Part of the subtext here is my experiences coming of age in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In those days women were encouraged to blame everything on men. You'd hear some feminists of the time saying things like, "There are no non-orgasmic women only lousy lovers".And that is true. She needs to figure out her body and make it work and communicate this to the man in her life. And, to makes this even more threatening to some women than it no doubt already is, the women who do this best don't communicate this by telling you what works for them, they show you by the way they respond to you. She doesn't need to tell you what the right and wrong things to do are because you can plainly see what they are from her reactions.
I remember it being a tremendously liberating experience when a woman I knew responded to one of these tirades by saying, as I repeated above, "It's her body and it's her responsibility to figure out how it works". As men we can be supportive, loving and patient but, ultimately, it's her problem, or problems, to solve.
I think there is a lot more to it than orgasms by the way. It's all about interacting and communicating and building ties to a particular person with and through sex. Responding means that you react in ways that your lover can see and appreciate. It means surrendering to them by allowing them to give you pleasure.
I have known men and women who can, for example, really only have satisfactory sex in the first few months or years they are in a relationship and then get progressively more bored until they discover the rush of new love with another person. I've watched these people spend their entire lives going from one monogamous relationship to another each one of these relationships ending with a bitter breakup that crushes a little more of their souls.
More tragically, a number of men and women I know have confessed that they just can't see someone they really know well in the same way they see people who they are sexually excited by. They either can only get excited by someone who feels slightly dangerous and unsettling or they are such prudes that they cannot allow the person they are closest enough to have a sexual side.
And the brutal advice I have for any of these people is don't get married. I don't care how much you want a committed loving relationship and children together with another human being, don't do it. Marriage isn't just a loving commitment between a man and a woman, it's a loving sexual commitment between a man and a woman. "To have and to hold" is what the vow says.
And, no, it isn't enough to think well, I can go through it for his or her sake. Just going through the motions is never enough.
Okay, enough settling accounts with 1980s feminism from me. I now return to regular programming.