Female Pleasure FAQs with Dr. Zhana

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It’s Dr. Zhana, and I am glad to meet you all. I’m a professor of human sexuality at New York University and resident LELO sexpert. This month was International Women’s Day, so we’re going to talk about female desire. 

dr zhana female desire

I want women feel confident talking about sensuality.

It’s what I long for, too. Unfortunately, the world we live in stigmatizes and suppresses women’s sexuality so it is necessary to fight against it. It’s possible to fight it: by speaking out, by educating, by having conversations with each other. 

How can I be more at ease with my own pleasure?

Three steps are required: 1) Get educated about female pleasure; 2) Take the time to look at your body and discover what gives you pleasure; and 3) Surround yourself with sexy friends and partners who will support your desire for pleasure, rather than shame you. 

Do women really know what kind of relationships they want? They just need to find it.

I actually think that most people, regardless of gender, don’t have a great idea of the kind of relationship they want because we’re never encouraged to explore this. We’re given one type of relationship: long-term, heterosexual, monogamy, living together with kids, and that’s it. It works for some people but it doesn’t work for others. Because of the stigma attached to all other options, many people never find it, even after lots of trial and error. A whole course online on finding your way is actually taught by me. Find the right type of relationship that suits you.

Women want a partner who cares about them and desires their best interests.

I believe almost everyone desires a partner who is interested in them and cares about what they want. Unfortunately, women often don’t get that because we’re all socialized in this patriarchal system, which teaches all of us that women’s sexual desires don’t matter (or shouldn’t even exist).

How can you make her want to orgasm?

First, I want to thank you for asking about how to make her feel comfortable without having to penetrate. Too often, men are so fixated on the idea of penetration that they don’t even consider the possibilities. There are many other ways to give pleasure to vulva-owners. In fact, about 70% of women don’t even orgasm from penetration alone!

Three main methods of making vulva-owners have orgasm are available: 1) with your fingers and hands; 2) using your tongue and mouth; and 3) toys. You should master each of these methods, as different women may prefer different approaches. 

Teaching you how to use these methods goes beyond the scope of this Q&A, but I will tell you one thing – do NOT learn from porn. Mainstream porn is not the way real female orgasms take place. 

I’m a 25F virgin. And I’m looking to pleasure myself without penetration. Help!

Luckily, external clitoral stimulation is the primary source of orgasm for most clit-owners, so use either your fingers or one of the many LELO toys specifically for external stimulation like the Lily, Sona, Smart Wand, Siri…

Is it bad to only cum my toys?

Bad? No. It’s amazing! It’s amazing that you have a reliable method for you to have orgasms. There are a lot of women on this planet who can’t say that, who either haven’t discovered toys yet or haven’t been able to come even with toys, so congratulations! You can always expand the activities that bring you joy. These are great explorations, and I recommend them highly. And if that doesn’t happen, it’s okay. We’re all built a little differently, there is nothing wrong with you. It’s still really fun and pleasurable to explore.

I feel like it’s uncomfortable and not normal to use toys. I want to feel like it’s normal!

The stigma is real, I can hear it! This is very sad because toys are perfectly acceptable! Which is why it’s so important to connect with sex-positive partners, friends, and community; people who are going to tell you “toys are amazing, here let me show you all my favorite ones”. <opens sex toy drawer> 

What are your thoughts on double penetration?

I absolutely LOVE double penetration. I love love love love love love love it SO much! You can’t understand! Ladies, if anal is your thing, I urge you to try DP!

Find proactive ways to fill the orgasm gap.

Orgasm gap: Men have more orgasms during partnered sex than women. You have two options to close the gap.

  1. Encourage women and encourage them to share their opinions with their partners.
  2. Encourage men to care about women’s orgasms, pleasure, and desire and actually get good at providing that.

There are many ways to accomplish these things. We all have a responsibility to move the needle, no matter how small.

What can I do if I want more adventure than my partner?

This is something I hear from women more often these days. There are many sexually adventurous women in the world! It’s best to have an open and open relationship with your partner. There are so many different ways to incorporate some level of openness, however slight, into an existing relationship that you’re bound to find some version of that that works for you and your partner, even if it’s just you doing the exploring. One relationship format that I think would work for a lot of people is “monogamish,” relationships that are mostly monogamous with a little bit of openness. 

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