Y'all, you don't even have to say it. With as much time as I devote to studying the topic of sex, on a pretty consistent basis, even I have moments when I will stumble across a concept that leaves me a bit stumped. Although it has indeed been a while since I've partaken of the beautiful act known as coitus, my memory is still quite keen. And while some sex was better than others (see "What Exactly Does It Mean To Be Sexually Compatible?"), I generally didn't have problems achieving orgasms (also see "Why You Should Stop Faking Orgasms ASAP"). Annnnd, from what I can recall, all of them were pretty damn good.
That's why, when I checked out an article that was recently featured on Health's website and I noticed that it was exploring the entire concept of what a "bad orgasm" actually is, you know a sista was super intrigued. I'd be baffled if at least a few of you aren't too. So, just what is a bad orgasm, you ask?
What in the World Is a “Bad Orgasm”?!
OK, so there is a study that was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, right? If you want to read it in its entirety, you can do so by clicking here. Just a heads up, it's long and technical, so if you want a general concept of what it revealed, it's this. After surveying approximately 726 different people, the researchers came to the conclusion that we are capable of having orgasms that aren't all that pleasurable. And, if we continue to have them, they are able to create negative impacts on our relationships, our psychological health and our sexuality overall.
For the record, while the study did also delve into what happens to people when they have orgasms during sex when it is not consensual (because sometimes our bodies mechanically respond to sexual stimuli no matter how much our minds and emotions aren't into it), the part of the study that was featured in Health's article is referring to the kind when both parties agree to "do it".
And just what kind of sex is consensual, brings forth an orgasm and still the orgasm is considered to be bad? That's a really good question. Let me answer that by offering up more questions. Have you ever had sex with your partner in order to avoid having a difficult conversation or disagreement that you didn't want to get into? Have you over "pushed yourself" to climax in order to give your partner the impression that you are just as satisfied as they appear to be? Have you ever had an orgasm with someone, whether it was via oral sex or intercourse, and the overall experience felt kind of empty because the emotional connection simply wasn't there (whether that's ever or at a particular time)? Perhaps you don't have a problem with "getting there", but the sex and climax ends up being borderline painful because you're not wet enough or the way that you are being penetrated isn't as comfortable as you are generally accustomed to. Has that ever happened to you before?
Dayum. When you look at it this way, you're probably thinking, "Whoa. I've been having way more 'bad orgasms' than I ever should have been." The researchers agree and that is the overall purpose for why they are trying to get us to grasp on to the concept of what a bad orgasm is. They want us to realize that, when it comes to having truly great sex, there needs to be more focus on "great" and less on "orgasm"; especially since, for the most part, orgasms are merely a physical reaction to sexual stimulation.
Not to say that our minds and hearts can't help to make climaxing easier (especially for women), but if after you "reach the mountaintop", you basically feel like you actually would've preferred doing something like clean your fridge, clip your toenails or even just avoided your partner altogether…does that sound like good sex to you? Exactly. That technically would qualify as being a bad orgasm. (Bad sex too when you really stop to think about it.)
How Do Good Orgasms vs. Bad Orgasms Compare to One Another?
The more I gave bad orgasms some thought, my mind went back to a lot of the conversations that I've had with women—both online and off—about how sex for them is "just OK". It's not because they aren't attracted to their partner or that he is lacking in his abilities; it's because they just don't feel as into the experience as they want to be. One woman, in particular, she recently shared with me that, while she climaxes on a very consistent basis, she wants no kissing, no cuddling and she actually wants to get the heck up out of dodge within 10 minutes of the act being over. Not just some of the time. Pretty much most of the time. Yeah, now that I know what a bad orgasm is, I think that she definitely falls under the umbrella of it.
Adding to her sexual experiences, because word definitions are a big deal to me, I revisited what "good" and "bad" mean. When something is good, it's high quality. It's also morally excellent, kind and beneficial. Some synonyms for good include positive, satisfying, wonderful, pleasing, welcome, gratifying and agreeable. Sit on those for a moment, would you?
Taking all of this into account, I then thought about a guy I know who tells me all of the time that, during the act of sex, he keeps walls up with his partners because—and this is a direct quote—"I am not there to bond with them. I am there to perform a service." Bless his heart. He said that, not because he's a jerk; it's basically because he goes into the act with "make them cum" on the brain—that is all that he's really focused on. That is all that he is actually trying to achieve—you make me orgasm, I'll make you orgasm. Have a nice day. It's not a connection. It's merely transactional. A lot of casual sex is just like this. Whew. This concept of bad orgasms is getting bigger and bigger the more I think about it.
And that, that made me think about what the word "bad" means. I don't know about you but, whenever I usually think about it, I think about something (or someone) being wicked, evil or morally void. But did you know that something that is defective is also bad? So is something that is deficient, inferior in quality or—get this—"lacking skill or talent". Some synonyms for the word "bad" include cheap, blah, amiss, careless, substandard, offensive and just plain off.
So, in putting all of this together, if an orgasm is truly good, it's going to come from having a positive, satisfying, welcome and beneficial experience. You will be able to look back on the act and the climax about being able to apply all of these words. On the flip side, if the orgasm is bad, it's going to feel like the experience was deficient in some way. It might also feel cheap, blah…maybe even something went down that was amiss or slightly offended you.
Or, after your partner got off of you (or you got off of him), in your mind you thought, "I mean I came and, while I can't quite put my finger on it, something is…off." If you can say that, my dear, you've just had what is known as a bad orgasm.
That's the bad news. The good news is this—the cool thing about this entire concept is, now we can put a name to why sometimes sex "does what it is supposed to do" in the general sense, but we're still not walking away feeling as content as we actually should. Bottom line, it's because not all orgasms are equal. Some are good. Some are bad. And that's because some benefit our entire being while others…don't.
Yeah, I can only imagine how many people you're gonna share this idea with. While you're at it, forward this article to your partner to see what his thoughts are on the notion. Sex is simply too incredible to be out here thinking that, so long as you have an orgasm, it should be enough for you. Naw sis. If that orgasm isn't good—by every definition of the word "good"—then it is bad. And you deserve more than to be out here settling for bad orgasms. Feel me? Chile, I know that you do.
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