The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm  

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"Whenever female orgasm and frigidity are discussed, a false distinction is made between the vaginal and the clitoral orgasm. Frigidity has generally been defined by men as the failure of women to have vaginal orgasms. Actually the vagina is not a highly sensitive area and is not constructed to achieve orgasm. It is the clitoris which is the center of sexual sensitivity and which is the female equivalent of the penis." --The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm (1968) by Anne Koedt[1], incipit

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The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm (1968) is an essay by Anne Koedt criticizing the existence of the vaginal orgasm proposed by Freud. It first appeared in a four-paragraph outline form in the Notes from the First Year journal published by the New York Radical Women and was partially based on findings from Masters and Johnson's 1966 work Human Sexual Response. The Myth was then distributed as a pamphlet in its full form, and anthologized in Notes from the Second Year. It included sections on evidence for the clitoral orgasm, female anatomy, and reasons the "myth" of vaginal orgasm is maintained.

Koedt wrote this feminist response during the sexual revolution of the 1960s. The goal of this response is to address both the 'myth of the vaginal orgasm', create awareness and education for women and men about female sexual pleasure, and to counter previous thought about the female orgasm. Koedt reflects in her writing, "It was Freud's feelings about women's secondary and inferior relationship to men that formed the basis for his theories on female sexuality. Once having laid down the law about the nature of our sexuality, Freud not so strangely discovered a tremendous problem of frigidity in women. His recommended cure for a woman who was frigid was psychiatric care. She was suffering from failure to mentally adjust to her "natural" role as a woman." Koedt breaks societal barriers of what is considered acceptable to discuss and her article played a vital role in the feminist sexual revolution, and draws on research done by Alfred Kinsey, among others, about human sexuality to support her claims.

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