Women Turning On: The Big O

Women in Contemporary Relationships

When modern women discovered the orgasm, it was (combined with modern birth control) perhaps the biggest single nail in the coffin of male dominance.
—Elaine Morgan, The Descent of Women

Once it was finally established that women could have orgasms and that even good women could have good orgasms, there began an intensive search for the Big O. We became less concerned with “does she or doesn’t she have sex” and more concerned with “does she or doesn’t she have orgasms.” The tone of many discussions divided women into two classes: those who were sexually aware and those who were frigid. It was as if sexual feeling was something a woman did or did not have, the way she did or did not have blue eyes or big breasts, and the lucky ones were those who happened to have it. Frigidity was a problem in the woman.

It was then…

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