Metro Weekly

Twat Talk

Jenny Block's book on the female orgasm offers little more than rehashed information and contradictory advice

Female orgasm - Photo: Piotr Marcinski

Female orgasm – Photo: Piotr Marcinski

Jenny Block has made a vital discovery. It’s a discovery that will rock the lives of countless women, shake conventional society to its core, and perhaps even bring a little quiver to Earth’s orbit: Self-knowledge and communication make for better orgasms!

Yes, you heard right. And thank Heaven Ms. Block is here to tell us about it.

I’m not sure how — given decades of Cosmo articles, sex manuals and the internet — Ms. Block has somehow convinced herself (and her publisher) that the vast majority of women are still walking around in total ignorance of their twats and how to use them.

It’s true that had O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm (star) made its appearance in, say, 1959, it would have been a show-stopping revelation. Turning up as it does in 2015, it’s an enormous, eye-watering yawn. Are we still in need of reminders — endless, adamant reminders — that women need clitoral stimulation for a satisfying sexual experience?

I admit that at first, I thought this was going to be a genuine feminist polemic, with an opening salvo that reads like something Sheryl Sandberg might deliver: “Remember, orgasm is the center of women’s power. So tapping into yours is key to tapping into success in every aspect of your life.” It seems like we were all going to be leaning-in to our orgasms with toothy determination. But although there is a lot of talk about finding your “ultimate orgasm” and how a woman’s orgasm is a “right” and a “responsibility,” Block never dilutes the sound-bites with any kind of philosophizing.

Indeed, to say Block has a flair for the plainly obvious is an understatement. Although she clearly sees herself as some kind of high priestess of sexual knowledge and freedom, the vast majority of her “advice” is identical to the mindless filler in women’s magazines and blogs.

“If you are tense, it can be a challenge to reach orgasm. So whatever you do to relax, add it to your orgasmic practice.”

“Leave intimidation at the door. If it’s at play in any of your sexual endeavors, tell it to hit the road.”

“[Orgasms] are as dependent on our bodies as they are on our minds. Depending on the time of month, how much sleep you’ve had, whether you’ve been drinking, who you’re with, whether or not you’re alone, what kind of sex acts you’re partaking in…”

“Sure, we all have to wash the dishes. But why not buy a dishwashing soap with a swoonworthy fragrance?”

Yet, despite the thorough harvesting of brainless edicts, there still aren’t enough to fill a book. Block solves the problem with all manner of manic repetition. This is not only boring, it’s also annoying, since Block inserts herself with an alpha-girl adamancy that promises a bit of bullying if anyone begs to differ. “You don’t actually need my permission to come in the way that works for you,” the beneficent Ms. Block tells us.

After mentioning that she taught herself to ski, rock climb, sandboard, scuba dive, rappel and hang glide, Block notes that her pussy was deemed “perfect” in design at a twat-awareness session led by feminist icon Betty Dodson.

But don’t let that get you down, just leave your insecurities at the door!

Such self-branding might be forgiven except that Block also plays fast and loose with her facts, contradicts herself with regularity and displays a palpable ignorance of the vast number of self-actualized woman out there who spend their time fucking highly evolved males. There is also a distinct point at which the pap begins to raise, if not feminist hackles, then humanist ones.

“It is vital for you both to understand that although you may be happy to have a man penetrate you for his pleasure, and although you may derive some pleasure from it, you are ultimately doing it for him. Not for you,” she writes. “There’s not a thing in the world wrong with that if it gives you pleasure to allow him to find his pleasure inside you. And women have all sorts of delicious nerve endings inside their pussies, so it makes perfectly good sense that being penetrated would feel good to us. But you do not owe it to a man to sacrifice your pleasure for his ego.”

O Wow

O Wow

The assumptions here about straight couples would be laughable if they weren’t so insulting. Has Block not met a switched-on hetero couple? The kind where being in tune to one another’s mind and bodies in any given encounter is the goal, versus any particular sex act? Where, should they choose penetrative sex, the man has figured out how to stimulate his partner’s clit while in flagrante because they communicate?

Can she honestly think the average hetero women is still lying back and thinking of Britain?

Of course, this run at the feminist big table ends up falling apart when Block acknowledges that women who orgasm during penetrative sex likely “were experiencing some level of clitoral stimulation from the thrusting.” She later devotes endless emphasis to the orgasmic success of combining penetration with clitoral stimulation.

The hypocrisy rears its head again when she encourages women to try riding their (female) partner’s hipbone to get off: “You might feel like you’re just using or taking advantage of your partner. But talk about it. You will likely discover that your partner doesn’t mind a bit, because it’s you doing it and your partner loves you and desires you and wants you to experience pleasure in as many ways as possible!”

And then we have Block condemning men who say “I can make you come,” but crowing with pride at Dodson’s claim: “Give me any woman, any age, and I’ll get ’em off.” Block’s is a complicated rulebook, isn’t it?

And a shallow one. There’s little here (save a few variations) that you won’t have seen, read or tried if you’ve been registering, in recent history, a broadband connection — or a pulse.

O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm by Jenny Block releases August 8 — which is also International Day of the Female Orgasm — and is available from Amazon.com.

Correction: Due to an editing error, the word vagina was incorrectly used in place of twat in an earlier version of this review.


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