By: Kenneth Play (as told to T.S.Farley)
If there’s one thing we can all agree to in this current culture, it’s that men suck, right? “Boo men!” and “Down with the patriarchy!” and “Off with their dicks!”, right? Given that reality, when looking at the “orgasm gap” that exists today—ie, the discrepancy between how often dudes regularly orgasm during heterosexual sex versus how often the ladies do—it’s clear upon whom the blame will fall: the guys.
Unfortunately, however, the numbers don’t lie, and if one did want to take the position that the male of our species are fundamentally selfish as lovers—e.g. that they care about their own pleasure at the expense of anything else—that argument could most definitely be supported: A 2017 survey of some 52,000 Americans led by David Frederick, for instance, revealed that while 95% of men regularly orgasmed during heterosexual encounters only 65% of women reported the same result. Myriad previous studies have returned similar findings, meaning it’s pretty clear that the “orgasm gap” does exist. Plus, if you consider that during homosexual encounters lesbian women in the Frederick study reported having regular orgasms more than 86% of the time (21% higher than their straight sisters!); and that women are five times more likely than men to report feeling pain during sex; and that men have been shown to consistently “systematically overestimate the orgasm frequency of their female partners”, it is ultimately pretty clear that when women are dissatisfied with their heterosexual encounters, some of the fault must surely be lain at the feet of those humans who brought their cocks to the party: fuckin’ men!
Meanwhile, if a guy was feeling defensive about those numbers and wanted to argue that all of that was Mother Nature’s fault—you know, claiming that the female orgasm is not necessary to procreation and is a much more “complicated” process than male orgasm—Science still wouldn’t be on his side: The Kinsey Institute has previously reported that when it comes to masturbation, on average both men and women can bring themselves to climax in approximately four minutes. That’s right, when women are getting what they need—even if they have to provide it for themselves!—they normally get off in less than five minutes. Plus, if you consider that 47% of women are multi-orgasmic (meaning they can enjoy multiple orgasms at one time), or that being multiorgasmic is almost the “default state” of myriad ladies, it’s clear that helping a woman achieve orgasm should not be an insurmountable task for any man.
So why are men failing women in the bedroom? Is it because they are inherently selfish and uninterested in their female partners’ pleasure? Or is it because they lack the knowledge, experience and skills (physical, mental, and emotional) to properly please a woman? Given my life and experiences, I’d say the answer to the question of why is not the former but the latter.
As a young man I was a sexually insecure Chinese immigrant who believed he had an inadequate “Asian penis”, but that lack of genital self-esteem was not my only problem; my emotional self-esteem was equally troubled, too. Because of my upbringing in a single-parent household where my father was not available to my mother or brother or me, I picked up the perhaps unintended message that, you know, all men are shit. “Don’t be like your father,” my mother would say to me again and again, which ultimately seems to have led to a subconscious belief on my part that all men were no good, including me. I think that’s why into my 20s I had relationships with women where I was treated like shit, as deep in my psyche that must’ve been all I felt I deserved.
It was only after I took a workshop (think Tony Robbins/Landmark/Lifespring, etc.) to try to deal with some of my childhood traumas that I began to get my life together. That helped me see that I deserved love and that I was “enough,” and from then on I worked on my self-esteem in order to try to become a man that I respected. I discovered the work of Jordan Peterson, the somewhat controversial Canadian psychologist, and while I don’t adhere to all of his beliefs I did find comfort in following some of his old-school ethics, simple ideas like clean up your room, stand up straight, and be personally responsible for your own life.
With my head finally screwed on at least a little tighter, next I tackled the demon that had haunted most of my life: my terrible genital self-esteem, a.k.a. my belief that my average penis would never really satisfy a woman. Studies have shown a direct correlation between a person’s “genital self-esteem” (defined as how one feels about his/her private parts) and how he or she feels about their sex life, so in order to become a healthy person and confident lover I had to overcome the myth that penis size is the primary factor in bringing a woman pleasure. If you watch enough porn you see a lot of big ole’ dicks but not so many average-sized ones, and a guy like me who felt shitty about his cock was never gonna’ be able to swing it around and present it proudly, was I? And because penis size is fundamentally unalterable—there are no magic pills or slick surgeries to get yourself bigger, regardless of those ads you see online—I felt because of this damn normal penis of mine that I was broken, that I was doomed. It was only after I became really educated about sex and really skilled at it that I fully became “myself.” I realized I could be as good at sex as I wanted to be and I stopped wishing to be different, stopped wishing I had a different dick. Plus, I happen to really like anal sex and happily discovered that my average-sized cock (joining the party at exactly 5.6 inches!) was quite “anal friendly” (meaning many a woman has welcomed it into her butt!), so in the end all my nightmares about having an inadequate penis proved to be entirely unfounded.
Today I am not only confident in bed but a man who invariably brings his lovers pleasure, and let me tell you, it feels fucking great to be a guy who satisfies women—or, should I say, it feels fucking great to be a guy who brings women to a state “beyond satisfied,” delivering them ecstasies they didn’t even know were previously possible. If you honestly, authentically earn a woman’s admiration in bed, trust me, that shit feels amazing! The problem, however, is—as the Frederick study cited above notes—too many other men seem to leave too many women unsatisfied during their sexual encounters.
Is that because men are inherently selfish in bed? I say no. For sure, some (many?) men act selfishly in bed, obsessing over what I see as the big three of porn fucking: 1) How big their penis is, 2) How long they can stay hard, and 3) how maniacally they can jackhammer some poor woman. Fortunately though, as the Frederick study highlights the orgasm gap it also highlights the behaviors that help women achieve orgasm, and not one of those behaviors has anything to do with any guy fucking “like a porn star.” Rather, the behaviors that bring women pleasure all emphasize a mind-blowing connection between lovers, or what I like to call the “magic sauce.” For instance, the female participants in the study reported feeling greater sexual satisfaction when they had more foreplay, when their sexual encounters went on longer, and when their romps were followed by periods of affection. They also reported having more orgasms when they were happy in their relationships, when they communicated more with their male lovers (whether talking about what each wanted or giving praise to one another), and when they experienced a greater variety of sex acts. Meanwhile—and let’s file this one under “Duh”—receiving more oral sex equaled more orgasms for the female participants in the study, while very few of them (only 18%!) reported reaching orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone. Combined, it’s all a pretty clear blueprint on how to make a woman come, so any man who wanted to please a woman should absolutely be able to do so.
So, my advice to you? Be that man!
I began this all by joking that the consensus of our current culture seems to be the idea that “all men suck,” but being male today really does entail more challenges than ever before: As men now our behaviors are often immediately called into question (ie “that’s toxic masculinity!”), our motivations are met with suspicion, and our sexual desires (all those god-damned hard-ons!!!) are regularly frowned upon. I would argue, however, that just because some men act badly today (and maybe have acted badly since the beginning of time) that’s no reason to throw out the baby with the bath water, as it were. Surely some traditional male archetypes—like that of a strong, benevolent leader, maybe the head of a country or the head of a family?—aren’t all bad, and even if there really does seem to be a belief today that the way to be a better man is to be less masculine I don’t believe that to be true at all. Historically the archetype of a powerful leader has been a strong man who has something to give, not just take, so again I say to you: Be that man!
I know the message that you are hearing is that all men are toxic, that you’re all no good, but that is an opinion I dispute and a stigma I was able to personally overcome. I grew up feeling that I was “not enough” because of my poor genital self-esteem and grew up believing all men were not good enough because of my absent father. However, by doing the necessary work on myself through workshops and counseling—by being “personally responsible for my own life,” as Jordan Peterson would say—I was able to realize both the merits of my cock and my value as a person. Because I wanted to be a man who had something to offer, I transformed myself into being just that sort of man.
Again, my advice to you: Be that sort of man, too!
Before you blame your problems on someone else, take responsibility for your own life. Get your own house in order, in other words, your own shit together. Do the work to realize that any pain you might feel about your own life, your own body, your own relationships, it’s only you who is responsible for making things better; only you can make it all right. Don’t take the easy way out and blame women or become some bitter Internet troll or violent incel; rather, do the work to become the sort of man who has something to give to the world and something to give to women–and before you know it you’ll be giving them orgasms, too, while also helping put to bed that silly assumption that all men are selfish in the sack.