Why do we only call something sex once there has been an insertion of a penis into a vagina? We know and understand how this removes non-heterosexuality from a discussion; however, I never thought how limiting “sex” to penetration was damaging to heterosexual women or why.
As always, these are my personal opinions and have little to no bearings in research, but here are a few reasons why the term “foreplay” may be damaging to women. One, many women need more than vaginal intercourse to climax. Two, orgasms are linked to confidence. Three, porn typically only shows foreplay from a slanted perspective.
- According to a study published through the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 36.6% of women require clitoral stimulation to orgasm. Women need a combination of stimuli to immerse themselves in pleasure completely. I remember when Big Sean said he made Jhené Aiko cum nine times in one day; lesbians across the internet laughed. They joked about how normal that was in their experience. From this data and my own life’s work, I’m sure Sean did much more than insert himself. So what happens when foreplay is seen as a separate activity from sex or, worse, not relevant for female pleasure? A significant chunk of women are left feeling as though something may be wrong with them.
- Orgasms are linked to confidence. I do not know about you, but there is something about a man rubbing on my body, licking a few places, and eating me out that makes me feel a whole lot more relaxed and ready. All of these activities are considered “foreplay.” If not prioritized, women may experience displeasure or not reaching their full potential. Again, to compare the sexual experience of heterosexual males, almost all men request foreplay at the start of sex to get them hard or just because they like it. If more women saw foreplay as part of sex, maybe they would receive it at their desired rates. Or at least, stop entertaining men who have a problem with it.
- Porn distorts reality. Of the thousands of female to male porn videos I have watched, maybe less than 1% of them featured a man performing oral sex on his partner. On the contrary, almost all of these videos showed the woman pleasuring her partner orally. In these same videos, the women almost always, 100% of the time, appear to orgasm. These orgasms seem intense, invigorating, and without much effort on the part of the man. We know this is not true from the data previously discussed as a little more than 1/3 of women cannot orgasm without direct clitoral stimuli. Men may also be affected by this, as they expect their women to climax and feel inadequate when they run into women like me who refuse to fake it.
Many believe they are immune to these influences as sexual experienced adults. However, youth beginning to learn and shape their knowledge of sex and are molded by these images.