Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Questions and discussion about sex and sexuality in political or community beliefs, principles, actions, policies, experiences, messages and media.
bikinksterboy
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Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Unread post by bikinksterboy »

is there any research or precedent to show that the so-called "orgasm gap" also happens among non-cishet couples? is there any discussion, discourse, what have you, about men and womens assumed and internalized sexual roles under patriarchy, when it's not about a cis man with a cis woman? I partially bring it up because sometimes I worry if this is coming up with my gf and I (she's trans, I'm cis) because she had occasionally brought up thoughts she had that made me think of that whole "orgasm gap" idea. (It's not so much she' isn't orgasming or isn't satisfied, but its like minute things and more in the murky area of feelings than any of the traditional "He came, she didn't") So much of the conversation around the OG has to do with vulvas and vaginas and PIV sex that idk how it eve maps or if it does to something outside of that. Not to mention the unique weird awfulness from having been socialized as male growing up as a trans woman, plus all the anxieties and assumptions and such specifically from the experience of being a trans woman dating a cis guy which complicate things even more. I'd like to hear people's thoughts on this.
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Sam W
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Re: Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi bikinksterboy,

I wasn't able to find any research, or even much discussion, about the "orgasm gap" and how it plays out in queer couples (it's not all that surprising, since research about the dynamics of queer relationships is pretty thin on the ground). That's one of the reasons I'm not a huge fan of the orgasm gap as a framework when talking about sex; it erases a big chunk of the sexual couples out there (and equates gender with genitals). It also tends to frame orgasms as THE thing that makes sex good or bad, which is pretty reductive. I do think it's helpful to acknowledge that the standard "scripts" many people have for sex prioritize cis men or overemphasize the importance of vaginal sex, but what I often see is the discussion around the orgasm gap making people feel like crud because they can't get their partner off, or the people in relationship aren't coming in the newly posited "correct" order (the whole "she comes first" thing).

Do you feel like the concerns your girlfriend has about orgasms is are things the two of you can navigate together, either by talking it out or by experimenting with new sexual things together?
bikinksterboy
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Re: Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Unread post by bikinksterboy »

I figured it'd be something to that effect. I agree that the whole "orgasm gap" framework isn't really that great to begin with for the reasons you mentioned.

My girlfriend and I had already discussed her concerns a bit together, and a lot of it also ties into her personal anxieties and dysphoria and self-judgement so that complicates things. We did somewhat come to a resolution for those conversations, where I acknowledged and tried to validate her experience and we both committed to being more aware and considerate and communicative during sex. For the record she has had an orgasm almost every time we've done it, and it's not like a clear cut thing, it's like a combination of her personal worries and intrusive thoughts and specific issues with how things sometimes have gone. Like, sometimes it would start as talking about the time we had sex and she felt this or that about it and then it would go into her general feelings about herself and her sexual "performance" and I feel like the dysphoria and impostor syndrome can bleed into actual concerns and vice versa.

To be clear also, I'm pretty sure some of this is my anxiety blowing her one-off statements out of proportions, since overall she has stated many times that she is satisfied with how things go with us and when we've done it that's the case, and aside from like the 2 times she has ever mentioned this stuff it's never been brought up or supported by anything else she's said. Her saying that she felt a particular way about a thing because of the implications and her anxieties reflecting back on it, isn't the same as having any sort of "complaint" about how sex goes between us overall or that I'm not pleasing/satisfying her/that there's an imbalance.

We haven't had sex in ages since we haven't been able to meet up physically for some time now, and right now she's trying to get through a prolonged depersonalization/derealization so long-distance/virtual sex activities and discussions are off the table for now.

I had wanted to have more in-depth conversations about it and about sex in general but I hadn't found a good time to initiate it, and now it's kind of impossible. Once she's in a place where she can fully process and experience her own thoughts and emotions, then maybe we can have some more conversations. And even then it's all weirdly complicated by the fact that we don't have many opportunities to physically act on these things so a lot of it is just hypothetical and emotionally driven until we get a chance to be physically together again.
"~Take a moment to think of just~"

~flexibility, love, and trust~"
Sam W
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Re: Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Unread post by Sam W »

It sounds like you two are trying to proactively communicate about this, which is great! It can be really rough when dysphoria and intrusive thoughts have cultural ideas about sex that they can weave themselves into, so I hope that's something she's able to get support around or learn how to navigate as time goes on. Too, sometimes these conversations are much easier in person, so when it comes to the sexual dynamics between you two, navigating some of this might be easier when you can meet in person more often.
bikinksterboy
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Re: Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Unread post by bikinksterboy »

For sure, and it is becoming increasingly viable for us to meet in person as circumstances change! my parents got their second vaccine shot a while ago, and my gf might be able to get vaccinated soon as well.

I just don't know how far I'll be able to get with any sex conversations right now when she's still struggling to be able to actively feel her own emotions and sensations in her body.

I want to be able to both have these discussions and support her grappling with dysphoria and anxiety and self-judgement as it relates to sex, and also to talk about our sexual relationship, and I can't do that until she's in a place where she is equipped to talk about those things. Right now she's not, because of DP/DR.

I still think it's possible to take some small steps here even while she's still going thru everything, like maybe we can visit and experiment with how much sexual conversation/sexy stuff she can branch with everything else going onfor her. She feels like maybe being with me physically and seeing me again would help her get through her DP/DR symptoms easier since I've been a supportive, grounding presence for her. This is a confusing situation for both of us so any exploration with sex doing this period in her life is gonna be something where we're both testing the waters and seeing how things will go and trying to support each other in that.

There's also potential like, consent or power imbalance issues, maybe? insofar as how the weird unreal DP mindset can/might affect judgement and decision making, so what's the deal there? just thinking about that makes me anxious and idk if it's a reasonable anxiety to have. In any case if we were to try sexual things or talking about sex I would be especially more considerate and cautious and gentle (I already try to be normally because that's just a good way to be but in this situation it requires like, an extra level)
"~Take a moment to think of just~"

~flexibility, love, and trust~"
Sam W
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Re: Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Unread post by Sam W »

I'm glad you're being so thoughtful and supportive of her! I think you're right that this will involve a lot of baby steps, and a lot of checking in with each other to see if you need to take breaks from the conversation.

Is she currently seeing anyone for help with the depersonalization and derealization? If she is, it might make the most sense for her to talk about any concerns about consent or imbalance during sex in that space.
bikinksterboy
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Re: Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Unread post by bikinksterboy »

she isn't seeing anyone specifically for that, no, but she plans to talk about it with her therapist and wants to see a doctor soon. I doubt she'd be comfortable talking about it in relation to sex with her therapist because her current therapist is unequipped to deal with trans people, has repeatedly dead named and misgendered her, and generally seems inexperienced and not a good fit. Not really many other options for her in terms of therapy because of her family's financial situation, though. Not really many accessible options to find a specialist either afaik.
"~Take a moment to think of just~"

~flexibility, love, and trust~"
Sam W
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Re: Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Unread post by Sam W »

I'm glad she's proactively addressing it; even if she's not bringing up the sexual component, she may be able to ask about consent in those situations more generally (since we give, deny, and ask for consent a lot in our day to day lives). It sucks that she's had such a terrible experience with her therapist, and I hope she can find a better one sooner rather than later. If she ever wants to make an account here, we'd be happy to offer her additional support in terms of finding affirming care.
bikinksterboy
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Re: Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Unread post by bikinksterboy »

continuing on this, and I think this may be better suited to its own thread, how *would* she even go about finding trans-literate therapist? her family relies on government assistance (which mostly ends up going to food and basic necessities) and their insurance only covers so much. There's also the issue that most of her healthare decisions/actions have to go through her mother in some way or another, who has a history of putting off appointments, neglecting her medical stuff, lying about appointments, and generally being obstructive, manipulative, controlling, and incompetent (My girlfriend is an adult but her mom often keeps her in the dark about these matters and ends up being more or less the gatekeeper when it comes to healthcare)
"~Take a moment to think of just~"

~flexibility, love, and trust~"
Emily N
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Re: Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Unread post by Emily N »

Hi bikinksterboy,

I’m sorry to hear about your girlfriend’s insensitive therapist and difficulty gaining autonomy over her healthcare, that sounds so frustrating and painful. I don’t have too much specific knowledge about finding a therapist within the bounds of insurance, but I’ll share what I can!

First of all, are there any LGBTQIA+ centers where you live that you/your girlfriend would feel comfortable looking into? Sometimes they will have more specific advice or suggestions on therapy options. I see you are in New York, so this website lists some LGBTQ+ centers in the area - https://www.iloveny.com/things-to-do/lg ... resources/
Another possible resource is Pride Counseling, which offers online/remote counselling for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Here is a link to a Scarleteen article, “Process This: Getting the Most Out of Therapy”, that offers advice on how to screen therapists and the importance of switching therapists if they aren’t a good fit for you.
bikinksterboy
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Re: Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Unread post by bikinksterboy »

She's in New Jersey but I appreciate the other 2 resources. I'm still on my own search and I'll keep looking. Thank you!
"~Take a moment to think of just~"

~flexibility, love, and trust~"
Emily N
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Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:28 pm
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Re: Orgasm Gap 2: The Queering

Unread post by Emily N »

Of course! Feel free to ask more questions if they come up :)
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