after we were done—any guy that thinks they can tell when a woman is faking it is just kidding themselves. A penis doesn’t come with a one-size-fits-all label. Different women are going to like different things, and the only way men can really find out is if our partners let us know. Don’t worry though. You’re not the only column writer here that’s faked it before.
MG: So why did you decide to get into the acting business?
DT: Let’s just say she and I were never that close. But I wanted to get it over with, like you said earlier. If sex were an action movie, a woman’s orgasm (faked or otherwise) would be the awesome, explosion-filled shootout halfway through. When men finish, the credits start rolling.
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The two professors also made us wonder if expecting an orgasm every time during intercourse can be a little excessive.
“Women have been faking for years. For men, if they didn’t get to climax, they didn’t have sex, you know? About 10 percent of women cannot reach orgasm through intercourse,” Skalicky said.
“I think that the pressure to reach orgasm is maybe too great. It’s not always necessary . . . to enjoy the sexual encounter,” Brown added. “If a woman is more concentrated on enjoying the process as opposed to being under pressure to reach orgasm, she’s probably more likely to have one rather than feeling like she has to fake one.”
And according to “Human Sexuality” by Roger Hock (the textbook for Skalicky’s class), “penile penetration may feel pleasurable for most women, [but] it does not generally produce orgasm.” Survey results questioning women about their rate of orgasm per sexual encounter vary, but anywhere from 50 to 75 percent of women say they do not routinely experience an orgasm through intercourse alone.
But despite the stats and the expert opinions, the WWB couldn’t come to an agreement on whether the journey could be as good as the destination.
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MG: Sex is a healthy exercise that I sometimes use to help relieve frustration, and that’s something I think most adults can understand. Personally, I feel that if I don’t reach climax, I’m wasting my time. If I tell my partner the sex was bad, hopefully they would want to improve. A man’s ego and his manhood are very important subjects and I think he would want to know that his partner is satisfied.
DT: That’s true, but the only way we’re going to be able to know if you’re satisfied is if you’re honest. If a woman knows she can do a better job driving, she should just take the keys and grab the wheel. I think a lot of women feel uncomfortable taking charge in the bedroom because they’re not sure how men will respond.
But here’s a message for the ladies—WE LOVE IT. But seeing how most of us men only regain our intelligence once the boxers are back on, a little extra direction here and there won’t hurt our feelings. Usually, it’s a turn-on.
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DT: Diff’rent Strokes isn’t just that grainy Gary Coleman sitcom your aunt watches on Nick at Night. We have to realize that what worked for Kim might not work the same for Kourtney, and that we should temper our expectations if we’re not willing to go the extra mile for our partners.
MG: Communication is the key in all healthy, mutual, orgasms for both males and females. If you are too scared to tell your partner he was terrible when he felt like a Smurf in the winter then you’re only hurting yourself. Be honest, and be real. Nobody wins the gold every time, but practice (and good coaching) makes perfect.