As I've written before, too much misinformation is swirling around the universe about women and their orgasms. So in honor of this past weekend's International Day of the Female Orgasm, I wanted to take a minute to share the top 11 truths about orgasm from my new book, O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm.
Truth #1: All orgasms have one thing in common -- intention.
They are all about thoughtfully considering a woman's body and how it works. They are about being conscious. They are about setting aside everything that we think we already know. They are about shifting the paradigm. It doesn't matter how men's orgasms work. At all. When it comes to a woman's orgasm, the only thing worth considering is the woman having it.
Truth #2: Women's orgasms should in no way take a backseat to men's.
The clitoris is not a stunted penis, as Freud once suggested. The vaginal orgasm -- which for all intents and purposes does not even exist -- is not a mature orgasm, while a clitoral one is not immature, as he also asserted. Orgasms can emanate from a number of parts of a woman's body. But the clit is orgasm central. For the most part, it requires stimulation -- direct or indirect -- in order to make the magic happen. That is the truth. Freud and all his lackeys were wrong, and Betty Dodson and Anne Koedt and all of their fellow warriors were right. Period.
Truth #3: There's no "right" way to come.
Penetration does little for most women in the orgasm department. It might feel "nice." But on its own, it's not likely to cause orgasm. The only right way to come is the way that makes you come, from having your clit stimulated manually while you are being penetrated to using a butt plug to having your pussy eaten. It's all right and all good.
Truth #4: There's no such thing as "taking too long."
According to Betty Dodson, the average woman needs 20 to 30 minutes of play to lead her to an orgasm. That timing depends on a million things, from your cycle to your partner to how your day has been. Regardless, it takes as long as it takes, and no one should be looking at the clock unless engaging in a specific quickie activity. Your partner should be enjoying what he or she is doing to you as much as you are enjoying having it done to you. If that's not the case, there's a whole other problem at hand.
Truth #5: Every sound is good.
A big part of having an orgasm is making sounds. Breath sounds. Throaty sounds. Whimpering sounds. Yelling sounds. Whatever comes naturally to you. If you stop those sounds, you're stopping, or at least hindering, your orgasm, because you're stepping out of the present and into some headspace that's telling you, "Don't make that noise. You sound weird." Or, "Be quiet. Someone will hear you." (Unless, of course, Grandma is in the other room. Then bite that pillow, baby!)
Truth #6: Every position is good.
Having an orgasm is like going on a scavenger hunt. You look everywhere possible for it and you don't worry about how strange the places you need to look might be. The key is that you or your partner is able to stimulate the parts that you want stimulated. That is all that matters. I'm going to say that again: That is all that matters. So forget about what the magazines tell you. Forget about how you look. Forget about everything except for what feels good.
Truth #7: Every vulva is beautiful and unique.
Every woman's body is a marvel. Eight thousand nerves ending in that incredible clit. That is a glorious, glorious miracle. We have to remember that when we inevitably start feeling insecure about what our vulvas look like. Whatever yours looks like, there is nothing wrong with you. Nothing. Do whatever you have to and take pride in your pussy. That is the first order of business when it comes to having your ultimate orgasm.
Truth #8: Every way you move your body is good.
Too much porn and too many mainstream movies with incredibly unrealistic sex scenes have left us with very strange ideas of what "sex" looks like. But there is no wrong way to pulse or pump or grind or writhe or arch or rub or whatever else you may do. This isn't performance art. What it looks like means nothing. What it feels like means everything.
Truth #9: All fantasies are allowed.
Let me say that again. All fantasies are allowed. You don't have to think about the person you're with. You don't even have to think about sex. You don't have to think about anything. But what you do have to do is let your brain go where it wants to go. That is, where it wants to go when it comes to turning you on. No bills or body image stuff. Leave that at the door.
Truth #10: Orgasms are good for your health!
There are plenty of reasons to have an orgasm. If you need more, here's a rundown of some of the purported add-on benefits of the Big O. It can relieve stress, insomnia, and depression. It keeps you connected to your partner. It can alleviate pain (including cramps and migraines), stimulate your brain, keep you looking young, and be good for your heart.
Truth #11: All women are different. Very different, in fact.
This likely will come as no surprise, but I hope it will come as some relief. From the ways our bodies are built to the things that turn on our minds to the experiences and histories that we have, we are all very different, and those differences very much affect our sexual responses. Orgasm can feel completely different or totally the same from one time to the next and from one woman to the next.
For more truths, check out my new book, O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm.
Excerpted with Permission from O WOW: DISCOVERING YOUR ULTIMATE ORGASM, Cleis Press 2015 (c) 2015 Jenny Block. Edited for length. All rights reserved.
Also on HuffPost: