In recent years, the conversations about and initiatives for gender equality have permeated both the workspace and home life of modern people. As bold young men and women, we are unafraid to call out the double standards and sexism that we see on a daily basis. But what about gender equality at the most intimate level—in the bedroom? Why are we still so painfully silent and shy about putting female pleasure as a priority in our 'gender equality to-do list'? If we can talk about equal wages till our throats are sore, we should use the same spirit to talk about equal pleasure.
A curious thing happened this year. People, mostly men, collectively researched the term "foreplay" after seeing the viral scene in the movie The Great Indian Kitchen, where the female character asks her husband for foreplay and is refused by him. We learned that many young men who prided themselves on not being a watchdog of patriarchy had no idea what foreplay was. It will not be inaccurate to assume that their female partners (in most cases) have faked their orgasms or lied about finding sexual intercourse pleasurable. Our men are uneducated when it comes to female pleasure. It is not just our fathers, uncles, or grandparents who are unaware of female sexuality, our friends, partners, and colleagues are much the same.
The way men have sex is quite similar to how they pleasure themselves. They get similar stimulations when they have penetrative sex with their female partner. But for a woman, it is vastly different. Few women can orgasm from penetration alone. When I say few, I mean very very few. Most women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm. So what would happen, as a woman, if your partner only thrusts in and out of you and does not stimulate your clitoris (which is almost mandatory to feel sexual pleasure)? You would not feel good and then you have to fake it to not hurt his feelings. You might also feel like there might be something wrong with your genitals and spend the night grieving your 'broken' body. But when you do this, you are only making things worse. How are men supposed to change in the bedroom if they are not aware of the problem? Sure, many can research and learn on their own accord, but people like that are very few and far in between.
Men need to not only know about the orgasm gap, but they also need to know how to fill that gap. Since our country is painfully lacking when it comes to sex education let alone sexuality education, men can only use porn as a reference. Just like the rest of our society, heterosexual porn is very male-centric. They show what feels good for the man and not the woman. No man is going to correctly learn female pleasure through pornography where the woman starts screaming her head off the moment the male performer penetrates her. No, men need deeper learning. Our culture is set in a way that accommodates only men, especially when it comes to sexual intercourse. The only way to break out of this is by stopping fake orgasms and starting some well overdue conversations. In a heterosexual relationship, there is a man and a woman. Both should take equal precedence. The way to bring about true gender equality is to not undermine male sexuality but by uplifting female sexuality. If you are a man who sees your partner as an equal being and respects her, you need to bring in your efforts to the bedroom and learn how to give her the pleasure she usually gives you.
About the author
Pallavi Barnwal, is a sex and relationship coach and sexual wellness columnist specialising in helping you have more pleasure in the bedroom.