I asked Kelly Notaras an expert about women and sex questions many man have concerning women. Her answers to these questions will not only give you valuable insights into women, but also offer you a well informed prospective on men.
What is a “female orgasm”?
Well, anytime you’re talking about “an” orgasm you’re likely talking about a climax. Whether you’re a man or a woman, if you are alive in Western culture you’ve been taught that the goal of any sexual experience is to reach an intense peak where the muscles in the pelvic region release in a wave of pleasurable contractions. This is the standard definition we’ve all learned for the term “orgasm.”
I use the word differently. Orgasm, as I use it—and as I learned it from my teacher Nicole Daedone and from OneTaste, where I got my training—may well include climax, but climax is only the beginning. Orgasm is a force or quality that’s with us all the time. We can tell it’s there because we can feel it as sensations in the body. Sometimes we can feel it very strongly, like during sex. Other times it’s more subtle, like when we’re having a really connected conversation with someone. But it’s always there.
This broader definition allows for a wide variety of orgasmic experiences. Which is great for women, since (and I’m generalizing here) women tend to have a more subtle, nuanced orgasmic experience than men do. When orgasm is high, most men’s bodies naturally start climbing upwards toward a climax. While that’s the case for some women as well, there is far more variation to the way our bodies operate. But none of us, neither men nor women, have been taught how to feel and appreciate the subtleties of this more female definition of orgasm. We’re too busy trying to get our bodies to do the same thing men’s bodies do naturally. We get goal-oriented and miss the rest of the ride. We miss the sweet peaks and rich valleys of orgasm as it rises and falls in the body. What’s worse, we tell a woman her experience is somehow problematic—that if she’s not climaxing easily, she’s not orgasmic. Which is just false.
So when we’re talking about “female orgasm,” we’re talking about that expanded definition. It’s not just for women, by the way! In same way that women can enjoy climax, men too can learn how to feel subtle orgasmic sensation in their bodies. To access the richness and nuance that is going on all the time, the same way you can learn to taste the subtleties of flavor in a glass of fine wine.
What do women want?
I love that you asked this question. It’s actually ironic, because what women want is a man who cares enough about them to ask what they want! Women want men who want to be in service. I get in a bit of trouble when I say that, because in our culture of independence and alpha dog mentality the idea of being in service is equated with being weak. We hear about a man being in service to a woman and we think, “doormat.” But look at all the greatest spiritual teachings—start with Jesus—and what you see is that there is no greater spiritual principle than to be willing to be in service to those you love. The kind of service I’m talking about is not “I’ll do whatever you say, honey.” It’s, “We’re in this together, and my greatness is found in problem-solving, providing, and taking action. I’m best when I’m getting things done. Let me do what I do best and then acknowledge me for having done good work.”
Now, here’s the thing. The women don’t get off the hook here. Frankly I wouldn’t want to be in service to a woman if I were a man either, given the way most women operate! I used to be one of those women, so I know what I’m talking about. Exhausted, resentful women do not inspire service out of the men around them. And frankly most men have never met a woman who knows how to draw that kind of greatness out of them in a way that is endlessly pleasurable to both parties. I had never met such a woman until I met Nicole Daedone—and based on what she taught me, becoming one of those women is my life’s work.
How can a man best please a woman?
The answer I’m going to give is not likely to be one that you’re expecting to hear. What I would say is that a man can best please a woman by not falling for her bullshit. Women are taught—by society, by media messaging, by our mothers—to use our sexual power to manipulate and seduce our men into giving us what we want. In the process we are reaffirming our own deep fear that we do not deserve to ask for what we want cleanly. That we would not get what we wanted even if we did. So we pout, withhold, lie, lash out and kill you with the silent treatment instead.
The thing that women want, underneath it all, is to be held to a higher standard by a powerful and loving man. (Incidentally, men want the same thing, from a powerful and loving woman.) One who has a thick enough skin to go into battle with us and stand his ground, unwavering, mirroring back to us the vision of who we want to be instead of the circus act we’re putting on. It’s not a woman’s fault that she’s putting on the show by the way; it’s basically the way we’re taught to behave from the time we’re children. It’s the role models we’ve seen in the world around us. What we yearn for is to be shown the way out so we can become the women we’re meant to be, and model something new for other women. We need our men to help us. We want men who are strong enough to say, without anger or judgment, “Enough. I know who you are, underneath the drama. And I will wait here until she is ready to emerge.” Not to punish her, or try to get her to be someone she’s not. But instead to hold the vision even when she’s acting like a brat.
It’s not an easy thing to do. Nicole did it for me. I now get to do it for others. If men and women could do this for one another, it would be the greatest possible use of relationship I could imagine.
What does a woman need to hear from a man that she rarely hears?
“You are better than you think you are. You deserve to get what you want. And I am here to help you.”
What do men need to know most about how to make a difference to a woman during sex?
Men don’t realize how deeply we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that sex is about them, not us. It goes to our very bones. Even women who “love sex,” who are “wild and crazy” in bed—get them in an honest moment and you’ll hear that some or all of their boisterous performance is about making you happy. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying they aren’t enjoying the sex they’re having, but there’s generally some level of amping things up for your benefit.
So what’s the problem with that? The problem is that intimacy and honesty are synonymous. The more she’s trying to make you think she’s having the time of her life, the less you actually know what she enjoys. The less you know her, her inner world. I know how much men want to please the women they’re with, especially the kind of men who would be reading a site like yours. So my suggestion is to get really curious. Start by learning how to feel subtle sensation in your own body, then start listening to hers. Ask her questions during sex. Would she like more pressure? Less? Would she like you to go faster? Slower? If she says everything is “fine,” know that’s a sign that she doesn’t think it’s possible to really get what she wants. She may not even know what she wants. So make her gentle offers. Let her see you’re willing to explore. Then give her what she’s asking for, no questions asked. It may take some time, but if you can get her to open up, the rewards will be worth the effort.
What are you thought about these questions and Kelly’s answers?
Kelly Notaras is a sex and relationship consultant, which, among other things, means she gets to talk about sex without whispering. She studied slow sex, man-woman dynamics, and communication under Nicole Daedone—founder of OneTaste and creator of the groundbreaking practice of OM (Orgasmic Meditation). Kelly now teaches workshops in OM and consults with clients around the world who want more from their sex and relationships. www.kellynotaras.com
Photo by kedai-lelaki