Are Orgasms Necessary?

Rethinking goal-oriented sex

Issue #26

By Vivienne Arkell

“Congratulations if you’ve continued with sex despite being frustrated and negative about the lack of orgasm,” applauds Vivienne Cass PhD in her down to earth guide, The Elusive Orgasm. “There are women who give up expressing their sexuality because an orgasm seems impossible to achieve.”

Besides the pressure to achieve orgasms, Cass tackles another misconception: doing sex the correct way. “Anyone who reads romance novels or watches Hollywood movies has learned what the ‘right’ way is supposed to be: vaginal intercourse that leads to earth shattering orgasms simultaneously felt by both people,” Cass says with irony.

Taking the reader by the hand and sharing conversationally as if she’s your wise experienced sister, Cass explores the wide variety of reasons why orgasm is rare or difficult for almost 30% of women in America. After outlining the five types of orgasm difficulties, ranging from not being aroused enough to not being able to have the kind of orgasm you used to have, Cass moves on to over twenty causes for those difficulties.

Could it be past experiences that are negatively affecting your reactions? Are there changes in your life that are getting in the way? Perhaps you have conditioned yourself and there are patterns that need to be modified.

While Cass gives you the tools to discover the source of your own difficulties, a major concept resonates. “Does being too goal-focused stop you from enjoying sex and having orgasms? You bet it does.” She confirms. “Sex can’t be treated like another task with orgasm as the goal”.

Abandoning goals is key to feeling the emotions and being in touch with your physical reactions during sex. When we start thinking, judging, and focusing on outcomes, “we become a spectator at our own sexual ‘event.’ It’s a sure way to stop yourself relaxing and enjoying the moment –another clear path to orgasmic meltdown,” Cass reminds us.

After multiple self-awareness quizzes and a deeper understanding of what’s making orgasm difficult for you, Cass proposes and outlines straightforward remedies, putting low pressure personal changes into motion.

In a chapter about modifying your personal style, one of the first steps that Cass suggests is enjoying the present and savoring sensual moments. She reinforces that “We need to be able to focus on our own arousal, body sensations and feelings without guilt… Stop worrying about everyone else’s needs and give more attention to our own.”

This guide is so rich with psychological considerations, physical methods and tips that most low-orgasmic women will be able to identify with, freeing both their mind and body.

While The Elusive Orgasm may be the ultimate guide to climaxing, Cass reminds that orgasms should not be perceived as a goal. The sexual journey is about overcoming interferences that are preventing women from enjoying arousal, satisfaction and orgasmic-level pleasures.

To learn more about this book and other recommendations, visit the bookshop.

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