Pleasure Time: Of O’s and O

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.


Call me O. I’m here to write about sex, to answer questions, and to share my deepest sexual secrets – from the perspective of a mostly straight woman. I want to introduce myself to you by starting from the beginning – my life through the lens of the hunt for great orgasms.

I was a horny kid.

I came out of the womb with what might be called a casual knack for pleasure –  both seeking and experiencing it. And, encouraged by my very accepting, very sexually liberated parents, I sought with voracity.

When I was four, I figured out the glory of bathtub faucets.

I dubbed it “Pleasure Time.” I would leave the water running warm but not burning and unplug the bath stopper. Eyes shut, mind-racing, legs splayed on the rim of the tub, I’d position myself directly beneath the faucet until I was there and I was so there and oh


it was lovely. The kind of breathtaking, too-sensitive lovely that would be innocent, if it weren’t so not. When you point your toes until they cramp but you don’t stop because it hurts so sweetly, kind of lovely. And then it does hurt. But it’s not your feet that hurt, it’s just that your clit has been overwhelmed with sensation, so you shoot back away from the faucet with a wave and a splash of water on the bathroom tiles. And oh it feels good. It feels like the kind of gentle humming good that perseveres, dull and pounding, and fills your head with blood and shivers.

Not knowing better, I once announced to a Haagen Dasz full of people that ice cream was almost but not quite as good as pleasure time.

Words of wisdom, little O, but best to keep that quiet.

There have of course, over the years, been other masturbatory incidences – the Thinking To Climax (thanks to a kinky spanking scene in The Little Rascals), the Discovery of Hardcover Books (in which I nestled a smaller romance novel in the crease of a hardcover book, the base of the spine pressed just so against myself), the Naked Ball (a dance party held weekly wherein the only two rules were loud sex noises and no clothes), and the make-believe game that my best friend and I played at age 12. (Madame Fufi’s School of Sex. Classes included “How to Have Sex 103,” “His Dick 001,” and “How to be sexy 203.” We switched off playing Madame Fufi, and mimed everything. In explicit and excellent detail.)

I’ve matured since then, both in technique and in fantasy. I’ve learned what I like and how I like it (hard and slow with a tendency towards rough – regardless of whether I’m alone or with a partner), and I’ve learned how to come multiple times, and how to share orgasms with other people – both by inducing them and by showing others how to induce them in me.

I’m telling these stories for a few reasons. The first is that I enjoy the trip down memory lane.

The second is that I’m frustrated with the way that orgasms – particularly of the female variety – are viewed and discussed. A friend of mine asked me if I thought she’d ever had an orgasm. She explained that she felt like her orgasms (or what she thought were her orgasms) didn’t live up to the orgasms she’d seen or read about. She described her climaxes – which were definitely climaxes – with a degree of mournful inadequacy.

This is the crux of the problem.

It tends to be that orgasms are either deified (a la Sally in Katz’s delicatessen) or treated with a certain amount of disdain (it’s socially acceptable for women, in particular, to fake an orgasm).

I’d love for orgasms to be talked about with the same frankness that we discuss massages or roller coasters. I’d love for orgasms to be recognized as both sublime and perfectly ordinary – treated with a more down-to-earth and easygoing reverence. They are amazing, and yes, they are mind blowing, and yes, I have a long and joyful history of spectacular finishes, but they are also wildly misrepresented. Either women have loud, dramatic orgasms, replete with moans and enthusiastic “oh yesses!!” or they are frigid and cannot come so they fake it.

Obviously that’s bullshit.

Some women have loud, wild orgasms – thrashing, moaning beasts. Some women have quieter ones – pointed toes and gasps or no sign at all save for a charming over-stimulated numbness. Some people haven’t figured out how to come at all (yet) or don’t want to. Not to mention the within-person differences. For me, no one orgasm is exactly identical to its predecessors. I’ve seen stars and had fireworks and I’ve had fizzles and I’ve had strange orgasms that start and stop and start again and then decide to just sort of plateau in no man’s land.

Then there’s the alleged difference between clitoral orgasms and G-Spot (or A-spot , or U-spot[1]) orgasms. To my knowledge[2] most any woman can eventually get off via clitoral stimulation. Some women can come through penetration (by means of a dildo or dick or whatever), and many more can’t. This isn’t a failing on the part of the woman in question or a quirk of psychology – just of biology.

The clitoris is much larger than people assume, extending beneath the hood and wrapping around the vaginal area. Recent research has suggested that G-Spot orgasms are really clitoral orgasms by another name. This is to say that the G-Spot is really clitoral tissue stimulated through the vaginal wall. Whether or not a woman can come by way of penetration is contingent upon the thickness of her vaginal wall.

And if they can’t? So the fuck what. An orgasm by any other name would smell as sweet. Explore what feels good to you. Learn how you come. Share it or covet it. Get your weird self off how your weird self gets off.

Regardless of how you come – by book, by dick, by finger, by porn, by dildo, by lips, by vibrator, by faucet – be proud of it.  If it feels good, let it.

No one orgasm is inherently better than any other. 

In conclusion, though I’ve barely touched the tip:

Here’s to the pleasure seeker in us all, that we all have pleasure time. Love it. Pursue it.

Own that orgasm.

–          O


[1] Bewilderingly, annoyingly, the anatomy of a vagina is fairly unmapped, even in this day and age. For whatever unbelievably stupid reason, there’s a remarkable lack of dissemination of crucial information about what does what in the vaginal region.

The A-spot (also known as the AFE zone, deep spot, or epicenter) or the anterior fornix erogenous zone is an erogenous zone theorized to lead to vaginal lubrication and general goodness – up to the point of orgasm.

The U-spot, or Skene’s gland, a contentious erogenous zone located in the vulva towards the lower end of the urethra, is commonly cited as the source of female ejaculation.

[2] Which, while not expert, is by no means paltry.


    • Seriously?
      When people ask for a column not written by a straight woman, it’s not personal. This column was pretty damn good. But if you look back, every single sex column in Gazette and Phoenix history (except The Bone Doctor, which was written by a straight man) has been written by a straight woman. We just want something different.

  1. I love the Haagen Das bit, little kids have a habit of saying whatever, and sometimes, like this time it is amazing. I can’t wait to read more!

  2. This is awesome! Thanks so much for writing this. As someone who has always detested the vacuity of the usual sex columns, I was super-pleased to read this! Keep it up!

  3. Awesome! Way to go – I’m looking forward to reading more. Your frankness is marvelous and will, as I hope you are hoping, rub off on others.

  4. PLEASE STOP USING STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS TECHNIQUES IN A NEWSPAPER. Journalism is not the same as artistic prose. Keep your line breaks to a reasonable level, and don’t put them in the middle of sentences. Thank you.

    Enjoyed the content of the article, though!

    • Hi Strunk,

      The Daily Gazette publishes a wide variety of content, and stream-of-consciousness Opinions pieces absolutely fit under that umbrella. If you’d like to provide constructive criticism of an upcoming article in any section, why don’t you join our staff? We’re always looking for new recruits with a careful eye for detail.

      Andrew Karas
      The Daily Gazette

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The Phoenix

Discover more from The Phoenix

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading