By Cory Silverberg
Shere Hite on Redefining Sex
Wednesday August 20, 2008
I was recently alerted to the newly re-launched On The Issues Magazine. On The Issues was originally published from 1983 to 1999 as a print quarterly feminist magazine started by reproductive rights activist Merle Hoffman. The new incarnation is only available online and based on what’s on the site now looks great.
My attention was immediately drawn to an essay by Shere Hite titled “Female Orgasm Today.” In the essay Hite argues that we need a new definition for sex. Speaking of female orgasm Hite discounts the idea of the g spot as little more than a return to Freudian notions of a superior vaginal orgasm. Hite seems willing to acknowledge that some women do experience pleasure and even orgasm from penetration (something she points out was reported by a minority of women in the Hite Report), but she has little time for the g spot.
More interesting though is the end of the essay where Hite gets the heart of her argument. Hite argues that we need a new definition of sex; one that is framed around what gives us pleasure. I couldn’t agree with this more, and it was exciting to read Hite’s imagining of what could happen if we were able to embrace this new kind of sex definition. From the article:
…sex can evolve beyond orgasms. Sex can be transformed to become an individual vocabulary of erotic gestures, combining bodies to reach high states of arousal and desire, beyond a quest for orgasms by either woman or man. Sex can become something new, something we have not yet seen, something that we all now create by taking private, very courageous, steps.
I love this idea and the optimism in it. I actually think a lot of people are there already, experiencing sex completely outside of traditional expectations. I also think a lot more people define sex as something beyond penetration than ever before.
Read more – On The Issues Magazine – Female Orgasm Today: The Hite Report’s Research Then and Now