Seminar Demystifies The Female Orgasm

Sara Joe Wolansky

Vagina-themed cupcakes from Sweet & Nasty, an erotic pastry shop, were served at the start of the Female Orgasm seminar. The seminar filled the room to capacity and featured both male and female attendees.

Under the tutelage of renowned sexologist Dr. Carol Queen on Friday night, students learned how to induce the female orgasm during the Seventh Annual Female Orgasm Seminar.

It was a night filled with gleaming condom wrappers, savory vagina cupcakes, and the infamous “wondrous vulva puppet.”

The two-hour event organized by the Radcliffe Union of Students was divided into two sections, a seminar led by Queen and an anonymous question and answer session for students. The anonymous Q&A period was conducted through anonymous text message, allowing students to ask their most probing questions about female sexuality from the security of their lecture seats.

During the event over 1,000 condoms and $400 worth of sex toys were distributed to students.

Detailing her accomplishments as a founding director of the Center for Sex and Culture and an owner of the sex shop Good Vibrations, Queen jokingly attributed her own fascination with human sexuality to being raised in rural America.

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“I’m a sexological overachiever,” she said. “I grew up way out in the country bored out of my mind.”

After waiting for the laughter to die down, Queen began pulling at her bright red shawl. “I am wearing my cloak of promiscuity ... it looks enough like a vulva that when I do these kinds of talks I love to wear it,” she joked. “I would wear my hood but I’m pretty sure my head would look like a clitoris.”

After another few minutes of jokes, Queen quickly moved to the seminar’s most anticipated topic, the female orgasm. Beginning with the question of what is an orgasm, Queen defined the orgasm as a peak sensation that can occur both within and outside of erotic contexts. All orgasms are not necessarily the same, she said. Some people know when they reach orgasm, while others are unsure.

Metaphors comparing orgasms to erupting volcanos and other earth shattering images can create unrealistic expectations for what the orgasmic experience is like, she said. This causes women, in particular, to think they are not having orgasms or reaching the highest levels of pleasure possible.

Taking out her vulva puppet, queen commented on the puppet’s pillow-like appearance. “You want one for your couch don’t you?” she joked.

Using the puppet, Queen highlighted key areas of the vulva for stimulating orgasms while explaining the role of nerve endings and the human brain in facilitating orgasm.

Transitioning to Q&A, Queen answered audience members’ questions about using vibrators, the importance of penis size, and key differences between g-spot and clitoral orgasms.

In her final remarks, Queen told the audience that it is really important to know their bodies and be comfortable with seeing what works best for them.

“Treating yourself as a science project in these matters is really useful,” she said.

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