Does a Wife’s Orgasm Even Matter?

Here’s a question regarding sexual intimacy:  Is a wife’s orgasm even important?  Or, maybe I should ask, is it at least as important as a husband’s orgasm?

Obviously, my answer is YES. I mean, honestly… I don’t think God created the clitoris as an afterthought, like He had just run out of things to do and it seemed like a nice feature to toss in at the last minute.  As Christians, we celebrate the fact that He is the Creator…that everything formed of His hands is good.  So kudos to you God.  The orgasm — for husbands and wives — was certainly a shining moment.

This is why I was a surprised by an ABC Nightline story the other night  about Zestra and how the makers of this product can’t get major networks to run ads promoting it.  Very fascinating. You really should check out the segment. Go ahead. Then come back.

Zestra, according to their materials, “was developed to provide a much needed option for all women to feel more sexually satisfied.”   It is made of a patented blend of botanical oils and extracts and is sold over-the-counter.  It is used by rubbing it on the clitoris and vaginal area prior to sex.

Now, I’m not going to jump up and down one way or the other on the effectiveness of this product (more on this later, though, because we did try it).  What I am going to speak about, though, is that the makers of this stuff can’t get ads for it on TV.  Quite the double-standard if you ask me, considering you can barely flip on the TV for more than 10 minutes without hearing about “four-hour erections.”

I’m not dogging the makers of erectile dysfunction drugs (although, I must admit that I don’t really get the couple sitting side-by-side on a grassy knoll in matching bathtubs. But I digress).

If we strip down all of these products to a common denominator, what we find is that their purpose is aiding couples in sexual satisfaction.  Zestra could be categorized along the lines of KY’s Intense, also an arousal gel.  Interestingly, KY’s Intense has not run into the roadblocks that Zestra has as far as advertising.  (The Nightline segment talks about this too).

I must admit, stories like this pique my interest (no pun intended).  So, I went to my friendly Wal-Mart and bought the stuff. I have to give props to the women who developed it, because they do a very thorough and effective job explaining the product in their packaging.  Women who buy this product will feel much more at ease just reading the packaging insert.

My husband likes it when I propose hands-on research like this.  I don’t even take notes (at least not written notes).  We are already fairly adept at and thrilled with our sexual intimacy, so I can’t really say that we personally have a strong need for such a product.  All that being said, though, I did like it.   I liked it better than KY’s Intense… which we also have… uh… researched.

My most important point, though, is that I think it is unfortunate that there still exists this unspoken acceptance that a wife’s sexual satisfaction is not as important as a husband’s.  How ironic, considering that the struggle many women have with climaxing is a contributing factor to sexual intimacy being such a contentious issue in so many marriages.

Doesn’t it stand to reason that if more wives were climaxing more often, then sex probably would not be as big an issue in so many marriages?  (Yes, I know, not climaxing is certainly not the only factor, but it is definitely one of them. If you are a man reading this, consider if in your last…uh, let’s say 20 sexual encounters with your wife… you rarely or never climaxed. Does the appeal of sex diminish with such a thought? You’re probably driven to boredom just thinking of such a reality).

The Zestra folks have done their homework.  The product is safe.  It’s been tested and researched.  The degree that it may work probably varies on a spectrum, but that is true with any sexually-related medicine or product.

I am not in the camp of declaring anything a wonder drug, because I think sexual intimacy is complex.  A married couple experiencing rich profound spiritual and physical oneness means that sex really can never be reduced simply to whether or not someone orgasms.  Likewise, though, I celebrate whenever someone uses their talents for good, as is the case with folks who developed Zestra.  If you have struggled with orgasm, consider trying Zestra.  Decide for yourself — not only if it works for you, but also if you think more women should at least have the opportunity to know about it.

Addition since I first posted this:  The Zestra folks contacted me to say they have started a petition to send to the network executives, asking them to end the double standard in advertsing.  Check out the petition here.

Before you start to think I’m in bed with the Zestra people (come on, it’s just a figure of speech), you should know that I am not receiving any money from them to say anything.  These are all my own opinions.

I just simply think we need to stop pretending that a wife’s sexual satisfaction doesn’t matter.  It does matters.  As I have often said, I’m not going to say that orgasm is everything; but it certainly isn’t nothing either. I’m a wife. Many of you reading this are wives.  Many of you reading this are husbands.

Orgasm was designed by God, it feels good, and most wives with whom I speak who have experienced orgasm say they like it.  That should come as no news flash to anyone, and yet too often we treat a woman’s climax as if it is a nice “extra” — like leather seats or free popcorn if you buy the super slushie at the movie.  Extra?  How about we embrace a more accurate mindset.  Would anyone ever consider a man’s orgasm as a “nice bonus” or a “sure, if it happens, that’s good, but if not, no problem”?

We offer valid recognition to the positive impact erectile dysfunction drugs have had, particularly on men’s sexual satisfaction.

Can we offer equal recognition to other products designed specifically for women?

I’m just asking.  What do you think?

Copyright 2010, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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26 thoughts on “Does a Wife’s Orgasm Even Matter?

  1. Rosann Fisher says:

    Julie, thank you so much for writing about the Nightline story. We are also quite surprised at the resistance to our message and so appreciate you getting the message out to your readers. We’ve recently launched a petition for equal advertising rights for women. We’d absolutely love it if you could sign it and share it with your readers so their voices can be heard. http://bit.ly/DoubleStandard

  2. Sharon - marriage preparation says:

    Great points. As a wife, it is absolutely important that I experience sexual satisfaction because that gives my husband far more satisfaction than if only he gets in on the fun! Profound and extremely spiritually satisfying (as well as physically satisfying) when we occasionally manage to do it together at the same precise moment! But as to your main point, yes, although I’d rather not watch advertising for any of these products it does seem unfair that women should be marginalized.

  3. JulieSibert says:

    Thanks Sharon! You used the most accurate word… marginalized. So true! As an optimist, and I believe the more authentic dialogue created about sexual intimacy, the more it is valued and nurtured. Thanks again! I appreciate your insights!

  4. Brent says:

    I was told long ago, and I still hold it in high regard :: The game ain’t over till everybody get’s their cookies. As a husband, and I promote this to other men, my number one goal in bed is my wife- to see to it that she–er… has a good time, if you know I mean. 😉 And everytime, she always takes care of me. And I am all for using anything to help the process along…to change it up…cause quite frankly, my muscles get tired after a while. So I’m all for it. I’ll see if I can’t pick some up tonight!

  5. JulieSibert says:

    Hi Brent! Love your comment! Thank you… I appreciate your realness and your candor. Hope you like Zestra… we did. You will find it in the feminine hygiene aisle (every guy’s favorite aisle, right?!) We did like it better than KY Intense. Cost for Zestra was about $8.50 for three packets (one-time use packets). Here’s too happy, healthy marriage!

  6. Pingback: Tweets that mention Sexual Satisfaction on the Nightly News | Intimacy in Marriage -- Topsy.com

  7. Lori Lowe says:

    I agree if we’re going to allow advertising for men’s sexual satisfaction, we can allow some tasteful advertising for women as well. Particularly during adult primetime programming–anyone who is watching some of the evening shows won’t feel the least bit shocked to hear about an “intimacy aid” or however they want to promote it. Think Grey’s or Desperate Housewives, replete wtih sex scenes. The networks are being a little “odd” to dismiss such advertising. And, yes, I agree a woman’s satisfaction is important to the quality of a couple’s sex life. I’d never heard of either of these products.

  8. Talia says:

    Amen! Why is it that in this day and age there is STILL a double standard?!

    This is priceless, “(Yes, I know, not climaxing is certainly not the only factor, but it is definitely one of them. If you are a man reading this, consider if in your last…uh, let’s say 20 sexual encounters with your wife… you rarely or never climaxed. Does the appeal of sex diminish with such a thought? You’re probably driven to boredom just thinking of such a reality).”

    I couldn’t agree more! I know my husband would be less than happy if his needs were not met.

    Thank you for another great post!

  9. Michael Wong says:

    Why is everyone asking about the reason for the double standard, when we all know exactly what it is? The fact is that there is a powerful group within the right-wing puritanical movement which thinks that women who enjoy sex are sl***.

    There’s a reason that only a few states outlaw the sale of sex toys, and that all of those states happen to be in the south: Georgia, Texas. Mississippi, and Alabama. In every case, the bans have been appealed, and juries of old white men have upheld them.

  10. Michael Wong says:

    Oops, my information was out of date. Apparently, the Texas ban was overturned in 2008 in a court ruling. Still, the fact remains: this is a southern conservative phenomenon.

  11. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you for your comments Michael (and for your clarification about Texas). I think your comment is over-generalizing and stereotyping a bit. There are a variety of reasons why a woman’s sexual satisfaction is not held in as high as regard as a man’s. I don’t think we can toss it on the shoulders of any “right-wing puritanical movement” or a “southern conservative phenomenon” as you say. I appreciate your comments though. Thanks!

  12. Michael Wong says:

    You might object to the category names I used, but there’s a reason you see bans like that in places like Alabama and Texas (seriously, even if it was overturned by a court in 2008, it says a lot that the state was fighting to preserve it in the first place). We both know you would not hear a similar news story from, say, France.

    Why else would anyone outlaw vibrators? What conceivable reason is there?

  13. Kliphton says:

    Well, as a man, if I never got to my climax, I’d be pretty upset, so if she’s not satisfied, then I’m not satisfied! So as long as I do everthing in my power to make sure she has that mind blowing orgasm then hey, she’ll keep coming back for more, and that will keep me happy!

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  15. uk Fred says:

    I can tell you that the answer my wife gives is “Not in the least!” She has been happy to tell me that an orgasm is too much work and that she doesn’t need orgasms. And then she wonders why I tell her that sex with her is not at all satisfying. So much for her being a Bible-believing Christian. I do not know what her reaction will be to my comment that I am no longer prepared to grub around for the crumbs that she has knocked on to the floor and I would rather go without sex altogether than have what she is offering. I know that I am not following 1 Cor 7, but the routine of
    1) Get erect
    2) Penetrate, and
    3) Ejaculate and get out

    while she just moves a little to fake sexual excitement has just gotten too painful and too depressing for me.

  16. David J. says:

    About 15 years into our marriage, my wife still had not ever experienced an orgasm. At the same time, the frequency of sex — which had never been very high — was continuing to dwindle, as was her participation/interest during sex (which also had never been very high). I had the same thought you expressed above: “Doesn’t it stand to reason that if more wives were climaxing more often, then sex probably would not be as big an issue in so many marriages?” But my wife reacted almost violently to any attempt to pursue an orgasm for her — she resented any books or articles on the subject, any requests for counseling or medical help, and even any extended foreplay or oral sex (on her) in pursuit of it. She accused me of trying to “fix” her. She cited statistics about the percentage of women who are non-orgasmic, as if it were something that defined her and that she was entitled to hold onto. Her objections might have made more sense if she were sexually active/willing/participatory, but she wasn’t, as mentioned above. (If you’re wondering about sexual abuse in her background, there was no physical abuse, but she did have an alcoholic, promiscuous mother who indirectly exposed her to some sexual situations — PG-13 stuff, not really R and definitely not X. That influence was complicated by the fact that her father was a very strict, emotionally cold, ultra-fundamentalist. But she was adamant that she had not hung onto any bad messages about sex from her childhood.)

    So, any insight into what was going on with her? (I speak in the past tense because she divorced me last year. Sex was a big issue until the end. To my utter surprise, she is already engaged to another man. Unless he’s a eunuch, he’s in for a rude awakening. And I don’t know what she thinks will change that will make a difference in their sex life.)

  17. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you for your comment David (on this post and others).

    I’m saddened and disappointed by your wife’s lack of willingness to address the sexual challenges in the marriage.

    Without having a discussion with her, I probably can’t begin to understand her reasoning. But I do know this… her unwillingness to nurture intimacy, as well as to address roadblocks that she was throwing up to stop sex, is definitely walking outside of the will of God.

    The Lord is clear in 1 Corinthians 7 (as well as in Proverbs and Song of Songs) that sex was his idea and should be held in high esteem (and engaged in often) in the marriage bed.

    Scripture is also clear that we all must give account for how we have lived. My hope is that she becomes aware of her sin and has a repentant humble heart that seeks God’s viewpoint on sex. You are right that if she doesn’t wake up about this issue, the same cycle will manifest itself in her next marriage.

  18. Chrissi says:

    Wow…Julie, your post and the comments that follow, once again remind me of how blessed I am with a husband who thinks my fun matters the most! 😉 It IS sad that in 2012 there are still men, WOMEN?, and media that believe that sex is all about the man. Without being vulgar, shall we bring to mind the fact that women are designed for MULTI-happy endings? If more people would tend to that neat little detail, sex would be more highly desired by women…something that would GREATLY benefit the men in their lives. Helllloooo advertiser’s? We may have just discovered the answer to world peace! Pay attention! 🙂

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  20. jenny says:

    Germain Grisez, Moral Theologian, said:

    “The wife’s complete sexual satisfaction (orgasm) is NOT necessary for sexual intercourse insofar as it is a reproductive function, ….”
    in the March 1996 issue of “The Catholic World Report” .

    No wonder there are so many marital problems .

  21. John R says:

    You could remove the clitoris in a surgical procedure and for women who do not like sex it would never be noticed. The only purpose it serves is pleasure. Hmmm….why would God create PLEASURE for the female??? Surely HE had something in mind.
    Also my wife has seizure-style orgasms virtually every time we have sex but still sex remains very infrequent so great pleasure does not always mean more sex. She says no approximately 90% of the time. Sex happens only on her schedule. I tried not to surrender to that but she has decided it and THAT is THAT. I never realized how many women love sex until I started reading Julie’s website. If you have a wife who loves sex just Thank God for how fortunate you are in reaching true sexual and marital intimacy with your spouse.

  22. Not-fair says:

    I am thankful God designed us to have a clitoris…without it would women not really want to have sex at all? I’ve always been confused why he made it so small and put it on the outside leaving us with little sensation on the inside… For guys it’s so easy… And then we have to deal with stuff like crazy hormones, periods, pregnancy and labor… I mean is it just the curse of eve or what!

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