Femme Pleasure and Strap-On Sex

I’ve sometimes felt that some butches are rather too… a-hem… narcissistically attached to their strap-ons.   If you can’t fuck without it, get out of my bed. 

Don’t get me wrong; I certainly don’t think strap-ons or dildos are heterosexist or antifeminist, and I’m not sitting around worrying that I have internalized heterosexist norms because I like sex with toys.  Actually, I think we’ve all absorbed these norms whether we acknowledge it or not.  The question is how do we engage/play with them in empowering and empathic ways (empathy being the opposite of narcissism).

For a number of years I took an antidepressant that had sexual side effects.   The world-rocking orgasms I used to have became a thing of the past.  It was really hard for me to come and if I did, my orgasms often left me feeling dissatisfied anyway.  It sucked, to put it mildly.   You often hear people (women, really) say that sexual pleasure isn’t “just” about orgasms, blah blah blah.  Unless the person in question is stone-identified, I think anyone who says that is (1) suffering from false consciousness or (2) having orgasms!

During the time I was struggling with managing my sexual side effects I suddenly developed a new empathy for those straight women who find sex to be more frustrating than satisfying.  It also made me start to wonder about how the popularity of strapping it on has affected lesbians in general and femmes in particular, who presumably aren’t any more likely than other women to orgasm from vaginal-only stimulation.  

As the website Go Ask Alice!  puts it, “For most women, making it a goal to reach orgasm during intercourse is a bit like making it a goal to find that elusive pot of gold held by a cute little leprechaun at the end of the rainbow.”   (A silly quote, but St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so indulge me please!)  Most studies say that 70% of women do not and will not achieve orgasm from “unassisted” penis-in-vagina sex.  We all know that many women with male partners never have orgasms from intercourse and some become accomplished fakers in order to perpetuate the illusion that real women come from big, hard dicks.  To make matters worse, now doctors are “helping” in the way that they almost always do–by locating the problem in women’s bodies and then proposing to “fix”  it.  Good god, even too-cool-for-school Margaret Cho–Margaret Cho people!– got one of those G-spot shots (that’s where they inject collagen into your G-spot to “increase sensitivity”) in her quest to “achieve” orgasm from intercourse.  Just how far will we go to maintain our illusions about heteronormativity?  Pretty fucking far, clearly. 

This brings me back to my central question about strap-on sex, sexual pleasure, and femmes. Do we experience similar challenges around orgasm and sexual satisfaction as our straight sisters?  Or perhaps we experience more sexual satisfaction than they do at least in part because of the advantages of dildos, some of which are designed specifically for G-spot stimulation and/or can accommodate/increase clitoral stimulation?    I think we’re generally more informed and aware than hetero girls about female sexuality and are also more likely than them to ask for and receive other kinds of stimulation (correct me if you think I’m wrong about this), but I doubt I’m the only femme who’s felt inadequate when she couldn’t come from vaginal-only stimulation.   Is this an issue for you?  Do you feel pressured to “perform” for your partner(s)?  If you have different kinds of orgasms, which are the ones that are the most satisfying?  Do you think dykes and butches are relying too much (or not enough) on their dicks?  Are you a femme who likes to strap it on for your girl or boy/boi?  There are clearly gender issues to be addressed here, but I’m especially interested in opening up a conversation about femme sexual pleasure.

16 Responses

  1. I am a butch who very much loves to strap on, but does not rely on that. I pride myself on being versatile and on my ability to read my partner. Sometimes my dick is the only thing she wants, other times not. I am very good with my hands, tongue, thigh.. I am not hung up on how I make her feel good, just that I do.

    Besides, if I only relied on my dick, the quick back seat trysts I enjoy so much during the work day wouldn’t be nearly as easy or convenient.

    I know for myself that I don’t always get off on the same kind of stimulation. I think being observant and generous are two of my most valuable sexual tools.

    Damn, Kyle, you’re one sexy MF! About your valuable sexual tools, I couldn’t agree more. ;-) Thanks for weighing in. xo SF

  2. first, amen to sentence 2!

    second, holy hell, that g-spot shot thing is creepy. and news to me. i’m kind of phobic of cosmetic-esque surgeries anyhow.

    on the personal side, it’s odd, but i’ve had kind of an opposite problem. as something of a sex nerd, i’ve been fairly well informed of the fact that most women don’t orgasm from vaginal stimulation, and because our society is so phallus-centric these (most!) women are left thinking there’s something wrong with them (rather than, say, wrong with the sex they’re having).

    this information left me wondering if, perhaps, there was something wrong with me for (generally speaking) needing that kind of stimulation to orgasm (damn my body and it’s heteronormative, patriarchal wiring!). it all seems kind of silly now that i’m mostly over the concern, but it even led me into a bit of a dyke-doubting – am i a “real lesbian” if i like [butch] cock? or don’t like clitoral stimulation? well, i just think it’s funny how things look so similar from completely different perspectives.

    Soo interesting, thanks for sharing Lady B! As for the dyke-doubting, I’ve been there (although for other reasons). I think it’s great that you’ve found your pleasure–and own it. xo SF

  3. I love this post.

    I love the strap-on, but nothing feels better than hands. Your hands are your best tools! I’d rather be fucked by a girl’s hand than her dick any day, but really I like a little combination of them both during the same “session.” I am one of those women who doesn’t orgasm from only vaginal stimulation. While it certainly feels really good and has prompted the amazing squirting phenomenon, I get off with clitoral stimulation.

    How about the butch blowjob? Like it? Dislike it?

    Thx Nikki, glad you liked the post! Re your question, the butch blowjob is evidence that Andy Warhol was right when he said “sex is so abstract.” I think they can be hot, sure. And you? xo -SF PS Hope you’re recovered from the gayfluenza!

  4. This is something I’ve been discussing a lot over the last two days. Reliance on an external cock is something that I find strange… the strap-on is, and should be, for me, a “special event” – not something I ever want to rely on. That said, lately I have been having significant trouble achieving orgasm and I know that my lover feels self-conscious about her performance, as if it’s her, as if she’s doing something wrong. And I know that were she using a piece of silicone shaped specifically to stimulate me, I’d probably have a little less trouble.

    So, yes, I think we do have the same problems; in my past, sleeping with men, I always used the line “I’m still enjoying it; I don’t mind if I don’t come” and sometimes they bought it, though I know they always felt inadequate. I don’t want my lovers to feel inadequate. I don’t want them to feel as if they’re doing something wrong… but I don’t want to fake it, either.

    I want that earthshattering orgasm, but I don’t know where to find it.

    In my current situation I’m topping a girl who comes like a hurricane, all noise and light and chaos, and it’s amazing; the satisfaction I feel when I make that happen, with my hands (or anything else, though I haven’t yet) inside of her is addictive, intoxicating. I love knowing that it was me who gave that to her. And I want her to feel that with me, but she won’t, and I DO feel like there’s something wrong with me.

    There is nothing wrong with you!!! I’m no sexual therapist but when I’ve been in your situation it’s always helped me to try to figure out what’s going on for me both psychologically and physiologically. Maybe your body is trying to tell you something? Bottom line: you deserve the same erotic intensity you give to your girl. Keep looking and you WILL find it. Much love to you, SF

  5. [...] has included me in her conversation on Femme Pleasure and Strap-On Sex… in the comments I add a bit of discussion, continuing from my post I Require Nothing From [...]

  6. As someone who looks, and does (on occasion) identify as being butch, despite the fact I am more than Valentino-butch, I never have, and never will, nor do I ever want to strap on anything, whether Milady doth protest and say she’d like it that way, or not.

    If I cannot give the woman I am with the greatest amount of pleasure from what I am doing then believe me, it ain’t gonna happen with a plastic, rubber, glass, wood, aluminum substitute dick. At least, not with me it isn’t! And no, I have nothing against anyone wanting to go that route, or women who indulge from either side of that ideology.

    To me, hands, finger tips, tongues, lips, and full on mouth have no substitute when it comes to sensitivity, and the giving of pleasure.

    LOL! Hilarious. Maybe it was your use of the word “Milady.” So no dildos ever, or no strap-ons, or both? As for your use of the term “substitute dick”–ouch. I love the Valentino butch thing, BTW. xo SF

  7. good gosh, collagen injections? anything to perpetuate that there’s nothing wrong with the man but something with the woman.

    i agree with you on the hetero girls. my 2s straight friends have sexual daliances and are always so excited to tell me about them – to which i giddily ask, “did you come, did you come!?” (because to me, [a lesbian], i love coming and do all the time and love to hear about [make sure] my friends orgasm). and they always fucking say “no.” i don’t understand it. how can someone just go through sex. and not orgasm and let it go? so the penis isn’t doing it for you alone, put your hands down there and rub it out., gahh. but it’s like they don’t want to do that, go there, explore what can work for them. it drives me mad. she blows the guy and that’s it? well get on your back and make him work, too! do you think he will get offended if he knows that the probing ain’t doing it fer ya and you need to touch yourself?

    so to answer your question, i think us lesbians are more sexually satisfied not because of the dildos and other various sex toys – i just think – since we work with other women’s bodies – that we know was feels good and…idk…feel more comfortable telling our partners what feels good and doesn’t, because, ya know, they’re girls too. this could be a big generalization as i am sure there are heterosexual people out there that have satisfying sex lives….

    …but lesbians have it more. HA.

    Great comment! “she blows the guy and that’s it? well get on your back and make him work, too!” ;-)

    It’s lovely to see your avatar–which I’ve been admiring for ages–over here at SF Unbound. xo SF

  8. Hope you don’t mind another butch chiming in on this, but I thought it was such a great, thought-provoking post.

    Every woman’s body is different, so different types of stimulation will rock everyone’s respective world. Some days it might be giving/receiving strap-on action, some days it might be oral, some days it could be a combination of several things. I think relying on thing – a strap-on, in this case – is boring at best, selfish at worst. And if you rely on one thing sexually, what are you going to do when something goes off script? It’s harder to adapt, IMO.

    My greatest sexual assets are listening and communicating. If I listen to my sexual partner, then I can give her what she wants, in the moment, and isn’t that the greatest feeling as a lover? And if I don’t communicate my wants to her, so she can give me what I want, I’m taking away her opportunity to experience that feeling as well. That takes away that “pressure to perform,” don’t you think?

    Thanks again for this post – I love getting a feminine perspective.

    Welcome G, I love it when butches come to call, especially when they leave thoughtful comments like yours. Yes I agree that mutuality is really important. BTW I took a peek at your blog and look forward to reading more. Hope you got that chicken soup! -SF

  9. First of all, g-spot enhancement? Brrrr.

    What a coincidence – I’m reading this post when just last night one of my lovers randomly decided to buy me a brand new strap-on. I’ve been wanting one for ages and I’m really excited about getting it :)

    “You often hear people (women, really) say that sexual pleasure isn’t “just” about orgasms, blah blah blah. Unless the person in question is stone-identified, I think anyone who says that is (1) suffering from false consciousness or (2) having orgasms!”

    I’d argue with this, though. I love having orgasms, really, I do… but often when I’m with another person, what’s more important to me is how we’re interacting with each other and each other’s bodies and skin and… everything. I think it’s probably because I can give myself an orgasm easily enough by myself, but I can’t get that contact and intimacy alone, obviously…

    Most of the time when I’m saying “orgasms aren’t the only thing that matter…” it’s to a guy who’s preoccupied with “making me cum” and feeling bad when he cums before I do, etc. Gentlemanly as that is, I don’t want my lovers to be holding out on themselves to “make me cum” – I want them to let go.

    I think the biggest difference between straight sex and sex with another woman is that men are so goddamned penis-centric. My male lovers, who are more experienced or just more communicative, can use their hands, mouth, etc as well and don’t feel “threatened” when you want something other than being penetrated with their cock :| I have met some men, however, who are a bit immature or come from a bit more chauvinistic cultural backgrounds who feel somehow “unwanted” if you can’t get off on just their cock. Women, I think, just see things from a much broader perspective because… well, they know that our bodies feel pleasure from many different kinds of things, and what feels good can depend on when/who/mood/etc

    Straightness aside, whenever I’ve been with a female-bodied person, butches included, strap-ons/cocks have hardly factored into the equation at *all*, if ever. And that sex has been some of the most mind-blowing I’ve ever had.

    Excellent comment, Wilhelmina, thank you! Have you had a chance to take that new strap-on for a test drive yet? ;-) xo SF

  10. I’m chiming in late with a slightly different perspective.

    First, I would hesitate to say something as final and conclusive as sentence #2. What if a butch couldn’t fuck without it? What if their gender edges into trans and their cock is a part of who they are? A cis-gendered man can’t be told to take off his cock, and I would never presume to tell the person I’m sleeping with what parts they can and cannot have while in bed with me.

    Second, I’m fairly new to the strap-on sex thing, but I can tell you it’s what I’ve been waiting for my whole life. I’m not straight, and my lover’s cock is the answer to my prayers. It makes sex different, full stop. It allows our bodies to be at different angles, it frees up hands to be elsewhere — and I have no trouble coming from it. There is no value judgement here, it’s just my experience. I think as a femme I have the right not to feel guilty or shamed by my love of my partner’s cock. I love having sex with my partner no matter whether she’s strapped on or not, but I will say that before we started experimenting with a cock I felt there was something missing.

    Third, I think it is hugely important to remember that a butch is strapping on with something that has no nerve endings in it. For a bio-cock, it is often very easy for the person to whom it’s attached to come from penetration. For a silicone cock, it is there to give pleasure to the person it is penetrating, and often the pleasure of the person who is wearing it is secondary. Witness conversations about how difficult it is for a butch to come while fucking with a strap-on cock.

    Obviously, there is so much individual variation that it’s impossible to generalize about these things. But I will say that the impression I have always gotten from the butch/femme community is the femme’s sexual pleasure is of paramount importance. Femmes often seem almost hyper-sexualized (this blog certainly supports that view) and our butch partners take especial pride in being able to give us what we want in bed.

    I know that this dynamic is present in my own relationship, and is reflected in other b/f writing that I’ve encountered. As I said, I do understand it’s not possible or appropriate to assume that this is the same for all butch/femme partnerships. Relationships where the femme is more the top are bound to have a very different dynamic, as I would guess would be the same for femme/femme relationships. But I feel that if a femme is not coming from her partner’s cock, said partner would change techniques to get her off. Am I wrong?

  11. freedomgirl – i wouldn’t presume to speak for sf, but in defense of my own agreement with her second sentence, i interpreted it differently than you. because i *do* feel the same way about a cis-man (admittedly less likely to be in my bed to begin with). no, not, “oh, honey, you’re gonna have to get rid of that thing first,” but just “you had better have a lot more in your arsenal than that cock.”
    because, while i’m inclined to say that her cock is my favorite part of sex, that’s really only because i am the sort of person who says things like that, with the result of having twenty different favorite things. which, i suppose, is exactly my point above.

  12. @ freedomgirl

    Thx so much for your comment. Just to clarify: there is nothing prescriptive about my post! I’m completely opposed to using any sexual practice/preference as a method for moral evaluation or a yardstick of politically correctness. Like you, I’m just speaking from my own experience. And, like you, I’m a fan of the strap-on, so I assure you there’s *no* shaming here!! I think it’s great that you experience so much pleasure from your lover’s cock. Follow your bliss, by all means!

    Lady Brett Ashley and Wilhelmina point to the issue I’m trying to focus on, which is what happens when dykes become so cock-centric that strap-on sex becomes the “real deal” instead of one option among others? (If you & your partner are happily cock-centric, then this issue wouldn’t apply to you.) For me, this isn’t just an issue for butches who like to strap on; it’s an issue for their femme partners, too. This is why in my post I’m trying to be honest about some of my own sexual issues–for example, the time period when I had a lot of difficulty coming from vaginal-only penetration and felt inadequate about it even though I knew I shouldn’t–in other words, even though I knew it was only heteronormativity that puts such pressures on women in the first place.

    As for the importance of femme sexual pleasure in butch-femme, I certainly agree with you. When I teach about b-f in my classes, I always point to the emphasis on femme sexual pleasure as evidence for the fact that b-f is not simply an imitation of heterosexuality. That said, I also don’t want to idealize lesbian sexual experience/relationships. Sometimes I wonder if the “it’s-all-about-the-femme” thing makes us reluctant to talk about some of our struggles and problems in the bedroom. (I’d love to hear what others think about this.)

    In sum, I’m not judging anyone’s desires or her paths to satisfying them. I’m just trying to have an honest discussion about strap-ons, orgasms, and femme sexual pleasure.

  13. I am a femme, and I totally agree that every woman is different, and as such, subject to having to try a myriad of different things before she finds “THE ONE”, that way that she can come that rocks her from her toes to the top of her head. For me, an “ole skool” femme, nothing in the world beats the feeling I get from my stud’s body close to mine, doing that plain old fashioned “booty bumping” as it used to be called. (Among a lot of other names, the technical term being Tribadism.) I’ve tried it all, and with some skill and patience, can come from most, but there is nothing like the feel of my woman’s natural body against mine. I’ve never been crazy about hands, and that goes for even before I came out when I was with men. A talented mouth goes a looooong way toward getting me there, but to me it’s a prelude, not the main event. I just love the “real deal”; we can play any way you want, but when it comes to getting down to it, ride me all natural baby!

  14. I’ve been enjoying the comments of all. There are times when I just want a really good long pounding. A guy and his cock are great for a short fuck but when another woman straps on, lubes up and pounds me for longer than five minutes, that is so hard to beat. I’m vaginally orgasmic and so they just roll like thunder. Thanks for letting me put in my two cents worth.

  15. Your article was an eye-opener for me. Strap-ons and penetration (both receiving and giving) satisfy me just fine so I guess I’m the reverse of this post. I don’t think lesbians are too dependent on dildos because I thought strap-on fun was rare, not prevalent or encouraged among gay girls. I figured some might view it as ‘not as gay’ because it ‘relied on a phallic object’ and involved penetration. However I do agree that if anyone, butch or femme, has to rely solely on a dildo to get off, than there’s a problem.

  16. Yet another late, different perspective! I’m a femme who once identified as bi, now as lesbian, and the reason is because I didn’t care for being f*d. (I had several boyfriends in my early 20s who were willing to have ‘lesbian’ sex — hands and mouths and tribadism only).
    (The last b.f. did not insist on PIV every time out, once we went there, but I didn’t feel it was fair to never do it. That was a struggle for me.)

    One butch I was with never seemed bothered at all that she liked being penetrated (with my hand) but I wanted clit. But the butch I was with in my early 30s was *very* bothered by the fact that I didn’t want her to strap on (we tried with a very small dildo, basically finger sized, and it still wasn’t for me).

    Six months into our relationship, I started strapping on, and she was *wild* for it (and I found it very hot, too). But that made her feel emasculated, and she felt guilty about it. Argh.

    I agree with the poster who said that femmes’ sexual display/desire is a big part of the butch-femme dynamic, but I’d disagree that is what distinguishes it from heterosexual sex. Maybe the men I had sexual relationships with were not typical (they were certainly geekier and smarter than the average guy), but they certainly found those same aspects of my sexuality arousing & delightful.

    My most recent g.f. was androgynous, towards the femme side. I strapped on for her from time to time, not often. She was not as aroused by watching/hearing my desire as the butches or the men. But I would say I was from hearing hers!

    And, by the way, I don’t know if you can generalize that those strapping on don’t come from the stimulation of f*ing. I always did (though it wasn’t a strong orgasm, since it was so indirect). In fact, I did so quickly with the last g.f. that I found it a little embarrassing!

    Life is complicated, eh?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 95 other followers

%d bloggers like this: