In the summer of 2015, I came across an interview with Nicki Minaj in Cosmo. In it she said, and I quote, “I demand that I climax. I think women should demand that.” I remember thinking how that was fantastic, but also thinking such a demand wasn’t easy for some women, as we're often socialized to not speak up. At the time I was married and demanding, or rather, communicating to my partner that I hadn’t had an orgasm and it was my turn to climax was easy, but her quote did make me recall my single days when one-night stands and flings rarely (read: almost never) resulted in an orgasm.
I breathed a sigh of relief, that sigh that people in relationships tend to breathe, happy that I was no longer dealing with the BS of being single in a culture that doesn't value women’s pleasure as much as men's pleasure. Little did I know then was that less than two years later I’d be back out there, single again.
For reasons I can’t pinpoint, Minaj’s quote stuck with me. Maybe it was the fact that she "demanded," as opposed to “suggested,” or some other less assertive verb. Or maybe it was because it was the first time I’d come across such a strong stance on the matter that I couldn’t shake it from my memory. Whatever it was, it was in the forefront of my mind the first time I had sex as a single woman when my marriage ended. After my one-night stand had his orgasm, I rolled over to face him and said, “Now it’s my turn.” While I've never been shy about saying I haven't climaxed, this was the first time in my life I was making a demand about it; there was no room for negotiation.
I realized that night that the mindset I was missing throughout my 20s and early 30s wasn’t just that I, and all women, deserve to orgasm — something I already knew — but that if I have a hand (pun!) in my partner's orgasm, then he should step up to the plate and have a hand in mine. It doesn't matter if we're lovers for a couple hours, if it's a three-week-long fling, or they're the next potential great love of my life. If we have sex and he has an orgasm, so should I. While an orgasm shouldn’t always be the end goal in sex, fair is fair.
From that night on, no matter who I've gone to bed with, I've made my demand. Although I can't say I've had a 100 percent success rate in the orgasm department, it has benefited my dating life in ways I never expected.
It Gives Me Insight Into People's Views On Equality
When you put it out there that you don't just want, but need pleasure too, it can go in a few different directions. In most cases, even if the guy never gets me there, the fact that he cares says something about his character. The same can be said for guys who either clearly, or not-so-subtly, DGAF. If someone, no matter their gender or sexual identity, isn't concerned with your pleasure as much as theirs, you better believe they're not concerned with equality in other realms, too. Also, the same can be said for people who are genuinely confused as to why I haven't had an orgasm is even an issue that needs to be addressed. Um, because it is; because you just climaxed and I didn't.
I Get To See What Partners Know And, In Most Cases, Don't Know About My Body & The Female Orgasm
Do I really want to give a one-night stand a lesson in the female anatomy? No. But when you demand you orgasm, that's where the conversation tends to head. Because the demand, at least in my experience, is just the beginning. In fact, since I've made the demanding I climax thing my, well, thing, I can assure you that it doesn't go unnoticed. It's not ignored, it's no overlooked, and it's often countered with, "Oh, you didn't come too?" No, I didn't and if you knew the first thing about the female anatomy you'd already know that.
Not only do I get to share facts about how very few women can orgasm through penetration alone, but I also get to point out that — breaking news — moaning doesn't necessarily mean an orgasm has been had.
It Usually Leads To A Discussion About Sexual Preferences
I can count on one hand the times I've orgasmed through a partner orally stimulating my clitoris or by using their hands. And, when I say "on one hand," I actually mean three people — in my life. That being said, if I'm going to demand I orgasm, I better have a vibrator on tap.
When the vibrator makes its appearance, it inevitably leads to talking about sex toys which, nine times out of 10, is great because you get to see what they're in to, as well as share what I'm in to. It's liberating and freeing, and lets me know if we're on the same page sexually — something you really want when you're dating someone or hoping to fall in love.
Only on one occasion was a guy "put off," to use his words, that I wanted to use a vibrator. I don't know if it was insecurity on his part, or something else, because when the vibrator joined the party he shutdown.
It's Political And Eye-Opening
Although one might not think that having an orgasm is political, it is. To demand I climax too is a feminist act which, of course, is also political. When you bring politics into the bedroom, into an environment that's essentially seen as a pleasure-only zone, so much about a person and their belief system is revealed. It's not only about gaining insight into how they feel about equality, what they know about anatomy, or what they want in bed. It's about seeing someone in a vulnerable situation — literally naked — and it's in this vulnerability that people can't really hide who they are.
It's here that I can separate the feminist men from the guys who think feminism is crap; I can uncover who thinks autonomy is a right, as opposed to a privilege. While I wish it didn't have to be so complicated and it could only be about having fun, society has notoriously placed female pleasure on the back burner from the get-go so, unfortunately, it has to be complicated sometimes.
It Makes Weeding Out People Extremely Easy
When you draw a line in the sand, you get to see who's going to join your side and who's going to stay with the opposition. I've found that this — bizarrely — has been the case when I demand I orgasm. Even if it's a first date and we haven't even made it to the sex part of the evening, if this comes up, the line is drawn and the night can either end or just get started. Because, yes, someone who doesn't care if I orgasm is absolutely going to see the night end right then and there. It's a dealbreaker; it's a thanks but no thanks; it's, simply, not OK with me.
I imagine this demand of mine doesn't exactly win points with every potential partner I meet. Even those who have seemed totally on board with it, may have not been so to the fullest extent. That's fine. I've been sexually active since I was 17 years old and I have witnessed far more orgasms than I've experienced — enough is enough. But, more than anything, before I let myself get serious about someone, I want to know that we view the world the same way. I want to know that we're on the same team. How someone responds to the fact that I don't just think, but know I should orgasm every time with every partner speaks volumes. And I want to be with the person whose volumes are the same as mine.