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Oh God, I’m Coming!: Is the Finale the Only Thing that Matters?

Gabrielle Davina, Sex Columnist

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“If no one’s coming, what’s the point of sex?”

This question was posed to me by a now-ex boyfriend when he told me he didn’t enjoy sex if he wasn’t making the other person come because he so rarely came himself.

Okay, buddy, screw you.

As someone who doesn’t come like a porn star (think: multiple screaming orgasms per session. Or, um, ever), I was offended. I think back to the boy I dated abroad who was also hyper-focused on finishing.

Is so much emphasis put on the end result that the journey to get there doesn’t matter?

There is a sexual practice called Karezza where the focus is shifted from working toward climax to staying at the plateau phase of arousal and therefore trying not to come. The purpose of Karezza is feeling connected, bonded and relaxed with your partner during sex. People who practice Karezza report more positive energy during and after intercourse than their orgasm-focused counterparts and, apparently, it has something to do with the release of dopamine and oxytocin that happens when you’re gently touched by a lover as opposed to railed by them.

I’m not asking you all to stop trying to climax during sex—after all, orgasms are pretty much wonderful—but I’m suggesting you change your mindset about what makes sex “good.” (Girls, many of you will understand this. Some guys will, too, but this idea eludes men more often because most guys get used to reaching orgasm fairly easily and regularly by the time they even start having sex with something other than their hand.)

Sex is a process. Say you have ten minutes of foreplay—kissing, touching, oral—and twenty minutes of actual intercourse. That thirty minutes of activity builds up to about 10 seconds of orgasm. If you don’t reach orgasm, why discount the other 29 minutes and 50 seconds of pleasure when determining if the sex was “good” or not? The vast majority of our sexual experience as humans is spent in a non-orgasmic state and therefore should not be evaluated solely on the end result.

Having the mindset that the orgasm is the be-all, end-all to your sexual experience denounces any pleasure you feel outside of an orgasmic state. Saying sex is only pleasurable if you orgasm is like saying Vegas is only fun if you win the jackpot, or saying Six Flags is only fun if you sit in the front seat on the Kingda Ka.

Ladies, many of you will understand this because (gasp!) you’ve never had an orgasm before. You’ve been faking it for every boyfriend you’ve had, or maybe you haven’t even bothered. According to Psychology Today, only 25 percent of women consistently reach orgasm during sex. Depending on the source, between 10 percent and 37 percent of women simply can’t climax.

Yeah, it sucks, but we get used to it.

Men, most of you don’t have the same issue. Whether it takes you one minute or one hour, you pretty much always end up climaxing. Inability to climax in men is either seriously underreported or truly that much more rare than the same issue in women.  Experiencing orgasms on the regular, you grow to associate them with “better” sex and consider yourself jipped (or rather, blue-balled) if you don’t climax.

When you don’t come, you learn to concentrate on other aspects of sex that are fulfilling. Sharing the experience with someone you care about is emotionally gratifying. Studies have shown that having sex gives you a rush, makes you feel more attractive, and brings you closer to your partner.

Oh, yeah, and it feels freaking awesome if it’s done skillfully with the right sized tools.

I tried to explain to the aforementioned ex-boyfriend that even without orgasm, sex is something to be savored and enjoyed. Ask most girls and they’ll tell you they’d rather have sex with their lover and not climax than climax seven times in a row from their vibrator.

The most memorable moment in a sexual act doesn’t have to be the orgasm. It can be a sexy new move, a passionate kiss, a spine-tingling ear bite or a hot phrase your lover says in your ear, The point I’m getting at is that you should enjoy the process instead of harping on a measly 10 seconds at the end.

In sex, there is much more to the game than just the final score.

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