Why I Wrote a Book About Orgasms for Women (Video)
A few years ago I appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, a popular daytime TV show in America to talk about serious diseases found in women over forty, which often go untreated or are missed due to women failing to recognize or simply dismissing the symptoms. Many people were shocked to hear me say on the show, that I recommended my patients have at least three orgasms a week.
In the context of recognizing a potential symptom of type 2 diabetes, it made sense. A low libido, decreased arousal and lack of orgasm are often found in those with sludgy blood vessels and poor nerve conduction brought on by high blood sugar.
“Today the orgasm is an indicator of personal empowerment, self-acceptance and self-love and an affirmation of one’s right to enjoy pleasure in one’s body and overall life.” ~Dr. Andrea
Following that TV appearance, I was inundated with calls and emails from women wanting to understand why I suggested three orgasms a week an was three the minimum or maximum? If their blood sugar was normal but they still couldn’t achieve orgasm what else could be wrong? Women opened up by telling me about their problems initiating sex due to low desire. I heard many tales of woe from ladies who had adequate desire but low arousal and vaginal lubrication with previously pleasurable stimuli. Other women even expressed frustration that after orgasm they became moody and irritated with their partner for weeks! And so many women expressed deep despair that a lack of sex caused a rift in the precious relationship with their partners.
To tell the truth, the female orgasm started out as a clever gauge of overall health and wellness. Using the sexual response as an indicator of physical health quickly became an opening for honest discussions around intimacy, pleasure and sexual satisfaction for my clients and members of our online wellness community. Now, however, it is much more than that. In addition to providing a barometer of well-being…
The female orgasm is a signal of overall health and vitality. Are you getting your weekly quota?
For the last several years I have gathered and analyzed the feedback from my patients and conducted focus groups with women who wanted more pleasure and passion in their lives. I have also interviewed sexologists, therapists and my mind-body medicine colleagues to gain new insights to better help women understand how their libido, arousal system and orgasm work, what blocks them from becoming aroused or prevents them from achieving orgasm, and how to create a personalized prescription for enhanced sensual pleasure and greater, more reliable sexual satisfaction.
My findings have been published in my new book, The Orgasm Prescription for Women. This has enabled women to improve their sexual health and well-being on multiple levels, while dramatically enhancing the communication with their beloved, deepening intimacy and even saving their marriages and partnerships.
The types of clients who seek me out, in my professional capacity as a sex detective, are looking for natural or alternative solutions to drugs — unless medication is absolutely necessary. While this creates a selection bias toward a certain type of clientele, I can tell you that in all of my clinical experience with my clients I have not uncovered a trend that suggested the presence of untreatable sexual dysfunction nor any arousal disorder, per se. Each client situation presented clues — some physical and physiological — that pointed to clear non-disease related reasons for not becoming aroused, not feeling desire for sex and not achieving climax. Most of the clues were obvious with objective observation. They were mostly emotional, relational and situational (contextual) problems that were easy to address and remedy. And for those entering or in menopause, the hormonal balance was also an easy fix.
In fact, for the majority of these women, some happily married, some single and others divorced, the consistent finding was not that something was wrong requiring medication or surgery. So naturally when I hear the media frenzy about the search for a “Pink Viagra” for women to medically “treat” low desire or low libido, I get frustrated.
Too many women are prompted to think that they are abnormal if they do not match up to an arbitrary orgasmic standard promoted in the media. These unrealistic sexual performance demands only serve to increase self-consciousness and thereby reduce sexual desire and orgasmic potential. Orgasm is integral to the sensual and erotic process but should not be accompanied by performance pressure. Achieving orgasm is complex and should not be graded as a pass-fail sex test. The Orgasm Prescription for Women is an antidote to all that nonsense and will empower women (and their partners) to understand and reclaim female desire and satisfaction.
Equally frustrating is the notion that many women tend to internalize the socio-cultural stereotypes, which suggest that men’s sexual needs are more relevant than their own. This leaves some ladies feeling as though they must service their man, forgo their own pleasurable release and even that they should be considered lucky if sex was “good for them, too.”
Very few women have an accurate view of sexual norms. When they assume that most women climax every time they have sex or that most of their friends can reach orgasm without direct clitoral stimulation through intercourse alone, they assume and accept that something is wrong with them. The reality is that most women cannot reach orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone and typically require other means of stimulation, namely clitoral stimulation.
There are a number of ways for women to reach orgasm. The most reliable way is via oral sex. Another way is to experiment with different sexual positions to see which ones provide more clitoral or G-spot stimulation than others. Another option is for one of the partners to provide manual stimulation of the clitoris during intercourse or to try different pelvic movements and rhythms. The bottom line is that it is crucial for women to know that an inability to experience orgasm during intercourse is common and does not signify a sexual problem in and of itself.
Another sticking point for me is the fact that our modern culture has taught us to look for a magic pill. Given the huge success with drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction in men, including sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra), pharmaceutical companies have been searching for a comparable drug for women. Viagra has even been tried as a treatment for sexual dysfunction in women. The female sexual response is complex and involves more than just getting women hot and wet. For most women, increasing blood flow to the vagina to address difficulties with arousal may not get to the actual problem — which is often a lack of sexual desire.
The other problem with the pharmaceutical approach to women’s sexual response is that to search for a “cure” requires that we carry a new medical diagnosis. It requires that we be labelled broken or sick. A waning libido, low sexual response and vaginal dryness or pain may be normal in the context of menopause as estrogen levels fall. It can be expected. The same is true following certain illnesses or medical procedures. If the sexual consequences of medical issues can be expected and anticipated, we need only address the factors that exacerbate them. And nine times out of ten, the only time medication is required is to address hormonal deficiencies. Nearly all others issues can be solved with education, coaching and even simple mindfulness techniques!
The Orgasm Prescription for Women is meant to empower you, the beautiful deserving woman that you are, to know and embrace your sexual self and to find your sexual voice so that you can become an advocate for your own pleasure. Your ability to act on behalf of your sexual needs, desires, and wishes will enable you to have healthy, satisfying intimate relationships with your partners. The orgasm that comes from this investigative play is a bonus.
In The Orgasm Prescription you will uncover what impedes your orgasm and how to get help as needed. Together we will help you identify clues about your own psychology, hormone status and brain chemistry so that you can work alone, with your partner or with a doctor or therapist to get you back into orgasmic flow. You can now boldly investigate and experiment with strategies to balance your inner and outer chemistry, get direct input from your body and accept permission to make your pleasure a priority.
The Orgasm Prescription for Women: 21-days to Heightened Pleasure, Deeper Intimacy and Orgasmic Bliss, by Andrea Pennington, MD (£13.67, Make Your Mark Global) is out now. Dr. Andrea offers free meditations to heighten sexual responsiveness at OrgasmPrescription.com
— — — — —
Dr. Andrea Pennington is an integrative physician, acupuncturist, meditation teacher and sex educator. She is the author of The Pennington Plan and co-author of the international bestseller, Heart to Heart: The Path to Wellness as well as co-author of Resilience Through Yoga and Meditation.