Details Magazine, July 1995 - Strokes of Genius...
Henry Rollins knows exactly what a woman wants. And heís here to tell you
just how to give it to her.
Books have been written, ads have been taken out. It has been
discussed to exhaustion on talk shows. Whole careers have been built on
its definition and pursuit. The female orgasm is one of the worldís most
There are men out there who think that women donít mind if they
donít reach orgasm during sex. This philosophy probably dates back to the
beginning of time and is hopelessly tangled in a bullshit
moralistic-religious quagmire, where the manís orgasm was used for
procreation and deemed okay with God and a womanís climax was the stuff
of pure, decadent sin. For a woman to desire was a big no-no. For a woman
to enjoy sex was *unthinkable*. (Imagine a sex
encounter where you didnít come. Imagine two. Imagine a life of it.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce Nancy Reagan.)
Q: How can you tell if a womanís had an orgasm?
A: Who cares?
Thatís supposed to be a joke. But flat out, there are men who just
donít give a damn if a woman comes or not. The feel that a vagina is the
place they hang their jimmy hat and thatís the end of the sex talk for
today, thank you. Ask them to show some sensitivity and theyíll tell you
that they are real men and sensitivity is for pussies. (Perhaps if these
guys understood pussies better, they might get closer to more of them.)
Maybe theyíre really afraid. Maybe theyíre not the studs they think they
are. Maybe all this time sheís been faking her orgasms.
When men are negated sexually, when there is even a hint that their
sexual orientation, potency, or proficiency might be challenged or in
doubt, many go berserk. No understanding, no humor, nothing but pure
rage. Fightiní words with no filler. Women have been quietly coping with
being rendered nonexistent in relationships for centuries. Look at all
the trouble Mary had to go through. Never had sex and then a mandate from
Heaven gets her knocked up. And she didnít even get to get off! Bearing
the Christ child was a consolation prize for her frustration and misery.
Mary didnít have any real power; she just got spiritually boned.
These days, women can run power trips to a certain degree. After
all, they have what men want. (The extent to which men have gone to get
it is legendary, and the conquest can be frightening in its violent
fury.) Women can withhold sex, give it out in limited quantities, use it
for barter, whatever. But even when they agree to give it up, thereís no
guarantee that their designated driver will be able to take them to their
Thatís because women got handed the raw deal biologically. By nature
and by design, women are the recipients, the sometimes passive and too
often victimized partner in sex. For women, itís all incoming; they get
it done to them. They get pounded; they become worse for the wear and
tear. They get used. Men can rock the house with impunity.
Well almost. Since modern women have been told that an orgasm is
their divine, liberated birthright, they can use it as an emotional
weapon in the battle of the sexes. And they can use it to hold men to new
performance standards. Standards that may require learning new acrobatic
skills, endurance training, and mind control.
During sex, the man will often concentrate on things other than what
is in front of him in order to stretch out the time before he comes. He
did all this work to get with her, and once there, immediately and with
all the concentration he can muster, he has to distance himself as much
as he can from enjoying the very thing heís after by desperately trying
not to think about it at all.
The friction is perfect. Sheís doing everything she can to have an
orgasm and heís doing everything he can not to. I can remember times when
a womanís nails have been digging into my skin and I was urgently
multiplying numbers, thinking of what to get at the grocery store - you
Another thing about abstract thinking during sex: When a man goes
down on a woman, heís all alone down there, and his mind can often stray.
But in minute seven heís going for choreography: one-two-three right,
LUNGE! For a lot of the time during sex, we men are changing the subject,
and sometimes weíre not even there. No wonder women can be so mean.
This is partly due to how the parts work. Men can easily come via
intercourse. All theyíve got to do is pretty much show up. For a woman
thatís not always the case. Most guys know this, and they know what they
have to do to get the woman off. What is pleasurable for her, however,
may turn out to be work for him. So there is often pressure for a woman
to climax on demand; sometimes she is made to feel that she is being done
some great big favor just because the man is applying himself to her:
*Okay, Iím doing my part. Your time is NOW!*
An offshoot of that - and this is a crime - is that the woman is
ashamed. Ashamed of what she wants and how she wants to feel. Some women
are ashamed of the nature of their genitaliaís anatomy, not necessarily
from a feeling of inadequacy, but because of its design and what it does.
I remember once being with a woman and moving from her breasts to her
midsection when she suddenly went absolutely rigid. I abandoned my
southerly route, went straight north, and asked what the matter was. She
told me that a guy had once told her that women were dirty and men didnít
like going down on them, and it had stuck with her. It took me a while to
turn that one around.
Sometimes a woman might have a problem letting her partner know what
she wants. A woman might be equally surprised at how willing the man is
to accommodate her once he has been told. Iím not taking sides, but if a
woman doesnít tell a guy what the problem is, then in the manís mind the
problem might not exist.
And then there are those men out there who go after a womanís orgasm
as if theyíre on a mission to bring back the Holy Grail. For them itís
not so much about being a partner in a sexual encounter as itís about
winning that trophy orgasm. Just another play - off game. It gives them
something to brag about; it makes them feel confident. And with the
pleasure can come the debt: *I made you come; what are you going to do
for me? Tell me how amazing I was at making you feel great.*
Wise up. To manipulate a James Brown lyric, Itís up to the guys to
use what theyíve got to help her get just what she wants. A real man
knows this. A real man knows that giving her an orgasm is proof that
youíre a real lover. If you canít make a woman come somehow, see it as a
shortcoming in yourself. And deal with it.