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Is Oprah’s Audience Really that Sexually Naïve?

Laura Berman, PhD, intelligent, beautiful, well spoken sex therapist was on Oprah November 3rd, 2008.

I was desperately jealous to see Dr. Berman on Oprah and not me. (Oprah’s producers called about fourteen months ago—one month before I gave birth to my son and for whatever reason things never worked out. It still smarts to think about the potential loss…)

So I hope what I'm about to say doesn’t come across as sour grapes.

Are Oprah’s audiences that naïve about their sexuality? Do they not know that women have “three holes” (referring to the urethra, vagina and anus)? Or the litany of very basic sex education that was expounded? I was astounded that the audience sat mesmerized by what Dr. Berman had to say.

As well, Dr. Berman made it seem that all women can have a vaginal orgasm; and, therefore, a combined clitoral/ vaginal orgasm. That all gal has to do is just try hard enough, and voila, she can have a dual orgasm.

This every-woman-can-have-a-vaginal-orgasm, pop-culture ideal that keeps getting perpetuated MAKES ME CRAZY.

Important Notice
For all of the women reading who have never had a vaginal orgasm and feel terribly inadequate because of it: approximately 33% of women can consistently have a vaginal orgasm; 33% of women will sometimes have a vaginal orgasm; and 33% of women will never have a vaginal orgasm.

This is due to your “x” chromosome and has nothing to do with technique, how uptight you are, or how sexual you are.

Let’s end with something Dr. Berman did right
I heart Oprah.
However, I cringe every time she calls the vulva a “va-jay-jay”. I think, “Oprah, you’re such a powerful woman. Please, for the sake of women all over their world who use you as their role model, say ‘vulva’.” Dr. Berman handled this very well, explaining to Oprah and the audience that women need to feel comfortable using the proper terminology when referring to their genitals and not giving them nick names.

I suppose in the big picture, Dr. Berman’s appearance on Oprah has facilitated a conversation about female sexuality where there might not have been one before. For that, I’m grateful.

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Comment by Kasi on November 18, 2008 at 4:52pm
I didn't see this show. I wonder if her audience really is naive - or just hooked into the idea that 'good girls' don't know these things.

I have to say that I've never bought into the idea of vaginal versus clitoral orgasms. Seems like virtually all sexual positions give some sort of stimulation to the clitoris - either by rubbing pubic areas together, or just shifting the skin over the vulva in general and therefor the hood over the clitoris. Maybe I've just never experienced what you'd call a vaginal orgasm and that's why I don't buy into the idea, I don't know. But I certainly wouldn't feel bad about that.

I think it is so sad that women have so many reasons to feel bad about sex - doing it too much, not doing it enough, not doing it right, so on and so forth. Those of my friends who are very conservative think that because talking about sex doesn't bother me, that it's 'all about sex' for me. My mother-in-law thinks that because it doesn't embarrass me, I must have been a slut before her son married me (never mind that he's had at least six times the number of sex partners I've had, and that, apparently, is okay.) Just being comfortable with sex seems to make you a 'bad girl' in so many eyes - that's why I think that while some members of Oprah's audience may be naive, others are just playing so.

I do agree with the stupid names - grow up already, people!


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