Closing the Pleasure Gap with Laurie Mintz

Closing the Pleasure Gap with Laurie Mintz

“I have seen this in my practice and with readers of my book, who have told me that once they began to feel more sexually empowered, they feel empowered in every other aspect of their life.” - Laurie Mintz

As the title of this episode states, there is a common gap that exists for women today, and it is holding them back in all areas of their life. It doesn’t have to be this way though, because today’s expert Brave By Design guest is leading a new sexual revolution for orgasm equality. After listening to this episode, you’ll learn what you can do today to close the pleasure gap and become more empowered in all areas of your life. 

Dr. Laurie Mintz is a feminist author, therapist, professor, and speaker whose life’s work has been committed to helping people live more authentic, meaningful, and joyful lives through the art and science of psychology.

Join Laurie and I as she explains the health benefits of orgasms and sexual pleasure, with or without a partner. Laurie also debunks the common myths often associated with sexual pleasure, making this an episode that you do not want to miss!  

Connect with Laurie: https://www.drlauriemintz.com/

Connect with Laura Khalil online:

instagram.com/iambravebydesign

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BraveByDesign/

linkedIn.com/in/LauraKhalil

Get on Laura’s Newsletter:

http://bravebydesign.net 

Invite Laura to speak at your live or virtual event http://bravebydesign.net

Support the show (https://www.paypal.me/bravebydesign)

What You’ll Hear In This Episode: 

  • Why talking about orgasms, pleasure and self-pleasure is so important for all women to do [2:40]

  • Laurie explains what the “orgasm gap” is all about  [4:35]

  • “Sex” defined [6:45]=

  • How her book helps others, and the way you can become “Cliterate” [10:26]

  • Debunking vibrator myths and other falsehoods around pleasure [13:13]

  • Things you can do now to begin communicating better with your partner, while asking for what you need [15:35]
     
  • What Laurie considers to be a healthy amount of sex [25:25]

Additional Links & Resources: 

Laurie’s Books, Becoming Cliterate & A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex

Her Instagram, Facebook & Twitter

Laurie’s TEDx Talk, A new sexual revolution for orgasm equality 

She Comes First by Ian Kerner

Support the show (https://www.paypal.me/bravebydesign)

Transcript
Laurie Mintz :

I have seen this in my practice and with readers in my book, who have told me that once I begin to feel more sexually empowered, I feel empowered in every other aspect of my life.

Laura Khalil :

Welcome to brave by design. I'm your host, Laura Khalil. I'm an entrepreneur, coach and speaker. I love thinking bait, exploring the power of personal development and sharing the best strategies from thought leaders and pioneers in business to empower ambitious women and allies to bravely rise and thrive. Let's get started. Everyone, welcome to this episode of brave by design, we are doing something a little different today. So if you do not want to learn about mature themes and mature topics related to sexuality and self pleasure, and how that can really help enrich your life Move on to the next episode. However, if you're a little bit curious, I don't think you're gonna want to miss this because we have Dr. Laurie Mintz in the house. She is a feminist author, therapist, professor and speaker, whose life's work has been committed to helping people live, more authentic, meaningful and joyful lives through the art and science of psychology. As a tenured professor at the University of Florida, she teaches the psychology of human sexuality. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, indicating that Her work has had a positive national influence on the field of psychology. She is the author of two popular books, both written with the aim of empowering women sexually becoming clitoral why orgasm equality matters and how to get it and a tired Woman's Guide to passionate sex. reclaim your desire and ignite your relationship with the same goal of providing sexually accurate sex positive information to Enhance female pleasure. Yes. Lori also writes a popular psychology today. Well, you can find her all over the internet. That is how I have found her and I have been following her. Lori, welcome to brave by design.

Laurie Mintz :

Thank you for having me.

Laura Khalil :

I am so excited to have you on today. As you know, I tracked you down. I was like, I want to have you on the show, because I want to talk about the elephant in the room, which is something that Yeah, we're more of a business focus show. And I wanted to talk though about something that a lot of women don't talk about. Don't discuss, but affects every single one of us and that is self pleasure, or just pleasure or just orgasms. Can you tell us why are we talking about this? Why is this important to even discuss? Well,

Laurie Mintz :

thank you for asking that. There's so many reasons to talk about orgasms and self pleasure and partner pleasure. Bottom line is we have I mean, if you're talking we have an orgasm gap right now in our culture. So that means it's akin to the wage gap women are having substantially fewer orgasms than men. Women are having trouble having orgasms in partner sex. And so why is that important? Why is the orgasm part first of all, it's fun. It's the you know, not every sexual encounter has to end an orgasm but orgasms are super fun and they flood your body with all kinds of feel good chemicals and it radiates outside of the bedroom. So if you are not having orgasms in the bedroom, and you're feeling kind of like about that, that's gonna kind of doll your energy outside of the bedroom. But once you claim your sexuality once To become empowered sexually and I have seen this in my practice and with readers of my book, who have told me that once I begin to feel more sexually empowered, I feel empowered in every other aspect of my life. I feel more confident outside of the bed. Just

Unknown Speaker :

incredible, huh?

Laurie Mintz :

It sex is so important. It's a very important part of life. And so I'm not surprised by it, but it's something we don't often talk about the impact of sexual satisfaction I life satisfaction on none.

Laura Khalil :

Yes. So, Laurie, tell us a little bit about this orgasm gap. I mean, what I've seen from your research is absolutely shocking, or I should say the research you cite, you say that 4% of women are able to achieve an orgasm from intercourse alone. That's not very high.

Laurie Mintz :

No, it's not very high and this is responsible for the order orgasm gifts. So, kind of taking a step back. There's all kinds of research but one of my favorite stats is a pretty general one that there was a study done where they asked people did you have an orgasm at your last sexual encounter? 39% of women versus 91% of men said yes. Huge orgasm. Whoa, yeah. And it's even bigger in hookup sex and smaller in relationship sex that that study didn't differentiate, but, and I could get into those stats if you want. But the bottom line is across all kinds of sex women are having way fewer orgasms than men. And you mentioned another set. You mentioned that 4% stat. And that is the there's so many reasons for the orgasm gap. To be the primary one is a privileging of male sexual pleasure that's so deeply ingrained in our culture. And I'm not blaming individual men. Blaming culture but the bottom line is you don't have to look very hard to see images of women having fast and fabulous orgasms from intercourse alone. And the truth is, that's a lie. The overwhelming majority of women do not orgasm from intercourse alone. Yep. They think they should they fade in. And we we equate sex and intercourse we use them like they're the same words, right? So it's like we put all our emphasis on men's way of reaching orgasm rather than women's way of reaching orgasm.

Laura Khalil :

No, that's really interesting. You say we we sort of intermingle sex and intercourse? What's your definition of sex?

Laurie Mintz :

My definition of sex? I love that question. First of all, when we intermingle sex and intercourse, we're also not being inclusive of gay and lesbian individuals. So that's an issue but the other issue is we're not as I Said taking into account women's most reliable route to pleasure. My definition of sex is just the consensual mutual sharing of pleasure

Laura Khalil :

is different forms.

Laurie Mintz :

It can be any different form oral sex, you know, manual stimulation, vibrator stimulation, it doesn't have to have intercourse to make it sex.

Laura Khalil :

You know, I love that because I can't remember where I was reading this. But there was some research done, where they looked at men and women and that men don't even understand or I should say people with penises don't often understand that people with vulva has often experienced pain during intercourse not to say that that can completely remove the pleasure aspect of it. But the sense that we're so focused in our society on that, so Have penis in vagina type of sex without really acknowledging that for some people, that's actually that doesn't always feel that great. Or it might take more for that to feel great. And that's just what's glorified through a lot of pornography that we have or a lot of the, you know, suggestive material that's out there, you know,

Laurie Mintz :

and then it's such a good point that so, you know, you see these images of a person with a penis, putting his penis in a person with a vulva. And she's like, immediately like, Oh, you know, and in reality that would hurt and the reason it would hurt, I mean, is vulva pain can have a medical cause, but I think a lot of them and that's really important if someone out there is listening and is having, volver pain, see a physician, however, here is a major cause of that. And that is having penetrative sex before you're aroused and it takes So while with a person with evolved to get aroused and when a person will evolve against arouse two things happen, they lubricate the inside of their vagina becomes bad and a lot of people evolve and need extra lubrication and your vagina becomes what I call a wet tent. It not only gets wet it narrows on the outside and gets bigger on the at the end on the inside and the cervix pulls up and out of the way so if you have penetrative sex before you're aroused, it's gonna be dry it's gonna hurt and the penis can hit the cervix which really also hurts quite a bit. And they I mean, there's all kinds of you know, numbers out there on this and there's nothing really for sure, but we do know that when with a partner person was involved with can take 20 to 40 minutes to be aroused enough for penetration and guess Wow, amount of time. Young people. I know the stats on young people are spending before putting the penis in the vagina.

Laura Khalil :

I'm scared. Yeah, you should be

Laurie Mintz :

less than five minutes. Oh my gosh. Yeah. No wonder like over 30% of women said they had pain at their last instance of penetrative sex. You know, they're not aroused enough. There's a great thing by another author just because he's tired and ready doesn't mean it's time to let him in.

Laura Khalil :

Bingo.

Unknown Speaker :

So the

Laura Khalil :

book is called becoming clitoral. Which I presume you're talking about the clitoris?

Laurie Mintz :

Absolutely. Why are we talking about that? We're talking about that because it's such an uncomfortable word. We don't use it in our culture. We're uncom we act as if it doesn't exist. We, you know, we linguistically erase it we call our entire genitals of vagina, which is which

Laura Khalil :

is incorrect. Correct.

Laurie Mintz :

JOHN is canal penis is going babies come out the vulva. Is the outside which has motorists and that's where all of the most of the touch sensitive nerve endings are. Most women need clitoral stimulation either alone or combined with penetration to reach orgasm. So I call my book becoming clutter it because we need to start becoming clear about the clearest.

Laura Khalil :

I am salutely love that. Now, there are probably some women listening to this right now. Or I mean, I would say the partners of women listening to this, who may say, you know, I don't think I've ever had an orgasm, or I'm not really sure this would. Maybe I just can't do that, or something like that. Where do we start if maybe you're a woman or someone with a vulva who is experiencing that kind of challenge.

Laurie Mintz :

So where you start is, you know, self pleasure. You got to first you start with your mind. You got to use mindfulness and positive self talk and understand that, you know, masturbation even if you've been taught it's negative. It's actually a scientifically sound way to learn to become orgasmic. It's the cornerstone of sex therapy. of really, yeah. empirically supported aspect of treatment for helping women become orgasmic is having them masturbate to orgasm with their hands with the vibrator. I'd love to debunk vibrator Miss if we have a chance, find out the simple is find out what you like bring yourself to orgasm, and then get that same type of stimulation when you're with a partner. So many times people will always know how to stimulate themselves when alone and then with a partner they're like out the window that doesn't matter. I'll try to orgasm a completely different different way from penetration alone. And the key is to learn what you want alone and then get that same type of stimulation with a partner. And that's like, in a nutshell, the key.

Laura Khalil :

I love that. So, you mentioned debunking vibrator myths. What are those myths?

Laurie Mintz :

Okay, so there's one that there replacements for men, but Oh, yeah, I heard that. Oh, I hear that all the time. I and in fact, the research is also very clear that women who use vibrators have easier and more frequent orgasms. And a male partner someone who identifies as a man his acceptance of a female partners vibrator use is related to her satisfaction and wow acity so it's what I like to say is, you know, it's a tool. It doesn't hug you it doesn't say love you. It doesn't make you laugh. It just helps you get your orgasm, the metaphor I like to use is if you went swimming with your partner and you're in the swimming pool and you're on a raft and you jump off the raft and on the raft and you play on the raft, and the raft makes you have a more fun day at the pool. You're not going to call your friend after and go, Oh my gosh, I had so much fun with the raft. Oh, and my partner was there too. It's the same thing. It's just a tool to enhance your sexuality. Then there's the myth that they're addictive. Which, you know, is like, no, they just make your orgasms easier. And then we don't if we all get accustomed to a certain type of stimulation. I mean, most people with penises like you know, get off on intercourse. We don't tell them Oh, no, that's addictive. Don't try that. Like whatever gets you off, you know, and it's not an addiction, or it will make your clitoris burn off and become numb. No, you might press too hard then just let it out. Upon the pressure more or less less, or it's sort of like you ever get your button on when you ride a bike, then you just stop and it gets better. And you learn the next time to do it differently. don't ride as long don't ride as hard. You know. So all those myths.

Laura Khalil :

I mean, I think that's just so valuable for people to hear it is so hard for people in our society, especially like with their partners and stuff, to even have these discussions. You know, there's like a wall of shame and uncomfortableness and surrounding all of that. And I want to touch on that, because how can people begin to have these conversations maybe if they're in a partnership or you know, any situation where they would like to be intimate with someone that would like to have sex based on your definition? And maybe they need to ask for what they need. Maybe they need to understand what the other person needs. How do we even begin to broach this topic?

Laurie Mintz :

Yeah, you're So right people are so uncomfortable with this topic. And it takes time it takes practice, but it's so worth it. And I like to say that it's a lot easier to learn to talk about sex than it is to read your partner's mind, or to have them. It is something you can learn. And it's like sexual communication is really no different than other communication. It's an offshoot of good general communication. And so I tell people start with good general communication on your knees. I statements, that's a big one. Start your statements with I rather than you or don't women, especially I find asked questions that aren't questions. Do you want to have sex? That's a great example. It's not really a question because it either means I hope you do, because I do or I, as I don't, but we ask these questions that are not Questions to avoid owning our needs. And see this is another reason why if you learn good sex, it translates outside the bedroom, right? Because if you start being able to communicate your needs in bed, think about how good you could be in the boardroom if you're good at the bedroom,

Laura Khalil :

you know, seriously. Yeah. That's a transferable skill. Laurie. I love that. And, you know, I think it's a great lesson for us to realize that when you're with your partner, that's a safe space. Right? And it's also a safe space for you to communicate, but also, you know, it's one would hope that's a safe space for your partner to communicate back with you. And that everything can be so great. If we're just honest with one another about Hey, like, that's not working for me, hey, try this instead or I need this. I need using the iPad. statements, which are just useful by the way for everyone listening I statements are incredibly useful. If you're regarding any sort of conflict or communication challenge you're having, I statements are a great way to go. Instead of saying you did this, you did that, or you didn't do this. I really love that. Now, Laurie, let me ask you what inspired you to write this book?

Laurie Mintz :

My students inspired me I teach psychology of human sexuality to about 150 students a year at the University of Florida. And when I started teaching about the orgasm gap, the science behind it, the students in the class like that, that was their lived experience. I was speaking and then I started teaching them about orgasms about the vulva about the quitters and I was like floored, like most of them had not heard this before. Here we are and wow. At the time, it was like, you know 2017 So not that much different right? And most of them did not know that they needed clitoral stimulation to orgasm. Most of the people with penises were saying how can I get my partner to have orgasm through intercourse and then so I started teaching to the orgasm gap to the clutter is sexual empowerment. And I would get notes from students all the time. Thanks to your class. I'm orgasmic thanks to my girlfriend orgasmic like this has changed my life. And again, speaking to your point earlier, I'm more confident in my life in general because of this. And I thought I have to get this information out there beyond my classroom and that's when I decided to write becoming literate.

Laura Khalil :

I love that. Can we talk a little bit about oral sex?

Laurie Mintz :

Absolutely. So we talked

Laura Khalil :

about penetrative sex. I think you said through intercourse alone. 4% of women are able to orgasm. What's the situation with oral sex,

Laurie Mintz :

so about when I'm going to broaden it if you will, a little bit. So you know a lot of times people say oh oral sex is the best. That's the way to go. Some people evolve is love it, some don't. So the bottom line is that when I do my research surveys, I ask people what's your most reliable route to orgasm? Nice intercourse alone. Only 4% say intercourse plus clitoral stimulation about 43%. So that would be a position where your interest is getting stimulated during intercourse using your hands or a vibrator on yourself during intercourse or direct clitoral stimulation alone. And that would include oral sex, or manual stimulation or vibrator stimulation and about 35% say that, and so that can include you know, some women say oral sex is amazing, the best type of type of stimulation. In fact, there's a book called she comes First by Ian Kerner which right.

Laura Khalil :

Very well known

Laurie Mintz :

classic. Tell us a little bit about it for those who don't know, it's an oral sex how to manual basically. And it's that it's basically says the best way is oral sex where she orgasms then followed by intercourse and he gives all types of oral sex tips and it's a fantastic book. But what I did in my book becoming clutter is I expanded that to basically I said, what we need to do is change the script which is for play just to get her ready for intercourse, male orgasm, quote sex over and that we need to have new scripts and she comes first is one of those which could be oral sex or manual stimulation. She comes second is another one. You come together but not at the same time and but during the same act which one might clitoral stimulation plus penetration. So it's really about changing the script into a more mutual script. And she comes first is just one way to do that, right? I mean, and I love that what you're describing, because what you're describing is really a quality. Yes, a quality in different formats so that it can show up. I love that distinction. You know, I think, did you say 20 to 40 minutes for a woman to feel aroused? Is that what you said? And there's some, there's a lot of conflict about this. So in the research world, so don't quote me too strongly on it. So what I'd really like to say is as long as it takes as long as it takes, okay, as long as it takes what we do know is that when women are alone, they get aroused and can orgasm much quicker about four minutes. That stat we know it takes women about four minutes when they're alone, which is about the same time it takes men when They're alone. But when you're with a partner, think about it. Like, there's so much more going on so many more thoughts in your head and nobody knows how to touch you just the way you do. So it takes a lot longer. And I say just take as long as you need. There's no rush, and you deserve it. It is about equality.

Laura Khalil :

What I love about that is that this is, guys, this is about pleasure, about enjoying the company of another individual in this beautiful shared experience that you can have with them. And so however long it takes, that's not a chore that's a hall to explore a call to adventure called to discover one another. And I think a lot of people especially, you know, people who you know, may have kids and are trying to like schedule, sex and that type of stuff. I sometimes get worried. I mean, maybe that's a great thing to do, but I sometimes get worried that some of the joy is being Lost in the process of trying to go through the sort of like mechanical thing of getting off. I don't know if you have thoughts on that.

Laurie Mintz :

Yeah, I in my first book entired Woman's Guide to passionate sex. I do strongly recommend scheduling sex, although I call it a tryst because that's a lot of fun being lovers. It's fun. And the reason is because if you don't schedule it, a lot of times, it's just not going to happen. But that scheduling doesn't mean unromantic. Scheduling doesn't mean rushed. You can schedule it and then anticipate it get your head in the game all day fantasize about it, you know, look forward to it. It also takes away that tension that we often have in busy couples of are we going to do it tonight or not, you know, when you're going to do it and you get ready for it and then it takes away the tension on the other times and face it with busy jobs and kids. I mean II If you don't schedule it just like you wouldn't go to the gym or out to coffee with a friend which of course we all wish we could be doing that right gonna happen but schedule doesn't mean unromantic. Love that. Or, you know, boring, it can be scheduled and be very fun.

Laura Khalil :

I love that is there? And I feel like I know the what you're gonna say this, but I'm gonna ask it anyway. Are there any statistics that talk about? Like, what is quote unquote healthy amount of sex or is that just a very personal decision between two people or do we know anything about that?

Laurie Mintz :

We do when I talk to couples? Well, first of all a couple things there's always going to be a higher and a lower desire person. And the higher desire person in one relationship might be the lower in another it's relative. Yeah, so I tell I help couples, What's your ideal frequency have a conversation we're back to communication and counting compromise, decide your ideal frequency and if and then work it out. And you know if it's if one person's is four times a week and the other is like, twice a month, you know, compromise. But what we do know is that sex is really healthy orgasms are really healthy for your immune system, your stress, happiness, your relationship satisfaction, all there's so many health benefits of orgasms. That's like a whole nother topic. But to get those health and relationship benefits, the ideal number is about once a week, okay? And that more doesn't result in more benefits.

Laura Khalil :

Okay, but once we end does that also go for self pleasure.

Laurie Mintz :

This study was done with couples, okay. I can't really answer that. But, you know, some people will want more, some will want less but if you're going to read the health benefits in the relationship benefits once a week's a good number to aim for, but everybody's different. I know couples who have sex several times a week and are happy and I know couples who haven't once a month and are happy, how could it it's a very important source of couples satisfaction. And one thing I would want to address to listeners, that seems really important, and that also isn't out there. That whole idea of scheduled sex like what happens if I'm not horny, and it's time? Oh, yeah. Like, and a lot of times this is why very busy people who identify as women stop having sex is because they stop being interested and they say, Oh, no, what's wrong with me? And then I'll hear them say they'll have sex and we'll go Oh, that was good. When it was going. We should do that more often. And the issue that is it's we have this, we get taught that sex is linear. I'm horny, therefore I will have sex. Then I'll get aroused and have an orgasm. It'll be That's also a very based on male defined research. What we know about women is there's something called receptive desire. I'm receptive in my head to the idea of sex because I know I'll feel better after but my genitals might not be there. I might not be horny. So I tell people, if you if it's good when it gets going, it's not duty sex. It's that's great. You're using your receptive desire, reverse the equation, have sex to get horny instead of waiting to be born need to have sex because then you might never have sex when you're busy, tired and stress.

Laura Khalil :

I love that receptive desire. Yes, that's a brilliant thing. Yeah. Dr. Laurie mints. It's been such a pleasure to talk with you. I just love this,

Laurie Mintz :

too, and it's been so great to talk to you. Thank you for having me on.

Laura Khalil :

I want to ask you a couple quick things. The first is if you have one or two key takeaways that you really want the audience to remember, what would that be?

Laurie Mintz :

Okay, so my key takeaways, if you are someone out there struggling with low desire, my takeaway is receptive desire, schedule it and reverse the equation. If you're someone out there struggling to be orgasmic, I would say, Get yourself a vibrator. Use your hands. Take the time you need, figure out what you like, and bring yourself to orgasm and then use that same way with a partner and that your pleasure is equally as important in your way of reaching orgasm is just as important as essential as your partner's weight. If you have a partner with a penis, we love that. Dr. Laurie mins How can people find you learn more? Pick up the book, let us know. Okay, you can find me online at www Dr. Laurie, minced calm. So Dr. LAURIEMIN tz and on that page, you will find links to my Instagram, my Twitter, my Pinterest, my YouTube, my TED Talk.

Unknown Speaker :

She's everywhere.

Laurie Mintz :

I'm everywhere. I'm in cyberspace. And you can get my books anywhere where books are sold, you know, Amazon, Barnes and Noble indie bookstores. The one thing I'd also like to share that I am so proud of, if you will give me just one opportunity is there's been five randomized clinical trials on my book, but tired Woman's Guide to passion, sex and two on becoming clitoral. And you can find those studies they've been published in the scientific journals on my website, but the bottom line is women who read a tired Woman's Guide to passionate sex increase their business Desire. Women who read becoming clitoral have more orgasms. And women who read both books have more arousal, more satisfaction, more desire for both more orgasms and less sexual pain. So they they actually are supported by their interventions in them are based in psychological sexual science. And I'm delighted to share that they work.

Laura Khalil :

Gosh, that is so exciting guys. Go check that out. Follow Dr. Laurie, get the books because this stuff is really important, as you mentioned, both for just because it feels good, and also because it's really good for you again, Dr. Laurie mins, thank you so much for joining us on the show.

Laurie Mintz :

Thank you for having me.

Laura Khalil :

I want to thank you for joining me and remember to subscribe through your favorite app so you can stay up to date I would love your review. If you've enjoyed this episode, please leave a review and comment on Apple podcasts. You can also keep in touch with me online. You can find me on LinkedIn and I'm also on Instagram at force of badassery. All that information will be available in the show notes. Until next time, stay brave